How to Put Examples in Your Essay

Learn the best way to add examples to your essay to support your ideas. You need to use a range of linking words in your essay and also use them flexibly in different locations in the sentence. See below for a list of useful linking words with sample sentences:

Linking Words for Giving Examples

  • for example
  • for instance
  • to illustrate
  • as an illustration
  • to give a clear example
  • take, for example,
  • such as
  • namely

Video Tutorial: How to Add Examples in an Essay

Sample Sentences with Supporting Examples

Please note that the linking words do not need to be at the start of the sentence. You can use them more flexibly by changing their location.

Global warming should be taken more serious as it can result in a number of disastrous consequences. To give a clear example, the melting polar ice caps have not only caused a loss of habitat for polar bears but are also threatening seas levels worldwide.

More and more women are choosing to start a family later in life. 20% of women giving birth to their first child, for instance, are over the age of 30 in the UK.

Crimes should not have the same punishment. Minor crimes, such as pick pocketing and traffic offences, should not have the same penalty as major crimes, namely murder and manslaughter.

Children often learn behaviour from the adults around them subconsciously. To illustrate, around 50% of children who are brought up by aggressive parents often use aggression to solve their own problems later in life.

Parents should be responsible for teaching their children right and wrong. If, for example, they see their child using bad language, they should spend time explaining to their child the serious consequences that can result from this type of behaviour.

More and more people are leading sedentary life styles due to work conditions. Take for example office workers in the UK who spend at least 8 hours a day, 5 days a week  sitting in front of their computers.

All Linking Words for Essay Writing

You can find a list of all linking words that can be used in essay writing: Linking Words for Writing.

IELTS Essay Questions

Main IELTS Pages

Develop your IELTS skills with tips, model answers, lessons, free videos and more.


  1. vairamani says

    thank you liz.

  2. Samir Hassan says

    Thank you you Liz all I have never read a website as helpful as yours . Wishing you more successful feats in all your life endeavors
    Am Sameer Hassan Saleh

  3. hi liz…
    I have seen your all paid essay vedios. These all are excellent. Thanks alot for all these lessons. I just want to know can we use personal examples in task 2.
    For instance, my younger brother eat noodels frequently as he finds it much delicious than conventional healthy food and vegitables.
    Pleass guide in this regard?
    Thanks alot..

    • It is best to continue writing about people in general for examples: “Many younger people prefer eating noodles because …”

  4. Hello Liz
    Thank you very much for these very useful interesting lessons. I just want to now if the statistics that might be mentioned in the essay have to be generally “correct”; or the examiner may penalize you for giving statistics that are clearly not true and just made up in the exam room?

    • Putting statistics in your essay does not boost your score. The examiner is marking your English and your ideas, not facts or numbers in task 2.

  5. Hi liz , thank you for you precious blog, it really helped me.
    I have a question!
    Is it ok to give false statistics?? I mean to fake one to support my idea????

    • Why would you want to give false statistics? Do you think examples should contain statistics? Do you think you get a better score because you use statistics? Statistics play no part in your score for writing task 2.

      • Ashish karpe says

        In case we don’t remember exact figures can we guess ie say around 5-6%, it’s not possible that examiner knows all exact statics.

        • You will not get a higher score because you put statistics in your task 2 essay. You do not need to give any numbers at all.

  6. Hi, Liz,
    I have some doubt amout ‘your own experience’
    1. what actually does it mean?
    2. can I state my own experience or commonly observation experience?
    3. My own experience mean any EXAMPLE?


    • It means your experience of the world in general. It does not need to be your own personal experience, but rather your experience of the world. As essays are formal, we don’t usually refer to ourselves or our family and friends.

  7. Hi,
    Thank you for your great lessons.
    I have a question, in this video you wrote: “an increasing number of people are eating unhealthy food…”
    you used “increasing number of people” which means you used Gerund. that’s why you put “an” in front of it, however you used “are eating”, shouldn’t have you said “is eating”? Gerund consider as singular, right?

    • An increasing number = the word “increasing” is used as a adjective, not as a gerund. The noun = number of people Adjective = increasing. Don’t get your grammar confused.

  8. Jade Parrish says

    Hello Liz! 🙂
    I’m writing an academic research paper involving diabetes. I’m not sure, however, where to place the statistics surrounding the number of people with diabetes in my country in my introduction. Do I put it before my description of diabetes, or after it?

    • All my advice is for IELTS which is an English language test. It is not for academic writing at uni or college which is not testing language. IELTS has specific requirements which are not the same as any academic research. You will have to find sample research papers and use their structure.

