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Examples in “The Brutal Business of Boxing”

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In “The Brutal Business of Boxing” by John Head, the author employs all three forms of examples: extended, sentence length, and single.  The entire essay is essentially one big extended example.  From beginning to end, there is paragraph after paragraph describing in detail both the physical and personality characteristics of one specific boxer, Muhammad Ali.  The author also uses sentence length examples in every paragraph to develop each topic sentence.

All paragraphs are short, and they all revolve around describing a specific characteristic of Muhammad Ali.  However, Head does a wonderful job of using the single example to set his writing apart and to make a colorful picture for the reader.  He uses this technique most often throughout the essay.  Some examples of this are:  “brash man” (par. 2); “confident, articulate, charismatic” (par. 2); “fancy footwork” (par. 3); “lightning quick jabs” (par. 4); “slow shuffle” (par. 6); and the most  striking sentence to me in the entire essay, “The voice whose words flowed like a mighty river has been reduced to a hesitant whisper” (par.6).

            Head uses all three types of examples in his work.  Most effective and striking are the single examples.  However, he was did a great job in using the extended example to write the entire piece.


Head, John.  “The Brutal Business of Boxing.”  Found in Wordsmith:A Guide to Writing.  3rd ed.  by Pamela Arlov. Prentice Hall: NJ. 2006. p. 589-90.

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