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Exemplification Essay

Write a 500-750 word essay using exemplification as a method of development. Include a title page and outline with your essay. Do not use sources with any essay except the Argumentative Essay.

Writing Approach
Determine exactly what point you are going to make and write it down in precise terms. Think about why you want to make this point. Develop a thesis statement (pages 47-49 in The St. Martin’s Handbook). Then choose examples and details that count for something, those that move the reader toward some goal.
Choose the best examples that honestly reflect the group or class they represent. Do not pick examples that do not support your thesis. Also, make sure that your examples display all the chief features of whatever you are illustrating.
Do not give your examples and their details in a haphazard manner; give some real thought to arranging them in the best possible order. You may use order of familiarity, climax, importance, or some other order.
If an essay develops a single example, try to have at least three important things to say about it–three areas of discussion.
For additional resources, review the following links: “Writing to Illustrate (The Exemplification Essay) Workshop” and “Exemplification Essay”
Writing Assignment

Purpose: to inform
Method of Development: exemplification
For topics, see the list at the end of “Chapter 5: Exemplification” in The Longman Reader.


  1. Brainstorm for topics.
  2. Organize your ideas.
  3. Check the Syllabus for due dates.


General Assignments

Using illustration, develop one of these topics into an essay.

  1. Today’s drivers’ dangerous habits
  2. Taking care of our neighborhoods
  3. The best things in life: definitely not free
  4. The importance of part-time jobs for college students
  5. How cell phones have changed communication
  6. Learning about people from what they wear
  7. Americans’ obsession with or neglect of physical fitness
  8. How to avoid bad eating habits
  9. Eliminating obstacles faced by people with handicaps
  10.            (someone you know) as a            (reliable, open-minded, dishonest, pushy, etc.) person

Assignments Using Visuals

Use the suggested visuals to help develop an illustration essay on one of these topics:

  1. How cell phones have changed our lives (photos and/or charts)
  2. The benefits of a college education (graphs and/or charts)
  3. How the Internet has affected society (slide show)
  4. Characteristics of college students with high GPAs (charts or cartoons)
  5. How a hobby such as hiking or singing can expand our horizons (web links)



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