  9. Hi Liz,
    In General IELTS Task 2 essays, often it is asked that “Give examples from your own knowledge or experience” So my question is can I use “I”, “my”, “me” while quoting an example? Secondly i was reading some where that IELTS essays are persuasive essays so we have to use first person voice and should use “I”, “my”, “me” at least once in each paragraph. Please comment on this. Thanks

    • Essays are formal, so examples of your experience or knowledge should relate to “the majority of people …”. It is not actually about you or your friends but your experience of the world. GT writing is more marked as strictly as academic essays but even so I recommend you to use formal examples.

  10. Can I use fake examples whic are grammatically correct?

    • Why – it won’t help your score.

      • Hi Liz,
        In your examples above, you have written “To illustrate, around 50% of children who are bought up by aggressive parents often use aggression to solve their own problems later in life”
        If we were to write such an example, does it have to be factual or just believable?

  11. Good day to you madam, I would like to ask how many sentences are recommended to give an example in an essay. I would also like to know if it is okay to not mention the actual source of a statistic in an essay that writes about contemporary issues. Thank you.

    • 1) You don’t need to use examples. So, if you use them, it’s your choice how many.
      2) you should NEVER state the source of numbers in an IELTS essay. In fact, most examples are better given without numbers. This is an English language test, not a essay presenting data.

      • Hi Dear Liz
        My name’s Ghazale
        You cannot imagine how incredibly you have changed my world of learning English these few past weeks
        And i must confess your videos helped me too good
        What a wonderful teacher you are
        I keep watching your videos but unfortunately i couldn’t log into your website to be a member
        Thanks a lot

  12. I have a burning question in mind about examples. Would it be alright to use ither languages in an essay. For example,in an essay about using English as the only language, I pointed out that language often go side by side with culture.
    My sentences: Japanese add “guzaimasu” after a phrase or “san” after a name to express politeness. In the Philippines, we say “bayanihan” to describe the value we place on our neighbors and community. There are no direct English translations for these words.

    I do hope you see this question. I have been learning quite a lot from you. This is, in fact, a question I got from your site. Thank you very much!

    • Your aim in your essay is to provide clear, relevant main points which are well developed, explained and linked. Your other aim is to provide accurate grammar and vocabulary in English. Those examples might be appropriate to use one example but certainly not more than that. Once you make your point, move on – don’t become repetitive. Your Japanese example is confusing for people who don’t understand Japanese but your example from the Philippines is clearer. Remember this is not about filling your essay will all your ideas – it is about being selective and deciding what to include and what to exclude.

  13. Toniya Thomas says

    Dear Liz,
    Is it ok to create statistical data as example for academic writing task 2?

    • Why? It won’t help your band score at all. It’s better to explain your ideas using English language and focus on accuracy of language.

  14. Hello Liz,

    In IELTS it is said : “Ideas should be supported by evidence, and examples may be drawn from the test takers’ own experience.” In many mock essays answers, there are no examples. Can an essay reach band score 9 without any examples?
    Thank you very much

    • The instructions mean that you must expand and explain your ideas – it does not means you must give examples. There are many ways to illustrate and explain ideas.

  15. Is it okay to make up facts to use as examples?

    • You should not be thinking about memorising facts for your essay. It will not help your score at all. IELTS don’t expect you to do that. When are you asked to support your ideas, it means to explain them or give examples of situations – not figures, statistics or facts.

  16. Heena Arora says

    can i use personal pronoun in essay ?

  17. Hi Liz,
    All your videos are very useful, all those tips and tricks really boosted my confidence, thanks a lot for that:)

    I have a doubt regarding the writing task2, when I was doing a sample writing task, I came across this “include any relevant examples from your knowledge or experience”. So, does this mean we can give real life examples while writing our essay?

    Thank you,

    • Your writing task 2 essay deals with world issues. You can give examples but I advise you to use examples relating to the world in general: “For example, it is commonly known that ….” or “For example, the majority of people ….”. These are examples of your view of the world. If, however, you write “For example, my friend Dave …” your essay loses style and language content.

  18. Can we you hypothetical statistics? For example, if I want to make my point strong, can i use any university name or any research journal?? I mean can i state in the essay that,
    “In a recent article published by ABC university, 70% of the people have found addicted to smartphones”
    Whereas in fact, there is no such article ever published stating this fact of 70%.


    • Yes, you can lie about stats but why? It won’t help your score at all. This phrase ““In a recent article published by ..” won’t boost your score. It’s a learn expression which is generic (it can be applied to any topic) and this means the examiner won’t count it towards examples of your natural language.

      • Thanks Liz for your reply. I have gone through a number of your advises and found them very useful.

