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Essay in 3 Steps!

Essay writing is a critical academic exercise for students wishing to develop and perfect their critical thinking, organizing, analytical, and reflective skills. When writing an exemplification essay, students’ focus is on taking a stand on an issue and using arguments to defend it. Unlike a typical argumentative essay, an exemplification essay requires students to use examples to strengthen their perspectives and views. In turn, this aspect means that examples are prominent features in this type of essay. Hence, students need to learn how to write an exemplification to develop their arguments properly.

General Guidelines of Writing an Exemplification Essay

In academic writing, students undertake different assignments and activities to develop and perfect their writing skills. Basically, essay writing is one of these activities, where students utilize critical thinking, analytical, and reflective skills to write different types of papers. In turn, one of these essay types is an exemplification essay, which is a type of argumentative essay. In essence, such an essay focuses on highlighting the writer’s idea or stand on an issue and using specific examples to back up that idea of a stand. Also, when writing an exemplification essay, students should provide definitive reasons as to why they support a particular perspective. In this case, authors must introduce a topic and make clear their thought about it. Besides, on the topic of marijuana legalization, writers must indicate whether they support it or not and provide justifications for their stand.

How to write an exemplification essay

1. Defining Features of an Exemplification Essay

Like any other paper, an exemplification essay has features that define this work and distinguish it from other types of essays and academic texts. Basically, the first feature is a generalized topic, an aspect that makes it easy for writers and readers to develop a broad perspective. Then, the second characteristic is examples that students use to strengthen their arguments. When providing these examples, authors should focus on expanding a topic through ideas, claims, and arguments. More importantly, learners should organize examples logically, ensuring that they provide relevant details. Additionally, authors should ensure that specific examples are relevant and advance the writer’s goal of persuading the audience. In turn, writers should avoid the temptation of using irrelevant examples because they seem exciting or informative. Hence, the essay’s focus is not necessarily to excite or educate the audience but to convince and persuade it to adopt the writer’s viewpoint.

2. How to Identify an Exemplification Essay

In principle, defining characteristics of an exemplification essay described in the preceding section identify this paper from many types. As such, one can argue that students can know they are writing an exemplification essay if they are advancing their perspective regarding a topic and using examples to persuade the audience to consider an issue in a way that they (writers) see it. In other words, the essay’s focus is to use examples to orient readers to the writer’s arguments concerning a topic.

3. How Does an Exemplification Essay Differ From Other Papers

Although an exemplification essay is similar to other papers on the aspects of an essay structure and an essay outline, it differs with most essays on content. Based on the preceding section, the content of an exemplification essay consists of the writer’s arguments and examples that authors use to advance their perspectives. Since an exemplification essay is a form of an argumentative essay, it must capture counterarguments and rebuttals. In contrast, while such papers include personal anecdotes, a narrative essay does not focus on persuading the audience to adopt any stand. In turn, a narrative paper only aims at informing the audience about the writer’s life experiences, such as academic or professional endeavors.

Examples of Topics for Writing an Exemplification Essay

  1. Technological Innovations as a Threat to Culture.
  2. Explore the Danger Posed by Fast-Food Restaurants.
  3. Food Hoarding and Food Insecurity: Is there a Connection?
  4. Discuss Some Pros and Cons of Online Education.
  5. Discuss Some Benefits that Enterprises Get for Establishing Online Presence.
  6. Is Religion Relevant in Modern Culture?
  7. Is Universal Care Possible?
  8. Discuss the Relevance of a College Degree in the Context of Rising Unemployment Rates.
  9. Are Schools Justified in Enforcing Religious Codes?
  10. Explore Some Benefits of Free Trade Agreements.
  11. Is Rehabilitation an Effective Intervention for Substance Use Disorders?
  12. Do You Believe a Failure of Foreign Policy Is a Threat to Global Peace?
  13. Why Should the World Care About Climate Change?
  14. Is there a Justification for the Death Penalty?
  15. Is the “Revolving Door” Concept Relevant in Policymaking?

