Steps To Write An Exemplification Essay

Exemplification/Illustration Essay

What is an Exemplification Essay?

Exemplification is mode of writing that uses examples to show, explain, or prove a point.

Steps for Developing an Exemplification Essay:

1.    Make a point.

2.    Give detailed and specific examples to show, explain, or prove a point.

3.    Give enough examples to get the point across.

Giving Examples:

This is a key step in writing an exemplification essay. Use a variety of specific, detailed examples that appeal to readers and helps them understand your main point. Effective examples add vitality to your writing and make your essay stand out.

Types of Examples:

Essays often combine both brief and extended examples.

·         Brief. These examples appear rather frequently within the essay, and they usually function as concrete examples of straightforward ideas.

·         Extended. These examples contain more detail. Such detail is needed because extended examples function as concrete illustrations of ideas that are too complex to be made clear by a brief example.

Note: Whether brief or extended, the examples must be representative, meaning they must reflect the majority. For example, a writer may attempt to refute the hazards of smoking by citing the example of a man who smoked two packs of cigarettes a day until he was eighty-nine, without ever having had a health problem. However, this example is not valid, for it does not represent the fate of the majority of heavy, lifetime smokers. Thus, it is not representative.

Thesis Statement of an Exemplification Essay:

The thesis statement usually includes the topic and the main point the writer wants to make about it.

(topic)(main point)

Ex: Bus drivers in my cityhave no sense of direction.

How to Write an Effective Exemplification Essay:

1.     Find your main point. The main point is the main idea you want to get across about your topic. To find a main point, review your ideas about your topic and look for the strongest message. An effective main point is interesting; can be shown, explained, or proven; and is limited to one idea.

2.     Use examples, whether extended, brief, or both. Make sure the examples are representative and do support your main point. Sometimes one extended example is sufficient, but often, writers use a series of brief examples. Your exemplification essay is only as strong as its examples.

3.    Examine the examples. Reread your examples to see if they are specific and detailed enough to get across the main point. Eliminate any examples that do not fit or are too vague. Your examples are only as strong as their details.


Exemplification is a mode of writing that uses examples to show, explain, or prove a point. When writing an effective exemplification essay, remember to make a point; to give detailed and specific examples to show, explain, or prove a point; and to provide enough examples to get the point across.

Main points and characteristics of an exemplification essay

Writing an exemplification or illustrative essay involves various steps. One defining feature is use of examples as proofs of the writer’s claims. To write a satisfactory paper, one needs relevant sources of information and sufficient data to convince the readers. The choice of example must be taken seriously to add coherence to the piece of writing. Let’s look at the main characteristics.

  1. Relevant examples
  2. Clear details
  3. Exemplary ideas
  4. Persuasive points of view
  5. Complex data to brace thesis statement
  • Relevant and brief examples
    All examples used must be valid. There is a need for expansive resources which are most representative of the writer’s claims. In case any example contradicts some argument, it’s best left out. For a coherent article, every claim should stand in favor of thesis statement. The back-up statistical data should be evidential.
  • Exemplary ideas
    The writer needs to pick an essay writing prompt of their interest and defend it with concise information. In the introduction part, a brief and clear story should be provided as an anecdote. This encourages the readers to keep on reading. Personalized and brief stories sound more relevant to the audience. The paper should have an element that makes it outstanding.
  • Clear details
    In as much as you’d like to handle a completely new theory, you must select a topic that allows you to apply varied examples. The project begins with developing a thesis statement. The reader needs to understand the exact point that you re supporting and how you will prove it. You should make the first paragraph of introduction as a road map of your paper.
  • Persuasive points of view
    Remember that examples are the main ideas on the body. Every example, on its own paragraph should prove a point and in accordance with the thesis. Remain focused on your points of view so that the reader sees coherence. If for instance you are writing about reasons the current world is doomed, don’t just state the points. Go ahead and give great examples of deteriorating Mother Nature and give strong opinions and solutions.
  • Complex data to brace thesis statement
    Your paper needs sufficient information and facts. Let the reader see validity of your thesis and that you did not just spell it out for the sake of it. Let your format be logical. All paragraphs should begin with a transformational remark to give directions on the point you are arriving at.

Example of exemplification essay topic ideas

  • Mercy killing should be made legal
  • The great rift between church and state
  • The dead end of athletic games
  • Use of guns is not a solution for current crimes
  • Prevalence of promiscuity among college kids


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