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**Exemplification: Writing Essays With Vivid Examples and Illustrations**

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Why We Use Examples To persuade skeptical readers who are reluctant to accept your viewpoint To show a causal relationship To be more interesting and take the reader beyond a telling statement Help to explain or clarify an abstraction To avoid unintended ambiguity

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**Forms of Examples Specific names (people, places, products) Anecdotes**

Personal observations Expert opinions (from outside sources, interviews) Facts Statistics Case studies via research

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**Example Types Personal-case examples Typical-case examples**

Hypothetical examples Generalized examples Extended examples

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**1. Personal-experience Examples**

From your own life Lend personal authority Create drama

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**2. Typical-case Examples**

Objective in nature: can be especially convincing About an actual event/situation, but you didn’t directly experience it. Source could be newspapers, magazines, television

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**3. Hypothetical Examples**

Speculative, but be sure it’s conceivable Might ask the reader to imagine a scenario Be sure to acknowledge that your example is invented Ex: “suppose that…” or “let’s for a moment assume that…”

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**4. Generalized Examples Composite of the typical and usual**

Ex: “all of us, at one time or another, have been driven to distraction by a trivial annoyance like the buzzing of a fly or the sting of a paper cut.” Ex: “when most people get a compliment, they perk up, preen, and think the praise-giver is blessed with astute power of observation.”

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**5. Extended Examples Employ many details and specifics**

Last an entire paragraph Sometimes can encompass the entire essay, but must be significant to stand alone as the only example

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**Effective Examples Should:**

Be relevant; Have direct bearing on the subject Be dramatic Be accurate (esp. When using facts, figures, statistics) Be non-contradictory Avoid sweeping generalizations at all costs, for they do not convince readers

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**Effective Examples Should:**

Be representative: avoid oddball or one-in-a-million types of examples; They distort and are not honest Ex: if writing a paper on the difficulties of getting through college and you use the example of a student who works 35 hours a week and still gets straight A’s, that’s not typical or representative. It does not exemplify what MOST students experience.

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**Effective Examples Should:**

Use an organizational approach: Chronological Spatial Simple to complex Emphatic sequence

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**Recognize & Use Key Words**

For example, For instance, First, second, third Next, in addition

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