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Illustration Essays: Definitions, Templates and Examples

I’m a university professor, and in this article, I’m going to show you exactly how to write an illustration essay.

ultimate guide to illustration essays (template and full sample essay)

1. What is an Illustration Essay?

An Illustration Essay is an essay designed to describe and explain with examples. You will be required to use examples to reveal details about the subject you are discussing.

In many ways, it is the easiest form of essay because you don’t have to come up with a thesis or argue a point. All you need to do is explain with descriptions and examples (or ‘illustrate’) a subject or phenomenon.

Much like when someone draws a picture to show you what something looks like, an illustrative essay uses words to show what something is.

Related Article: 141+ Illustration Essay Topics

2. Difference between Illustrative and Argumentative Essays

You can see that in many ways, an illustrative essay should be easier than an argumentative essay . You can put all your efforts into your explanations and examples.

Aim to create a coherent picture in the reader’s mind about the topic you’re discussing.

3. Definition of ‘Illustrate’

Here are a few definitions of ‘illustrate’:

  • Oxford Dictionary says that to Illustrate is to “Explain or make (something) clear by using examples, charts, pictures, etc.”
  • MacMillan Dictionary provides this nice, simple explanation: “to show what something is like.”

Let’s now put the term into a few sentences to help clarify it for you just a little more:

  • The newspaper article illustrates how the dinosaurs became extinct.
  • The story of Abraham Lincoln provides a clear illustration of his life achievements.
  • My father’s explanation of how to change oil in a car illustrated the process sufficiently.

Synonyms for ‘Illustrate’

Illustrate may also be interchangeably used with words like:

  • Give Detail

4. How to write an Illustration Essay

Here’s how to write an illustration essay:

2.1 How to write your Introduction

The introduction is much like any other in an essay, and therefore I suggest you use the usual I.N.T.R.O formula .

This formula is a way of writing a 5-sentence introduction that orients the reader to the topic. Here’s how it works. Each of the following points forms one sentence of your introduction:

  • Inform: Inform the reader of the topic.
  • Notify: Notify the reader of one piece of interesting background information about the topic.
  • Translate: Translate or paraphrase the essay question.
  • Report: Report on your position or argument (This step can be skipped as you will often not need to make an argument)
  • Outline: Outline the essay structure. You can use ‘Firstly, secondly, thirdly’ here.

2.2 An example introduction for an illustration essay

This example is for an illustration essay on the topic: Illustrate the various ways young people use social media in their everyday lives.

“Social media has many impacts on young people. Social media is quite new, with the most famous social media site Facebook only being introduced to the world in 2004. This illustrative essay will explain and provide examples of the many ways young people engage with social media every day. The essay will begin with an explanation of what social media is, followed by several illustrative points with examples to give details about what new media is and how it has changed young people’s lives.”

2.3 How to write an illustration paragraph (body paragraph)

Paragraphs in the body of an illustration essay have two purposes:

  • Describe and Define: You need to clearly describe and define your subject to the reader. The reader should be left with the impression that you have a deep knowledge of the topic.
  • Explain and Exemplify: You need to provide many examples to illustrate your points.

I recommend that you do this in order. Your first few paragraphs should describe and define the subject. Your following paragraphs should give a lot of quality examples.

2.4 Examples of illustrative paragraphs

I’ll keep using the example topic: Illustrate the various ways young people use social media in their everyday lives.

Example of a Describe and Define Paragraph:

“Social media is a form of media that emerged during the Web 2.0 era of the internet. It is unique because it gives people the ability of people to create personal profiles and communicate back-and-forth with one another. It is generally known to have emerged in the early 2000s with websites like MySpace and Facebook, and has changed recently to be heavily mobile responsive with the emergence of smartphones in the 2010s.”

Example of an Explain and Exemplify Paragraph:

“One unique consequence of social media is that it has meant young people are in constant contact with their friends. Whereas in the past young people would have to hang out in person to be in contact, now they can message each other from their homes. For example, young people get home from school and can log into their web forums like Facebook messenger. From here, they can stay in touch and chat about issues that happened at school. While this may be enjoyable, some people also believe that it means young people can continue to be bullied even from within their own bedrooms.”

2.5 How to write a Conclusion for an Illustration Essay

To conclude your illustrative essay, feel free to use the normal conclusion paragraph style. My preferred template for a conclusion is the 5 Cs Conclusion method .

Here’s a brief summary of the 5 Cs Conclusion method. Like the INTRO method, you can write one sentence per point for a 5 sentence conclusion paragraph:

  • Close the loop: Refer to a statement you made in your introduction to tie the beginning and end together.
  • Conclude: Show your final conclusion on the issue. As this is an illustrative essay that generally does not require a unique thesis statement, this step can be blended with ‘Clarify’.
  • Clarify: Show how you have answered the essay question
  • Concern: Show who would be concerned about the issue.
  • Consequences: Show what the consequences of the issue are for real life.

Read Also: 39 Better Ways to Write ‘In Conclusion’ in an Essay

2.6 Example Conclusion for an Illustrative Essay

Here’s an example conclusion for an illustrative essay on the topic: Illustrate the various ways young people use social media in their everyday lives.

“The beginning of this essay pointed out that social media is quite a new phenomenon. Nonetheless, it appears to have had a significant impact on young people’s everyday lives. This essay has illustrated this fact with examples including points on how many young people use social media at home every night, how it has impact how bullying occurs, and helped them to stay in touch with friends who live long ways away. Parents and teachers should be concerned with this issue in order to help children know when to switch off social media or use it responsibly. Social media is not going anywhere and will continue to impact the ways young people interact with one another on a daily basis.”

5. A Template Just for You

6. illustration essay topic ideas.

I’ve provided a full list of over 120 illustration essay topics you can choose form on this post here .

For a summary of 5 of my favorites, see below:

  • Provide an illustration of the lifestyle of American Pilgrims in the first few years of settlement. You can dig deep in this example by giving explanations of the farming practices, initial struggles faced, and the complex relationships between colonizers and Indigenous peoples.
  • Provide an illustration of the factory line production model and how it changed the world. Here, you can dig deep with examples of how the production line model was different to anything that came before it. You can also explain it using an example of a product going through a factory, such as a Model T Ford.
  • Provide an illustration of the ways the court system seeks to ensure justice is served. Courts are complex places, so you can dig deep here to explain why we have them and how they help keep all of us safe.
  • Provide an illustration of human development from birth to 18 years of age. You can dig deep in your explanation of how children move through stages of development before becoming what we consider to be fully grown adults. I selected this example for the illustration essay above.
  • Provide an illustration of how and why the Pyramids were built. An illustration of these remarkable structures can help you delve deep into the ways ancient Egypt operated. Discuss the ways pharaohs saw pyramids as spiritual buildings, how they used slaves to build them, and the remarkable engineering coordination required to build enormous structures back before we had machinery to help out!

7. Illustration Essay Example

Topic: “Provide an illustration of human development from birth to 18 years of age. (1000 words)”

Introduction of the Illustration Essay:

Children are born with complete dependence on their parents for their own survival. Over the next 18 years they go through several stages of biological and cognitive development before reaching full maturation. This illustrative essay explores several key ideas about how humans develop in their first 18 years. There are multiple different understandings of how humans develop, and several of the major ones will be illustrated in this essay. First, the key ideas behind human development are defined and described. Then, several examples of key parts of human development in childhood are presented with a focus on Piaget’s approach to human development.

Body Paragraphs of the Illustration Essay – Definition and Description:

Human development is the process of human growth from birth through to adulthood. It is a process that takes somewhere between 16 and 25 years, although most western societies believe a child has reached adulthood on their 18 th birthday (Charlesworth, 2016). The process behind child development has been defined and described in multiple different ways throughout history. Two of the key theorists who describe child development are Piaget and Freud. Both believe all children develop in clear maturational stages, although their ideas about what happens in each stage differ significantly (Davies, 2010).

Freud believes that all children develop through a series of psychological stages. At each stage of development, children face a challenge which they must overcome or risk experiencing psychological fixations in adulthood. Freud outlined five stages of child development: the oral (0 – 1 years of age), anal (1 – 3 years of age), phallic (3 – 6 years of age), latency (6 – 12 years of age) and genital (12+ years of age). For each stage, there is a challenge (Fleer, 2018; Devine & Munsch, 2018). These are: weaning off the breast (oral), toilet training (anal), identifying gender roles (phallic), social interaction (latency) and development of intimate relationships (genital). If the child successfully navigates each stage, they will become a well developed adult.

By contrast, Piaget was focused less on psychological development and more on cognitive maturation. Piaget also believes that all children develop in roughly equal stages (Devine & Munsch, 2014). Piaget outlined five stages of development: the sensorimotor (0 – 2 years of age), preoperational (2 – 7 years of age), concrete operational (7 – 11 years of age) and formal operational (11+ years). In each stage, the child is capable of certain tasks, and should be encouraged to master those tasks to develop successfully to the next stage. These tasks include: mastery of the sense and motor skills to navigate the world (sensorimotor), capacity to use language and think using symbols (preoperational), ability to use logic and understand time, space and quantities (concrete operational), and ability to use abstract and hypothetical thinking (formal operational) (Charlesworth, 2016).

Body Paragraphs of the Illustration Essay – Explanations and Examples:

For the remainder of this essay, Piaget’s stages will be used to illustrate how children are perceived to develop. Piaget’s stages are still widely acknowledged as useful for teaching and guiding children through cognitive development, and are generally more well received in contemporary society than Freud’s. Their value in education make them an important set of stages to understand for teacher educators. Furthermore, many educational curricula around the world continue to roughly teach in stages commensurate with Piaget’s stages (Kohler, 2014). They are therefore important stages of child development to understand.

The first stage is the sensorimotor stage (0 – 2). Children in the sensorimotor stage need support to develop skills in navigating their immediate environments. At this stage, children are given objects with various textures, shapes and compositions to allow children to touch and learn about their world (Kohler, 2014). Children in this stage also learn to develop the understanding that when things are out of their sight, they still exist! Piaget called this skill ‘object permanence’. For example, the game ‘peek-a-boo’ is often very entertaining to young children because their parents’ faces appear to disappear from the world, then reappear randomly (Isaacs, 2015; Devine & Munsch, 2018).

The next stage is the preoperational stage (2 – 7). In the preoperational stage, children learn to develop more complex communicative capacities. Children develop linguistic capacities and begin to express themselves confidently to their parents and strangers. Children also develop imaginative skills, and you often see children engaging in imaginative play where they dress up and pretend to be princesses, firefighters and heroes in their stories (Isaacs, 2015). At this young age, children are very egotistical and continue to see themselves as the centre of the world. To help children develop through this stage, parents and teachers should encourage creative writing and praise children whenever they may see things from other people’s perspectives (MacBlain, 2018).

The third stage is the concrete operational stage (7 – 11). At this stage, children learn to think logically about things in their everyday environments. They therefore develop more complex capacities to reason and do mathematical tasks. At this stage teachers tend to encourage children to learn to come to conclusions using reason and scientific observations (MacBlain, 2018). At this level many children are able to see things from others’ perspectives, but remain focused on their own lives and things in their immediate environments (Kohler, 2014).

Lastly, from ages 11 and up, children develop into the formal operations stage where they can think abstractly. In this stage, ethical and critical thinking emerges. These young people are now starting to think about issues like social justice and politics (Kohler, 2014). They also develop the capacity to do more complex mathematical tasks in the realm of abstract rather than concrete maths. A real life example may include the capacity to complete algebraic tasks. This is why algebra tends to become a part of mathematics curricula in middle and high school years (Charlesworth, 2016; MacBlain, 2018).

While Piaget’s stages are widely acknowledge to be accurate for ‘normal’ development, there is criticism that these stages do not reflect the development of children across all cultures and abilities. For example, children with autism may develop at faster or slower rates (Isaacs, 2015). Similarly, it appears children in some non-Western cultures develop concrete operations at a much younger age than children in Western societies. Thus, other theorists like Vygotsky have demonstrated that we should not see child development in set rigid stages, but instead think of development as being heavily influenced by social and cultural circumstances in which children develop (MacBlain, 2018).

Conclusion of the Illustrative Essay:

At the beginning of this illustrative essay, it was stated that children use the first 18 years of their life to develop biologically, psychologically and cognitively. Zooming in on cognitive development, this essay has illustrated child development through Piaget’s four stages of cognitive development. Through these stages, it is possible to see how children develop from very dependent and unknowledgeable states to full independence from their parents. Teachers should know about these stages of development to properly understand what level children should be at in their learning and to target lessons appropriately.

References:

Charlesworth, R. (2016). Understanding child development. Los Angeles: Cengage Learning.

Davies, D. (2010).  Child development: A practitioner’s guide . New York: Guilford Press.

Fleer, M. (2018). Child Development in Educational Settings . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Isaacs, N. (2015). A Brief Introduction to Piaget. New York: Agathon Press.

Kohler, R. (2014). Jean Piaget. London: Bloomsbury.

Levine, L. E., & Munsch, J. (2018).  Child Development from Infancy to Adolescence: An Active Learning Approach . London: Sage Publications.

MacBlain, S. (2018).  Learning theories for early years practice . London: SAGE.

Chris

Chris Drew (PhD)

Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]

  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd/ 41 Important Classroom Expectations (for This School Year)
  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd/ 75 Personality Examples
  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd/ 101 Thesis Statement Examples
  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd/ 10 Critical Theory Examples

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How to Write Illustration Essay: Guide on Painting with Words

Table of contents

  • 1 Understanding the Basics
  • 2.1 Useful Tips for Effective Research
  • 2.2 Types of Illustration Essay Examples
  • 3 Creating Illustration Essay Outline
  • 4 Writing An Engaging Introduction
  • 5 Crafting Compelling Body Paragraphs
  • 6 Using Examples Effectively
  • 7 Writing a Strong Conclusion
  • 8 Editing and Proofreading
  • 9 Mastering Illustration Essays – Concluding Thoughts

Imagine this, you are asked to write an essay, and instead of the usual plain text, you get to paint a vivid picture with words. That is precisely what an illustration essay is all about—it is your chance to bring your ideas to life, to make your reader see, feel, and understand your point with clarity and color.

However, these kinds of essays are not everyone’s cup of tea. Many students find them tricky, and that is completely understandable. Weaving real-life examples into writing can seem challenging, but stress no more because, in this article, we will break it all down to make it as easy as a breeze.

We will walk you through the process, helping you master the art of illustration essay writing.

Here is a preview of what lies ahead in this article:

  • After reading this article, you will understand the illustration essay definition and its key characteristics.
  • We examine the significance of comprehensive research and provide a list of illustration essay topics.
  • Also, the article presents an outline for structuring an illustration essay. You will learn how to craft an engaging introduction and structure body paragraphs using the PIE format.

Understanding the Basics

Let’s start by unraveling the concept of an illustrative essay – it is a bit like picking up a paintbrush, but instead of colors, you have words at your disposal. Illustrative writing is all about doing more than just sharing facts. It is about making your point come to life. You can do that by weaving vivid examples and anecdotes into your writing. It is like turning a dull black-and-white photo into a vibrant, colorful masterpiece. Are you wondering what the result is going to be? Clarity and engagement hook your readers.

Many students are often unfamiliar with the key characteristics of an illustration essay. Do you fall into this category? In this article, we have got everything covered for you. The writing process of a five-paragraph essay is all about using compelling and relevant examples to support your thesis. These examples should not only clarify your point but also captivate your audience. The essay should be easy to follow, with a logical flow from one idea to the next.

But here is the fun part: illustration essays are incredibly versatile. You can write about a wide range of topics, and that’s where the creativity kicks in. If you are unable to find your perfect topic, here are a few inspiring illustration essay ideas to get you started:

  • The Impact of Social Media on Real-Life Relationships
  • The Art of Mastering Time Management
  • The Journey of Overcoming a Fear
  • The Significance of Healthy Eating Habits
  • A Day in the Life of a Firefighter
  • The Evolution of Technology in Education
  • The Role of Music in Shaping Our Emotions
  • Navigating the World of Online Dating
  • The Process of Learning a New Language
  • The Influence of Art on Society
  • The Power of Random Acts of Kindness
  • The Impact of Climate Change on Wildlife
  • The Magic of Exploring a New Culture
  • The Secrets of Successful Entrepreneurship
  • The World of Fashion: Trends and Influence

So, whether you are looking to highlight the impact of social media or explore the art of time management, an illustration essay lets you tell your story with a colorful array of examples. It is your chance to paint a clear and captivating picture with words. Therefore, don’t hesitate to give it a try and start illustrating your ideas today.

Research and Gathering Examples

Research and gathering examples are the most crucial aspects of writing an illustration essay. Getting them right is like laying the groundwork for a great illustration essay. It is simply the secret ingredient that turns your essay into a captivating and informative masterpiece. Therefore, it is recommended to keep digging until you find the best illustration essay examples, and your essay is bound to shine.

Useful Tips for Effective Research

While many students are familiar with the fact that thorough research is the backbone of illustration essay writing, they often struggle to do it. To help you do effective research for your illustration essay, here are a few valuable tips you must consider following:

  • Hit the Books: Start with your friendly neighborhood library. Books are like treasure troves of knowledge. They are not just filled with facts and figures but also rich with anecdotes and stories.
  • Go Digital: Consider the internet your best friend when writing an illustrative essay. However, not all websites are worth scrolling through to collect evidence. You should only use credible sources like educational institutions, government sites, and well-known publications.
  • Interview Experts: Talking to experts in the field can dig up unique and real-life examples you will not find elsewhere.

Types of Illustration Essay Examples

Let’s shed some light on different types of illustrative examples you can use in your essay:

  • Anecdotes: These are short, engaging stories that can captivate your readers and help them relate to your point.
  • Statistics: These numbers add a layer of credibility and impact to your essay.
  • Facts: Verifiable facts are like building blocks for your argument, providing a strong foundation for your essay.
  • Quotes: These are wise words from authoritative figures that can reinforce your point.

It is worth remembering that the key here is relevance. The examples you use in your essay should serve as a “supporting argument” for your thesis statement , ensuring your point is crystal clear to the reader.

Creating Illustration Essay Outline

To write an illustration essay, you need to craft a common essay outline for it. It will act as a blueprint, the skeleton for your essay that holds everything together. While many might think of it as a bunch of headings and subheadings, it is definitely more than that. It will be your guide to effectively illustrate your points.

To help you write an excellent illustration essay, here is an outline structure for an illustration essay recommended by professional writers:

  • Introduction (hook, background information, and thesis statement)
  • Body Paragraph 1 (Topic sentence, illustration, and explanation)
  • Body Paragraph 2 and so on (Topic sentence, illustration, and explanation)
  • Conclusion (Restate thesis, summary of examples, and closing thoughts)

This recommended structure of an illustration essay outline ensures a well-organized and coherent essay that effectively supports your thesis statement with relevant examples. It provides a clear roadmap for your essay’s content, making it easier for readers to follow your argument.