How Students Know if They Need to Write an Exemplification Essay by Looking at a Topic

In essay writing, students know the type of essay that they need to write after reading the relevant department’s or tutor’s requirements. Basically, these requirements can be in the form of direct instructions or a grading rubric. Moreover, if there is no explicit instruction about a topic, students consult a grading rubric to have an idea about an issue. In essence, this means understanding the basic expectations of educational departments or tutors. Then, if a topic is supposed to provide direction about writing an exemplification essay, learners need to identify several features. For example, these elements include the need to take a stand on an issue and to use examples to support it. In short, students can tell that they need to write an exemplification essay by identifying a requirement in a topic to capture the defining features of such a paper described in the previous section.

Sample Outline Template for Writing an Exemplification Essay

As mentioned previously, an exemplification essay is similar to other essay types on the aspects of structure and outline. About the structure, an exemplification essay comprises three main sections: introduction, body, and conclusion. When writing each of these sections, it is critical for students to address essential elements, such as a thesis statement, examples in the body section, and a thesis restatement in the conclusion section. Also, writers need to know that they can use as many examples as they want as long as the paper’s length allows. In turn, each illustration should be relevant to a topic and a thesis statement. Hence, an outline of an exemplification essay should appear as below:

I. Introduction

A. Hook statement – facts or quotes.
B. Brief information on an issue.
C. Thesis statement – the main claim of a paper.

II. Body

A. Argument:

  • open this paragraph with a topic sentence – argument;
  • provide an example that is evidence to support the main idea presented in a topic sentence;
  • explain how this example if relevant to a topic;
  • conclude with a final idea.

B. Another Argument or Counterargument:

  • open this paragraph with a topic sentence – counterargument;
  • provide an example that is evidence to support the main idea presented in a topic sentence;
  • explain how this example if relevant to a topic;
  • conclude with a final idea.

III. Conclusion

A. Restate a thesis claim;
B. Sum up arguments;
C. End with a final claim.

Structure of an Exemplification Essay

I. Introduction

When writing the introduction section, students should start with a hook – a statement that grabs the readers’ attention, such as a fact or a quote. After getting readers interested, authors should provide a brief background of a topic, such as acknowledging it is controversial and has been so for some time. Basically, doing so informs the audience of the essay’s theme. More importantly, it helps readers to understand the importance of an exemplification essay. In concluding this section, writers should formulate a thesis statement, thus preparing the audience for the different arguments that they expect to advance in the paper’s body. Besides, the main claim prepares the audience for examples that learners wish to use to support their opinions. In essence, a thesis helps the audience to note whether a paper flows naturally and logically.

II. Body Paragraphs

The body of an exemplification essay is where writers advance their arguments concerning a topic and use examples to support those arguments. Since students may have several arguments, it is advisable to use several paragraphs, where each advances a specific argument. In line with academic writing rules, learners should open each paragraph with a topic sentence and close it with a concluding sentence. To make the content logical, students should use transitions and follow a sandwich rule. For example, transitions are words, like “consequently,” “for example,” “besides,” and “nonetheless.” In turn, a sandwich rule entails using a topic sentence to introduce a claim, providing a sentence with supporting facts (evidence), and giving a statement that expounds on the evidence. Also, a concluding sentence connects the claim to the paper’s thesis.

III. Conclusion

The most prominent feature of the conclusion section is a thesis restatement. Here, students provide the audience with information that indicates the solution to an issue raised by a topic. Moreover, this information is a summary of the writer’s arguments from body paragraphs. In this case, the writer’s goal in this section is to provide the audience with a persuasive text, meaning what authors should convince readers despite a counterargument made in a body paragraph. In essence, the conclusion part of en exemplification essay should indicate different implications of a topic.

