Exemplification Essay Topics (Updated for 2019)

  • Published Date: October 29, 2018


Selecting the best premise out of a list of exemplification essay topics is half the battle of writing this type of essay. The more inherently interested you are in the topic, the more fluid the research and writing process will be. Think of it as akin to driving down a gorgeous coastal highway during the warm autumnal season, versus driving through an industrial wasteland in the pitch black night. Which drive do you think will be more enjoyable? The same goes for your exemplification essay topic. Take the necessary time to pick one that really resonates with your interests. It will undeniably give you a definitive advantage. If you have been assigned such a topic by your teacher, take the time to examine it fully and determine the best angle to address it so that it stimulates your curiosity and creativity. After reading this article, you will be in a more empowered position to find the most perfect topic for your essay.

Definition of Exemplification Essay

An exemplification essay is one of the classic types of essays that teachers like to assign because the very name intimidates students. This type of essay sounds inherently complicated and that can produce stress and anxiety in students when they find out they have to write one. Don’t let the name fool you. An exemplification essay is what you would get if an argumentative essay married an illustration essay. Make sense? Basically, an exemplification essay expects you to make an argument, and support that argument  through the use of examples. Some students argue that all good argumentative essays use examples anyway, and that’s a fair point. Nevertheless, an exemplification essay specifies that you use examples to illustrate how each sub-point of your argument is true or correct.

For instance, if you are writing about how the institution of marriage is archaic and people shouldn’t get married anymore, one example to support your point might be that 53% of all marriages end in divorce. However, it’s not enough to just throw data at your argument. You have to paint a picture of how and why this data is an example of your point. In this case, you might write, “The fact that over half of all marriages end in divorce illustrates how traditional marriage as an institution needs to be revamped or discarded. This is particularly true if one considers how many couples out of the 47% that stay married just do so for the sake of the children or because of religious reasons. When one takes that into consideration, it is clear that marriage as an institution is as outdated as the printing press.” In this case, data has been used to exemplify or illustrate the truth of one’s overall point or argument.

In a similar fashion, if you’re writing about “the best way to talk to a surly teenager” your three body paragraphs each need to be dedicated to a specific tactic and offer an example to exemplify that tactic. For instance, if one paragraph is dedicated to the tactic of “exude warmth, but do not attempt to please the teenager nor become emotional” the examples in the remaining part of the paragraph need to illustrate this. These examples could describe how it’s important not to “buddy-up” to the teenager nor act like the teenager’s friend, since the teenager won’t respect you if you do that. Similarly, other examples could demonstrate why it’s important not to yell or become hostile with the teenager, no matter what, because that will show the teenager that you are losing your cool. This will send the message to the teenager that you are losing control or that they are controlling you. Similarly, if appropriate, one might want to consider pulling an example from one’s own life to exemplify this point. One could cite a time in one’s own adolescence when an adult effectively remained warm, but emotionless and how the core of the message that was communicated was relayed with greater effectiveness.


Exemplification Essay Topics

The more your topic excites you, the easier a time you’ll have writing your essay. Bear in mind that an exemplification essay topic will always expect you to explain or to show why something is they way it is. This is regardless of whether the essay topic states that explicitly or not. For instance, if you are writing a personal essay about the worst conversation you’ve ever had, you will need to use the three body paragraphs to demonstrate just why that was the case, pulling numerous examples from your life about how this conversation negatively impacted you.

Comparably, if your essay topic is “why Oprah Winfrey is the most positive role model for young women” your three body paragraph need to illustrate at least three concrete examples that support this point. You might discuss the adversity Oprah has overcome as a child growing up in abuse and poverty, or you might discuss the racism she has had to triumph over. Hence, no matter what essay topic you pick, it will be up to you to illustrate or exemplify the whys of the essay, through lucid examples that fortify your overall point.