Writing An Engaging Introduction

The introduction’s primary role is to grab the reader’s attention and generate enough interest to encourage them to continue reading. If the introduction fails to engage the reader, there is a higher chance that they will stop reading the essay. It is like an essay’s “make or break” moment.

That’s why it is crucial to use attention-grabbing techniques to draw the reader in from the beginning. An effective introductory paragraph sets the stage for a successful essay by capturing the reader’s interest and curiosity, making them eager to explore the rest of the content.

Here are a few techniques you must use to make your illustration essay’s introduction engaging:

  • Start with a story: Begin with a short, vivid anecdote, a real-life scenario, or an example of personal interests related to your topic. It will immediately draw your reader in and make your essay relatable.
  • Pose a question: Ask a thought-provoking question related to your thesis. It will make your readers think and be curious about what your essay has to say.
  • Use a Surprising Fact: Shock your readers with an exciting and unexpected fact or statistic. It can be a powerful way to increase their interest.
  • Share a Relevant Quote: A well-chosen quote from a relevant figure can add depth and authority to your introduction.
  • Present Your Thesis Statement: After the powerful hook, clearly state your thesis statement. It will give your readers a rough outline of your essay.

Crafting Compelling Body Paragraphs

Think of these paragraphs as the heart of an illustration essay, where you bring your topic to life with real-life examples and evidence. However, only a few students can pull this crucial part right. If you find this tricky too, you can get help from a professional writing service –  PapersOwl . Many experienced writers with top-notch writing skills can finish the work for you quickly. Just say, “ Write an academic essay ,” and let our writers do wonders.

However, if you want to write a good illustration essay, we are here to help you. Crafting compelling body paragraphs is a no-brainer, especially when you know the proper structure. In an illustration essay, each body paragraph should follow a clear and organized structure. This structure is often referred to as “PIE” (Point-Illustration-Explanation). Here is how to do it:

  • Point: Start each paragraph with a clear and concise topic sentence that presents the main point or idea you want to illustrate. It is where you tell your reader what to expect in the paragraph.
  • Illustration: After introducing your point, provide a specific example that supports or illustrates that point. It can be an anecdote, a fact, a statistic, or a quote. Your example should be relevant and directly related to your topic.
  • Explanation: Following the example, explain how it supports your point. Break down the example, analyze it, and clarify the connection between the example and your thesis. It is where you demonstrate to your reader how the illustration reinforces your argument.

It is worth remembering that smooth transitioning is key to a good illustration essay. Without smooth transitions, your essay becomes a disjointed puzzle, leaving readers frustrated and your argument lost in the confusion. While following the PIE structure ensures well-structured body parts of an essay , transition words are the bridge that gracefully guides your reader from one paragraph to the next.

Using Examples Effectively

In an illustration essay, the effective use of examples is the secret sauce that brings your ideas to life and makes your argument compelling. Now, you might be wondering how to ensure the effective use of examples. The process begins with selecting and incorporating examples into your essay. Whether you are writing a sample illustration essay or an illustration paper, it is all about choosing real-life instances, anecdotes, facts, statistics, or quotes that relate directly to your thesis.

Also, you must ensure that you don’t just drop examples into your essay and move on. Take your time to analyze and explain each example in the context of your thesis. Break it down for your reader. What does the example illustrate? How does it relate to your main points? It is crucial because it connects the dots for your readers, showing them how the example supports your argument.

Moreover, when using examples, you must focus on two key points: clarity and relevance. Your examples should be crystal clear and easy for your reader to understand. Avoid vague examples that might confuse your audience. Each example must be relevant to your thesis and the point you are trying to make. Irrelevant examples can derail your argument and leave readers scratching their heads.

Remember, the power of an illustration essay lies in the strength of your examples. Choose them carefully, explain them thoroughly, and ensure they are clear and relevant.

Writing a Strong Conclusion

Writing a strong conclusion for your illustration essay or exemplification paper is like putting the final brushstroke on a masterpiece. It is the last chance to leave a lasting impression on your reader. Therefore, when writing an illustration essay, make sure to end it with a strong conclusion.

Not sure how to do that? Here are a few tips you must follow for a strong conclusion:

  • Summarize Your Points: Summarize the primary points and examples you have presented throughout your essay.
  • Restate Your Thesis: Restating your thesis is essential. However, do not copy and paste it from your introduction. Instead, rephrase it engagingly.
  • Leave a Lasting Thought: Leave your reader with a thought-provoking or memorable thesis statement. It can be a call to action, a reflection on the broader significance of your topic, or a compelling idea related to your thesis.
  • Avoid New Information: Don’t introduce new examples or information in your conclusion.

Editing and Proofreading

Editing and proofreading your illustration essay is like giving it a polished finish, ensuring that your ideas shine through with clarity. Here are some quick tips for the final steps in perfecting your essay:

  • Read aloud: Read your essay aloud to yourself, as it will help you catch awkward sentences and errors and understand how the essay flows.
  • Check for clarity: Make sure your examples and explanations are crystal clear.
  • Consistency: Ensure consistency in your writing style, verb tense, and formatting throughout the essay.
  • Spell Check: Run a spell check to catch any glaring typos or spelling errors.
  • Grammar Check: Use a grammar checker to identify grammar and punctuation mistakes.

You will refine your essay and make it a polished piece by self-editing and proofreading. The final touch ensures your descriptive nature and the writer’s point come through clearly.

Mastering Illustration Essays – Concluding Thoughts

In conclusion, mastering the writing process for crafting an engaging illustration essay involves selecting impactful examples, explaining them effectively, and maintaining clarity. By following the PIE method and dedicating time to thorough editing, you are definitely on your way to writing persuasive illustration essays. Embrace the process, and let your creativity shine as you share your unique perspective, educate your readers, and make a lasting impact. With these insights, you are ready to embark on your journey to write an academic essay confidently. Happy writing!

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Illustration/Example

Kirk Fontenot

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Characterize the purpose of the illustration/example essay
  • Determine the best structure for the illustration/example essay
  • Compose an illustration/example essay

Introduction to Illustration/Example

To illustrate means to show or demonstrate something clearly. An effective illustration essay clearly demonstrates and supports a point using examples and evidence . Ultimately, you want the evidence to help the reader “see” your point, as one would see a good illustration in a magazine or on a website. The stronger your evidence is, the more clearly the reader will consider your point.

Illustration/example writing simply means to use specific examples to illustrate your point. Every essay has a point called the thesis statement . The thesis statement is the point you’re trying to make, stated clearly in one sentence. The rest of the essay is all about proving that point using different types of evidence.

The key to illustration/example is to use specific examples. General statements don’t make much of an impact on our reader; in other words, they’re boring. No one wants to read a boring essay, so why would you want to write one?

When thinking of examples, don’t try to come up with examples that can apply to everyone and every situation; these are general (i.e., boring) examples. Instead, think of specific, personal, interesting, unique examples.

Here’s an example of general writing that we should avoid:

There’s nothing wrong with this writing grammatically, but it’s boring .

Compare this to more specific writing:

The second example is specific, personal, and more interesting. The writer names specific restaurants and specific foods.

Illustration/example is an important rhetorical mode because specific examples are always a great way to make an essay more interesting, no matter what the writing prompt. In fact, if a rough draft of an essay is ever too short, don’t ever add filler; instead, add specific examples to get to the right length.

To make an essay more interesting, we can add:

  • Hypothetical examples that we make up
  • Real-life specific examples from personal experience (when appropriate)
  • Interesting examples that we read about

In this module, you will develop your skills in illustration/example writing.

The Purpose of Illustration in Writing

To illustrate means to show or demonstrate something clearly. An effective illustration essay, also known as an example essay, clearly demonstrates and supports a point through the use of evidence.

The controlling idea of an essay is called a thesis. A writer can use different types of evidence to support their thesis. Using scientific studies, experts in a particular field, statistics, historical events, current events, analogies, and personal anecdotes are all ways in which a writer can illustrate a thesis. Ultimately, you want the evidence to help the reader “see” your point, as one would see a good illustration in a magazine or on a website. The stronger your evidence is, the more clearly the reader will consider your point.

Using evidence effectively can be challenging, though. The evidence you choose will usually depend on your subject and who your reader is (your audience). When writing an illustration essay, keep in mind the following:

  • Use evidence that is appropriate to your topic as well as appropriate for your audience.
  • Ask yourself: How much evidence do you need to adequately explain your point? Consider how complex your subject is and how much background your audience may already have.

For example, if you were writing about a new communication software and your audience was a group of English major undergrads, you might want to use an analogy or a personal story to illustrate how the software worked. You might also choose to add a few more pieces of evidence to make sure the audience understands your point.

However, if you were writing about the same subject and your audience members were information technology (IT) specialists, you would likely use more technical evidence because they would be familiar with the subject.

Keeping your audience in mind will increase your chances of effectively illustrating your point.

The Structure of an Illustration Essay

The controlling idea, or thesis, belongs at the beginning of the essay. Evidence is then presented in the essay’s body paragraphs to support the thesis. You can start supporting your main point with your strongest evidence first, or you can start with evidence of lesser importance and have the essay build to increasingly stronger evidence. This type of organization is called “order of importance.”

Transition words are also helpful in ordering the presentation of evidence. Words like first , second , third , currently , next , and finally all help orient the reader and sequence evidence clearly. Because an illustration essay uses so many examples, it is also helpful to have a list of words and phrases to present each piece of evidence. Certain transitional words and phrases aid in keeping the reader oriented in the sequencing of a story. Some of these phrases are listed here:

Phrases of Illustration

case in point       for example

for instance         in particular

in this case          one example/another example

specifically to illustrate

Vary the phrases of illustration you use. Do not rely on just one. Variety in choice of words and phrasing is critical when trying to keep readers engaged in your writing and your ideas.

Writing an Illustration Essay

First, decide on a topic that you feel interested in writing about. Then create an interesting introduction to engage the reader. The main point, or thesis, should be stated at the end of the introduction.

Gather evidence that is appropriate to both your subject and your audience. You can order the evidence in terms of importance, either from least important to most important or from most important to least important. Be sure to fully explain all of your examples using strong, clear supporting details.

Professional Illustration/Example Writing

In “April & Paris,” writer David Sedaris explores the unique impact of animals on the human psyche. Click on the link to view the essay “April & Paris” by David Sedaris or read it below.

April & Paris by David Sedaris

While watching TV one recent evening, I stumbled upon a nature program devoted to the subject of making nature programs. The cameraman’s job was to catch a bird of paradise in full display, so he dug himself a hole, covered it with branches, and sat inside it for three weeks. This was in New Guinea, where the people used to wear sexy loincloths but now stand around in T-shirts reading “I survived the 2002 IPC Corporate Challenge Weekend.” A villager might wear a pair of gym shorts and then add a fanny pack or a sun visor with the name of a riverboat casino stitched onto the brim. I suppose that these things came from a relief organization. Either that or a cruise ship went down and this was what had washed up onshore.

I’ll wager that quite a few sun visors found their way to Southeast Asia after the tsunami. One brutal news story after another, and it went on for weeks. The phone numbers of aid organizations would skitter across the bottom of the TV screen, and I recall thinking that if they wanted serious donations they ought to show a puppy. People I know, people who had never before contributed to charity, emptied their pockets when a cocker spaniel was shown standing on a rooftop after Hurricane Katrina hit, eight months later. “What choice did I have?” they asked. “That poor little thing looked into the camera and penetrated my very soul.”

The eyes of the stranded grandmother, I noted, were not half as piercing. There she was, clinging to a chimney with her bra strap showing, and all anyone did was wonder if she had a dog. “I’d hate to think there’s a Scotty in her house, maybe trapped on the first floor. What’s the number of that canine-rescue agency?”

Saying that this was everyone’s reaction is, of course, an exaggeration. There were cat people, too, and those whose hearts went out to the abandoned reptiles. The sight of an iguana sailing down the street on top of a refrigerator sent a herpetologist friend over the edge. “She seems to be saying, ‘Where’s my master?'” he speculated. “‘Here it is, time for our daily cuddle and I’m stuck on the S.S. Whirlpool!!'”

I’ve often heard that anthropomorphizing an animal is the worst injustice you can do to it. That said, I’m as guilty of it as anyone. In childhood stories, the snail might grab her purse and dash out the door to put money in the meter. The rabbit cries when the blue jay makes fun of her buckteeth. The mouse loves his sister but not that way. They’re just like us! we think.

Certain nature shows only add to this misconception, but that, to me, is why they’re so addictive. Take “Growing Up Camel,” a program my friend Ronnie and I watched one evening. It was set in a small, privately owned zoo somewhere in Massachusetts. The camel in question was named Patsy, and the narrator reminded us several times that she had been born on Super Bowl Sunday. While still an infant (the football stadium probably not even cleared yet), she was taken from her mother. Now she was practically grown, and the narrator announced a reunion: “Today Patsy has reached what may be the biggest milestone in her life—moving back in with her mom.”

In the next segment, the two were reintroduced, and the grumpy old mother chased her daughter around the pen. When the opportunity arose, she bit Patsy on the backside, and pretty hard, it seemed to me. This was the camels not getting along and it wasn’t too terribly different from the way they acted when they did get along.

When the next break approached, the narrator hooked us with “When we continue, a heartbreaking event that will change Patsy’s life forever.”

I’d have put my money on an amputated leg, but it turned out to be nothing that dramatic. What happened was that the mother got bone cancer and died. The veterinarian took it hard, but Patsy didn’t seem to care one way or another, and why would she, really? All her mom ever did was browbeat her and steal her food, so wasn’t she better off on her own?

The zookeepers worried that if Patsy were left alone she would forget how to be a camel, and so they imported some company, a male named Josh and his girlfriend, Josie, who were shipped in from Texas. The final shot was of the three of them, standing in the sunshine and serenely ignoring one another. Ronnie cleared her throat and said, “So that’s what became of the little camel who was born on Super Bowl Sunday.” She turned on the light and looked me in the face. “Are you crying?”

I told her I had an ash in my eye.

“Growing Up Camel” had its merits, but I think I prefer the more serious kind of nature show, the kind that follows its subject through the wild. This could be a forest, a puddle, or a human intestinal tract, it makes no difference. Show me a tiger or show me a tapeworm, and I’ll watch with equal intensity. In this sort of program we see the creature’s world reduced to its basic components: food, safety, and reproduction. It’s a constant chain of desperation and heartache, the gist being that life is hard, and then it ends violently. I know I should watch these things with an air of detachment, but time and again I forget myself. The show will run its course, and afterward I’ll lie on the sofa, shattered by the death of a doda or a guib, one of those four-letter antelope-type things which are forever turning up in my crossword puzzles.

Apart from leaving me spent and depressed, such programs remind me that I am rarely, if ever, alone. If there’s not an insect killing time on the ceiling, there’s surely a mite staring out from the bath towel, or a parasite resting on the banks of my bloodstream. I’m reminded, too, that, however repellent, each of these creatures is fascinating, and worthy of a miniseries.

This was a lesson I learned a few summers back, in Normandy. I was at my desk one afternoon writing a letter when I heard a faint buzzing sound, like a tiny car switching into a higher gear. Curious, I went to the window, and there, in a web, I saw what looked like an angry raisin. It was a trapped fly, and as I bent forward to get a closer look a spider rushed forth, and carried it screaming to a little woven encampment situated between the wall and the window casing. It was like watching someone you hate getting mugged: three seconds of hardcore violence, and when it was over you just wanted it to happen again.

It’s hard to recall having no working knowledge of the Tegenaria duellica, but that’s what I was back then—a greenhorn with a third-rate field guide. All I knew was that this was a spider, a big one, the shape of an unshelled peanut. In color it ranged from russet to dark brown, the shades alternating to form a mottled pattern on the abdomen. I later learned that the Tegenaria can live for up to two years, and that this was an adult female. At that moment, though, as I stood at the window with my mouth hanging open, all I recognized was a profound sense of wonder.

How had I spent so much time in that house and never realized what was going on around me? If the Tegenaria barked or went after my food, I might have picked up on them earlier, but, as it was, they were as quiet and unobtrusive as Amish farmers. Outside mating season, they pretty much stayed put, a far cry from the Carolina wolf spiders I grew up with. Those had been hunters rather than trappers. Big shaggy things the size of a baby’s hand, they roamed the basement of my parents’ house, and evoked from my sisters the prolonged, spine-tingling screams called for in movies when the mummy invades the delicate lady’s dressing room. “Kill it!” they’d yell, and then I’d hear a half-dozen shoes hitting the linoleum, followed by a world atlas or maybe a piano stool—whatever was heavy and close at hand.

I was put off by the wolf spiders as well, but never thought that they were out to get me. For starters, they didn’t seem that organized. Then, too, I figured they had their own lives to lead. This was an attitude I picked up from my father, who squashed nothing that was not directly related to him. “You girls,” he’d say, and no matter how big the thing was he’d scoot it onto a newspaper and release it outside. Come bedtime, I’d knock on my sisters’ door and predict that the spider was now crawling to the top of the house, where he’d take a short breather before heading down the chimney. “I read in the encyclopedia that this particular breed is known for its tracking ability, and that once they’ve pegged their victims almost nothing will stop them. Anyway, good night.”

My sisters would have been horrified by the house in Normandy, as would most people, probably. Even before I joined the American Arachnological Society, the place looked haunted, cobwebs sagging like campaign bunting from the rafters and curtain rods. If one was in my way, I’d knock it down. But that all changed when I discovered that first Tegenaria—April, I called her. After writing her name on an index card and taping it to the wall, I found my interest spreading to her neighbors. The window they lived in was like a tenement building, one household atop another, on either side of the frame. Above April was Marty, and then Curtis and Paula. Across the way were Linda, Russell, Big Chief Tommy, and a sexless little speck of a thing I decided to call Leslie. And this was just one window.

Seeing as I’d already broken the No. 1 rule of a good nature documentary —not to give names to your subjects—I went ahead and broke the next one, which was not to get involved in their lives. “Manipulating,” my boyfriend, Hugh, would call it, but, to my mind, that was a bit too mad scientist. Manipulating is cross-breeding, or setting up death matches with centipedes. What I was doing was simply called feeding.

No Tegenaria, or at least none that I’ve observed, wants anything to do with a dead insect, even a freshly dead one. A spider’s food needs to be alive and struggling, and because our house was overrun, and I had some time on my hands, I decided to help out. In my opinion, the best place to catch flies is against a windowpane. Something about the glass seems to confuse them, and they get even dopier when you come at them with an open jar. Once one was in, I’d screw on the lid and act like I was shaking a cocktail. The little body would slam against the sides, and, as Hugh went progressively Gandhi on me, I’d remind him that these were pests, disease carriers who feasted upon the dead, and then came indoors to dance on our silverware. “I mean, come on,” I said. “You can’t feel sorry for everything.”

