In many practical scenarios, users are faced with the problem of choosing the most preferred outcome from a large set of possibilities. As people are unable to sift through them manually, decisions support systems are often used to automatically find the optimal solution. A crucial requirement for such a system is to have an accurate model of the user's preferences. Studies have shown that people are usually unable to accurately state their preferences up front, but are greatly helped by seeing examples of actual solutions. Thus, several researchers have proposed preference elicitation strategies based on example critiquing. The essential design question in example critiquing is what examples to show users in order to best help them locate their most preferred solution. In this paper, we analyze this question based on two requirements. The first is that it must stimulate the user to express further preferences by showing the range of alternatives available. The second is that the examples that are shown must contain the solution that the user would consider optimal if the currently expressed preference model was complete so that he select it as a final solution. Copyright 2004 ACM.