Not all of us are “right-brained” enough to have a powerful visual imagination. So, when the tutor handles the illustration essay task, hands could get a little shaky. But, no worries! This type of essay is not about artistic visualisation nor it requires any kind of drawing experience. It is much more about the “big picture” vision and the ability to formulate examples supporting your claims/arguments. So…
What is an Illustration Essay?
Illustration essay is here to prove a particular thing exists. This particular essay type relies much more on a research than analysis in order to prove a particular point. It contains a great deal of description and provides the reader with vocal examples. The thesis is formulated in the introduction; then it is developed with the help of illustrative examples within the body paragraphs – just to be perpetuated in the conclusion by the end of the essay.
Writing the Illustration Essay
An illustration essay is also commonly referred to as an Example essay. Of all the different kinds of essays students write, this exists as the most straightforward, easiest essay to write. While other essays require very specific aspects, such as the Cause and Effect essay, an illustration essay is exactly what it sounds like: an illustration of a particular subject. If you’re wondering if it requires drawing, have no fear! In an illustration essay, the writer illustrates his or her points with clear, authentic examples—not pictures. The body paragraphs should contain research illustrating the thesis, and likely the Works Cited and/or Bibliography pages.
Here is how to approach each of the sections of your illustration essay:
This paragraph opens the illustration essay. It typically contains anywhere from 5 to 15 sentences; a number of sentences depend upon the density of the topic being explained in the essay. It should begin with a hook – a sentence to gain and keep the reader’s attention. Hooks may also be referred to as “attention getters”. Examples of hooks include:
- Interesting facts
- Relevant statistics
- Rhetorical question
- Personal anecdote
Following the hook should be several background sentences. These sentences provide key information the audience may need to fully understand the concept being illustrated in the essay. Such information could include defining important vocabulary, providing historic or social context, or relevant personal background for individuals discussed in the paper. Information plays a fundamental role when it comes to putting up a piece of content, whether it ‘s an informative essay or not. Finally, the last sentence of the introduction paragraph should be the thesis statement. It’s a good idea to craft your thesis statement before you begin any research; a well-written thesis should be able to guide your research and make it more effective. What makes a good thesis? So glad you asked!
A thesis sentence should be both clear and argumentative. For an illustrative essay, a thesis statement should focus on identifying the subject to be illustrated and the way the writer plans to support the illustration.
A body paragraph’s purpose is to support the thesis. Each paragraph should contain a different piece of evidence that proves the writer’s thesis has merit. All body paragraphs follow a universal format involving five basic sentence types:
- Topic Sentence. This sentence identifies the topic of the paragraph and how it relates to the thesis statement.
- Background sentence(s). Depending upon the complexity of the subject identified in the topic sentence, the writer may need one to three or more background sentences.
- Research sentences. These sentences can be direct quotations or paraphrases of important ideas found during the research process. Any research sentences supporting the topic should be cited according to your teacher’s preference.
- Analysis. Analysis sentences explain how the research sentences are relevant to the topic sentence and thesis sentence. These sentences often use analysis words such as shows, portrays, illustrates, proves, and communicates.
- Conclusion/Transition. This sentence wraps up the paragraph and transitions the reader to the next idea in the following paragraph.
Now, here is where the “illustration” part comes in. You need to support each body paragraph statement with examples, proving or supporting your claim. Two examples covering each statement works the best. There is no need to dive too deep into examples – just lay them out as you outline your body paragraphs.
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Beginning the conclusion paragraph means that you’re almost done! Conclusion paragraphs are typically the shortest paragraphs in an illustration essay. Its purpose is to reiterate the main points within each body paragraph and prove to the reader that the writer proved his or her point within the essay. While these paragraphs are short, they are important; it is the last impression the reader has – so make it a good one!
Conclusion paragraphs should be strongly worded and confident. However, they should not introduce any new information; focus only one what’s already been presented as evidence in the essay.
Tips from our writers – free takeaways!
Transitions can really help move an argument along in an illustration essay. Transitions are words that act as connectors in a sentence; they connect one idea to another. They can show similarity, contrast, or illustration among other connections. Want your illustration essay to shine? Consider incorporating the following transitions to improve the flow of the essay:
- For example
- For instance
- As an illustration
- To illustrate
- In this case
- In contrast
Transitions can link similar ideas in the same body paragraph or link different examples between body paragraphs.