        But I saw in some of the articles that if you show some reference and support with research data, you will be able to reinforce your argument. Had I rephrased it but still lied about the fact, would it add value then to my task 2?


        • The examiner does not give you a higher band score because you are presenting statistics. Statistics are irrelevant to your mark. The supporting points being assessed are relating to language, not figures. You can add all the stats you want, it won’t increase your score at all.

          • That’s really helpful. It relief some of the pressure of knowing statistical data related to the topic.

            Thanks once again,

            • Wow, were you really trying to remember stats for your essay? You are not marked on your knowledge at all. Just think of some relevant main ideas and then explain them – nothing more is needed. It is essentially an English language test. Take a look at my band 9 model essays:

  19. Aburakhia says

    Hi Liz,

    I have a question regarding grammar. I am not in what case can we put Verb+ing after the word “to”

    I always thought that we have to put the verb whit its original form, but I have noticed two examples and still didn’t understand the rule.

    Here are the two examples I saw in your blog:

    – resort to buying ( why not resort to buy?)
    – I am looking forward to hearing from you ( why not looking forward to hear from you soon?)

    appreciate your always help.

    • You can use “to” as a preposition. If you haven’t seen this before, don’t use it. More mistakes will lower your score. Use the grammar you know well.

  20. Hi .. can I add “example” form my own information or not ?

  21. Sammie Keith says

    Hi liz.

    As long as it is in the allotted time, are we allowed to write our essays out in rough first, then transfer them onto the exam papers?

    • You will not have time. You need to spend at least 5 mins planning your essay which includes main ideas as well as supporting points. This means you can write your essay directly. Try timing yourself and you will see how difficult it is to do both task 1 and task 2 in one hour.

  22. Hi Liz,

    I can not buy your lesson which must be paid by paybal, because in Turkey there is not paybal. How I can bu these lessons? Please inform me.

    Thank you.

  23. Hi Liz!
    Thanks for the amazing tips!
    And I would like to ask whether I can make up facts as an example in my writing test?

  24. Jasmeen Kaur says

    Hello Liz! I have to ask that is it possible to get 7 bands in writing? As I have never heard above 7 bands of any student. Why so?

  25. Liz, Thanks a lot for your fantastic information. Your work is exceptional and highly recommendable for not only IELTS test takers but also first-year university students who use English as a second language.

  26. Dear Liz,

    I had a question about the use of “resort”. Is it “resort to doing” or “resort to do”?

    In the last scene, I was two sentences:

    1. This is exemplified by the 70% of working people in the UK, who resort to BUYING ready made meals for convenience.
    2. This can be seen by the growing number of working people in the UK who resort to BUY ready made meals for convenience instead of cooking at home.

    Is it a typo in the second sentence?

    Many thanks for your tutoring videos. They are extremely helpful!


    • Hi, Juliana.
      I post the explanation of the resort.
      “resort to sth to make use of sth, especially something bad, as a means of achieving sth, often because there is no other solution.”

      E.g. They felt obliged to resort to violence
      We may have to resort to using untrained staff.

      So, we should put doing after the resort to.

      And you are right. there is a typo mistake in the second sentence. I think liz post that in the video.

      Good Luck

  27. Kunal Mistry says

    Dear madam,

    I need 6 bands in each tasks for IELTS General module.Still I’m worried about Speaking and Listening exam because I don’t get grip on this tasks compared to other tasks.Please suggest me a technique for practice to acquire a good score.I have next exam on 18th February.

  28. Liz Malicay says

    Hi Liz, I just started to follow your blogs recently.
    As I read the topics above, I wonder if we could present or invent statistics in our own just to support our answers in essay 🙂 ?

  29. Hi liz ,hope u r doing fine..i would be very grateful if u cud give some advice about the ielts..recently i sat for the it,n i got an overall 6.5band, with 7 listening , 6.5 writing, 6.5 reading and 5.5 speaking.though its not enuf for my professional career,im wondering if i shud give it again and if yes ,will i be able to attain the requirement that is a total of 7.5 with a minimum of 7 in each section….honestly speaking i had only ten days for the exam and during the process i didnt practice at all,just read some sample essay on net n some passage reading..and i came to conclusion that the only way to succeed is practise because your only opponent on the day of exam is time.for instance for my case,i finish my essay just in time,cud not do proofreading and this apply for the reading as well…n it was my first experiece with ielts…is there a chance that i can reach the objective band nxt time?my essay was is should the private life of celebrity be respected by the media,to what extent u agree or disagree..thnk u,,waiting impatiently for ur reply…

  30. Task 2: Some people say that interview is a good way of selecting competent candidates.
    What are the other ways for selecting a good candidate
    What do you think is the best way to select a good candidate. How write intro this question and make paragraph

  31. Le Duc Huy says

    Hi Liz. Thank for this tip. it’s really helpful.
    But i have a question. How can i explain my idea in writing task 2?
    I always have a problem with this

    • The supporting points are only explanations of your ideas. Just more detail. It could be examples, consequences, exceptions, explanation, causes – anything you feel will explain what you mean. If you aim for three body paragraph, you will only need about two supporting sentences which is easier.