Personal Topics

  • The most important moment of your life.
  • The worst moment of your life.
  • The best moment of your life.
  • The most shameful moment of your life.
  • The importance of having a best friend.
  • The benefit of having a pet.
  • The benefits of your biggest failure.
  • The most memorable thing your parents taught you.
  • The most life-changing moment you’ve had thus far.
  • A place or location that means a tremendous amount to you.
  • A disappointing event that taught you a lot.
  • A super power you would want to use to achieve good.
  • A film that influenced you greatly.
  • A day in your life you would life to relive exactly.
  • A day in your life you would like to do over differently.
  • The greatest lesson a child has taught you.
  • How you would like to change the life of someone you know.
  • Words that you have remembered forever.
  • Times when it is acceptable to run away.
  • The biggest sadness you have ever experienced and what it taught you.
  • The most memorable period you ever spent with family.
  • An invention you would like to create.
  • A decade from the past you would like to live in.
  • One aspect of society you would like to change permanently if possible.
  • One aspect about yourself you would like to change permanently if possible.
  • A celebrity or historical figure you would like to change places with.
  • A foreign country you would like to live in and why.
  • A time you cried at the movies and why.
  • The greatest discovery the human race has ever made.
  • The greatest invention the human race has ever been responsible for.
  • Something painful you witnessed that you have never forgotten.
  • Something beautiful you witnessed and have never forgotten.
  • A trip you took that influenced your development.
  • A conversation you had that changed your perspective drastically.
  • An argument you had that you never forgot and why.
  • A special talent that you wish you could have, but don’t.
  • The biggest obstacle you have had to overcome.
  • The best decision you ever made.

Funny Topics

  • Why more celebrities should run for office.
  • Why we should assume 80% of what politicians say are pure lies.
  • Why your self esteem should be tied up in your social media image.
  • Why you should take Instagram comments seriously.
  • The importance of looking hot and attractive on social media.
  • The main reasons popularity is the meaning of life.
  • Why hard work is over-rated and unimportant.
  • Why teen pregnancies could be good for society.
  • The importance of letting kids get bullied.
  • Why studying for exams is over-rated and unimportant.
  • How comic books can give kids tools for adult life.
  • How to manipulate people into doing what you want them to.
  • Why high school should be optional for kids.
  • Why being famous is the most important goal in life.
  • How violent video games can help kids develop social and communicative skills.
  • The important life lessons only reality television can teach.
  • Why all unpleasant feelings should be buried and left un-communicated.
  • The importance of gossip in our society.
  • The importance of lying and general dishonesty to society.
  • The benefits of interrupting people during polite conversation.
  • Why you should bad-mouth your ex to anyone who will listen after a break-up.
  • The importance of sugar-coating the truth.
  • The reason that clowns are so intimidating.
  • Discuss the reasons your pet should be the town/city mayor.
  • Why personal hygiene is overrated.
  • Why singing along with the radio can be therapeutic (and annoying).
  • The problems with respecting your elders.
  • All the reasons not to vote in the next election.
  • The meaning of life found in a Quentin Tarantino movie.
  • Proof that monsters exist.
  • Reasons that mermaids are real.
  • Why and how all the wisdom you’ll ever need can be found on Google.
  • Reasons why being homeless isn’t actually that bad.
  • The benefit of taking advice from strangers.
  • The importance of insisting you are right and avoiding compromise.
  • The benefit of living in a polluted environment.