The Tegenaria build what I soon learned to call “horizontal sheet webs”—dense trampoline-like structures that are most often triangular, and range in size from that of a folded handkerchief to that of a placemat. Once my prey was good and woozy, I’d unscrew the lid, and tip the jar toward the waiting spider. The fly would drop, and, after lying still for a moment or two, it would begin to twitch and rouse itself, a cartoon drunk coming to after a long night. “What the fuck…?” I imagined it saying. Then it would notice the wings and foreheads of earlier victims. “I’ve got to get out of here.” A whisper of footsteps off in the distance, and just as the fly tasted futility, the monster was upon it.

“And cut!” I would yell.

Watching this spectacle became addictive, and so, in turn, did catching flies. There were days when I’d throw a good three dozen of them to their deaths—this at the expense of everything else I was supposed to be doing. As the spiders moved from healthy to obese, their feet tore holes in their webs. Running became a chore, and I think their legs started chafing. By this point, there was no denying my emotional attachment. There were nights that first summer when I’d get out of bed at 3 A.M. and wander into my office with a flashlight. Everyone would be wide awake, but it was always April that I singled out. If I thought about her a hundred times a day, it seemed only fair that she thought about me as well. My name, my face: I didn’t expect these things to register, but, in the way that a body feels the warmth of the sun, I fully imagined that she sensed my presence, and missed it when I was away.

“That’s all right,” I’d tell her. “It’s only me.” Often, I’d take out my magnifying glass and stare into the chaos that was her face.

Most people would have found it grotesque, but when you’re in love nothing is so abstract or horrible that it can’t be thought of as cute. It slayed me that she had eight eyes, and that none of them seemed to do her any good. They were more like decoration, really, a splay of beads crowded above her chelicerae. These were what she used to grip her prey, and if you looked at her the right way you could see them as a pair of enormous buckteeth. This made her appear goofy rather than scary, though I’d never have said so in her presence. For a Tegenaria, she was quite attractive, and I was glad to see that Principal Hodges shared my view. He was a freshly molted adult male who travelled from the other side of the room and spent six days inside her inner sanctum. Why Marty or Curtis or Big Chief Tommy didn’t mate with April is a mystery, and I put it on a list beside other nagging questions, such as “What was Jesus like as a teen-ager?” and “Why is it you never see a baby squirrel?”

As the summer progressed, so did the mysteries. Spiders relocated, both male and female, and I started noticing a lot of spare parts—a forsaken leg or palp lying in a web that used to belong to Paula or Philip or the Right Reverend Karen. Someone new would move in, and, as soon as I tacked up a fresh name card, he or she would vacate without notice. What had once seemed like a fine neighborhood quickly became a dangerous one, the tenants all thuggish and transitory. Maybe April was more respected than anyone else in her window unit. Maybe her enemies knew that she was being watched, but, for whatever reason, she was one of the few Tegenaria that managed to stay put and survive. In mid-September, Hugh and I returned to the city and, at the last minute, I decided to buy a plastic terrarium and to take her with me. The “April in Paris” business didn’t occur to me until we were on the train, and I held her container against the window, saying, “Look, the Eiffel Tower!”

Funny the details that slip your notice until it’s too late. The fact, for instance, that we don’t really have flies in Paris, at least not in our apartment. Back in Normandy, catching prey had been a breeze. I could do it barefoot and in my pajamas, but now I was forced to go outside and lurk around the trash cans in the Luxembourg Gardens. Someone would toss in a disposable diaper and I’d stand a few feet from the bin, and wait for the scent to be picked up. Then there’d be the sneak attack, the clattering jar, the little spell of cursing and foot stomping. Had the flies been gathered on a windowpane, I would have enjoyed the last laugh, but out in the open, and with an audience of French people noting my every failure, my beautiful hobby became a chore.

I’d been telling myself for months that April needed me, though of course she didn’t. An adequate amount of prey stumbled into her web and she caught it quite capably on her own—in Normandy, anyway. Now, though, trapped inside a terrarium in a fourth-floor apartment, she honestly did need me, and the responsibility weighed a ton. Tegenaria can go without eating for three months, but whenever I returned home empty-handed I could feel her little spider judgment seeping from the plastic box. The face that had once seemed goofy was now haughty and expectant. “Hmm,” I imagined her saying. “I guess I had you figured all wrong.”

In early October, the weather turned cool. Then the rains came and, overnight, every fly in Paris packed up and left town. April hadn’t eaten in more than a week when, just by chance, I happened upon a pet store and learned that it sold live crickets, blunt little black ones that looked like bolts with legs. I bought a chirping boxful and felt very proud of myself until the next morning, when I learned something that no nature show ever told me: crickets stink. They reek. Rather than dirty diapers or spoiled meat—something definite you can put your finger on—they smell like an inclination: cruelty, maybe, or hatred.

No amount of incense or air freshener could diminish the stench. Any attempt only made it worse, and it was this more than anything that led me back to Normandy. April and I took the train in late October, and I released her into her old home. I guess I thought that she would move back in, but in our absence her web had fallen to ruin. One corner had come unmoored and its ragged, fly-speckled edge drooped like a filthy petticoat onto the window ledge. “I’m pretty sure it can be fixed,” I told her, but before I could elaborate, or even say goodbye, she took off running. And I never saw her again.

There have been other Tegenaria since then, a new population every summer, and though I still feed them and monitor their comings and goings, it’s with a growing but not unpleasant distance, an understanding that spiders, unlike mammals, do only what they’re supposed to do. Whatever drives the likes of April is private and severe, and my attempts to humanize it only moved me further from its majesty. I still can’t resist the fly catching, but in terms of naming and relocating I’ve backed off considerably, though Hugh would say not enough.

I suppose there’s a place in everyone’s heart that’s reserved for another species. My own is covered in cobwebs rather than dog or cat hair, and, because of this, people assume it doesn’t exist. It does, though, and I felt it ache when Katrina hit. The TV was on, the grandmother signalled from her rooftop, and I found myself wondering, with something akin to panic, if there were any spiders in her house.

Discussion Questions (Part I & Part II)

  • What is the author’s primary thesis or theme? In other words, what is the point Sedaris is making?
  • List some specific examples provided by the author to illustrate the point.
  • Does the essay use “multiple” examples (a series of brief examples to illustrate or assert the thesis) or “extended” examples (longer examples explained through multiple sentences or paragraphs)?

This essay also connects back to the previous chapter on d efinition . Remember, definition is a rhetorical mode that explains or defines an unfamiliar term in such a way that your audience can gain a clearer understanding.

Go back to the essay and look for the term “anthropomorphizing.”

  • Based on context clues, what does the term mean?
  • How does the writer’s use of specific examples contribute to the definition?
  • List examples of denotation (the literal meaning) and connotation (the feeling or attitude) of the term.

Student Illustration/Example Writing

Letter to the city.

To: Lakeview Department of Transportation

From: A Concerned Citizen

The intersection of Central Avenue and Lake Street is dangerous and demands immediate consideration for the installation of a controlling mechanism. I have lived in Lakeview my entire life, and during that time I have witnessed too many accidents and close calls at that intersection. I would like the Department of Transportation to answer this question: how many lives have to be lost on the corner of Central Avenue and Lake Street before a street light or stop sign is placed there?

Over the past twenty years, the population of Lakeview has increased dramatically. This population growth has put tremendous pressure on the city’s roadways, especially Central Avenue and its intersecting streets. At the intersection of Central Avenue and Lake Street it is easy to see how serious this problem is. For example, when I try to cross Central Avenue as a pedestrian, I frequently wait over ten minutes for the cars to clear, and even then I must rush to the median. I will then have to continue to wait until I can finally run to the other side of the street. On one hand, even as a physically fit adult, I can run only with significant effort and care. Expecting a senior citizen or a child to cross this street, on the other hand, is extremely dangerous and irresponsible. Does the city have any plans to do anything about this?

Recent data show that the intersection of Central Avenue and Lake Street has been especially dangerous. According to the city’s own statistics, three fatalities occurred at that intersection in the past year alone. Over the past five years, the intersection witnessed fourteen car accidents, five of which were fatal. These numbers officially qualify the intersection as the most fatal and dangerous in the entire state. It should go without saying that fatalities and accidents are not the clearest way of measuring the severity of this situation because for each accident that happens, countless other close calls never contribute to city data. I hope you will agree that these numbers alone are sufficient evidence that the intersection at Central Avenue and Lake Street is hazardous and demands immediate attention.

Nearly all accidents mentioned are caused by vehicles trying to cross Central Avenue while driving on Lake Street. I think the City of Lakeview should consider placing a traffic light there to control the traffic going both ways. While I do not have access to any resources or data that can show precisely how much a traffic light can improve the intersection, I think you will agree that a controlled busy intersection is much safer than an uncontrolled one. Therefore, at a minimum, the city must consider making the intersection a four-way stop.

Each day that goes by without attention to this issue is a lost opportunity to save lives and make the community a safer, more enjoyable place to live. Because the safety of citizens is the priority of every government, I can only expect that the Department of Transportation and the City of Lakeview will act on this matter immediately. For the safety and well-being of Lakeview citizens, please do not let bureaucracy or money impede this urgent project.

A Concerned Citizen

Discussion Questions

  • What is the thesis of the essay? Where is it found?
  • List one specific example that the writer cites to illustrate their point.
  • Do the examples used in the essay successfully illustrate the point the writer is making?
  • Point out (a) a personal example and (b) an example found through research in this essay.
  • Describe a hypothetical example that you could add to the writer’s letter that would further illustrate the point.

Think back to a time when you won an argument by providing a specific example to prove your point. Use freewriting to describe that argument and the example you cited, then write a brief outline of an illustration/example essay. 

  • Illustration
  • Thesis statement
  • Transition words
  • An illustration essay clearly explains a main point using evidence.
  • When choosing evidence, always gauge whether the evidence is appropriate for the subject as well as the audience.
  • Organize the evidence in terms of importance, either from least important to most important or from most important to least important.
  • Use time transitions to order evidence.
  • Use phrases of illustration to call out examples.

Reflective Response

Now that you have read the chapter and written an illustration/example essay, describe ways in which using specific examples can be valuable in personal, academic, and professional writing. 

Additional Chapter Sources

“April and Paris” by David Sedaris appeared in the March 24, 2008 issue of The New Yorker . All rights reserved.

to show or demonstrate something clearly

An essay which clearly demonstrates and supports a point using examples and evidence

Available facts or information

The Thesis Statement expresses the overall point and main ideas that will be discuss in the body. It usually appears as the last sentence of the introduction and is usually one sentence.

Transition words and phrases are used to link together different ideas in your text.

the literal and explicit definition of a word

the feelings or attitudes that make up the extended definition of a word

Illustration/Example Copyright © 2022 by Kirk Fontenot is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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How To Write an Illustration Essay?

12 May, 2020

8 minutes read

Author:  Tomas White

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 visualization 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..

Illustration Essay

<h2 “alignnone” title=”Illustration Essay Writing Guide”>What is an Illustration Essay?

Illustration essay is here to prove a particular thing exists. This particular essay type relies much more on 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.

How to write an 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.

Introduction

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
Related post: How to write an Essay Introduction

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 statement 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.

Body Paragraphs

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 on the complexity of the subject identified in the topic sentence, the essay 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.

Stuck with your essay task? No more struggle! HandMade Writing is the best essay writing service available on the market. Try it out.

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!

Transition words.

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:

Transitions can link similar ideas in the same body paragraph or link different examples of body paragraphs.

Outline Example

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:

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 editing service. Revisit and revise your draft at least once – perfection is a process!

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Bright Writers

How to write an illustration essay – Full Guide 

  • Euphresia Kwamboka
  • June 21, 2022
  • How To's

Here's What We'll Cover

When you’re assigned an illustration essay, it can be intimidating. But don’t worry – it’s actually a lot of fun! This guide will walk you through everything you need to know on how to write a great illustration essay. First, we will discuss what exactly an illustration essay is. Then, we’ll go over the steps for writing a successful one. Finally, we’ll provide some helpful tips and resources to make the process easier . Let’s get started!

What Is An Illustration Essay?

An illustration essay is a type of writing that uses examples to describe, explain, or support a point. Students can do this essay in several ways: using specific details, experiences, facts, statistics, and examples. As its name suggests, an illustration essay provides readers with illustrations or images that help explain an idea or support an argument. 

When writing this essay, choosing your examples and using them to support your thesis is essential. In addition, you will need to ensure that your illustrations are clear and concise so that readers can easily understand how they relate to your main point. 

A-List of Unique Examples of Illustration Essay Topics

Tips on how to choose a good illustration essay topic .

Choosing a topic is one of the first things you do when you have been tasked to write an essay. Here are important things you need to consider when picking an essay topic .

  • Pick a topic that you can adequately illustrate. In other words, it should be possible to provide a sufficient number of examples to support the main points of your essay.
  • Settle on a topic that will interest the reader. An illustration essay is more than just a list of examples; it should also tell a story or make an argument. As such, choosing a topic that will engage the reader on some level is crucial.
  • Pick a topic that you are familiar with. This will make it easier to provide clear and concise examples.
  • Choose a topic that is timely and relevant to your audience.

Here are some topic ideas for consideration:

  • The cost of college tuition and how it has changed over time.
  • The competition between private and public colleges.
  • The pressure to choose a “practical” major.
  • The importance of extracurricular activities in the college admissions process.
  • The difficulty of balancing work and school commitments.
  • What is your favorite illustration from a children’s book? Write an illustration essay about it.
  • Explicate how social media has changed the way we communicate with one another
  • the significance of music in our lives
  • The advantages and disadvantages of studying abroad.
  • The impact of social media on the college experience.
  • How has technology changed the way we learn? Write an illustration essay about it. 
  • “Rome was not built in a day.” Write an illustration essay exploring this proverb in depth. 
  • The impact of first impressions: write an illustration  essay examining how first impressions are made and why they matter
  • The difference between online and traditional college courses.
  • The difficulty of getting into a top college.

Illustration Essay Structure and Outline Sample Template 

A basic illustration essay consists of five paragraphs . The first paragraph is the introduction, which contains the thesis statement. The following three paragraphs are the body of the essay, each containing one or more examples supporting the thesis statement. Finally, the fifth paragraph is the conclusion, which restates the thesis and summarises the essay’s main points.

illustration argument essay

If you’re having trouble coming up with the structure for your illustration essay, or if you’re simply short on ideas, consider using this template. This template provides a structure for your essay and how to organise all the ideas you have.

illustration essay outline template and Free Sample

Illustration essay outline template.

illustration argument essay

Illustration Essay Outline Example

illustration argument essay

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Write an Illustration Essay

Here is the step-by-step guide that you can follow for writing an excellent illustration essay.

1. Planning 

The key to writing a successful illustration essay is planning. Without a clear plan, you can easily get lost when writing your essay without a clear plan. Planning involves listing the tasks you will do when writing your essay and creating schedules to avoid missing your deadline.

2. Choosing a Topic 

It’s no secret that choosing a good topic is the key to writing a successful essay. After all, how can you illustrate your point if you don’t have a good topic? Ensure the topic you pick is manageable, researchable and interesting. 

3. Research and Material gathering

One of the most important aspects of writing an illustration essay is conducting research and gathering material. This can be a challenge, especially if you’re unsure how to start. Here are a few tips to help you research and gather material for your essay:

First, take some time to brainstorm ideas. What topics or ideas do you want to illustrate? Once you have a general idea, start doing some research. Look for articles, books, and other sources to help you learn more about your topic. As you read, take notes on key points and concepts you want to include in your essay.

Next, start collecting examples. These could be real-life examples, such as personal experience s or events you’ve witnessed. Or, they could be fictional examples, such as stories or hypothetical situations. If you’re having trouble finding examples, try brainstorming different ways to illustrate your main points. For instance, if you’re trying to illustrate the concept of love, you might brainstorm examples that show how love can be painful, beautiful, or both.

4. Creating an Outline 

Creating an outline will make the writing process more manageable. Ensure your outline has the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion, and write briefly and add the ideas you would add in each section.

5. Write the Introduction and Thesis Statement 

The introduction is the first paragraph of your essay. The length of your paragraph will depend on the complexity of your topic and how much information you have gathered. 

The essay introduction should begin with a hook statement followed by factual background information. 

The last sentence of the introductory paragraph is the thesis statement. Your thesis statement should reflect your point of view. It is a one-sentence statement that tells the main point of the essay.

Illustration Essay Introduction Example

illustration argument essay

6. Write the Body Paragraphs 

The body paragraphs provide more details about your essay topics and expand the thesis statement.

Each body paragraph should begin with a topic sentence followed by strong supporting evidence and an example.

The stronger the evidence, the more interesting and convincing your essay. Ensure the illustration you provide to support a point must relate to the subject and your audience. You can also mention evidence in terms of importance, from important to least important or from least important to the most important.

Illustration Essay Body Paragraphs Example

illustration argument essay

7. Write the Conclusion for your Essay

When writing the conclusion, the first thing to do is reiterate the thesis statement. And then, give a summary of the whole article and emphasise the importance of your argument. Ensure to leave the reader with something to think about.

Illustration Essay Conclusion Example

illustration argument essay

8. Reference and Format Your Essay 

When writing an illustration essay, it is important to reference and format your paper correctly . Depending on the citation style that you are using, the format of your paper will vary. However, there are some general guidelines that you can follow. 

First, ensure that all sources are cited correctly throughout your paper. Each time you use a quote or statistic from another source, you should include a citation. 

Second, create a list of all the sources you used at the end of your illustration essay. This is typically called a bibliography, or works cited page.

 Finally, make sure that your paper is formatted correctly. This includes choosing the right font and margins and using headings and subheadings to organise your information. 

9. Proofread and Polish Your Essay 

Proofreading and polishing your illustration essay is an important step in writing. By taking the time to error-check your work, you can be sure that your essay will be clear and concise. Here are some tips on how to proofread and polish your illustration essay:

illustration argument essay

1. Read your essay aloud. This will help you catch errors that you might otherwise miss.

2. Use a spell checker. It will help you identify any typos or misspellings.

3. Have someone else read your essay. Another set of eyes can often spot errors that you have missed.

4. Take your time. Rushing through the proofreading process is more likely to result in mistakes.

Tips to Consider When Writing an Illustration Essay 

Here are things to consider while writing an illustration essay :

Avoid undebatable illustration topics

If you choose an undebatable topic for your essay, you will not be able to persuade your reader to see your point of view. Instead, you will simply be reiterating what they already know. For instance, everyone knows that the sky is blue, so there is no need to write an illustration essay about it. Instead, focus on choosing a topic that will allow you to illustrate a new idea or perspective. This way, you will be able to engage your reader and expand their understanding of the topic at hand.

Use Reliable Sources 

To choose appropriate examples and evidence for your essay, you must rely on credible sources. This means choosing sources that are trustworthy and authoritative.

illustration argument essay

Build a powerful thesis statement. 

