Tips on Writing an Exemplification Essay

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Exemplification Essay writing tips

What Exemplification Essay Means

The idea behind the meaning of an exemplification essay lays in its name – it’s a type of an essay that uses examples as the main means of supporting a certain idea. If you’ve never heard about this type of academic writing, you might know it under the name “illustrative essay”, which is practically the same. In order to write an exemplification essay in a good way, you need to be in possession of good resources and valid information that will help you to carry out your idea. If you don’t know how to write an exemplification essay, we’ve prepared a few tips that will help you with that.

The Main Components

You’re probably already familiar with the typical structure of all kinds of essays. Exemplification essays follow the same pattern: introduction, body part, and conclusion. As far as the components of the text are concerned, you need to make sure that there are a few things present in your essay. They are the following:

  • strong examples to support your idea;
  • details that describe your evidence;
  • arguments;
  • valid information that you’ve found in respectable sources.

Besides being logical, every example, which you use, should resonate with the idea you are promoting. The key answer to the question how to write an exemplification essays is in using relevant examples. Don’t drift off the topic just to put in some interesting information you might have found. All examples should relate strictly to your key idea.

When you encounter information that contradicts your thesis, it’s better to avoid it because an exemplification essay doesn’t require you to debunk counter-arguments. There is no harm in fishing out the information that suits your purposes as long as this information is true and is obtained from trustworthy sources.

3 Main Steps of How to Write an Exemplification Essay

  1. Explore the Possibilities
    If you’re not assigned a certain topic by your professor and have a free choice, you might find it hard to pick up something that will make a good subject. In such cases, we recommend turning to the media and hot topics discussed there. Picking up something that is urgent and talked about will provide you with plenty resources, which you could use. In addition, such topics usually have different points of view, so you’ll have an element of an argumentative essay too.
  2. Choose Your Stance
    As it was mentioned, problematic issues can always be viewed in different dimensions, and you’ll have to choose one that resonates with your personal outlook. Don’t start writing an essay if you don’t have a clear idea about the given topic. Don’t write about something you personally disagree with either, because then you’ll really struggle to complete the task. It’s a good idea to sleep on the topic after you have chosen it and give it enough time to settle down in your head. That’s when you’ll find out what exactly is closer to your heart.
  3. Narrow It Down
    The best topic is the one that goes straight to the point. That’s why you need to make your subject as specific as possible. For example, if you are writing about delinquency, specify the age group that you are analyzing, its origin, background or other features that you can use to categorize people.

Opening of the Essay

Now let’s talk about the structure of an exemplification essay. Obviously, it should start with an opening paragraph aka the introduction. The key feature of an introductory paragraph is its strength, as it should immediately attract the readers’ attention and make them keep on reading. In addition, it should introduce the thesis and prepare the readers for what is to come. This can be achieved through a few writing tricks: starting with a famous quote, an anecdote from your own life or from someone’s you know, introducing facts or statistics numbers or asking the readers a rhetoric question.

If your essay is not strictly limited to a word count, you can use a combination of different techniques while creating smooth transitions between paragraphs. For example, starting with a rhetoric question that has an anecdotal character and following up with facts and statistics obtained from scientific researchers will give a great boost to your essay from the very beginning.

The Body Paragraphs of the Essay

Once the introduction is done, it’s time to get down to the main part of your essay, which is the body part. Go back to the part where we talked about the key components of an exemplification essay. All these things should be present in the body paragraphs. It’s very important to incorporate all the parts because they can’t become a strong enough basis for your ideas without being used together.

Another thing you need to keep in mind is the audience you’re writing for. You’d probably say that your only audience will be your professor who’ll grade the essay, but imagine you’re writing to influence a social group. For example, writing about the possibilities of space exploration and the influence of current trends in the fashion world will be very different. You’ll need to alter your language and use different techniques to make an exemplification essay serve its purpose.

Finally, don’t forget to categorize your examples and to determine the order in which they’ll be presented in your essay. Besides the thematic classification, you will need to decide on the strength of your arguments. Some people prefer to use the best ideas at the beginning in order to convince the reader immediately, while others save them till the end.


Your conclusion is the summary of what the readers have already read. This means you should mention your thesis and shortly pinpoint the key points that you’ve supported the body part. Don’t include statistics and facts again, since they are not a part of your own ideas. You need to give the readers the feeling of completeness, so there is a trick you can use – repeat a phrase from the introduction. This should be a strong end of a strong exemplification essay.