Common Writing Assignments

8 The Examples Essay

An examples essay supports, develops, and defends its thesis in a series of paragraphs, each of which typically illustrates one way in which the thesis statement can be supported.

If you were writing an essay on “Common Minor Penalties in Hockey,” you might have one body paragraph on tripping, one on interference, and one on roughing. If you were doing a longer assignment, such as a survey of all penalties in hockey, you could subdivide your essay into examples of minor, major, and match penalties, each section of which would require more than one paragraph. The conclusion needs to provide readers with that important sense of closure, asserting that the examples have affirmed the thesis and possibly reminding readers of the benefits your information has provided: Hockey is more entertaining to watch when we understand why players are sometimes sent to the penalty box.

To better understand what an examples essay is, read carefully this essay, which describes examples of the red wine grapes of British Columbia.

Example: Red Wine Grapes of British Columbia

Oenophiles and even less devoted wine drinkers are more likely to associate red wine production with France, Italy, and California than Canada. Yet British Columbia is home now to some excellent estate wineries, especially in the Okanagan region, the climate of which is conducive to the growth of the finest red wine grapes. British Columbia vintners grow and harvest Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Pinot Noir grapes to produce red wines, which are growing in quality and reputation.

The Merlot grape is dark blue. It is cultivated by vintners in virtually every wine-producing regions of the world. It is the red wine grape that BC vintners plant and harvest most frequently (Pawsey 2). It produces excellent varietal wines, which are those made mainly from the juice of a single type of grape (“Varietal”). The Merlot grapes grown in British Columbia are high in tannins, a substance found in the skin of the grape, which gives BC Merlots a pleasantly dry and bitter taste, redolent of unsweetened black tea (“Tannins”).  The tannins combined with the red fruit flavours from the juice of the grape mellow out the taste of a Merlot wine, producing a medium-bodied, earthy sensation on the tongue. BC Merlots pair well with most foods, though vegetarians and pescatarians will usually prefer a lighter-bodied red.

The Cabernet Sauvignon grape is hardy enough to thrive in all wine-producing climates, including in the Okanagan, with its sometimes severe temperature fluctuations. It produces wine darker in colour than the Merlot but with less tannins (“Cabernet”). BC “cab savs” are usually full-bodied with moderate acidity. Skilled wine drinkers can taste cherry and mint working in harmony in a fine Cabernet Sauvignon wine (“Cabernet”). This is the carnivore’s grape, pairing well with meat lovers’ pizza, rare steak, baked ham, lamb chops, and thick pulled-pork sandwiches.

If the Cabernet Sauvignon is the muscle grape, the Pinot Noir is the delicate and sensitive member of the family. It is more susceptible than others to disease, and even when it is harvested successfully and made into wine, the wine it produces is fickle, sometimes outstanding, sometimes disappointing (Pawsey 3).  British Columbia’s climate should not be conducive to growing the pinot noir grape, but has become so, as one of the few fortunate consequences of global warming (Pawsey 2). BC Pinots are low in tannins, light-bodied, and paler in colour than their Merlot and cab sav cousins. They typically taste of red fruits, with hints of vanilla and leather (“Pinot Noir”). They pair perfectly with the salmon caught in the Pacific Ocean and in the rivers of British Columbia, with other fish dishes, lighter cheeses, and even vegan food.

When it comes to choosing a BC wine cultivated from a red grape, discriminating omnivores are the lucky ones. They may choose a Merlot, a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Pinot Noir, or any blending of the three to fulfill their quest for the perfect complement for their meal.

Works Cited

Cabernet Sauvignon.” My Wine Canada. (n.d.), Accessed 31 Jan. 2018.

Merlot.”  My Wine Canada. (n.d.), Accessed 31 Jan. 2018.

Pawsey, Tim. “Pinot Noir Is the Bad Boy of the BC Wine Scene.” Quench Magazine, 27 Dec. 2017, Accessed 2 Feb. 2019.

 “Pinot Noir.” My Wine Canada. (n.d.), Accessed 31 Jan. 2018.

Varietal.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 1 Nov. 2018, Accessed 2 Feb. 2019.


Red Wine Grapes of British Columbia

Study Questions

Respond to these questions in writing, in small group discussion, or both.

  1. What is the thesis of this essay?
  2. What is an oenophile?
  3. Do you think “The Red Wine Grapes of British Columbia” is informative? What did you learn from the essay?
  4. Is the concluding paragraph effective? Why or why not?
  5. Is the works cited list appropriate for this essay? Why or why not?

Writing Assignment

Write an examples essay of approximately 750 words on one of the following topics: popular video games, designer handbags, basketball shoes, science fiction movies, high-performance sports cars. You may also select your own topic or one recommended by your teacher.


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Composition and Literature Copyright © 2019 by James Sexton and Derek Soles is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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