Exemplication Essay

Exemplication Essay

Order Description

Write a 500-750 word essay using exemplification as the chief method of development. Using examples, exemplify ONE of the following ideas:
Online learning is (or is not) an engaged and interactive learning experience.
Social media has (or has not) improved communication skills.

NOTE: The exemplification essay should just show the problem or idea; it should not offer solutions (although solutions might be discussed in the conclusion paragraph).

Guidelines

An exemplification essay shows how an idea is true by using examples. Your purpose is to make your subject clearer to your audience than it may previously have been.

The introduction paragraph indicates why this topic is important and your main idea about this topic. The body paragraphs show examples to demonstrate this main idea. Each example should develop a new idea about your thesis. The conclusion paragraph shows the “next step”. If your examples have accomplished their goal of proving the thesis, then the conclusion shows what should be done next with this new knowledge.

To write an exemplification essay, do the following:

Analyze your subject from various viewpoints, coming to a better understanding of it.
Come to some conclusion about your topic (how something works, for example, or why a particular course of action is good or bad). 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.
Construct a thesis that includes your main idea and perhaps some elements of it that will appear in your body paragraphs.
Find examples that support your points.
Choose examples and details that count for something, those that move the reader toward some goal.
Make sure that your examples display all the chief features of whatever you are illustrating.
Choose the best examples that honestly reflect the group or class they represent.
Do not pick examples that do not support your thesis.
Create body paragraphs that both demonstrate and explain your subject from the standpoint of your thesis. Begin body paragraphs with a topic sentence summarizing the main idea of the paragraph (what are the examples of?). Then fill up the paragraph with examples. Then end the paragraph with a summary of advice or your conclusion based on the examples provided in that paragraph.
Organize body paragraphs in the best possible order. Do not give your examples and their details in a haphazard manner. 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. Each area of discussion will be one body paragraph.
For example, an essay exemplifying dangerous habits of drivers might be organized like this:

Thesis: Perhaps because they have become too complacent, many drivers today have developed dangerous habits.

Body Paragraph 1:

Topic Sentence: Driving while fiddling with in-car gadgets is the first of many dangerous habits common to drivers

Examples: Looking down to alter the radio settings while driving on the interstate inserting or removing CDs, or fishing on the floor or seat for another CD to listen to, all while driving is dangerous. My cousin Jack rear-ended the truck in front of him when traffic slowed and he didn’t see it because he was reaching for a new CD to play.

Paragraph-ending explanation: In-car gadgets can distract drivers. Paying attention to anything but driving can be dangerous or even fatal.

Body Paragraph 2:

Topic Sentence: Eating and drinking (even non-alcoholic beverages) while driving is another dangerous habit.

Examples: It can be difficult to steer if only one hand is on the wheel and the other is holding some form of food. The driver is bound to pay at least as much attention to the food to ensure that none is spilled on the floor, the seats, or, if the driver is headed somewhere important, on his or her clothes. Once while I was driving, late, to work, I picked up a burger. Trying to keep the lettuce, tomato, and ketchup contained inside the slippery bun was not easy. Though I did not get in an accident, I could have because I spent quite a lot of time with my eyes on my food rather than on the road. Another time while I was driving, I was drinking hot coffee. When I braked hard, the coffee spilled onto my lap, burning my legs. In reaction, I jumped and unwittingly jerked the wheel hard; I wound up in a ditch at the side of the road.

Paragraph-ending explanation: Eating and driving is not illegal, but it is still a dangerous activity. It takes concentration off of the road—the proper place for a driver’s attention to be—and it can result in an accident.

Keep providing paragraphs filled with examples for as many dangerous habits as you could think of! Open each paragraph by identifying one dangerous habit, and then use the rest of the paragraph to list examples and to explain its disadvantages.

Remember to open and close each body paragraph in your own voice of statement or explanation—not with an example; use your examples in the middle of the paragraph as support for your ideas.

Requirements

The body of the essay is 500-750 words. The word count includes those words from the first word of the introduction paragraph to the last word of the conclusion paragraph (not the heading or outline words). Choose a topic that can be discussed in depth and detail within this requirement. This is a test of your ability to narrow or broaden a topic appropriately for the purpose!
Include an outline as the last page of the essay. This is different than MLA style, which requires the outline to be the first page of the essay, but putting the outline last makes page numbering easier because you do not need to switch between i, ii, iii… numbering and can use only 1, 2, 3… numbering. The first page should be page 1 and the outline should be the last page number.
Do not use research.
Use MLA Style to format the essay. Specifically, remember to include a heading on the first page, a header with your last name and page number on each page, and double spacing. See the MLA Style Resources for an example essay formatted according to MLA Style!
Submit the completed essay by the due date using the link provided beneath this assignment description. (The due date is on the Syllabus.)
Five points are deducted for each day late.
The essay must be submitted in MS Word (.doc) or Rich Text Format (.rtf). See the instructions in the Syllabus and an announcement early in the course for instructions on how to save in Rich Text Format if you do not use MS Word.