An illustration essay is a type of argumentative writing, so your thesis must make a clear argument that you will support with examples. Building a solid thesis statement will make it easier for you to write a clear and effective essay.

Use Specific Examples 

Using specific examples to illustrate your point is important when writing an illustration essay. This directs the reader’s attention to your central idea and helps to make your argument more convincing. In addition, using concrete, rather than general, examples makes your writing more exciting and inviting to read. Therefore, when choosing examples to include in your essay, be specific and resonate with your readers . Doing so will ensure that your essay is both informative and engaging.

By following the simple guide we’ve outlined for you and using our sample illustration essay, you can write an A-grade paper yourself. Illustration essays are a fun way to share your original ideas with the world, and with a bit of practice, you can make yours shine. We hope this guide has been helpful and wish you luck on your upcoming illustration essay assignment!

illustration argument essay

Illustration Essay Example

What It Takes to Successfully Balance College Athletics and Schoolwork

Student’s Name

Institutional Affiliation

From a general perspective, the daily life of a college athlete is usually very busy and routine-oriented. Unlike an ordinary student who only focuses on their academic performance, an ambitious college athlete can by no chance settle for just a passing grade, neither will he/she be contented with emerging in the third position in athletic competition. The ambition is usually to emerge as the best on both fronts. To achieve this, the student-athlete ought to maintain a delicate balance between schoolwork and college athletics. This requires the student to always bear in mind that schoolwork is the main reason they are in college, set their priorities right, and always be ready to ask for help.

To begin with, to balance college athletics and schoolwork, student must understand that schoolwork is the main reason they are in college. While athletics may be a hobby, schoolwork is often the key purpose of students enrolling in college. In fact, in most cases, the students focus on their areas of study after college. It is also important to understand that if the goal is to become a professional player, student-athletes have to maintain a certain GPA. Therefore, to ensure that the school time is productive and impactful in the life of the student, studies should be given priority.

Additionally, the student has to set their priorities right. As mentioned above, excelling in both studies and athletics requires a delicate balance. This means that the student has to sometimes sacrifice other things such as social events for practice or a game. Here, planning the schedule ahead of time can help the student optimize their time for optimal performance.

Nonetheless, the student should not be afraid to ask for help. Sometimes, even with advance planning, things can get out of hand. For instance, the test timetable may collude with the practice schedule set by the coach. What the student should understand is that the professor and the coach understand how demanding college can be. Therefore, approaching either of them in advance and asking for extra support can come a long way, thereby enhancing the student’s balance between athletics and schoolwork.

In conclusion, college life for a student-athlete can be very demanding. This is because the student is expected to perform exemplary in both schoolwork and athletics, both of which requires time and devotion. As discussed above, to balance the two, the student ought to bear in mind that schoolwork is the main reason they are in college, set their priorities right, and always be ready to ask for help.

How many paragraphs should an illustration essay have?

The number of paragraphs in an illustration essay varies depending on the length of the essay and the number of examples used to illustrate the main point. A shorter essay may only have one or two body paragraphs, while a longer essay may have three or more.

How different is an illustration essay from other essays?

An illustration essay is a type of argumentative essay that uses examples to support its thesis. However, unlike other essays, an illustration essay does not rely solely on logic and reasoning to make its case. Instead, it uses concrete, specific examples to illustrate the point it is trying to make.

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Illustration Essay

Last updated on: May 29, 2023

Quick Steps to Write a Great Illustration Essay

By: Dorothy M.

Reviewed By: Jacklyn H.

Published on: Mar 22, 2023

Illustration Essay

Are you tired of boring, mundane essays that leave your reader snoozing? It's time to bring your writing to life with the power of illustration!

Well, no more! We'll be diving into the details of creating an exciting illustration essay, showing you how to add a creative flair and make your ideas truly pop. 

We'll cover everything from understanding the basics of illustration essay writing to giving you outlines and topics.

By the end of this guide, you'll have the tools you need to write engaging, visually-stunning essays that will leave the readers in awe. 

So, grab a pen and some paper, and let's get started on this illustration essay adventure!

Illustration Essay

On this Page

Illustration Essay Definition

“An illustration essay is a type of essay that uses vivid and specific examples to support or illustrate a thesis statement.” 

The purpose of an illustration essay is to explain or clarify a concept, idea, or argument by providing examples and evidence that help readers understand the topic in a deeper and more concrete way. 

Unlike other types of essays that rely mainly on textual evidence, illustration essays use examples, anecdotes, and personal experiences to demonstrate the writer's point. 

The goal of an illustration essay is not only to inform but also to engage the reader and create a clear and memorable picture of the topic being discussed.

How to Write an Illustration Essay?

Here is a step-by-step guide to writing a great illustration essay.

1. Choose a Topic

The first step to writing your illustration essay is finding a topic. Make sure you choose something that has plenty of material available for research online and will pique the interest of others reading it as well.

2. Conduct Some Research

By checking out the latest news, useful material, or sources you can develop a better understanding of the topic. It will also help you to explain the topic better.

3. Create an Outline

The first thing any potential writer should do is to create a rough outline. This way, the writing process will be much easier and allow for more creativity in crafting the message.

4. Write an Introduction

Knowing how to start an illustration essay the right way can make all the difference. 

This is the opening paragraph that typically contains 5 to 10 sentences. The number of sentences in the introduction depends on how complex a topic may be so it can range from five to ten (or even more).

In this introductory paragraph, you'll want to start with an attention-grabbing statement followed by some background information about your illustration essay's subject matter. The background could include historical events, current news, etc.

5. Write the Thesis Statement

An illustration essay thesis statement should be well-written and concise. An illustration essay should always have a well-written, concise thesis statement. This one sentence is your point of view when telling the story. Support the thesis statement through proper evidence and facts.

6. Body Paragraphs

The body section is the most extensive part of your essay, and it will be made up of 3 or more paragraphs. The first paragraph should introduce what you want to talk about. Each subsequent paragraph can have supporting details, examples, explanations, etc., but make sure they all flow together smoothly.

The body section in essays must contain at least three full paragraphs linked by a common theme. Each one should start with an intriguing introductory sentence before going into detail about how this point relates to your thesis statement.

Each paragraph should have adequate evidence to prove your point.

7. Conclusion

When it comes to writing an illustration essay, the conclusion is a critical section. It's the final opportunity to leave a lasting impression on your reader and to sum up your main ideas. 

To begin, it's important to reiterate your thesis statement and main points. Avoid introducing new information or ideas in the conclusion, as this can detract from the strength of your overall argument.

Next, consider the significance of your topic and the implications of your argument. Ask yourself, "So what?" and "Why does this matter?" This can help you to tie together your main points and make a final case for why your argument is important.

At last, you might consider offering a call to action or a final thought. Depending on your topic, this could be a recommendation for further research, a plea for action, or a reflection on the implications of your argument. This can help to leave a lasting impact on your reader and inspire them to think critically about the topic.

8. Proofread

The best way to make a paper perfect is by double-checking for grammar issues. Once you've completed the writing process, edit and proofread your essay so that it's free from any language mistakes.

Check out this illustration essay rubric to make proofreading easier and more effective!

Illustration Essay Outline

To write a strong essay, one should always start with an outline.

The following are the most commonly used outline for illustration essays.

Order Essay

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Transition Words for Illustration Essay

A professional writer uses transition phrases (such as firstly, secondly) that help readers follow along by connecting ideas together smoothly.

You should use these connectors when writing your own essays because they keep things tidy for you. Moreover, they ensure that whoever reads through your paper will have an easier time understanding how individual paragraphs fit into larger pieces.

  • For example
  • In other words
  • To illustrate
  • For instance
  • With the result that
  • As an illustration
  • In particular
  • Consequently
  • For this reason
  • Accordingly
  • As a result

Free Illustration Essay Example

Example papers are a great way to learn about a specific writing style. You can look at some professionally written illustration essay examples to better understand the correct writing style and tone for your next great story.

For your help, we have also provided you with an interesting example of an illustration essay about family.

Check out these essay samples:

Illustration Essay About Family

Illustration Essay Examples pdf

Illustration Essay on Social Media

How to Write an Exemplification Illustration Essay

Good Illustration Essay Topics

Coming up with a good illustration essay idea is the key to creating an interesting essay. Choosing a topic is the key to writing an effective illustration essay. It should be something you know about and find interesting, but it also needs relevance in today's society.

Here are some possible topics for an illustration essay:

  • Some useful studying habits for a high school and college student.
  • How to revitalize your hometown?
  • How to get proper exercise in college?
  • How to create a non-profit organization work guide?
  • Illustrate how to play disc golf.
  • Describe life in a particular dorm on campus.
  • Illustrate how to keep up good communication with your family?
  • Explain the difference between good and bad studying techniques.
  • Explain how to sell a product to a customer.
  • Explain how a grocery store works.
  • How to develop a good resume for college applications?
  • Rugby vs. other sports: what is the difference?
  • How to prepare for the first day on a sports team?

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Illustration Essay Writing Tips

Here are some tips that you can follow for writing a great illustration essay.

Choose a Topic That You Are Familiar With

When choosing a topic idea for your illustration essay, it is important to choose one that you are familiar with. This will make it easier for you to provide examples that illustrate your point. If you are not familiar with the topic, you may want to do some research to learn more about it.

Make a List of Examples

Once you have chosen a topic, make a list of examples that you can use to illustrate your point. These examples can be taken from your personal experience, current events, or from history. If you are having trouble coming up with examples, try brainstorming or doing a free write to get your ideas flowing.

Choose the Most Effective Example

Once you have a list of examples, take some time to consider which one will be the most effective in illustrating your point. The example should be clear and concise, and it should be something that your audience will be able to relate to. 

Check out this detailed video on how to write an illustration essay 

Write a Clear Thesis Statement

Knowing how to write a thesis for an illustration essay is essential. Your thesis statement is the main point of your essay, so it is important that it is clear and concise. The thesis statement should briefly state what you will be illustrating in the essay and why it is important.

Use Transitions Between Paragraphs

In order to keep your essay flowing smoothly, it is important to use transitions between paragraphs. Transitions help to create logical connections between ideas and make your argument easier to follow.

Want to make your essay more cohesive? Check out this list of transition words for essays to make your ideas flow!

Create a Vivid Description

In order to make your writing more engaging, it is important to create vivid descriptions of the examples that you are using. Use strong adjectives and sensory language to bring your examples to life.

It's not always easy to write an interesting and creative illustration essay. However, if you feel stuck on what to write about or how best to organize your thoughts, we can help! 

It's not always easy to write an interesting and creative illustration essay. However, if you feel stuck on what to write about or how best to organize your thoughts, we can help!

MyPerfectPaper.net is a professional " write a paper for me " service that can help no matter what writing help you require. We offer all sorts of writing services, including but not limited to all kinds of custom essay writing like illustration essays, narrative essays, etc. These all services are available 24 hours per day and 7 days per week.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What three parts make up an illustration paragraph.

An illustration paragraph is much more than just the title of an article. It's made up of a topic sentence, supporting sentences, and then wrapping it all together with one last concluding line.

What's the difference between illustration and description?

The difference between description and illustration is that a description can be seen as an account or sketch of something in words, while illustrations are more graphic depictions. For example, you might describe the sound "hmm" but use drawings to illustrate it instead.

Dorothy M.

Law, Jurisprudence

Dorothy M. is an experienced freelance writer with over five years of experience in the field. She has a wide client base, and her customers keep returning to her because of her great personalized writing. Dorothy takes care to understand her clients' needs and writes content that engages them and impresses their instructors or readers.

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Module 4: Writing in College

Illustration, learning objectives.

  • Describe techniques for illustrating a point

Illustration is a rhetorical style that uses examples to support the thesis or main idea of a paragraph or essay. Don’t be confused by the word “illustration” as the use of pictures or media. Illustration is most often used at the paragraph level to help support a point, but you may also encounter illustration essays of various types in your college courses.

A diagram showing how three examples together can lead to the point.

Figure 1 . More often than not, the style of illustration is used at the paragraph level of essay writing.

In an illustration essay or a paragraph that employs illustration, your focus is on using examples that are relevant and strong to your argument and appropriate for your audience.

The point of any illustration assignment is for the writer to assert an overall observation and back up that assertion with evidence-based examples. Like other rhetorical modes, it can be simply informative—providing a neutral presentation of information for readers to use to draw their own conclusions, or it can be argumentative—providing a stance or point of view on the topic. The key to organizing the overall essay is to decide on categories of main ideas that are needed to provide a comprehensive overview of the topic.

An Illustrative Thesis

The thesis statement for an illustration essay should convey the main point and suggest why further clarification or development of a deeper understanding of the topic is necessary or important.

  • The over-reliance on social media and texting has created an environment where people feel comfortable sharing critical feelings they would have previously kept to themselves.
  • Movies rely on excessive gore and violence to entertain audiences which may explain why book adaptations are more violent than the original text.
  • If money is no object, then a vacation to the Kanaapali Shores Beach Resort will satisfy a tourist’s paradise dream.

Using scientific studies, experts in a particular field, statistics, historical events, current events, analogies, and personal anecdotes are all ways in which a writer can illustrate a thesis. Ultimately, you want the evidence to help the reader “see” your point, as one would see a good illustration in a magazine or on a website. The stronger your evidence is, the more clearly the reader will consider your point.

Using evidence effectively can be challenging, though. The evidence you choose will usually depend on your subject and who your reader is (your audience). When writing an illustration essay, keep in mind the following:

  • Use evidence that is appropriate to your topic as well as appropriate for your audience.
  • Assess how much evidence you need to adequately explain your point depending on the complexity of the subject and the knowledge of your audience regarding that subject.

For example, if you are writing about a new communication software and your audience is a group of English-major undergrads, you might want to use an analogy or a personal story to illustrate how the software works. However, if you are writing about the same subject and your audience members are information technology (IT) specialists, your personal experience is less likely to be an effective illustration. Instead, you need to use more technical evidence because your audience has more familiarity with and greater knowledge of the subject.

Keeping your subject matter in mind in relation to your audience will increase your chances of effectively illustrating your point. Be careful not to overexplain simple concepts that your readers are already familiar with—you don’t want to insult their intelligence! Instead of more explanation, consider using an example.

Organizing an Illustration

The organization of an illustration essay depends on the purpose of the essay and requires a clear rationale for why the examples apply as an illustration of a concept. When pulling in examples, you may rely on words or phrases such as: for example, for instance, in particular, to illustrate, or specifically. 

Typically in a single supporting paragraph, a writer uses a topic sentence to designate the main idea followed by primary and secondary support structure. In a full essay devoted to illustration, primary supports are the main ideas to support a topic sentence, and secondary supports are the examples and details to provide the concrete information to complete the writer’s point.

Illustration Essay Outline

Introduction and Thesis:

  • Purpose of Illustration: To demonstrate how a vacation at the Kanaapali Shores Beach Club Resort is enjoyable and affordable.

Primary support 1: The hotel amenities

  • Secondary supporting details: the room, the bed, the bathroom, the kitchenette, the view, the concierge services

Primary support 2: The restaurants

  • Secondary supporting details: the variety of food, the quality of food, the service, the ambiance

Primary support 3: The beach and activities

  • Secondary supporting details: the beauty of the sand, sky, and water; sunbathing, snorkeling, windsurfing

Primary support 4: The cost

  • Secondary supporting details: the price of the room per night, the prices of meals, the price of activities/entertainment

SAMPLE Illustration Essay

Now that you have had the chance to learn about illustration essays, it’s time to see one in practice. Here you’ll see a traditional or typical sample illustration essay from a beginning writing class. In this assignment, the student was asked to write an essay using illustration to make his points, to follow APA guidelines, and to use at least two sources.

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  • Organizing an Illustration. Authored by : Marianne Botos, Lynn McClelland, Stephanie Polliard, Pamela Osback . Located at : https://pvccenglish.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/eng-101-inside-pages-proof2-no-pro.pdf . Project : Horse of a Different Color: English Composition and Rhetoric . License : CC BY: Attribution
  • Illustration Essay. Provided by : Excelsior College Online Writing Lab. Located at : https://owl.excelsior.edu/rhetorical-styles/illustration-essay/ . License : CC BY: Attribution

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7 Illustration and Exemplification

To  illustrate  means to show or demonstrate something clearly through the use of evidence. To  exemplify  means to demonstrate through the use of examples.  This is a technique that can stand alone but is most often used within an essay to demonstrate the various points that an essay is offering as it supports it thesis. Effective  illustration  clearly demonstrates and supports a point through the use of evidence.

A writer can use different types of evidence to support his or her thesis. Using scientific studies, experts in a particular field, statistics, historical events, current events, analogies, and personal anecdotes are all ways in which a writer can illustrate a thesis. A variety of evidence is needed to demonstrate the validity of any thesis.  Ultimately, you want the evidence to help the reader “see” your point, as one would see a good illustration in a magazine or on a website.  This I Believe     (https://thisibelieve.org/) is a website that collects essays that illustrate core values and beliefs. Visit  the  program’s website for some examples.

The stronger your evidence is, the more clearly the reader will consider your point. Using evidence effectively can be challenging, though. The evidence you choose will usually depend on your subject, your essay’s purpose, and your audience.  When writing an illustration essay, keep in mind the following:

  • Use evidence that is appropriate for your topic as well as appropriate for your audience.
  • Assess how much evidence you need to adequately explain your point , which depends on the complexity of the subject and the knowledge of your audience regarding that subject.

For example, if you were writing about a new communication software and your audience was a group of English-major undergrads, you might want to use an analogy or a personal story to illustrate how the software worked. You might also choose to add a few more pieces of evidence to make sure the audience understands your point. However, if you were writing about the same subject and your audience members were information technology (IT) specialists, you would likely use more technical evidence because they would be familiar with the subject.

Keeping in mind your subject in relation to your audience will increase your chances of effectively illustrating your point.

You never want to insult your readers’ intelligence by over-explaining concepts the audience members may already be familiar with, but it may be necessary to clearly articulate your point. When in doubt, add an extra example to illustrate your idea.

On a separate piece of paper, form a thesis based on each of the following three topics. Then list the types of evidence that would best explain your point for each audience.

  • Topic: Combat and mental health
  • Audience: family members of veterans, doctors
  • Topic: Video games and teen violence
  • Audience: parents, children
  • Topic: Architecture and earthquakes
  • Audience: engineers, local townspeople

The Structure of an Illustration Essay

The controlling idea, or thesis, often belongs at the beginning of the essay. Evidence is then presented in the essay’s body paragraphs, to support the thesis. As you decide how to present your evidence, consider order of importance, then decide whether you want to with your strongest evidence first, or start with evidence of lesser importance and have the essay build to increasingly stronger evidence. The table below shows the connection between order and purpose.