      • Le Duc Huy says

        what i am looking for is some questions that i need to question myself whenever i have an idea needed to explained. I found your video bout ideas. I have a lot of them now. but dont know how to expand it.

        • Ask yourself “why”. If you state “Firstly one of the best ways to tackle traffic congestion is to build wider roads.” Then you ask “why is this a good method? What does it do?”. You then add: “By doing this, traffic will be able to flow more easily and congestion will be reduced”. Then you choose your next sentence, either an example or an opposite: “If the roads are not widened, traffic will slowly grind to a halt as traffic is no longer able to flow along the streets because they are too narrow.”.

          I strongly advice you to read all model essays online and make a note of what kind of information is given in the supporting points. Then you will have a range of ideas.

  32. Hello, Liz
    Could I write “As an example/illustration of something, …”?

    If I’m not mistaken, it is “Cambridge IELTS 9” on the shelf on each video. Do you recommend this book?
    Thank you in advance!

    • Yes, you can use those two ways to give examples. I have both Cambridge 9 and 10. They are the two most recent books published by IELTS. They contain 4 practice tests but not tips. They are good for practicing. No students should enter the test without doing a full practice test at least once.
      All the best

  33. Can we make up our own examples with fake dates and events.??

    • The examiner will not check factual information so you can use examples as you wish. But it is unnecessary to invest data – just describe it for a higher score.

      • I will just use supporting examples, which will make sense by different Organization names.I have exam on 8 October, 2015.

  34. HAllo,

    I was wondering, it won t be considered ok to write 2 ideas in one paragraph? For instance 1 BP with 2 ideas explained or 2 causes etx.
    It would be more correct to have only one idea/solution/cause/advantage in each BP?


  35. Thanks Dear,
    I appreciate it.

  36. that is the example, and I guess you are right.And where do you recommend I can write my opinion?
    computers are becoming an essential part of education.
    Discuss the advantages and the disadvantages and give your own opinion?

    • I’ve never seen those instructions before. However, to follow them, you must do exactly what they say: give the advantages, give the disadvantages and give your opinion. If your opinion agrees with one side, then include it in your body paragraph. If your opinion agrees with neither side, put it in a separate body paragraph. There’s no fixed rule.
      All the best

  37. Hi Liz,
    Regarding the advantage and disadvantage and giving your opinion question.
    where is the best place exactly to express my opinion?is it in the conclusion sentence or included in the introduction?

    • There is no question in IELTS that asks for the advantages, disadvantages and your opinion. Are you talking about the discussion essay?
      All the best

  38. Hi,
    For writing task 2, sometimes I don’t have relevant examples ? I start properly with a topic sentence and I explain it in detail, but I, sometimes, find difficulty of giving a clear example?

    if there is any other way to state it ?
    thank you

    • You do not need to give examples unless you want to. Supporting points are any points which explain your idea further.
      All the best

  39. Hi Liz,

    Thank you very much for the very useful article. I have some concern about the use of ‘i.e.’ and ‘e.g.’. Do you think they are formal enough to be used in IELTS writing?

    Many thanks again,


  40. Hello Liz,

    I would be so grateful if you could suggest me the perfect study plan in order to prepare for my second Ielts exam on 12 September. I need to improve each section with 0.5 or 1 score.

    Thank you in advance,

  41. Dear Liz,
    I would be acknowledge by my heartfelt appreciation about your website and merits videos . I’m settling in Tehran and wand passing ielts strictly. In recent years , there has been hard rise in ielts examination . Let’s emphatically endorse to this fact that the band score 7 and upper goals are crucial for us to make the future by proper mentoring , extensive training and practicing . Hence , it’s important to be realistic about apprentices who need the band 6.5 in general training modules . With all this taken into account , I believe that I have some problems in reading to pass this examination .
    Another thing I should mention is how can I improve myself in listening module because I couldn’t accurately pass this . It has fluctuated on 5 to 6.5 in 3 mock examinations . This is often cited as a reason for practicing more but I can not fix my grade in 6.5 . It will make me feel happy if I solve this problem .
    Eventually, if you have leisure convenient, please, test us with some sample questions ( talking points ) by writing in both issues and make us as well . Let’s commonly apprentice about this website . I’m looking forward to knowing more from you .
    With warmest wishes,
    As ever,