As with all essay writing assignments, it’s important to begin early and stay on-task. Keep to a writing schedule, beginning with an idea outline to organize your thoughts and help guide your research.
Check out this no-frills outline:
- Thesis: Cats make the best pets because they are loving, intelligent, and independent
- Body Paragraph 1: Prove cats are loving
- Example 1: they are loving to their owners (well, maybe not all of them)
- Example 2: they are loving to other animals (except dogs, of course)
- Body Paragraph 2: Prove cats are intelligent
- Example 1: capability to train cats
- Example 2: ability of cats to solve problems and play
- Body Paragraph 3: Prove cats are independent
- Example 1: cats can entertain themselves
- Example 2: they are born hunters
- Conclusion: Wrap it up with strong statements – prove your initial point
Illustration Essay Sample
Be sure to check the sample essay, completed by our writers. Use it as an example to write your own essay. Link: Illustration Essay on Social Statuses
Drawing the line (figuratively)
Taking the time to outline and narrow your research focus makes finding information much, much easier! But it is not always necessary to verse an outstanding illustrative essay. The best way to prove your point is to show a real-life example. Nothing really works better than cases and situations taken straight from your life experience (almost like the narrative essay, right?) People with colorful life experience tend to be the best in the illustrative essay “business”.
Remember: you have many resources available to you to help you earn the grade you want. Stick to a good writing schedule and take a rough draft to your professor for constructive criticism. Visit the campus writing center if you have one, or send your essay to our professional writers service for editing. Revisit and revise your draft at least once—perfection is a process!
How to Write an Illustration Essay
An illustrative essay is probably one of the easiest types of essays to write; and once you have mastered this type of writing, just about all other types of essays will become easier as well. That's because no matter what type of writing you're doing, if you're trying to make a point, illustrations make it much easier to accomplish your goal.
Definition of an illustration essay
The first step in mastering the writing of an illustration essay is to understand exactly how this type of essay is most effectively used. Simply put, an illustration essay uses a variety of examples to support or prove your thesis. For example, if your thesis statement is:
“The winter months cause most residents to hibernate.”
Your essay would contain descriptions of several facts that support this thesis, such as:
- The roads are nearly empty with just 2 or 3 cars passing every hour compared to 100s of cars during the warmer months of the year.
- The social activities in town are poorly attended when the weather is foul.
The illustrative essay is nothing more than providing facts that back up your thesis. However, it's a descriptive and even colorful style of writing that makes the essay interesting to read.
Creating a paper that's interesting to read
Obviously, a statement of facts such as those above is a boring way to prove a point. You'll better engage your reader by taking the concept of illustration to heart. When you think of an illustration an image comes to mind that is drawn to help the viewer understand something. A word illustration is much the same. The writer uses words to paint a picture for the reader so that the reader can visualize what the author is trying to say.
While an illustration essay is among the easiest to tackle, beware of it being too easy. It does require some thought to make it work. A few things to keep in mind while coming up with examples to prove your thesis include:
- Make sure your example makes a clear point. A long narrative about your personal feelings about winter may seem relevant to the topic, but it doesn't prove that most people hibernate.
- Before crafting your essay, spend some time brainstorming some good examples and then pick your top three - four examples. Once you have your strongest points, spend the time to carefully “illustrate” each example so that it's crystal clear to the reader that this helps prove your main point.
- Make sure that your thesis statement for this type of essay is not about arguing a position; rather it's about a phenomenon that exists.
- Transitioning between your examples takes some practice so that the essay doesn't read like a list of examples, because you start each new point with the phrase, “for example?‚?¦” Instead, find other words that help transition from point to point.
The two examples listed for the winter weather thesis above could be tied together by correlating the lack of participation in social events to the lack of travel. These are like cause and effect example:
“?‚?¦the lack of participation in social events is further illustrated by the lack of traffic on the roads. People just don't like to drive in bad weather, which is why there are so few cars on the road in winter as compared to summer. ?‚?¦”
Structuring and writing the essay
As with all essays, the format of an illustrative includes an introduction, body, and conclusion. The introduction states your thesis, the body provides examples of why the thesis is true, and the conclusion restates the thesis and draws a conclusion to the paper. With the winter weather example we've been using here, a conclusion might be that the winter months are not good for planning a major event that you want a lot of people to attend.