How to Start the Body Paragraph of an Exemplification Essay

When you write an exemplification essay on a topic, you will need to create a thesis statement, the main idea that will run throughout your essay. You will use a series of examples that will, alone or together, help prove your thesis. The essay begins with an introduction and ends with a conclusion, and the body paragraphs in between will give your examples. Knowing how to start the body paragraphs will help you write an effective exemplification essay.


Before you can write the first sentence of your body paragraphs, you need to determine a logical order for your examples. A common order will arrange your examples from most important to least important or vice versa. The order you choose will depend heavily on your topic as well as the examples you chose to prove your thesis statement.

Sample Sentence

The first sentence of a paragraph, also known as a topic sentence, will state the main idea contained throughout that particular paragraph. An option for your first sentence might include a statement directly connecting the example as proof of your thesis statement. If you have a thesis that says you will show that some authors from the past influence writers today, your sentence might look like this: “The continued popularity of Emily Dickinson’s poetry proves that some authors continue to have an effect on modern poets.” The rest of the paragraph will give research and examples that show this in action.

Another Option

Another slightly different option for a first sentence involves simply stating the example: “Emily Dickinson’s poetry contains elements found in modern poetry.” This statement feels similar to the previous example, but the rest of the sentences in the paragraph need to show how this connects to the thesis statement, along with the research to back up your example.


After you share an example, you will typically have at least two other body paragraphs that also provide examples relating to your thesis statement. You will need to use transition words to help your essay flow from one paragraph to the next, and using transition words and phrases make a good way to do this. Some transitions include “likewise,” “in addition” or “more importantly.” You have a variety of transition options to choose from, and the one you select will depend on factors such as the importance of the new paragraph and where it sits in the sequence of examples.