    • I will be very direct with you. To get band score 7, you need to have a very strong level of English in which you have good use of English but with few errors. Your message above shows quite a lot of errors when you use vocabulary that is not appropriate. You clearly know a lot of vocabulary but not how to use it and what it really means. For example, “apprentice” is not a synonym for student. For this reason, you are not getting band 7 in your listening or reading etc. Of course, you will need to check your techniques and follow the right tips but at the end of the day, if your English is not band 7, it will be hard to get that score. Spend time developing your English. I don’t mean learning new words (you have a wide enough vocabulary) but learning more about the meaning of the words, collocations, paraphrasing correctly and how to use words appropriately.
      All the best

  42. Hlo Dear liz..
    firstly i would like to you say thanku for your support. second of all, can you plz recommend me books of good authors for preparation of ielts? I am weak in speaking module due to lack of ideas.please help me.

    • You could try the Collins IELTS speaking book. That has good ideas and vocabulary for various topics.

  43. Hi Liz , u r ways of study fanatastic,I need ur guidance i live near border problem regarding internet, I can buy ur task 2 any book I need 6 GN plz help me

  44. Dear Liz ,
    I would like to buy your essay tips,
    please could you tell me as soon as possible ,I just booked my test for first of August .
    Beast regards

  45. Hello liz. The linking words you presented to are very helpful. Hope to hear more from your post. Thank you.

    • I’m glad you find them useful. They are so important to use in your essay.

      • Hi liz. .I want to seek help from you in doing my essay. I am really having a hard to put my ideas. I need a band score of 7 in all categories. Please help me.

        • Unfortunately, I don’t offer individual tuition to help you. You should go through topics and research ideas for your essays. You can find some ideas on my blog and others online. Then practice adapting the ideas to suit the essay question and the instructions.

  46. Hi liz,

    Im confused with the” to buy and to buying” from your examples

    1. for example about 70% of people working in the UK resort to buying ready-made meals for convenience rather than doing home cooking

    2. This can be seen by the growing number of working people who resort to buy ready-made meals for convenience instead of cooking at home

    Could you please explain to me when should I use to buy and to buying ?

    Thank you very much


  47. Hi Liz. Guys.

    I just found this website yesterday when I was looking for some stuff for ielts self preparation.
    Yes, I would like to take an exam and also like to ask you how long you recommend a prepation before the exam date?

    • It really depends on a number of factors, one of which is your understanding of the test and requirements of the band scores. If your English is suitable for the band score you are aiming for, you will only need to focus on exam skills to make sure you reach your potential. The skills will help you understand how to approach questions and what the examiner is looking for in your writing and speaking. Once you feel comfortable with all that, you will have a clear idea of how long you want to practice before your test. Whatever you decide, make sure you are frequently getting the band score you want in practice tests.
      All the best

  48. mirza ehteshamulla baig says

    Dear Mam,

    How should i start my preparation plz advice and accordlingly i will follow in Reading/Writing/Speaking/Listining


    • You start in any way you want. I advise you to learn the content and question types of all skills and then start practicing. Then do practice tests to check your level. After that, start planning your development.

  49. Thanks for the useful lesson .

  50. Hi Liz!
    I got overall 7.5 band score and the credit goes to you as well. Thankyou so much for being my virtual tutor. It’s my pleasure to study with you online. Preparation material and guidelines by you helped me a lot in achieving my target in first attempt. Goodluck to all the students who are preparing for IELTS ,”it’s not that much difficult”
    Thanks Liz for all your efforts, stay blessed always 🙂

  51. Hi Liz,

    Too good again, I am going to give my GT on 1st Aug. Thanking you so much. I like those additional examples by using linking devices.

    God Bless.


  52. Hii ma’m!
    I am from Pakistan and I want to tell you that you are indeed a very great teacher. I’m gonna appear in coming IELTS on 1st August.
    I’m feeling really confident now after going through your very informative lectures here.

    Thank you a lot for being so helpful! Need your prayers now 🙂


  53. mirza ehteshamulla baig says

    I got 5.5 band in first attempt

    Second attaempt
    Total band-4.5

    Please advice me how i need to follow.I need 6 band in each module immigration.

    Mirza Ehteshamulla Baig

  54. Dear Liz,
    When writing essays, we usually don’t have statistical data at hand. Is it OK to make up such information to give examples?

  55. Dear Liz,
    Thank you so much for your very informative lesson here. It really helped me when I took the exam on 11th of July and I got a total band score of 7.5.
    You are indeed a blessing. God bless you more.


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