Figure 5.4 Order Versus Purpose

Order Vs Purpose

The time transition words listed in the table above are also helpful in ordering the presentation of evidence. Words like  first ,  second ,  third ,  currently ,  next , and  finally  all help orient the reader and sequence evidence clearly. Because an illustration essay uses so many examples, it is also helpful to have a list of words and phrases to present each piece of evidence. The table below provides a list of phrases for illustration.

Figure 5.5 Phrases of Illustration

Phrases of Illustration

Vary the phrases of illustration you use. Do not rely on just one. Variety in choice of words and phrasing is critical when trying to keep readers engaged in your writing and your ideas.

Writing at Work

In the workplace, it is often helpful to keep the phrases of illustration in mind as a way to incorporate them whenever you can. Whether you are writing out directives that colleagues will have to follow or requesting a new product or service from another company, making a conscious effort to incorporate a phrase of illustration will force you to provide examples of what you mean.

On a separate sheet of paper, form a thesis based on one of the following topics. Then support that thesis with three pieces of evidence. Make sure to use a different phrase of illustration to introduce each piece of evidence you choose.

Collaboration: Please share with a classmate and compare your answers. Discuss which topic you like the best or would like to learn more about. Indicate which thesis statement you perceive as the most effective.

Writing an Illustration Essay

First, decide on a topic that you feel interested in writing about. Then create an interesting introduction to engage the reader. The main point, or thesis, should be stated at the end of the introduction.

Gather evidence that is appropriate to both your subject and your audience. You can order the evidence in terms of importance, either from least important to most important or from most important to least important. Be sure to fully explain all of your examples using strong, clear supporting details.

Choose a motto or other inspirational statement that appeals to you. Using the aspects outlined above, write a paragraph that illustrates this statement. Remember to include specific examples and description to illustrate your interpretation of this statement.

Assignment 4

Choosing either a topic from Exercise 7 or Exercise 8 write a minimum five paragraph illustration essay.

Key Takeaways

  • An illustration essay clearly explains a main point using evidence.
  • When choosing evidence, always gauge whether the evidence is appropriate for the subject as well as the audience.
  • Organize the evidence in terms of importance, either from least important to most important or from most important to least important.
  • Use time transitions to order evidence.
  • Use phrases of illustration to highlight examples.

Student Sample: Illustration/Example Essay

Letter to the City

To: Lakeview Department of Transportation

From: A Concerned Citizen

The intersection of Central Avenue and Lake Street is dangerous and demands immediate consideration for the installation of a controlling mechanism. I have lived in Lakeview my entire life, and during that time I have witnessed too many accidents and close calls at that intersection. I would like the Department of Transportation to answer this question: how many lives have to be lost on the corner of Central Avenue and Lake Street before a street light or stop sign is placed there?

Over the past twenty years, the population of Lakeview has increased dramatically. This population growth has put tremendous pressure on the city’s roadways, especially Central Avenue and its intersecting streets. At the intersection of Central Avenue and Lake Street it is easy to see how serious this problem is. For example, when I try to cross Central Avenue as a pedestrian, I frequently wait over ten minutes for the cars to clear, and even then I must rush to the median. I will then have to continue to wait until I can finally run to the other side of the street. On one hand, even as a physically fit adult, I can run only with significant effort and care. Expecting a senior citizen or a child to cross this street, on the other hand, is extremely dangerous and irresponsible. Does the city have any plans to do anything about this?

Recent data show that the intersection of Central Avenue and Lake Street has been especially dangerous. According to the city’s own statistics, three fatalities occurred at that intersection in the past year alone. Over the past five years, the intersection witnessed fourteen car accidents, five of which were fatal. These numbers officially qualify the intersection as the most fatal and dangerous in the entire state. It should go without saying that fatalities and accidents are not the clearest way of measuring the severity of this situation because for each accident that happens, countless other close calls never contribute to city data. I hope you will agree that these numbers alone are sufficient evidence that the intersection at Central Avenue and Lake Street is hazardous and demands immediate attention.

Nearly all accidents mentioned are caused by vehicles trying to cross Central Avenue while driving on Lake Street. I think the City of Lakeview should consider placing a traffic light there to control the traffic going both ways. While I do not have access to any resources or data that can show precisely how much a traffic light can improve the intersection, I think you will agree that a controlled busy intersection is much safer than an uncontrolled one. Therefore, at a minimum, the city must consider making the intersection a four-way stop.

Each day that goes by without attention to this issue is a lost opportunity to save lives and make the community a safer, more enjoyable place to live. Because the safety of citizens is the priority of every government, I can only expect that the Department of Transportation and the City of Lakeview will act on this matter immediately. For the safety and well-being of Lakeview citizens, please do not let bureaucracy or money impede this urgent project.

A Concerned Citizen

External Links

“ April & Paris ” (https://tinyurl.com/y9rgud9b) by David Sedaris:  In “April & Paris,” writer David Sedaris explores the unique impact of animals on the human psyche.

“ She’s Your Basic L.O.L. in N.A.D ” (https://tinyurl.com/y7ocnnl5) by Perri Klass:  In “She’s Your Basic L.O.L. in N.A.D,” pediatrician and writer Perri Klass discusses the medical-speak she encountered in her training as a doctor and its underlying meaning.

Jessica Bennett, a senior writer for  Newsweek , offers an example of an illustration essay when she presents  The Flip Side of Internet Fame   (https://tinyurl.com/y9yjmqt9). You can also see the essay  here  (https://tinyurl.com/y7vd53db) .

English 101: Journey Into Open Copyright © 2021 by Christine Jones is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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How to Write an Illustration Essay: Quick and Easy Guide

illustration argument essay

How to Write an Illustration Essay: All You Need to Know

Creating an illustrative essay entails more than simply sketching a few beautiful images, even though some might believe that they are easy because they can incorporate drawings into the writing. To excel in this type of work and enhance the visual appeal of your piece, it demands both time and a solid comprehension of the subject matter.

Students can master this academic writing style by consulting guides and examples. So, to acquire comprehensive guidance on crafting an exceptional illustration essay from beginning to end, check out our article to discover the definition, suggested themes, and guidelines for creating an uncontested paper from beginning to end.

Illustration Essay Definition

To give you a clear idea of your first potential question on the concept of - what is an illustration essay - here is a simple definition from our essay writing service : Illustration papers serve as a form of written composition employed to present instances or examples of a particular concept or idea. These essays commonly incorporate visuals and other illustrations to aid in explaining the discussed concept.

Similar to other essay types, this paper typically commences with a thesis statement that establishes the main overarching theme of the work and provides a preview of what readers can expect. Subsequently, a series of examples are presented throughout the essay to support the thesis statement. While illustrative elements can be found in other types of essays, such as argumentative essays, this type of work must avoid presenting claims or personal opinions.

How to Write an Illustration Essay: Steps To Begin

Let's take a journey together with our essay writer to learn how to start writing your paper. By following these steps, you'll be able to bring your illustration essay ideas to life and make a strong impact on your readers.

How to Write an Illustration Essay_ Steps To Begin

Step 1: Select a Topic

If you are given the freedom to choose your illustration essay topics, take full advantage of it. Consider selecting a subject you are passionate about, so you will be motivated to explore it further, and the writing process will not feel burdensome.

Step 2. Research

Embrace research as your closest companion. When embarking on your work, refrain from diving into writing before gathering ample material. It is crucial to locate credible sources from which you can extract relevant information. Platforms such as Oxford Academic and Google Scholar prove excellent for conducting your research.

Step 3. Write an Outline

While some students argue that creating an outline is a futile task, it actually serves as a valuable step. When constructing your outline, be sure to incorporate the following components:

  • Introductory paragraph: Introduce the topic, provide background information, clarify the significance and relevance of the topic, and present a strong thesis statement.
  • Body paragraphs: Present your ideas in a logical and organized manner. Dedicate each paragraph with a topic sentence to discuss a single idea, utilize transitional devices to enhance the flow between paragraphs, and strive for paragraph coherence.
  • Conclusion: Restate the thesis statement, summarize the main ideas discussed in the body paragraphs, and provide a concluding statement that wraps up the entire paper.

Step 4. Write Your Ideas

Having completed the necessary steps thus far, crafting an outstanding essay should pose no difficulty. Simply transform your main ideas into concise paragraphs and bolster each one with the appropriate supporting evidence.

Step 5. Review

After completing your essay, it is essential to give it a thorough editing. Take the time to read through it once or twice to identify any grammatical, structural, or contextual errors. Additionally, ensure that your essay is free from any instances of plagiarism.

Step 6. Enjoy Your Perfect Essay

By considering the aforementioned steps, you should now be able to appreciate your perfectly completed essay. Keep in mind that the writing process can be painless when you follow our expert tips (more to come below!), leading to a flawless outcome.

Why Write Illustration Essay: Purpose and Importance 

The primary objective of illustration essays is to facilitate readers in comprehending a concept or argument with clarity by presenting tangible and illustrative examples and evidence. The examples utilized in this type of paper should be pertinent, vibrant, and precise, enabling readers to understand and visualize the topic being discussed.

Illustrative writing can prove advantageous for both the writer and the readers. On the one hand, this type of assignment enhances a student's creativity and comprehensive abilities. On the other hand, it stimulates the reader's imagination as they are required to mentally construct a visual representation.

If you find yourself uncertain about how to start an illustration essay, one approach is to delve into your personal experiences that are relevant to the topic or subject matter. Reflect on real-life examples or incidents that can effectively illustrate the concept you intend to discuss. By drawing from your own experiences, you can provide authentic and relatable illustrations for your essay.

Main Tips For Writing

If you are still unsure about how to write an illustration essay and need additional tips, you've come to the right place! Make the most of the advice provided below.

Main Tips For Writing

Collect Evidence - When embarking on your academic essay , refrain from diving into writing before gathering ample material. This type of writing necessitates the inclusion of numerous examples, so acquire a multitude of firsthand examples from professional writers.

Be Concise - Aim for precise and focused illustrations, steering clear of unnecessary elaboration or lengthy descriptions. Keep your examples concise while ensuring they retain clarity and effectiveness.

Provide Concrete Instances - Opt for specific illustration essay examples that vividly depict your points. The inclusion of specific details enhances the clarity and impact of your illustrations, making them more relatable and captivating to readers.

Rely on Reliable Sources - Make use of trustworthy and credible sources when gathering examples and evidence. This approach bolsters the credibility and reliability of your essay. Consider referencing scholarly articles, academic books, reliable websites, or expert opinions to reinforce your arguments.

Ensure Clear Expression - Ensure the clarity and comprehensibility of your illustrations. Avoid ambiguity or confusion by offering ample context and explanation. Take the time to review your essay, ensuring that your examples effectively convey the intended message and provide support for your thesis statement.

Topics for Illustration Essay: Choose The Best One

Presented below are a collection of ideas to ignite your creativity when writing an illustration essay. Feel free to explore and adapt them according to your personal interests and the specific guidelines of your assignment.

  • Student Life:

a. The Challenges and Benefits of Balancing Academics and Extracurricular Activities

b. The Impact of Peer Pressure on College Students' Decision-Making

  • Personal Development:

a. The Role of Traveling in Broadening a College Student's Perspective

b. The Benefits of Mindfulness and Meditation for Stress Reduction in College Life

  • Social Relationships:

a. The Influence of Social Media on Interpersonal Communication Skills

b. The Importance of Developing Healthy Boundaries in Friendships and Relationships

  • Career and Future Planning:

a. Exploring Alternative Career Paths: Non-Traditional Options for College Graduates

b. The Significance of Internships in Gaining Practical Experience and Building Professional Networks

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Illustration Essay Examples

Exploring our collection of expertly crafted illustration paper examples offers a valuable opportunity to delve deeper into the intricacies of this writing style. Utilize the vivid examples below as a point of reference as you refine your own writing skills.

We also recommend taking a look at our comprehensive guide on a narrative essay , complete with examples.

To wrap up, by thoughtfully selecting enthralling examples, conducting meticulous research, and skillfully presenting them with clarity, your illustration essay has the potential to transform into a captivating masterpiece. Allow your imagination to roam free, infuse your prose with the enchantment of visual storytelling, and embark on an extraordinary odyssey where ideas flourish, and comprehension deepens.

And if you still find it challenging, buy essay from our creative writers who will infuse vitality into your essay through illustrations that invigorate, leaving readers uplifted, enlightened, and yearning for more!

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Good Illustration Essay Topics & Ideas for Your Help

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An illustration essay is one of the most interesting essay assignments that you will get in your college and university life. It is a unique style of writing and very different from other types of academic essays. 

A deep understanding of what exactly an illustration essay is and how to write a perfect one is important for success with this kind of work.

If you are new to illustration essays and don’t know how to start, our blog is here to help!

In this blog, you will find out how to write an illustration essay. You will also get a list of illustration essay ideas and samples to help you get started. 

So let’s dive in!

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Illustration Essay Definition

An illustration essay is a type of essay that aims to present a compelling and vivid picture of a particular subject or personal experiences. 

Unlike other essays that may focus solely on presenting arguments or analyzing data. An exemplification/illustration essay employs various examples, anecdotes, or scenarios to provide clarity and support for the chosen topic. 

Purpose of Writing an Illustration Essay 

The goal of an illustration essay is to paint a picture for the reader, helping them understand the subject through real-life instances or relatable situations. 

This type of essay allows the writer to showcase their ability to express ideas in a relatable manner, making it an engaging and informative piece of writing.

In simpler words, think of an illustration essay as a bunch of pictures or examples that come together to create a clear and detailed image of the chosen topic. It's a way of making the subject more alive and easy to understand for the reader.

Check out this video to improve your understanding of illustration essays:

Read on to get a step-by-step guide on how to write one yourself!

How to Write an Illustration Essay?

Here is the step-by-step guide that you can follow for writing a great illustration essay:

1. Choose a Topic 

The first step is to choose an interesting topic for your essay. Make sure the topic you choose has enough material available online.     2. Plan Your Writing 

Once you have decided on the topic, start planning your essay. Find credible sources before starting to write your essay. In this way, you will have plenty of information and examples to include in your essay. 

3. Creating an Outline

Create a rough outline to make the writing easier. Make sections for the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion, and write ideas you would add to each section. 

4. Introduction & Thesis Statement

Here’s the answer to “how to start an illustration essay?”

Introduction is the opening paragraph that typically contains 5 to 10 sentences. The number of sentences in the introduction depends on the complexity of the topic. 

The essay introduction should begin with a hook statement followed by some background information. End your introduction with the thesis statement. 

It is important to include a well-written thesis statement at the end of the introductory paragraph. The thesis statement for illustration essay should reflect your point of view. It is basically a one-sentence statement that tells the readers what you will discuss in your essay. 

Here is an illustration essay thesis example:

5. Body Paragraphs

This body section is typically made up of 3 paragraphs, but the number can be increased depending on the topic. In an illustration essay the body paragraphs should begin with a topic sentence followed by some supporting details and an example. 

Make sure to include stronger evidence to support the thesis. The stronger the evidence is, the more seriously the reader will consider your point. Make sure the illustration you provide to support a point must relate to the subject and your audience. 

You can also mention evidence in terms of importance, either from important to least important or from least important to the most important. 

6. Conclusion 

Create a summary of the whole essay in the last paragraph. Then, reiterate the thesis statement and include a finishing statement in the last. 

7. Add References 

An illustration essay may require you to use empirical data and other research material. Don’t forget to state the sources on the final page of the essay. Follow the referencing style specified by your instructor. 

8. Proofread 

Once you have finished the writing process, proofread your essay for any mistakes in grammar or structure. Edit and revise your essay to make sure it is free from any language mistakes. 

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Illustration Essay Outline

Below you can find the most common layout of the illustration essay. 

Below you can find a sample illustration essay outline that you can refer to for a better understanding. 

Illustration Essay Outline Example

Free Illustration Essay Examples

You can look at some professionally written illustration essay examples to better understand the correct writing style and tone for a great essay. 

Here are some illustration essay examples that you can review before beginning the writing process. 

Illustration Essay on Social Media

Example Illustration Essay on Smoking

Illustration Essay Sample

Illustration Essay Examples Pdf

Illustration Essay Examples For College

Illustration Essay Introduction Examples

Transition Words for Illustration Essay 

Transition words and phrases are important to include for a smooth flow of information. However, students sometimes find it difficult to have a smooth transition in this type of essay.  

Using transitions in your essay will make it easy for you to maintain a flow in your writing and for the readers to understand the connection in between. 

Here’s a list of transition words and phrases that will come in handy for writing an illustration essay: 

  • For example
  • For instance
  • To illustrate
  • In other words
  • As an illustration
  • In particular
  • The result that
  • Consequently
  • Accordingly
  • For this reason
  • As a result

Illustration Essay Topics 

Choosing the right topic is the key point in crafting an outstanding essay. Below you can find some good illustration essay topics for college to choose from. 

  • What are the best hobbies that can help you make money? 
  • Illustrate how a good education can lead to a successful life
  • Explain your views on your favorite social media platform
  • What is the most common challenge faced by Students today?
  • What are the necessary steps for writing a resume? 
  • Rugby and football: Write about the main differences
  • Status symbol and Fashion shows: Share your views with examples 
  • What are the most effective ways to save money?
  • Write about the challenges currently faced by students
  • Explain how movies impact our view of life

Looking for more great topics for your illustrative essay? Browse through our list of illustration essay topics !

Illustration Essay Writing Tips

Ready to start writing your illustration essay? Keep these tips in mind to make the process easier.

  • Define the Focus of Your Illustration Essay:

Before you start writing your essay, it is important to clearly identify the focus of your illustration essay. This will help to ensure that you are able to effectively illustrate your points in an organized and concise manner.

  • Use Illustrative Examples:

Make sure to include examples to support your points in your essay. These can be real-world examples that illustrate a point or hypothetical situations designed to show how certain aspects of the topic work.

  • Check for Clarity:

Once you’ve finished writing your essay, read it over and make sure it’s clear and easily understood. If there are any areas of confusion or ambiguity, revise them to ensure the reader understands your point.

  • Use Credible Sources:

If you’re going to include any facts or figures in your essay, make sure they are accurate and up-to-date. Before including them, make sure to check their credibility with reliable sources. This will help improve the authority of your essay.

  • Proofread Carefully:

Finally, proofread carefully for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and other errors. Make sure to edit and proofread your essay before submitting it. This will help to ensure that your essay is as polished and professional as possible.

Following these tips will let you write an excellent illustration essay. So be sure to keep these in mind while writing.

To conclude,

Hopefully, now you understand what an illustration essay is and the necessary steps for writing a perfect one. 

If you are still unsure how to write a good illustration essay, get help from expert essay writers. MyPerfectWords.com is a legit essay writing service that can help you with all of your essay writing tasks.

Just hire our top essay writer and get the best illustration essay writing help from experts.

