An example represents a general group or an abstract concept or quality.
Purpose: to make the general specific and the abstract concrete.
Among most common
Generalizations about trends: “The
cable box could become the most useful machine in the house.”
Generalizations about events: “Some
members of the audience at The Rocky Horror Picture Show were stranger than anything in the movie.”
Generalizations about institutions: “A
mental hospital is no place for the mentally ill.”
Generalizations about behaviors: “The
personalities of parents are sometimes visited on their children.”
Generalizations about rituals: “A
funeral benefits the dead person’s family and friends.”
Ø Each forms the central assertion/ thesis, and so as many examples as
needed would then support it.
Types of examples:
extended example (haven’t we seen this before?)
Readers should experience a pattern, not a list!
Ø Arrange examples in order of increasing importance, interest, or complexity.
Ø The strongest, most detailed example provides a dramatic finish.
Ø Conclusion: might want to summarize by elaborating on the generalization of your thesis.
o (you might not even need a conclusion if your final example emphasizes
your point and provides a strong finish)
Questions to consider:
all examples, or parts, obviously relevant to your generalization?
the examples specific?
the examples, or the parts, cover all the territory mapped out by your generalization?
examples support your generalization?