How To Write Relevant Examples

In this post, we will look at how to write relevant examples to support your main points in the writing task 2 essay. Being able to write strong examples is important because it shows the examiner that you can logically organise your ideas and support your points with evidence. 

In the main body paragraphs, you want to show the examiner that you can write about your ideas, explain them and support them with examples that are relevant, if you do this, you will gain marks for task achievement and coherence.

For a band score 8 in the task achievement section, the marking criteria states 'presents a well-developed response to the question with relevant, extended and supported ideas'. For a band 9, it says 'presents a fully developed position in answer to the question with relevant, fully extended and well-supported ideas'.


Why does my essay need to have relevant examples?

As a recap here is what your main body paragraph structure should look like for a high score >

Your main body paragraphs should have 3 main sentences >

  • Introduce the topic 
  • Explain/give detail
  • Example

Introduce the topic

Start the paragraph by introducing the topic. This is where you need to have a topic sentence that introduces the examiner to the main idea of the paragraph.

Explain/give detail

The next sentence(s) should explain the topic, going into detail. This gives some background information related to the main idea of the paragraph. It explains the idea, telling the examiner how it is relevant to the question.

Example

The third part of your main body paragraph should give an example to support your main points. The example you give could be something from your own experience or made up - it is ok to make up something as the examiners will not fact check your information. They want to see your ability to use English at a certain level. You could make up an example from a report, journal, newspaper or University study to support your view


How Do I think of Relevant Examples?

When you are trying to think of relevant examples, you can use your own personal experiences, or information from something you have seen or read about. If you really can't think of anything, then you are allowed to make one up. The examiners will not check the facts that you present in your examples, as they want to see that you can support your main ideas well and that you have a high level of written English. 

When writing relevant examples you can use one of the following >


1. A University Study

You can make up a fictional study from a University in your country or city. If you want you can even use a study from a famous University, like Harvard, Cambridge or Oxford in the UK. These types of examples are great for supporting points about education, students or children. 

Example

For example, Cambridge University in the UK surveyed over 500 students in 2017 and reported that over 65% had completed a gap year before starting their chosen course. 


2. A Newspaper Report

Another way of writing a relevant example is to make up some information from a newspaper report or article. This may even be loosely based on something you have read in the news or seen online. 

Example

For instance, according to an article published in The New York Times in 2016, a survey of people who work online, from home in the state of New York showed that 24% of people said they had developed depression.


3. Statistics from The Police 

If you are writing an example for a crime or punishment related question you could include statistics from the police or government.

Example

For example, in some states in the USA, there are tough sanctions in place for criminals, including death by lethal injection. In 2014, the Texas State Police Department reported that up to 65% of criminals who were incarcerated for high-level crimes (murder, manslaughter) received the lethal injection.


4. Statistics from A Health Organisation

If you are writing an example for a health-related question you could include statistics from a health organisation like The WHO (World Health Organisation), the NHS in the UK or a private organisation like BUPA. Think of places from your own country that you could write about. 

Example

For instance, the NHS in the UK regularly hold talks in schools for both parents and students to educate communities on how to have a balanced diet. They also promote proper exercise, involvement in sports, and having an active lifestyle. As a result of this program, in some areas, they saw a decrease in the number of overweight health issues.


5. Data from a Tech Company

If you are writing an example for a technology or communication-related question you could include statistics from a tech company.

Example

For example, in 2015 Google allowed senior engineers to work remotely, using flexible hours for those who travel a lot or have the need to work with little interruptions. This increased productivity to over 70% as the senior members could work seamlessly without any delays.


6. A Documentary

Another way of writing a relevant example is to make up some information from a documentary you have seen. 

Example

For example, a documentary by Channel 4 in 2016 showed that the most obese populations were situated in underdeveloped nations, like Venezuela, where people admitted to finding it difficult to eat a balanced and healthy diet and had no nutritional education.


7. Your Own Experience

You can also include examples that display your own experiences in relation to the question. You should avoid using personal pronouns in the essay, but in this example, where you are writing about your own experience it is acceptable.  

Example

For instance, In my experience, I know that in Romania, it is common practice for graduates from state-funded university courses to work in areas where their services are needed for a minimum of two years before they are able to apply to work abroad. 


Make Your Examples Specific

You need to make sure that your examples are specific as this gives your point more authenticity. If your point is too general, then you will not be supporting your main idea enough for a high band score. 

Look at these examples below >

Bad Example

For example, many students have a gap year before starting their chosen course. 

Good Example

For example, Cambridge University in the UK surveyed over 500 students in 2017 and reported that over 65% had completed a gap year before starting their chosen course. 

Feedback

You can see in the bad example that the example is not developed enough and gives general information to the reader. It tells you that many students have a gap year before starting University, but that is all of the information given.

The good example gives you specific data related to the main idea. There is a time (2017) how many students were asked (500) and the percentage of how many had a gap year (65%). This example gives more authenticity to the answer and provides an academic example. This is the type of answer that will fully support your main idea in the paragraph, which will score higher in the marking criteria. 

You can make your example specific by adding the following >

  • Introduce the example with a cohesive device - For exampl/For instance
  • Give dates (the year the survey was given etc)
  • Names (of Universities, Documentaries, organisations, etc)
  • Include a percentage (if you are giving the results of a survey)

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