Barbara P (Literature, Marketing)

Dr. Barbara is a highly experienced writer and author who holds a Ph.D. degree in public health from an Ivy League school. She has worked in the medical field for many years, conducting extensive research on various health topics. Her writing has been featured in several top-tier publications.

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150 fascinating illustration essay topics of any level.

October 13, 2021

If in your English class you’re asked to create illustrative essay ideas, what do you write? Some students don’t know that illustrative writing is similar to descriptive writing. There is no switch to it. However, for a more precise understanding, you’ll learn what an illustrative essay means.

illustration essay topics

What is an Illustrative Essay?

An illustrative essay is detailed and informative writing which reflects the knowledge of a particular thing the way it is. Otherwise known as an exemplification paper or essay, it includes accurate data and stories.

An illustrative essay doesn’t only provide ideas on human experiences. It offers relevant examples and statistics to demonstrate the event and situations as a fact. This is why an illustrative essay is the reimagination of an event by both the writer and the reader to publicize human experiences. This is why it is the same as descriptive essays.

However, how do you write an illustrative essay? What about illustration paragraph topics, and how are they all structured? As you already know, an illustrative essay must demonstrate an event through the use of facts and evidence. To write one, you need to consider what’s below:

Outline of How to Write Illustrative Essays

Creating illustration topics or topics for illustration essays is sometimes difficult for students. Aside from this, it becomes more Herculean to write the article due to a lack of knowledge about the process. However, it’s been discovered that it is the simplest form of essays to write. This is because you’re translating previous experiences into reality. To write an illustrative essay, observe:

  • Introduction This is the first part of an essay where your readers learn what the essay is all about. Even after getting good illustration essay topics, you need to explain what the essay will be about. This is the paragraph that is considered the attention-getter. Many believe that you can only keep your readers hooked with a strong first paragraph. You can do this by stating relevant and essential facts, quoting any scholar, and making personal anecdotes. By providing background information, you can have a final sentence stating the question(s) your essay will answer.
  • Body Paragraphs This is where you keep different pieces of evidence to support your perspectives on the essay. This is where you analyze everything you know about the essay. Already, you must have had an outline on how each point will be elucidated. You must have also concluded how you’ll keep your readers glued to you through each paragraph. While you do all these, do not forget that you’re illustrating. You must always support each statement of fact with a piece of evidence. You can also attempt storytelling. These examples make it possible to believe everything you write in your essay.
  • Conclusion This is the final part of illustrative writing. At this point, you’ll repeat the most vital points of your argument. This shows that readers have assessed these points in the essay, and they’re like the takeaways. Thus, they must be short, detailed, brief, and focus on what the reader must’ve learned.

To follow this structure, these are illustration essay topics listed for you.

Topics for Illustration Essays

You may need to develop creative illustration topics or custom illustration essay ideas as an academic requirement for your next assignment. Rather than comb through different pages on the internet, you can write on any of these:

  • Illustrate fundamental career prospects of students you’ve spoken with, including their Plan Bs
  • How do you think people view their beauty since the rise of Instagram?
  • Would you rationalize why students survive on little to no pocket fee?
  • What do you think should make up a good resume?
  • What are the thoughts youths consider before joining a peer group?
  • What is your worst experience of religion yet?
  • What is your worst experience in school yet?
  • What was the most embarrassing time for you as a student?
  • What do you think about people with disability who believes they could do great things too?
  • Examine the impact of any food of your choice on the body
  • What do you think is the most effective teaching method for your teachers?
  • What do you think about cultural diversity, and how can traveling enhance it?
  • Describe an activity you meticulously did
  • Describe the extent to which the environmental hazards can impact you
  • Describe a natural disaster you’ve once experienced
  • Describe the events of 9/11 and its significance to America
  • The French and its allies have been said to have created ISIL. What do you think about the occupation of North Africa, especially Libya, in 2010?
  • Explain the method involved in doing facial beauty
  • Examine the factors to be considered while creating a professional profile
  • What is your experience with cloning, and should it be banned?
  • Divorce: drawing on the story of anyone, do you think there should be liberal laws about divorce?
  • Explain what you understand by responsible studenthood
  • Examine the challenges faced by children everyday outside school
  • Examine the problems faced by students within campus and outside the campus
  • Write about an experience of bullying
  • Do you think smoking in public places is okay?
  • What are the steps involved in applying for a student loan?
  • Describe your family’s favorite vacation spot and why
  • Describe the potential job you want to do and why
  • Describe the process of getting a licensed firearm
  • Describe the role of your favorite character in your favorite role
  • Demonstrate the cruelty sexual violence is all about
  • Describe how movies impact your perspectives about life
  • Do you think the film you see affects how you feel?
  • Describe how some youths became strong drug use
  • Describe the advertisement you consider exceptional and why?
  • Describe the process of shopping online in a store of your choice
  • Examine why some people still opt for the physical retail store over online ones
  • Describe how education help equip yourself?
  • Examine the difference between a college degree and a diploma degree
  • What are your views about any recent political issue?
  • Write the factors an average father consider when buying a car
  • Describe what you understand by a tornado from previous events
  • Describe the factors leading to the success of the American evolution
  • Describe how women play leading roles in a society that keeps them away
  • Describe the activities of a charity you’d like to bankroll
  • Examine the benefits of robot engineering
  • Examine the processes involved in child reproduction according to biology
  • Describe any theory in science according to your thoughts
  • Why did Karl Marx call religion “the opium of the masses,” and why did Sigmund Freud say it is the “return of the repressed”?

Illustration Paper Topics

You may additionally need topics for an illustrative essay or a paper. You may need this for a presentation or your undergraduate long essay. You can consider the following illustration topic ideas:

  • Describe a religious ceremony and practice you once witnessed and its importance to sociology
  • Explain what it feels like to be homeless in contemporary America
  • Examine the history of any city and explain how you connect with its past
  • Describe the process in which women can protect themselves from men
  • Describe a few signs of friendship in romantic relationships
  • Examine the operation of any natural disaster in two cities of your choice
  • Illustrate the course of any of the world wars in history
  • Illustrate your experience of any museum dedicated to black art
  • Describe a significant part of the history of any native town
  • Examine the processes involved in investigating a murder case
  • Illustrate the considerable difference between print media over digital media, which makes it the best choice
  • Assess the significance of teamwork spirit
  • Describe the problems of teachers in education today
  • Take a trip to the football stadium and illustrate the ecstasy fans feel for their favorites
  • What do you think about celebrities and the respect they command?
  • Describe how effective transportation is in America
  • Discuss the basic concepts of democracy and how it has been achieved in America
  • What are the basic features of antiquity?
  • Describe the significance of coffee houses in incubating their minds during the period of Enlightenment in Europe
  • “The customer is always right,” examine how it ruins business
  • Give an assessment of a week in the life of s surgeon
  • Give an account of how to determine career interests
  • Why is science the end of religion?
  • Why is Mechanical Engineering the end of humans?
  • Which profession is most indispensable?
  • Illustrate how aircraft engage in capacity planning for their customers
  • Detail the experiences of a construction worker
  • Illustrate the law of karma
  • Examine work challenges with difficult employees
  • Illustrate the activity of any NGO of your choice
  • Examine the history and prospects of 5G technology
  • What do you think about the transition to digital banks?
  • Give an overview of the entertainment industry in the UK
  • Discuss why an international prize of your choice is overrated
  • Illustrate the typical gay life in America
  • Illustrate the challenges of multiple cultures in America
  • Illustrate the challenges of religion in America
  • Examine the process of adopting a child in America and its role in relieving orphanage homeowners
  • Discuss the purpose of dog rescue
  • With concrete examples, illustrate five native American cultures

Illustration Essay Topics on Parents

Writing an illustrative essay may also require you to generate one of the best illustration topics for your professor. As college students, you can consider the following about parenthood:

  • Give an overview of parenting according to your experience of parents
  • What do you know about single mothers?
  • Detail the experiences of childbirth for many American women
  • Explain the sense of responsibility from parents with relevant samples
  • Examine how difficult it is to manage work and life together
  • Illustrate a time your mum was delighted
  • Illustrate your encounter of parents fighting for the right of their respective kids
  • Examine the American Tradition that commands respect for parents
  • How can parents and children develop practical communication skills?
  • How can parents care for their LGBTQ kids?
  • Do the research and describe parents’ response to the LGBTQ community.
  • Examine how social development involves parents and guidance
  • Examine why some kids run away from this
  • Examine the significance of having a parent
  • Illustrate the everyday challenges of kids in the family
  • Examine what you understand about class struggle
  • Illustrate why parents often have conflict amongst themselves
  • Citing any family movie, why does either partner start a fight?
  • What does domestic abuse in the home mean to you?
  • Go to a market and illustrate any problem you see take place

Exemplification Essay Topics for College Students

Other illustrative essay ideas may be considered for high grades as a college or university student. You can consider the following to craft an intelligent essay:

  • What is your view of the series Captain America?
  • What is your opinion of the series Squid Game?
  • Examine why studying is important to college students
  • Illustrate your worst date experience
  • Illustrate the significance of teachers on student development
  • Illustrate a few ways to ask someone out
  • Illustrate a prank you pulled and you never could again
  • Examine challenges and fear of students in growing older?
  • What has changed your view of religion over the years as a college student?
  • What has inspired the traditions of football and other sports in the world today?
  • Describe in detail how social media has affected relationships
  • Illustrate how the COVID-19 pandemic affected relationships
  • Examine how students can embrace personal branding
  • Illustrate the story of Freddie Mercury as a rock star
  • Write the biography of any music legend of your choice
  • Discuss the challenges of any of your heroes or heroine
  • Illustrate the traveling process and its benefits
  • What are the stages personal branding must undergo?
  • What are your ideas on religion, and how did you arrive at them?
  • Examine the phases of the Homecoming event on campus
  • Speak with one of your most demanding professors and document his lifestyle
  • Examine the history of your campus motto and its significance today
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  • Illustrate the persistent cold war between America and China
  • Describe the experience of any of your teachers and how they have coped with oppressive bosses
  • Describe how procrastination affects students
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Need to defend your opinion on an issue? Argumentative essays are one of the most popular types of essays you’ll write in school. They combine persuasive arguments with fact-based research, and, when done well, can be powerful tools for making someone agree with your point of view. If you’re struggling to write an argumentative essay or just want to learn more about them, seeing examples can be a big help.

After giving an overview of this type of essay, we provide three argumentative essay examples. After each essay, we explain in-depth how the essay was structured, what worked, and where the essay could be improved. We end with tips for making your own argumentative essay as strong as possible.

What Is an Argumentative Essay?

An argumentative essay is an essay that uses evidence and facts to support the claim it’s making. Its purpose is to persuade the reader to agree with the argument being made.

A good argumentative essay will use facts and evidence to support the argument, rather than just the author’s thoughts and opinions. For example, say you wanted to write an argumentative essay stating that Charleston, SC is a great destination for families. You couldn’t just say that it’s a great place because you took your family there and enjoyed it. For it to be an argumentative essay, you need to have facts and data to support your argument, such as the number of child-friendly attractions in Charleston, special deals you can get with kids, and surveys of people who visited Charleston as a family and enjoyed it. The first argument is based entirely on feelings, whereas the second is based on evidence that can be proven.

The standard five paragraph format is common, but not required, for argumentative essays. These essays typically follow one of two formats: the Toulmin model or the Rogerian model.

  • The Toulmin model is the most common. It begins with an introduction, follows with a thesis/claim, and gives data and evidence to support that claim. This style of essay also includes rebuttals of counterarguments.
  • The Rogerian model analyzes two sides of an argument and reaches a conclusion after weighing the strengths and weaknesses of each.

3 Good Argumentative Essay Examples + Analysis

Below are three examples of argumentative essays, written by yours truly in my school days, as well as analysis of what each did well and where it could be improved.

Argumentative Essay Example 1

Proponents of this idea state that it will save local cities and towns money because libraries are expensive to maintain. They also believe it will encourage more people to read because they won’t have to travel to a library to get a book; they can simply click on what they want to read and read it from wherever they are. They could also access more materials because libraries won’t have to buy physical copies of books; they can simply rent out as many digital copies as they need.

However, it would be a serious mistake to replace libraries with tablets. First, digital books and resources are associated with less learning and more problems than print resources. A study done on tablet vs book reading found that people read 20-30% slower on tablets, retain 20% less information, and understand 10% less of what they read compared to people who read the same information in print. Additionally, staring too long at a screen has been shown to cause numerous health problems, including blurred vision, dizziness, dry eyes, headaches, and eye strain, at much higher instances than reading print does. People who use tablets and mobile devices excessively also have a higher incidence of more serious health issues such as fibromyalgia, shoulder and back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and muscle strain. I know that whenever I read from my e-reader for too long, my eyes begin to feel tired and my neck hurts. We should not add to these problems by giving people, especially young people, more reasons to look at screens.

Second, it is incredibly narrow-minded to assume that the only service libraries offer is book lending. Libraries have a multitude of benefits, and many are only available if the library has a physical location. Some of these benefits include acting as a quiet study space, giving people a way to converse with their neighbors, holding classes on a variety of topics, providing jobs, answering patron questions, and keeping the community connected. One neighborhood found that, after a local library instituted community events such as play times for toddlers and parents, job fairs for teenagers, and meeting spaces for senior citizens, over a third of residents reported feeling more connected to their community. Similarly, a Pew survey conducted in 2015 found that nearly two-thirds of American adults feel that closing their local library would have a major impact on their community. People see libraries as a way to connect with others and get their questions answered, benefits tablets can’t offer nearly as well or as easily.

While replacing libraries with tablets may seem like a simple solution, it would encourage people to spend even more time looking at digital screens, despite the myriad issues surrounding them. It would also end access to many of the benefits of libraries that people have come to rely on. In many areas, libraries are such an important part of the community network that they could never be replaced by a simple object.

The author begins by giving an overview of the counter-argument, then the thesis appears as the first sentence in the third paragraph. The essay then spends the rest of the paper dismantling the counter argument and showing why readers should believe the other side.

What this essay does well:

  • Although it’s a bit unusual to have the thesis appear fairly far into the essay, it works because, once the thesis is stated, the rest of the essay focuses on supporting it since the counter-argument has already been discussed earlier in the paper.
  • This essay includes numerous facts and cites studies to support its case. By having specific data to rely on, the author’s argument is stronger and readers will be more inclined to agree with it.
  • For every argument the other side makes, the author makes sure to refute it and follow up with why her opinion is the stronger one. In order to make a strong argument, it’s important to dismantle the other side, which this essay does this by making the author's view appear stronger.
  • This is a shorter paper, and if it needed to be expanded to meet length requirements, it could include more examples and go more into depth with them, such as by explaining specific cases where people benefited from local libraries.
  • Additionally, while the paper uses lots of data, the author also mentions their own experience with using tablets. This should be removed since argumentative essays focus on facts and data to support an argument, not the author’s own opinion or experiences. Replacing that with more data on health issues associated with screen time would strengthen the essay.
  • Some of the points made aren't completely accurate , particularly the one about digital books being cheaper. It actually often costs a library more money to rent out numerous digital copies of a book compared to buying a single physical copy. Make sure in your own essay you thoroughly research each of the points and rebuttals you make, otherwise you'll look like you don't know the issue that well.

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Argumentative Essay Example 2

There are multiple drugs available to treat malaria, and many of them work well and save lives, but malaria eradication programs that focus too much on them and not enough on prevention haven’t seen long-term success in Sub-Saharan Africa. A major program to combat malaria was WHO’s Global Malaria Eradication Programme. Started in 1955, it had a goal of eliminating malaria in Africa within the next ten years. Based upon previously successful programs in Brazil and the United States, the program focused mainly on vector control. This included widely distributing chloroquine and spraying large amounts of DDT. More than one billion dollars was spent trying to abolish malaria. However, the program suffered from many problems and in 1969, WHO was forced to admit that the program had not succeeded in eradicating malaria. The number of people in Sub-Saharan Africa who contracted malaria as well as the number of malaria deaths had actually increased over 10% during the time the program was active.

One of the major reasons for the failure of the project was that it set uniform strategies and policies. By failing to consider variations between governments, geography, and infrastructure, the program was not nearly as successful as it could have been. Sub-Saharan Africa has neither the money nor the infrastructure to support such an elaborate program, and it couldn’t be run the way it was meant to. Most African countries don't have the resources to send all their people to doctors and get shots, nor can they afford to clear wetlands or other malaria prone areas. The continent’s spending per person for eradicating malaria was just a quarter of what Brazil spent. Sub-Saharan Africa simply can’t rely on a plan that requires more money, infrastructure, and expertise than they have to spare.

Additionally, the widespread use of chloroquine has created drug resistant parasites which are now plaguing Sub-Saharan Africa. Because chloroquine was used widely but inconsistently, mosquitoes developed resistance, and chloroquine is now nearly completely ineffective in Sub-Saharan Africa, with over 95% of mosquitoes resistant to it. As a result, newer, more expensive drugs need to be used to prevent and treat malaria, which further drives up the cost of malaria treatment for a region that can ill afford it.

Instead of developing plans to treat malaria after the infection has incurred, programs should focus on preventing infection from occurring in the first place. Not only is this plan cheaper and more effective, reducing the number of people who contract malaria also reduces loss of work/school days which can further bring down the productivity of the region.

One of the cheapest and most effective ways of preventing malaria is to implement insecticide-treated bed nets (ITNs).  These nets provide a protective barrier around the person or people using them. While untreated bed nets are still helpful, those treated with insecticides are much more useful because they stop mosquitoes from biting people through the nets, and they help reduce mosquito populations in a community, thus helping people who don’t even own bed nets.  Bed nets are also very effective because most mosquito bites occur while the person is sleeping, so bed nets would be able to drastically reduce the number of transmissions during the night. In fact, transmission of malaria can be reduced by as much as 90% in areas where the use of ITNs is widespread. Because money is so scarce in Sub-Saharan Africa, the low cost is a great benefit and a major reason why the program is so successful. Bed nets cost roughly 2 USD to make, last several years, and can protect two adults. Studies have shown that, for every 100-1000 more nets are being used, one less child dies of malaria. With an estimated 300 million people in Africa not being protected by mosquito nets, there’s the potential to save three million lives by spending just a few dollars per person.

Reducing the number of people who contract malaria would also reduce poverty levels in Africa significantly, thus improving other aspects of society like education levels and the economy. Vector control is more effective than treatment strategies because it means fewer people are getting sick. When fewer people get sick, the working population is stronger as a whole because people are not put out of work from malaria, nor are they caring for sick relatives. Malaria-afflicted families can typically only harvest 40% of the crops that healthy families can harvest. Additionally, a family with members who have malaria spends roughly a quarter of its income treatment, not including the loss of work they also must deal with due to the illness. It’s estimated that malaria costs Africa 12 billion USD in lost income every year. A strong working population creates a stronger economy, which Sub-Saharan Africa is in desperate need of.  

