At this point in your academic career, you’ve gone through the main three types of essays—argumentative, narrative, and descriptive. And you have to admit, you’ve gotten pretty good at them. But now your teacher wants you to write an exemplification essay, and you feel a little lost.
Don’t worry. That’s what I’m here for. I’ll show you not only what an exemplification essay is, but how to write one so well your teacher might think you have super-mutant writing powers.
The Exemplification Essay Explained
When you first heard the term exemplification essay, you might have freaked out a little bit. But there’s no need to. If you’re familiar with the argumentative essay, you’re already halfway there.
An exemplification essay is like a more involved version of an argumentative essay. You’re trying to prove a point, but you must use very specific examples. Facts and numbers will get you far, yes. But you have to effectively incorporate them into your writing.
If you’re writing the essay in class, your teacher will probably be pretty lenient about exact figures or using citations.
However, if this is a take-home assignment, it’s always good practice to include information about where you got your information. Be sure to ask your teacher about what style guide (APA, MLA, or Chicago) to follow.
Excellent (and Not So Excellent) Exemplification Essay Topics
Because exemplification essays are like argumentative essays, you want to pick topics that are similar to argumentative topics. Topics that have at least two arguable sides—you don’t want to choose a topic that has one obvious right side.
In addition, you want topics with hard facts to back up your argument. If you try to persuade the reader of your position with ambiguous reasoning, guess what? You’re no longer writing an exemplification essay.
Here’s a handful of examples of good exemplification essay topics:
Should drugs be decriminalized?
Are classes separated by gender more conducive to learning?
Is a college degree necessary in today’s society?
Should healthcare be free for everyone?
Are gun regulations strict enough?
Each of these topics has research supporting the opposing viewpoints. This makes it easier to defend your own position. Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily have to agree with your argument to write a good essay. You just have to defend your argument well.
Here’s a few bad examples of these exemplification essay topics (and why they’re bad):
What’s your favorite type of music?
This topic is something that’s too personal. It cannot be backed up with facts or figures.
Are opiates dangerous?
This topic is very obviously one-sided.
Explain the process of making maple syrup.
This would make for a great process essay. But it cannot possibly be an exemplification essay.
Now you know what an exemplification essay is. And you’ve seen some examples of good (and bad) topic choices. Let’s get into the actual writing process.
I’m going to make it a little fun. I’m going to write about the best X-Men character, Professor X. Keep in mind, this isn’t a topic you’re likely to see. But it’ll certainly get the point across.
Steps to Writing an Exemplification Essay
As with any essay, you don’t want to just dive right into writing. While that can work for some people, it’s a risky bet. Instead, a little bit of planning will make your exemplification essay easier and faster to write. It will also make it flow better in the end.
Below are the four steps to writing an exemplary exemplification essay. As an example, my topic is Who is the best X-Men character? While this sounds more like personal opinion, I’m going to back it up with some facts.
1. Brainstorm and outline
I included brainstorming and outlining as one step because, for some, it’s the same process. You want to get all of your ideas down on paper first. Then put them in order before you start the more in-depth writing process.
Your outline should include a section for the introduction and conclusion. These can include as little or as much information as you want.
The most important part of your outline is the body section. This is where you’ll include your main points and some supporting arguments. My outline is a little short. But it’s only meant as an example.
My outline might look something like this:
- Thesis statement
- Uses telepathy to mimic other powers
- Can learn foreign languages almost instantly
- Communicates with aliens
- Can manipulate minds of others
- Appears invisible by creating illusions in others’ minds
- Leader in promoting mutant-human relations
- Started Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters
- Formed X-Men team of heroes
2. Write your introduction
Your introduction will have two main parts: the hook and the thesis statement. The hook is exactly what it sounds like. It’s what “hooks” the reader in to keep reading your essay.
The thesis statement explains what your exemplification essay will be about. It presents a brief description of the main points of your body paragraphs.
For my introduction, I would write something along these lines:
Many people dream of having mutant super powers, but don’t realize the responsibility that comes with those special talents. One man, Professor Xavier, stands above all other mutants. He is a shining example of what they can accomplish and who they can become. Professor X uses his one power to mimic various other powers, and he serves as a leader in promoting friendly relationships between mutants and humans.
3. Move to your body paragraphs
Now that you have your introduction down, you can move to the body paragraphs. This doesn’t need to be a 5-paragraph essay format (unless your teacher specifically says so).
This is where making an outline first really comes in handy. You can just fill in the blanks, so to speak.
For my example, I’m going to work with my second main point—the promotion of human-mutant relations.
Through his work with mutant children and team of heroes, Professor Xavier has taken great strides in improving the relationships between mutants and humans. His School for Gifted Youngsters helps mutant children and teens learn how to control their powers and use them to benefit others. It also keeps them separated from humans during their teenage years when hormones can have unpredictable consequences. Professor Xavier’s team of superheroes, the X-Men, also promotes good human-mutant relations. It shows humans that mutants don’t have to be feared and that they can improve the lives of everyone.
4. Wrap it up
The last thing you have to do is write your conclusion. This involves a summary of your main points. However, you don’t want to simply restate your thesis statement.
Instead, include some more information that you wrote about in your body paragraphs. After the brief summary, you want to finish nicely. Your exemplification essay needs to feel complete.
My conclusion would look like this:
Although many people may fear the powers of mutants, they can actually benefit both humans and other mutants. Professor Xavier has proven this by becoming exceptionally skilled at telepathy. He uses both his powers and his influence to promote better relationships between human and mutant communities. He and his band of heroes fight daily, not only against evildoers, but also against the prejudices aimed at his people.