Famous Topics

  • Reasons the Kardashians/Jenners are famous.
  • Reasons the Kardashians/Jenners are brilliant business women.
  • Reasons why the Kardashians/Jenners only degrade society.
  • Why Kanye West is a genius.
  • Why Kanye West is a narcissist.
  • Why Elon Musk is a genius.
  • Why Elon Musk is an over-inflated egomaniac.
  • The main problems with the fashion industry.
  • The dangers of pursuing a career as a professional model.
  • Why there should be a mandatory weight gain for the modeling and fashion world.
  • The main problem of female superheroes in franchises today.
  • The reasons why female characters in film and television are under-represented.
  • Why body image in the media is such a bad influence on young people.
  • How to combat the body image problem as it exists in the media.
  • A famous person you would never want to trade places with.
  • A famous person you would immediately want to trade places with.
  • Famous people deserve privacy too.
  • Famous people have given up their rights to privacy.
  • Why we idolize beautiful people.
  • Why celebrities should have to go make-up free in order to set realistic ideals.
  • The most influential celebrity of the 20th century.
  • The most influential celebrity of the 21st century.
  • The most powerful celebrity couple of this decade.
  • The most boring celebrity couple of this decade.
  • The most tragic case of a child celebrity.
  • The most effective way to protect child celebrities.
  • Why some celebrities are meant to die young.
  • How Amy Winehouse could have been helped.
  • Why Dwayne Johnson is one of the most inspiring celebrities out there.
  • Why Coldplay is obsolete.
  • Why Coldplay is one of the best bands of the last twenty years.
  • What can be learned from the confidence of Conor McGregor.
  • How Ellen Degeneres has maintained likeability.
  • Reasons why Robert Downey Jr.’s career revival was the most successful.
  • How Bruno Mars has become a pop star despite being so short.
  • Reasons why Jay-Z’s moment has passed.
  • Reasons why Jay-Z has maintained relevancy.
  • The key to Chris Hemsworth’s success has been his looks.
  • The key to Chris Hemsworth’s success has been his attitude.
  • Taylor Swift is a great role model for young girls.
  • J.K. Rowling is a strong example of overcoming failure.
  • J.K. Rowling deserves a Nobel Prize for getting children reading books again.
  • Reasons why female entertainers are still underpaid than their male counterparts.
  • Why franchise films should be abolished.

Illustration Topics

  • Best ways to communicate with an angry teenager.
  • Best ways to redirect a teenager’s decision-making.
  • Discuss how to raise a young man so he respects women.
  • How to make friends the first day of school.
  • How to study for a STEM-based exam.
  • How to study for a humanities-based exam.
  • Why you should avoid student debt at all costs.
  • Describe the lasting impacts of college hazing or pranking.
  • Explain the benefits of living in a college dorm.
  • Discuss the most important elements of a strong personal statement.
  • Describe the importance of attending a professor’s office hours.
  • Explain how you can take advantage of the presence of a resident advisor.
  • Describe the main benefit of joining a fraternity/sorority.
  • Describe why one should avoid joining a fraternity/sorority.
  • Discuss the best way to forge a healthy relationship with one’s roommate.
  • Explain the best way to respond to overt or covert insults.
  • Describe how to avoid engaging in gossip.
  • Describe the best way to protect your reputation
  • Explain how you can make a successful career as a blogger.
  • Describe how you can forge a profitable career in the non-profit sector.
  • Discuss how you can have a thriving career as a day-trader.
  • How to communicate with a hostile boss.
  • How to address a co-worker who undermines you.
  • Explain why fashion designers make such odd looking ensembles.
  • Describe how religion unites people.
  • Describe how religion divides people.
  • Discuss the importance of a belief in a “higher power.”
  • Describe how a heavy smoker can quit using non-traditional methods.
  • Explain what we can learn about our future by examining our past.
  • Discuss the best way the homeless community can be helped.
  • Describe what one can learn by studying abstract art.
  • What can be learned about our society by studying our forms of entertainment?
  • Discuss the main benefit of keeping a journal.


Thus, the selection of the best issue out of a range of exemplification essay topics is a task unto itself. The best topic will both excite you and naturally provoke your thought processes and sense of curiosity. For some students, the best topic is one that they are already know a little bit about. For others, a suitable topic is something they know next to nothing about. When you write such an essay, the overall importance revolves around taking a position and supporting that position with clear examples that paint a rich picture of your viewpoint. Each paragraph that the reader consumes should give them a sense of “oh, I see.” The reader should feel more confident about a certain perspective, issue or task after reading your essay. If the examples you use in your essay are distinct, the reader will not have any confusion about why your thesis is slanted in the direction that it is.

Our writers have composed thousands of exemplification essays and are always ready to edit, write or guide more. We’re always happy to offer feedback on the topic you’ve chosen or offer pointers on how to improve what you’ve already written.

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"Exemplification Essay Topics (Updated for 2020)." Aceyourpaper.com. Student Network Resources Inc, 29 October. 2018. Web. 2 February 2023.

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Student Network Resources Inc. "Exemplification Essay Topics (Updated for 2020)." Aceyourpaper.com. https://www.aceyourpaper.com/essay-writing/exemplification-essay-topics/ (accessed February 2, 2023).


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