Write a 500-750 word essay using exemplification as the chief method of development. Using examples, exemplify ONE of the following ideas:
(If you would like to write about a different topic, send me a message describing this other topic. I must approve the topic before you write about it because some topics might not be good for this type of essay.)
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).
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:
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.
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