This essay begins with an introduction, which ends with the thesis (that malaria eradication plans in Sub-Saharan Africa should focus on prevention rather than treatment). The first part of the essay lays out why the counter argument (treatment rather than prevention) is not as effective, and the second part of the essay focuses on why prevention of malaria is the better path to take.

  • The thesis appears early, is stated clearly, and is supported throughout the rest of the essay. This makes the argument clear for readers to understand and follow throughout the essay.
  • There’s lots of solid research in this essay, including specific programs that were conducted and how successful they were, as well as specific data mentioned throughout. This evidence helps strengthen the author’s argument.
  • The author makes a case for using expanding bed net use over waiting until malaria occurs and beginning treatment, but not much of a plan is given for how the bed nets would be distributed or how to ensure they’re being used properly. By going more into detail of what she believes should be done, the author would be making a stronger argument.
  • The introduction of the essay does a good job of laying out the seriousness of the problem, but the conclusion is short and abrupt. Expanding it into its own paragraph would give the author a final way to convince readers of her side of the argument.

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Argumentative Essay Example 3

There are many ways payments could work. They could be in the form of a free-market approach, where athletes are able to earn whatever the market is willing to pay them, it could be a set amount of money per athlete, or student athletes could earn income from endorsements, autographs, and control of their likeness, similar to the way top Olympians earn money.

Proponents of the idea believe that, because college athletes are the ones who are training, participating in games, and bringing in audiences, they should receive some sort of compensation for their work. If there were no college athletes, the NCAA wouldn’t exist, college coaches wouldn’t receive there (sometimes very high) salaries, and brands like Nike couldn’t profit from college sports. In fact, the NCAA brings in roughly $1 billion in revenue a year, but college athletes don’t receive any of that money in the form of a paycheck. Additionally, people who believe college athletes should be paid state that paying college athletes will actually encourage them to remain in college longer and not turn pro as quickly, either by giving them a way to begin earning money in college or requiring them to sign a contract stating they’ll stay at the university for a certain number of years while making an agreed-upon salary.  

Supporters of this idea point to Zion Williamson, the Duke basketball superstar, who, during his freshman year, sustained a serious knee injury. Many argued that, even if he enjoyed playing for Duke, it wasn’t worth risking another injury and ending his professional career before it even began for a program that wasn’t paying him. Williamson seems to have agreed with them and declared his eligibility for the NCAA draft later that year. If he was being paid, he may have stayed at Duke longer. In fact, roughly a third of student athletes surveyed stated that receiving a salary while in college would make them “strongly consider” remaining collegiate athletes longer before turning pro.

Paying athletes could also stop the recruitment scandals that have plagued the NCAA. In 2018, the NCAA stripped the University of Louisville's men's basketball team of its 2013 national championship title because it was discovered coaches were using sex workers to entice recruits to join the team. There have been dozens of other recruitment scandals where college athletes and recruits have been bribed with anything from having their grades changed, to getting free cars, to being straight out bribed. By paying college athletes and putting their salaries out in the open, the NCAA could end the illegal and underhanded ways some schools and coaches try to entice athletes to join.

People who argue against the idea of paying college athletes believe the practice could be disastrous for college sports. By paying athletes, they argue, they’d turn college sports into a bidding war, where only the richest schools could afford top athletes, and the majority of schools would be shut out from developing a talented team (though some argue this already happens because the best players often go to the most established college sports programs, who typically pay their coaches millions of dollars per year). It could also ruin the tight camaraderie of many college teams if players become jealous that certain teammates are making more money than they are.

They also argue that paying college athletes actually means only a small fraction would make significant money. Out of the 350 Division I athletic departments, fewer than a dozen earn any money. Nearly all the money the NCAA makes comes from men’s football and basketball, so paying college athletes would make a small group of men--who likely will be signed to pro teams and begin making millions immediately out of college--rich at the expense of other players.

Those against paying college athletes also believe that the athletes are receiving enough benefits already. The top athletes already receive scholarships that are worth tens of thousands per year, they receive free food/housing/textbooks, have access to top medical care if they are injured, receive top coaching, get travel perks and free gear, and can use their time in college as a way to capture the attention of professional recruiters. No other college students receive anywhere near as much from their schools.

People on this side also point out that, while the NCAA brings in a massive amount of money each year, it is still a non-profit organization. How? Because over 95% of those profits are redistributed to its members’ institutions in the form of scholarships, grants, conferences, support for Division II and Division III teams, and educational programs. Taking away a significant part of that revenue would hurt smaller programs that rely on that money to keep running.

While both sides have good points, it’s clear that the negatives of paying college athletes far outweigh the positives. College athletes spend a significant amount of time and energy playing for their school, but they are compensated for it by the scholarships and perks they receive. Adding a salary to that would result in a college athletic system where only a small handful of athletes (those likely to become millionaires in the professional leagues) are paid by a handful of schools who enter bidding wars to recruit them, while the majority of student athletics and college athletic programs suffer or even shut down for lack of money. Continuing to offer the current level of benefits to student athletes makes it possible for as many people to benefit from and enjoy college sports as possible.

This argumentative essay follows the Rogerian model. It discusses each side, first laying out multiple reasons people believe student athletes should be paid, then discussing reasons why the athletes shouldn’t be paid. It ends by stating that college athletes shouldn’t be paid by arguing that paying them would destroy college athletics programs and cause them to have many of the issues professional sports leagues have.

  • Both sides of the argument are well developed, with multiple reasons why people agree with each side. It allows readers to get a full view of the argument and its nuances.
  • Certain statements on both sides are directly rebuffed in order to show where the strengths and weaknesses of each side lie and give a more complete and sophisticated look at the argument.
  • Using the Rogerian model can be tricky because oftentimes you don’t explicitly state your argument until the end of the paper. Here, the thesis doesn’t appear until the first sentence of the final paragraph. That doesn’t give readers a lot of time to be convinced that your argument is the right one, compared to a paper where the thesis is stated in the beginning and then supported throughout the paper. This paper could be strengthened if the final paragraph was expanded to more fully explain why the author supports the view, or if the paper had made it clearer that paying athletes was the weaker argument throughout.

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3 Tips for Writing a Good Argumentative Essay

Now that you’ve seen examples of what good argumentative essay samples look like, follow these three tips when crafting your own essay.

#1: Make Your Thesis Crystal Clear

The thesis is the key to your argumentative essay; if it isn’t clear or readers can’t find it easily, your entire essay will be weak as a result. Always make sure that your thesis statement is easy to find. The typical spot for it is the final sentence of the introduction paragraph, but if it doesn’t fit in that spot for your essay, try to at least put it as the first or last sentence of a different paragraph so it stands out more.

Also make sure that your thesis makes clear what side of the argument you’re on. After you’ve written it, it’s a great idea to show your thesis to a couple different people--classmates are great for this. Just by reading your thesis they should be able to understand what point you’ll be trying to make with the rest of your essay.

#2: Show Why the Other Side Is Weak

When writing your essay, you may be tempted to ignore the other side of the argument and just focus on your side, but don’t do this. The best argumentative essays really tear apart the other side to show why readers shouldn’t believe it. Before you begin writing your essay, research what the other side believes, and what their strongest points are. Then, in your essay, be sure to mention each of these and use evidence to explain why they’re incorrect/weak arguments. That’ll make your essay much more effective than if you only focused on your side of the argument.

#3: Use Evidence to Support Your Side

Remember, an essay can’t be an argumentative essay if it doesn’t support its argument with evidence. For every point you make, make sure you have facts to back it up. Some examples are previous studies done on the topic, surveys of large groups of people, data points, etc. There should be lots of numbers in your argumentative essay that support your side of the argument. This will make your essay much stronger compared to only relying on your own opinions to support your argument.

Summary: Argumentative Essay Sample

Argumentative essays are persuasive essays that use facts and evidence to support their side of the argument. Most argumentative essays follow either the Toulmin model or the Rogerian model. By reading good argumentative essay examples, you can learn how to develop your essay and provide enough support to make readers agree with your opinion. When writing your essay, remember to always make your thesis clear, show where the other side is weak, and back up your opinion with data and evidence.

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Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master's from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries.

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How to Write an Argumentative Essay | Examples & Tips

Published on July 24, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.

An argumentative essay expresses an extended argument for a particular thesis statement . The author takes a clearly defined stance on their subject and builds up an evidence-based case for it.

Table of contents

When do you write an argumentative essay, approaches to argumentative essays, introducing your argument, the body: developing your argument, concluding your argument, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about argumentative essays.

You might be assigned an argumentative essay as a writing exercise in high school or in a composition class. The prompt will often ask you to argue for one of two positions, and may include terms like “argue” or “argument.” It will frequently take the form of a question.

The prompt may also be more open-ended in terms of the possible arguments you could make.

Argumentative writing at college level

At university, the vast majority of essays or papers you write will involve some form of argumentation. For example, both rhetorical analysis and literary analysis essays involve making arguments about texts.

In this context, you won’t necessarily be told to write an argumentative essay—but making an evidence-based argument is an essential goal of most academic writing, and this should be your default approach unless you’re told otherwise.

Examples of argumentative essay prompts

At a university level, all the prompts below imply an argumentative essay as the appropriate response.

Your research should lead you to develop a specific position on the topic. The essay then argues for that position and aims to convince the reader by presenting your evidence, evaluation and analysis.

  • Don’t just list all the effects you can think of.
  • Do develop a focused argument about the overall effect and why it matters, backed up by evidence from sources.
  • Don’t just provide a selection of data on the measures’ effectiveness.
  • Do build up your own argument about which kinds of measures have been most or least effective, and why.
  • Don’t just analyze a random selection of doppelgänger characters.
  • Do form an argument about specific texts, comparing and contrasting how they express their thematic concerns through doppelgänger characters.

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An argumentative essay should be objective in its approach; your arguments should rely on logic and evidence, not on exaggeration or appeals to emotion.

There are many possible approaches to argumentative essays, but there are two common models that can help you start outlining your arguments: The Toulmin model and the Rogerian model.

Toulmin arguments

The Toulmin model consists of four steps, which may be repeated as many times as necessary for the argument:

  • Make a claim
  • Provide the grounds (evidence) for the claim
  • Explain the warrant (how the grounds support the claim)
  • Discuss possible rebuttals to the claim, identifying the limits of the argument and showing that you have considered alternative perspectives

The Toulmin model is a common approach in academic essays. You don’t have to use these specific terms (grounds, warrants, rebuttals), but establishing a clear connection between your claims and the evidence supporting them is crucial in an argumentative essay.

Say you’re making an argument about the effectiveness of workplace anti-discrimination measures. You might:

  • Claim that unconscious bias training does not have the desired results, and resources would be better spent on other approaches
  • Cite data to support your claim
  • Explain how the data indicates that the method is ineffective
  • Anticipate objections to your claim based on other data, indicating whether these objections are valid, and if not, why not.

Rogerian arguments

The Rogerian model also consists of four steps you might repeat throughout your essay:

  • Discuss what the opposing position gets right and why people might hold this position
  • Highlight the problems with this position
  • Present your own position , showing how it addresses these problems
  • Suggest a possible compromise —what elements of your position would proponents of the opposing position benefit from adopting?

This model builds up a clear picture of both sides of an argument and seeks a compromise. It is particularly useful when people tend to disagree strongly on the issue discussed, allowing you to approach opposing arguments in good faith.

Say you want to argue that the internet has had a positive impact on education. You might:

  • Acknowledge that students rely too much on websites like Wikipedia
  • Argue that teachers view Wikipedia as more unreliable than it really is
  • Suggest that Wikipedia’s system of citations can actually teach students about referencing
  • Suggest critical engagement with Wikipedia as a possible assignment for teachers who are skeptical of its usefulness.

You don’t necessarily have to pick one of these models—you may even use elements of both in different parts of your essay—but it’s worth considering them if you struggle to structure your arguments.

Regardless of which approach you take, your essay should always be structured using an introduction , a body , and a conclusion .

Like other academic essays, an argumentative essay begins with an introduction . The introduction serves to capture the reader’s interest, provide background information, present your thesis statement , and (in longer essays) to summarize the structure of the body.

Hover over different parts of the example below to see how a typical introduction works.

The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education. The use of the internet in academic contexts is on the rise, and its role in learning is hotly debated. For many teachers who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. This concern, while understandable, is misguided. The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its critical benefits for students and educators—as a uniquely comprehensive and accessible information source; a means of exposure to and engagement with different perspectives; and a highly flexible learning environment.

The body of an argumentative essay is where you develop your arguments in detail. Here you’ll present evidence, analysis, and reasoning to convince the reader that your thesis statement is true.

In the standard five-paragraph format for short essays, the body takes up three of your five paragraphs. In longer essays, it will be more paragraphs, and might be divided into sections with headings.

Each paragraph covers its own topic, introduced with a topic sentence . Each of these topics must contribute to your overall argument; don’t include irrelevant information.

This example paragraph takes a Rogerian approach: It first acknowledges the merits of the opposing position and then highlights problems with that position.

Hover over different parts of the example to see how a body paragraph is constructed.

A common frustration for teachers is students’ use of Wikipedia as a source in their writing. Its prevalence among students is not exaggerated; a survey found that the vast majority of the students surveyed used Wikipedia (Head & Eisenberg, 2010). An article in The Guardian stresses a common objection to its use: “a reliance on Wikipedia can discourage students from engaging with genuine academic writing” (Coomer, 2013). Teachers are clearly not mistaken in viewing Wikipedia usage as ubiquitous among their students; but the claim that it discourages engagement with academic sources requires further investigation. This point is treated as self-evident by many teachers, but Wikipedia itself explicitly encourages students to look into other sources. Its articles often provide references to academic publications and include warning notes where citations are missing; the site’s own guidelines for research make clear that it should be used as a starting point, emphasizing that users should always “read the references and check whether they really do support what the article says” (“Wikipedia:Researching with Wikipedia,” 2020). Indeed, for many students, Wikipedia is their first encounter with the concepts of citation and referencing. The use of Wikipedia therefore has a positive side that merits deeper consideration than it often receives.

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An argumentative essay ends with a conclusion that summarizes and reflects on the arguments made in the body.

No new arguments or evidence appear here, but in longer essays you may discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your argument and suggest topics for future research. In all conclusions, you should stress the relevance and importance of your argument.

Hover over the following example to see the typical elements of a conclusion.

The internet has had a major positive impact on the world of education; occasional pitfalls aside, its value is evident in numerous applications. The future of teaching lies in the possibilities the internet opens up for communication, research, and interactivity. As the popularity of distance learning shows, students value the flexibility and accessibility offered by digital education, and educators should fully embrace these advantages. The internet’s dangers, real and imaginary, have been documented exhaustively by skeptics, but the internet is here to stay; it is time to focus seriously on its potential for good.

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An argumentative essay tends to be a longer essay involving independent research, and aims to make an original argument about a topic. Its thesis statement makes a contentious claim that must be supported in an objective, evidence-based way.

An expository essay also aims to be objective, but it doesn’t have to make an original argument. Rather, it aims to explain something (e.g., a process or idea) in a clear, concise way. Expository essays are often shorter assignments and rely less on research.

At college level, you must properly cite your sources in all essays , research papers , and other academic texts (except exams and in-class exercises).

Add a citation whenever you quote , paraphrase , or summarize information or ideas from a source. You should also give full source details in a bibliography or reference list at the end of your text.

The exact format of your citations depends on which citation style you are instructed to use. The most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago .

The majority of the essays written at university are some sort of argumentative essay . Unless otherwise specified, you can assume that the goal of any essay you’re asked to write is argumentative: To convince the reader of your position using evidence and reasoning.

In composition classes you might be given assignments that specifically test your ability to write an argumentative essay. Look out for prompts including instructions like “argue,” “assess,” or “discuss” to see if this is the goal.

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50 Argumentative Essay Topics

Illustration by Catherine Song. ThoughtCo. 

  • M.Ed., Education Administration, University of Georgia
  • B.A., History, Armstrong State University

An argumentative essay requires you to decide on a topic and take a position on it. You'll need to back up your viewpoint with well-researched facts and information as well. One of the hardest parts is deciding which topic to write about, but there are plenty of ideas available to get you started.

Choosing a Great Argumentative Essay Topic

Students often find that most of their work on these essays is done before they even start writing. This means that it's best if you have a general interest in your subject, otherwise you might get bored or frustrated while trying to gather information. (You don't need to know everything, though.) Part of what makes this experience rewarding is learning something new.

It's best if you have a general interest in your subject, but the argument you choose doesn't have to be one that you agree with.

The subject you choose may not necessarily be one that you are in full agreement with, either. You may even be asked to write a paper from the opposing point of view. Researching a different viewpoint helps students broaden their perspectives. 

Ideas for Argument Essays

Sometimes, the best ideas are sparked by looking at many different options. Explore this list of possible topics and see if a few pique your interest. Write those down as you come across them, then think about each for a few minutes.

Which would you enjoy researching? Do you have a firm position on a particular subject? Is there a point you would like to make sure to get across? Did the topic give you something new to think about? Can you see why someone else may feel differently?

50 Possible Topics

A number of these topics are rather controversial—that's the point. In an argumentative essay, opinions matter and controversy is based on opinions, which are, hopefully, backed up by facts.   If these topics are a little too controversial or you don't find the right one for you, try browsing through persuasive essay and speech topics  as well.

  • Is global climate change  caused by humans?
  • Is the death penalty effective?
  • Is our election process fair?
  • Is torture ever acceptable?
  • Should men get paternity leave from work?
  • Are school uniforms beneficial?
  • Do we have a fair tax system?
  • Do curfews keep teens out of trouble?
  • Is cheating out of control?
  • Are we too dependent on computers?
  • Should animals be used for research?
  • Should cigarette smoking be banned?
  • Are cell phones dangerous?
  • Are law enforcement cameras an invasion of privacy?
  • Do we have a throwaway society?
  • Is child behavior better or worse than it was years ago?
  • Should companies market to children?
  • Should the government have a say in our diets?
  • Does access to condoms prevent teen pregnancy?
  • Should members of Congress have term limits?
  • Are actors and professional athletes paid too much?
  • Are CEOs paid too much?
  • Should athletes be held to high moral standards?
  • Do violent video games cause behavior problems?
  • Should creationism be taught in public schools?
  • Are beauty pageants exploitative ?
  • Should English be the official language of the United States?
  • Should the racing industry be forced to use biofuels?
  • Should the alcohol drinking age be increased or decreased?
  • Should everyone be required to recycle?
  • Is it okay for prisoners to vote (as they are in some states)?
  • Is it good that same-sex couples are able to marry?
  • Are there benefits to attending a single-sex school ?
  • Does boredom lead to trouble?
  • Should schools be in session year-round ?
  • Does religion cause war?
  • Should the government provide health care?
  • Should abortion be illegal?
  • Are girls too mean to each other?
  • Is homework harmful or helpful?
  • Is the cost of college too high?
  • Is college admission too competitive?
  • Should euthanasia be illegal?
  • Should the federal government legalize marijuana use nationally ?
  • Should rich people be required to pay more taxes?
  • Should schools require foreign language or physical education?
  • Is affirmative action fair?
  • Is public prayer okay in schools?
  • Are schools and teachers responsible for low test scores?
  • Is greater gun control a good idea?
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How To Write An Illustration Essay

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Illustration Essay

Writing an illustration essay requires you to have not only a very specific set of writing skills, but also a deep understanding of what is illustration essay and how to achieve success with this task. The professional writers of our top-rated essay writing service are ready to share how to write an illustration essay with you right now!

what is an illustration

What Is an Illustration Essay?