Once you’re finished with your exemplification essay, if you still don’t think it’s as super as it could be, send it to the Kibin editors to look over. They can give you the feedback you need to make your essay shine.
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Myths are a part of the human cultural fabric due to their place through the years in helping man understand his environment as well as his place in it. Therefore, we have myths in science, in philosophy, psychology and religion — which is the topic special emphasis will be placed on today.
Myths have been an important part of how human cultures have viewed religion, the creation story and the moral fabric of human society. Therefore before going further to providing exemplification essay topics of its role in religion, having a clear understanding of what both terms mean and how they interrelate is important to the development of this article.
The term ‘myths’ has been described or defined in numerous ways but for the purpose of its relation to religion, the definition of myths been ideologies or credos which can be illustrated by stories but do not have their roots in the defining stories, will serve as the perfect description of mythology. Religion on the other hand consists of a set of beliefs, actions and rituals employed in the worship of a divine being. And in most cases, the set of beliefs and rituals are a proponent of one myth or the other.
Finally, for those writing myths and religion, here are exemplification essay topics you can choose from that we believe will simplify the task of writing on this subject matter. Also note that an exemplification essay will be included at the end to provide you with important directions to take when drafting yours:
- Myth, Ritual and Religion
- The Role Myths Play in the Origin of the World
- Myths and Understanding the Concepts of Afterlife
- The Creation Story and Its Mythical Influences
- The Parallels Between Ancient Rituals and Modern Religion
- Pagan Myths and the Origins of Hell
- Belief in a Trinity and its Mythical Components
- The Impact of Ancient Mythology on Modern Religion
- Mythical Rituals and Symbols in Ancient Greek Beliefs
- The Function of Mythology and Religion in Ancient Societies
- Spiritual Stories, Myths and Legends in Religion
- The Importance of Myths in Ancient and Modern World
- Bible Myths and their Parallels in Other Religions
- Trees in Mythology, Legend, Symbolism and Religion
- Flood Myths in the Religions of the Ancient World
- The Importance of Understanding Mythology and its Religious Undertones
- Understanding the Difference Between Myth and Religion
- Sacred Myths: The Stories of the World’s Religions
- The Ancient Beginnings of the Virgin Birth Myth
- The Resurrection Myth and its Effect on Religion
These are 20 exemplification essay topics you can choose from when given the academic task of writing on myths and religion. With little research, these interesting topics which deal with the origin and history of most of the world’s religion can be worked on by you. To further simplify your task, here is a sample essay on one of the topics listed above.
Sample Exemplification Essay: The Impact of Ancient Mythology on Modern Religions
The first human society developed in ancient times, the Sumerians, has been credited with starting civilization by creating urban societies at that time for human habitation. To ensure a peaceful lifestyle, the Sumer people created a set of rules and beliefs which turned into the local religion of the times to govern the moral fabric of the society. And as with most ancient religions, the set of beliefs which the Sumerians turned to were from old tales that were handed down from generation to generation through oral communication. These old tales are collectively known as Myths and this essay will be discussing the integration of myths into today’s popular religious beliefs.
The three major religions of the modern world—Judaism, Christianity and Islam—all have similar beliefs concerning the creation story due to the fact that they all branched out from the Abrahamic faith. Proponents of these religion believe that the earth and its surrounding environment were called out of nothing by a supreme being but this belief system which was also orally passed down has been explored by even older religions and their myths.
An example of similar creation myths that predated the above religions include the Sumerian belief of the world being created by Nippur, Enki and Enlil from nothingness. Also, in ancient Egypt, the Egyptians believed in the creation of the world from nothingness by the Ogdoads—a set of ancient Egyptian gods. These myths which were passed around for millenniums were finally put to words by both cultures in their respective times thereby leading to future discovery in modern times.
A study of the creation belief of the Abrahamic religion shows some element quite similar to the mythological tales of the Sumerian and Egyptian religions. In the case of the Abrahamic belief system, a divine being had created the world out of nothing—either by himself or in company with other deities—from darkness and nothingness to light and form. Another instance is the belief in the trinity particular to some Christian sects. Here, it is believed that the divine creator consists of three co-equal gods in one central Supreme Being.
This belief also stems from ancient mythology that predates Christianity by thousands of years such as in Babylon, where its priests taught about the trinity of gods—Baal, Ashtoreth and Tammuz—as coequal gods in one divine being. Also in ancient Rome, this belief was also well known and has been attributed as the inspiration behind the Christian trinity.
In many instances, it can be shown that ancient story telling techniques which included embellishments by the story teller were used as a means of transferring religion from one era to the other. In some cases, these stories became over-embellished as they were retold thereby becoming so fantastical they were categorized as myths and in time, these myths found their way into religion as we know it today.
Here we come to the end of this sample exemplification essay topic on myth and religion and we do hope it provided you with some insight on how to kick start your project. Don’t forget to also visit our 10 facts on Sumerian culture. Lastly, anyone looking for a set of guidelines on essay writing should also endeavour to read the last piece in this series on writing an exemplification essay.
Turville-Petre, E. (1964). Myth and Religion of the North: The Religion of Ancient Scandinavia, 55.
Wikipedia.com. (2014). Triple Deity.
Charles, T. (2013). The Myth of the Holy Trinity.
William, H. (2005). Classical Mythology: A Guide to the Mythical World of the Greeks and Romans, 306.
West, L. (2007) Indo-European Poetry and Myth. Oxford University Press, 140-1, 379-385.
Hawting, R. (1999) The Idea of Idolatry and the Emergence of Islam: From Polemic to History, 130-132.
Leiren, I. (1999). From Pagan to Christian: The Story in the 12th-Century Tapestry of the Skog Church.
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