Example of Writing an Exemplification Essay

Topic: The Great Lady King

I. Introduction Sample of an Exemplification Essay

Great Britain is decorated by stories of exploits of great men and women that history remembers as courageous and outstanding. In particular, King Arthur created the famous Knights of the Round Table, Alfred the Great proved to be a great leader through the Dark Ages, and Richard the Lion-Hearted started and led the Crusades. When it comes to church and state, the infamous Henry VIII united two institutions by establishing a new religion. Moreover, King James produced a Bible Version still in use today, and Queen Victoria ruled for over six decades at the height of British colonization of distant lands. While monarchs have played a significant role in influencing England’s development in the early years, none has been more influential than Queen Elizabeth I.

Examples of Body Paragraphs in an Exemplification Essay

A. Argument: Elizabeth I and Her Challenges

Although Queen Elizabeth I was declared illegitimate after her mother was beheaded, she took the throne in 1558. After Queen Elizabeth I ascended to the throne, she faced insurmountable challenges: England was in the middle of a conflict with France, the treasury was bankrupt, the country was facing a religious turmoil, and the populace was mostly uneducated (Weir, 1984). Unbowed by these challenges, she started her reign with courage and enthusiasm. For example, Queen Elizabeth I took the path of peace to end England’s conflict with France, an effort that helped her country to evade the possibility of investing heavily in a protracted war (Weir, 1984). Indeed, this aspect was a bold move that not only saved the ailing economy but also proved to Europe that the new leader was willing to do things differently. Moreover, her next project was to institute a new tax regime and reform the education sector. For the sake of peace with France and Spain, Queen Elizabeth I dangled hints of marriage to these loyalties while she embarked on a tremendous nation-building effort. This stance effectively kept the foes placated, giving the Queen room to undertake reforms in crucial economic and social institutions. Finally, Queen Elizabeth I reestablished the Anglican Church through bloodshed. Hence, this achievement unified her people, who baptized her “Good Queen Bess.”

B. Another Argument or Counterargument: Elizabeth I and Her Achievements

As the most powerful nation in the world in 1588, Spain launched a bloody attack on England. Basically, the Spanish Armada had built the reputation of the most incredible naval fleet ever assembled across the region. Nonetheless, Queen Elizabeth I selected captains in the British navy that eventually dismantled the Spanish Armada (Weir, 1984). This victory was critical in instilling a sense of pride in the people and giving the Queen the status of a living legend. By defeating Spain, England assumed a prominent position in the world stage as a world power. Moreover, this status was critical in providing the Queen and the people with space to build an empire. Concurrently, the period of peace provided Queen Elizabeth I with an opportunity to nurture artists through royal benefactors. For example, she was partly responsible for decorating the English Renaissance, which some refer to as the Elizabethan Age (Wells-Cole, 1997). This period ranks among the greatest in the history of creative arts the world over. In turn, this history indicates that the Queen took a holistic approach to develop England and her people.

III. Conclusion Sample of an Exemplification Essay

No one could believe that the Queen was responsible for outstanding achievements based on her controversial background. Being declared an illegitimate child did not stop her from becoming the greatest monarch that England ever witnessed. In the history of England, Queen Elizabeth’s reign occupies a special and important place. Thus, history will remember her as the leader who instituted significant reforms that advanced England’s economic and social development in the 16th century.


Weir, D. R. (1984). Life under pressure: France and England, 1670–1870. The Journal of Economic History, 44(1), 27-47.

Wells-Cole, A. (1997). Art and decoration in Elizabethan and Jacobean England: The influence of continental prints, 1558-1625. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Summing Up

An exemplification essay is a type of work that allows students to use examples to defend their stance on a matter. As an example of an argumentative essay, an exemplification essay focuses on advancing the writer’s perspective on an issue by presenting arguments in favor of that perspective. As such, examples are the key features of this essay that writers use in the main text. Hence, when writing an exemplification essay, students should master the following tips:

  • Focus on a topic that enables the use of examples in support of arguments.
  • Use examples that are relevant to a topic.
  • Brainstorm on ideas about the most appropriate examples to use.
  • Use short stories and anecdotes if applicable.
  • Ensure that an exemplification essay uses representative facts, meaning that it should reflect what is familiar with the majority.
  • Use transitions and follow a sandwich rule to create a natural and logical flow of ideas.
  • Research to find powerful and relevant examples.

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