How to give an example in your IELTS Essay

IELTS Essay instruction clearly states that you should include relevant examples from your knowledge or experience. It reads as below:

“Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own experience or knowledge.”

So whenever you write an essay for the IELTS test, make sure your arguments, discussions or debates are supported by relevant examples, data or evidence. Without giving examples and backing up your argument or discussion with proper evidence, you can not expect to achieve a higher band score.

This article intends to show you how to include “an example” in your essay, when to add it, when not to, and how many examples are expected in the entire essay.

So let’s begin…

When To Give An Example:
Please note that your examples should be relevant to the discussion, opinion or argument that you are presenting. Please include an example to make a point or argument stronger and convincing, and do not use them at random places in your essay. Your “Introduction” and “Conclusion” paragraphs should NEVER include any example, while each of your body paragraphs should have one.

An example of giving “an example” in your essay is given below:

The first advantage of depending on tourism as a main source of the national economy is the huge generation of foreign exchange. When tourists flock to the country, they spend a substantial amount of money on so many things like hotels or resorts, food, transportation, clothing, artefacts, and so forth, thus contributing to the host country’s economy. Certain Caribbean states, for instance, have the tourism industry as their key source of foreign exchange earning that contributes the lion’s share of national income.

The above paragraph gives an example to support what has been already discussed in the paragraph. The paragraph begins with pointing out the advantage of tourism as a source of the national economy in the first sentence and then elaborate the idea in the next sentence. It then gives an example which is – “Certain Caribbean states, for instance, have the tourism industry as their key source of foreign exchange earning that contributes the lion’s share of national income.”

How Many Examples You Should Add:
It is recommended that you present just a couple of arguments/opinions/discussions (two or three at most) in your essay and do not write down many, many reasons for something you support or present. And each argument/opinion or discussion you present in your essay as the main body paragraph should come with an example. For instance, if the question asks the reason for air pollution and ways to control it, just two reasons and two preventive measures are good enough. If you try to write more points (more reasons and measures, in this case), your essay would become weaker rather than getting stronger.

You have a time limit to finish your essay, and you should not write more than 250-350 words to keep it simple and elegant. That is why you should include just a couple of arguments, not many. Another example of this point could be that when you are asked to write an essay about the main reasons why people migrate to a foreign country – there could be hundreds of reasons for migration, but your essay should include the most important two (or three at most) reasons for that. And, every point you mention in your essay should include an example or fact-based data or evidence.

Please read the following paragraph and notice how it has included an example:

To begin with, sensitive information, that could be used to breach security, manipulate the stock market, create a market monopoly or trade with terrorists, should be scrutinized before making them publicly accessible. In this digital era, information spread like wildfire and for the sake of maintaining global peace, it should be delimited, according to many. For instance, if nuclear technology is shared with all nations for scientific studies, the world will soon stand on the verge of obliteration, despite an inconceivable possibility this technology possesses to facilitate all nations.

In the above example paragraph, an example has been included after the main discussion. It has been added to support the discussion. This is how you should include an example.

Please make sure, every time you include a new idea in a paragraph, it is supported by a relevant example.

Useful Phrases For Giving Examples In Your Essay:
Since your views, discussion, arguments and reasons should be supported with examples while writing an essay for the IELTS exam, you ought to learn some useful phrases or sentences to provide an example.

Following are some phrases that you should learn:

“For instance…” and “for example…” are frequently used to give examples. “For instance” and “for example” can be used interchangeably. Phrases that have the basic “for example” meaning include:

for instance, …
…, for instance
…, including …

1) For example, ruminants such as cows, sheep, and goats, convert indigestible plant parts into a form the human body can absorb.

2) The Internet, for instance, is probably the most significant invention the modern world has seen and if this technology had not been shared by the US military, we would still be living in the pre-internet era.

3) The government’s comprehensive measures to control increasing traffic congestion has offered so many benefits including – making many roads one way, relocating hawkers in a separate location and introducing more strict laws and regulations.

“Take for example” & “To give an example” are two nice expressions for providing an example. You can also use “By way of example…” to add an example in your essay which is pretty close to the expression “To give an example”.

1) Take for example children who learn a foreign language at an early age are often good at math.

2) To give an example, almost 75% of young students, despite their enthusiasm about smartphones and computers, reported that they do not like online classes.

“A good example” is is another good expression to give an example.

1) A very good example here is Antarctica. It is the paradise of the world’s most rare species like penguin, seal, albatross and so on.

2) A very good example here is breeding projects for animals, that are on the brink of extinction – are of profound importance.

“A case in point is……” is a nice phrase to provide an example as well.

1) A case in point is the recent study conducted by the University of California, which has revealed that eight out of ten medical students, in 1980, were male, but by 2020, this figure had increased to exactly three quarters.

2) A case in point is that organically grown fruits and vegetables are more nutritious than traditionally farmed produce, thus lowering the risks of many diseases.

A few more expressions to add examples in your essay:

Expressions to use when comparing a new example with the previous example:

A more prominent example is …
A better example is …
A less well-known example is …
A similar example is …

Expressions to use while mentioning how often the example is used, in general:

A well-known example is…
A common example is…
The most famous example is…
A typical example is…
A much-quoted example is…
An example that is often used to illustrate this point is…

Expressions to use while giving an example while also evaluating the example:

A great example is…
Perhaps the best example is…
The most obvious example is …

Giving additional information about the example

A recent example is…
An example that people are familiar with is…
An example from my own experience is…

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