The example essay is one of the most basic essays in academic writing, but can be extremely difficult if you've never written one or do not know what to write about. Example essays focus on one main idea which you prove with several specific, convincing examples. If you're stuck on how to write an example essay, you can follow a few simple steps to dig yourself out of the rut and write an example essay that you can be proud of.

Review your example essay assignment sheet. List the criteria of the essay on a separate sheet of paper. Make note of anything that confuses you and ask your professor for clarification.

Brainstorm example essay topics. List three to five topics that you are interested in or would like to write about. Brainstorm ideas for what you're going to write if the assignment is specifically about one topic. Make a sub-list for each topic that you could write about.

Write a thesis statement for each topic. A thesis statement is a single sentence that you will argue in your paper. For example, if you were to write on the topic of dog training, you could have a thesis statement such as "Dogs listen better to trainers who use positive rewards instead of scolding and hitting."

Write down three to five examples to prove your thesis statement for each topic. Use the "SEE" model as a formula for each example. "S" stands for "statement" and is a reiteration of what you're trying to prove. For example, your statement could be that a dog trainer who rewards a dog for relieving itself outside sees faster and more permanent results than a trainer who scolds a dog for doing it inside. The first "E" stands for "example" and is the proof that you need to back up what you say in your statement. Provide specific examples to prove your statement. The last "E" stands for "Explanation" and is used to reiterate how your example ties into the thesis. For example, you might explain that because the first trainer used positive rewards, he saw better results than the trainer who scolded the dog. Therefore, trainers should use positive rewards when potty training a dog.

Choose the topic you most want to write about. Pick the topic that is most interesting and that has enough clear and convincing examples to prove your point.

Sit down and write your example essay. Write an introductory paragraph that gives background information into your topic and draws the reader into the essay. Write your body paragraphs using the "SEE" model examples you came up with. Write your conclusion by tying in all of the examples and restating how the examples relate to your thesis.

Edit your example essay. Read back through your essay and make sure that all of your examples prove your point adequately. Have a friend read your essay and ask her what she thinks could be explained more clearly.

Revise your example essay. Print a copy of the essay, and use a pen to go through and correct any grammar or mechanical errors that you find.