According to the illustration essay definition , this kind of work is an explanation of the subject matter with the use of relevant examples. Before you learn how to create an interesting and engaging piece of work, you should know its specificity and its difference from other written tasks.

An illustration essay, also known as an exemplification paper, needs you to sum up empirical data, make an explanation, and provide supporting evidence. This is why it is often confused with compare and contrast essays and cause and effect essays. Instead of arguing a point, you need to demonstrate your all-around understanding of the topic by using sufficient examples.

what is an illustration essay

Throughout the writing process, you should demonstrate a topic through the prism of associated details. This is how the reader can visualize the described person, situation, process, or event. Without the discussion of examples, an illustration essay won’t be complete.

Why Is an Illustration Essay Important?

Illustration essay writing is crucial for your personal academic development. It creates the necessary basis for dissertation and thesis writing in the future. While writing an illustration essay , you learn how to develop arguments based on thorough research and analysis. By illustrating different points in the academic format, you demonstrate your ability to deal with discussions. The significance of illustrations is determined by their value in an academic essay. Here are three types of illustrations to be used:

  • The personal illustration can be taken from your personal background. For example, you can describe the situation that is taken from your personal background. In your essay, you will say how to deal with it.
  • The traditional illustration is a generic example that can be addressed by many people on the particular topic. For example, the situation can be discussed as an average thing that might happen to everyone.
  • The hypothetical illustration is an invented illustration. For example, you can cover the idea of circumstances under which this kind of situation might occur.

Whatever illustration you are about to use, you need to adjust it to your context. This way, you can provide the reader with the better understanding of the covered topic. Thus, illustrations are to be relevant to both your subject and your audience. You can sort out the evidence in terms of importance by moving from the least valuable to most valuable examples or from the most valuable to least valuable examples.

Illustration Essay Outline

How to write an illustration essay? Proving your point through different examples is not hard. When you choose a correct topic and conduct proper research, you make the content sound trustworthy and reliable. Similar to every academic piece of work, an illustration essay can be written in three stages. Here they are:

Introduction

The introduction paragraph aims to present the topic you are going to cover in an illustration essay. It is crucial to find a thesis that reflects your point of view. You need to point briefly why other people have different opinions from yours. You should be able to defend your thesis better than they can defend theirs.

If you decide to discuss social networks’ impact on your daily communication, you may refer to the personal background and scientific data. Before you integrate certain examples, you can make up some foundations first. Once you are done with it, you can highlight some key points to prove that the membership in the popular social network has really changed the way you communicate with other people. First, you can talk about the value of communication in social networks. Second, you can discuss the opportunity to get closer to your family and friends. Finally, you can explain how social networks help you in your studies or work. You can also take the opposite side by discussing the negative effects of social networks on human life. The final sentence of your introductory paragraph is the thesis statement, where you build up the foundation for your further discussion.

An average introduction involves five sentences. But it can be slightly smaller or bigger, depending on the general size of an illustration essay. While writing an introduction, you should include the following elements:

  • Inform : Inform the reader about the selected topic.
  • Notify : Notify the reader of background information about the topic.
  • Translate : Translate the essay question by saying it in different words.
  • Report : Report on your supporting points after you introduce the example.
  • Outline : Outline the essay organization by using transition words, such as “firstly, secondly, thirdly.”

Body paragraphs

An average number of body paragraphs is three, although there can be some variations. Depending on how many ideas you want to cover, you can have more than three paragraphs involved. Each body paragraph should highlight a separate idea that addresses your thesis statement. Generally, paragraphs in the body section have two goals:

  • Describe and define : You need to introduce your topic in a simple and clear way. The reader should gain the impression that you have a deep knowledge of the topic.
  • Explain and exemplify : You need to provide as many examples as possible to address your topic.

Before you start writing the body paragraphs, you should introduce them first. For each paragraph, write down a topic sentence with an argument addressing your thesis. This is where you should mention all the support that includes factual data, examples, and other proofs. After you finish your initial research on the thesis, sort out the examples by priority. It will make your narration more structured. As a result, it won’t be difficult for the reader to understand your points of view.

Every example should be examined and defended in detail. This way, you will convince the audience of your thesis by using factual information and formal language. Some topics need additional investigation and collecting examples, while others will allow you to rely on your own personal experiences.

Throughout the writing process, you should remember who your target reader is. This will allow you to keep your text customized. Depending on the target reader, you will make the right accents, involve the right details, and collect the relevant examples in the text. With this information in mind, you will be able to describe the central points effectively.

Now that you have your topic properly covered in the body section, you need to create a striking conclusion. The last paragraph aims to sum up everything that has been mentioned in the previous parts of the illustration essay.

You may use the 5 C’s method to make your conclusion interesting and memorable for the reader. Ideally, you write one or two sentences per point. But some variations are acceptable.

  • Close the loop : You need to connect the first and the last paragraph. This is why you will discuss the thesis statement through the prism of examples highlighted in the body section. This will make your essay look concise and cohesive.
  • Conclude : You should make the final word on the issue. In other words, you can rephrase the thesis statement by using different words.
  • Clarify : You should answer the essay question by using the examples from the body section.
  • Concern : You should mention the party that might take responsibility for the issue.
  • Consequences : You should introduce the possible effects of the covered issue.

The conclusion section is usually the shortest one in an illustration essay. It aims to mention the main points from the body paragraphs and prove their relevance to the reader. While this section is short, it is also important. In order to create a high-quality conclusion, think of it as the last impression the reader has! So, this section should be strongly worded.

While a research essay won’t be complete without references, an illustration essay can be used with and without them. If an illustration essay relies on your personal experiences, it won’t need external sources. If it relies on scientific data, the use of sources is inevitable.

Now that your illustration essay is finished, it needs to be edited properly. You should read it once or twice to check it for grammatical, structural, and contextual mistakes. Also, make sure that your essay is devoid of plagiarism. While there are some general rules for an illustration essay outline, your instructor may have some additional instructions for you. Make sure you read your assignment properly not to miss a crucial detail.

An illustration essay should be simple and clear. Otherwise, the reader won’t be able to understand what you are writing about. Complicated topics, massive paragraphs, and overwhelming information can hardly be suitable for an illustration essay.

How to Choose a Topic for an Illustration Essay?

If you struggle to create an excellent illustration essay, you have most likely chosen the wrong topic. It will turn the writing process into torture as you won’t know what to write about and how to write it. When you choose the right subject, you will move in the right direction from the very beginning. So, how can you make the right choice? Here are the instructions to be followed:

  • Write about your personal interests. You should choose the topics for an illustration essay that correspond to your personal interests. While writing about something you are actually interested in, you become more enthusiastic about the whole creative process. Before you come up with the idea for writing, you should think of the topics you are passionate about.
  • Focus on the topic simplicity. You should make sure that your topic is convenient for you. If you try to impress the instructor by choosing an overly complicated topic, you shouldn’t do this. Instead of demonstrating your writing skills, you will demonstrate your inability to create a worthy piece of content.
  • Pay attention to the topic originality . When choosing a topic, you should focus on less common and less generic options. A unique topic has higher chances to catch the reader’s attention and earn you a higher score. Moreover, a unique topic will have more space for discussions, which is always interesting to read.
  • Consider information availability on the topic. When writing an illustration essay, you need to dig deep into the examples and descriptions related to the topic. Before starting the actual writing process, you need to collect sufficient information. Therefore, it is much easier to cover the topic that is widely discussed in academic and scientific sources.
  • Stick to essay writing guidelines . While choosing a topic, you should never forget about the initial instructions. If your professor asks you to write about a psychological disorder or discuss a philosophical dilemma, you should stick to this detail. Keep the topic manageable without making it too narrow or too wide.

Choosing the right illustration essay topics has always been a serious challenge, even for experienced writers. A successful topic should match the interests of the audience and have certain value in society. Here are some examples you may use:

  • How can society support school victims of bullying?
  • Customers are never wrong. Discuss this popular statement.
  • Discuss the impact of Tick Tock and Instagram on the young generation.
  • Describe the best ways to prepare for a college exam.
  • Write a complete description of a student’s academic duties.

That being said, the variety of topics to discuss is huge. But instead of rushing with the final decision, you should take some time to check the catalogue of options. This is where you shouldn’t underestimate the value of research. With the adequate information on the subject matter, you won’t struggle to create a decent piece of writing.

Illustration Essay Examples

Taking a look at a professional illustration essay sample will let you understand this form of writing. Although you still need to proceed with your individual research, you won’t have to struggle with the right structure and format. Feel free to use the following examples as a reference when writing your own piece of work.

https://courses.lumenlearning.com/englishcomp1v2xmaster/chapter/writing-for-success-illustrationexample/

Illustration Essay Writing Tips

Knowing how to put your illustration essay ideas together is important for doing a good job with your illustration essay. With the professional writing tips, you will be able to deliver an excellent result. Feel free to check some of them down there:

  • Do some brainstorming . When you choose a topic or collect examples, you may do some brainstorming. The main point is that there are no bad ideas. When you have a particular idea, you should use every piece of mind. By writing down every idea in your head, you will gain a better understanding of what you want to write about. After all, your ideas build up bases for successful writing. So, if you think that you don’t have time for silly games, you are wrong. Instead of being a time-waster, a method of brainstorming turns out to be a time-saver for you.
  • Avoid undebatable illustration topics . The importance of the topic choice has been mentioned before. So, you should write about something that is actually suitable for debates. You should be able to find sufficient information on the selected topic.
  • Conduct a lot of research . Now that you know the topic of your essay, you should conduct thorough research to collect sufficient information. Even if your topic relies on your personal experiences, you should still analyze your background to extract the relevant examples. In other words, you need to find the authentic points that will support the topic.
  • Rely on credible sources . Although most illustration essays are personable, some of them rely on factual information. This is why you should use respectable scientific and academic literature as a credible source of information. With unreliable sources, you increase your chances to lose some valuable points from your grade. The use of editable sources such as Wikipedia is also a bad idea since they can be edited by everyone. So, when you choose information for your illustration essay, you should double check its authenticity in advance.
  • Filter out the information. If you spend a lot of time thinking about the topic, you probably have enough to say in your illustration essay. Of course, not all of them can make it into the final draft of your paper because they have a negative impact on the context. By choosing a few strongest examples, you can make your essay more convincing. This way, the final result will be interesting, engaging, and concise.
  • Focus on the target audience . While you are writing an essay, you should always put yourself in the reader’s place. What information do you want to see in the essay? Is every example clear to you? Do you understand the descriptions that are in the essay? Answer the questions honestly before, during, and after the writing process.
  • Make every example clear. Find examples to enable a better illustration of the selected topic. The stronger your evidence is, the more seriously the reader will consider your point. This is what will make your essay academically correct. By using strong words in your example, you will make each example sound convincing. Reading a paper that contains unclear pieces of information and mismatched conclusions will irritate the reader. The importance and urgency of the work will automatically become distant. Using evidence effectively can be a hard thing to do, though. Try to collect relevant examples to make sure that they are interrelated. Thus, the reader will never question the use or meaning of any illustrations you will include in your essay.
  • Edit your paper before submitting it. Before you hand over your illustration essay to the instructor, you should make sure that it is grammatically, structurally, and contextually accurate. For this reason, check your essay more than once to eliminate all the imperfections.

Write My Illustration Essay for Me, Please!

As you can see, writing illustration essays is not such a complicated assignment. However, it may take time to set the balance between its descriptive nature and your personal experience. While you don’t have sufficient skills to perform this kind of work, you may use an illustration essay sample or just order an essay from professional writers. But it still can’t guarantee you an excellent result.

In a situation like this, you can send a “Write my illustration essay for me, please!” request to professional writers. You can find a lot of writing services that know everything about academic writing on the Internet. Regardless of what your academic level is, you will get exceptional and 100% unique content right on time!

Being aware of all the characteristics and peculiarities of illustration essays, our qualified and experienced essay service knows how to take this kind of challenge. For this reason, their professionalism can fulfill the requirements of the most complicated orders. If you are not ready for the illustration kind of work, entrust it to specialists. They will prove their proficiency to you!

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Argumentative Essay Examples

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Best Argumentative Essay Examples for Your Help

Published on: Mar 10, 2023

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Argumentative essays are one of the most common types of essay writing. Students are assigned to write such essays very frequently.

Despite being assigned so frequently, students still find it hard to write a good argumentative essay .

There are certain things that one needs to follow to write a good argumentative essay. The first thing is to choose an effective and interesting topic. Use all possible sources to dig out the best topic.

Afterward, the student should choose the model that they would follow to write this type of essay. Follow the steps of the chosen model and start writing the essay.

The models for writing an argumentative essay are the classical model, the Rogerian model, and the Toulmin model.

To make sure that you write a good argumentative essay, read the different types of examples mentioned in this blog.

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Good Argumentative Essay Examples

Argumentative essays are an inevitable part of academic life. To write a good argumentative essay, you need to see a few good examples of this type of essay.

To analyze whether the example is good to take help from or not. You need to look for a few things in it.

Make sure it follows one specific model and has an introductory paragraph, organized body paragraphs, and a formal conclusion.

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How to Start an Argumentative Essay Example

Learning how to start an argumentative essay example is a tricky thing for beginners. It is quite simple but can be challenging for newbies.   To start an argumentative essay example, you need to write a brief and attractive introduction. It is written to convince the reader and make them understand your point of view .

Add body paragraphs after the introduction to support your thesis statement. Also, use body paragraphs to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of your side of the argument.

Write a formal conclusion for your essay and summarize all the key elements of your essay. Look at the example mentioned below to understand the concept more clearly.

Check out this video for more information!

Argumentative Essay Example (PDF)

Argumentative Essay Example 

Argumentative essays are assigned to university students more often than the students of schools and colleges.

 It involves arguments over vast and sometimes bold topics as well.

For university students, usually, argumentative essay topics are not provided. They are required to search for the topic themselves and write accordingly.

The following examples will give an idea of how university students write argumentative essays.

Argumentative Essay Example for University (PDF)

Argumentative Essay Examples for College

For the college level, it is recommended to use simple language and avoid the use of complex words in essays.

Make sure that using simple language and valid evidence, you support your claim well and make it as convincing as possible

If you are a college student and want to write an argumentative essay, read the examples provided below. Focus on the formatting and the vocabulary used.

Argumentative Essay Example for College (PDF)

College Argumentative Essay Sample (PDF)

Argumentative Essay Examples for Middle School

Being a middle school student, you must be wondering how we write an argumentative essay. And how can you support your argument?

Go through the following examples and hopefully, you will be able to write an effective argumentative essay very easily.

Argumentative Essay Example for Middle School(PDF)

Middle School Argumentative Essay Sample (PDF)

Argumentative Essay Examples for High School

High school students are not very aware of all the skills that are needed to write research papers and essays. 

Especially, when it comes to argumentative essays, it becomes quite a challenge for high schools to defend their argument

In this scenario, the best option is to look into some good examples. Here we have summed up two best examples of argumentative essays for high school students specifically.

Argumentative Essay Example for High School (PDF)

High School Argumentative Essay Sample (PDF)

Argumentative Essay Examples for O Level

The course outline for O levels is quite tough. O levels students need to have a good command of the English language and amazing writing skills.

If you are an O-level student, the following examples will guide you on how to write an argumentative essay.

Argumentative Essay Example for O Level (PDF)

Argumentative Essay for O Level Students (PDF)

5-Paragraph Argumentative Essay Examples

A 5-paragraph essay is basically a formatting style for essay writing. It has the following five parts:

  • Introduction

In the introduction, the writer introduces the topic and provides a glance at the collected data to support the main argument.

  • Body paragraph 1

The first body paragraph discusses the first and most important point related to the argument. It starts with a topic sentence and has all the factual data to make the argument convincing.

  • Body paragraph 2

The second body paragraph mentions the second most important element of the argument. A topic sentence is used to start these paragraphs. It gives the idea of the point that will discuss in the following paragraph.

  • Body paragraph 3

The third paragraph discusses all the miscellaneous points. Also, it uses a transitional sentence at the end to show a relation to the conclusion.

The conclusion of a five-paragraph essay reiterates all the major elements of an argumentative essay. It also restates the thesis statement using a more convincing choice of words.

Look at the example below to see how a well-written five-paragraph essay looks like

5 Paragraph Argumentative Essay Example (PDF)

Argumentative Essay Examples for 6th Grade

Students in 6th grade are at a point where they are learning new things every day. 

Writing an argumentative essay is an interesting activity for them as they like to convince people of their point of view.

Argumentative essays written at such levels are very simple but well convincing. 

The following example will give you more detail on how a 6th-grade student should write an argumentative essay.

6th Grade Argumentative Essay Example (PDF)

Argumentative Essay Examples for 7th Grade

There is not much difference between a 6th-grade and a 7th-grade student. Both of them are enhancing their writing and academic skills.

Here is another example to help you with writing an effective argumentative essay.

7th Grade Argumentative Essay Example (PDF)

Tough Essay Due? Hire a Writer!

Tough Essay Due? Hire a Writer!

Short Argumentative Essay Examples

For an argumentative essay, there is no specific limit for the word count. It only has to convince the readers and pass on the knowledge of the writer to the intended audience.

It can be short or detailed. It would be considered valid as far as it has an argument involved in it.

Following is an example of a short argumentative essay example

Short Argumentative Essay Example (PDF)

Immigration Argumentative Essay Examples

Immigration is a hot topic for a very long time now. People have different opinions regarding this issue.

Where there is more than one opinion, an argumentative essay can be written on that topic. The following are examples of argumentative essays on immigration.

Read them and try to understand how an effective argumentative essay is written on such a topic.

Argumentative Essay Example on Immigration (PDF)

Argumentative Essay Sample on Immigration (PDF)

Writing essays is usually a tiring and time-consuming assignment to do. Students already have a bunch of assignments for other subjects to complete. In this situation, asking for help from professional writers is the best choice.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the 7 types of arguments.

The seven types of arguments are as follows:

  • Statistical

What is the structure of an argument?

The structure of an argument consists of a main point (thesis statement) that is supported by evidence. 

This evidence can include facts, statistics, examples, and other forms of data that help to prove or disprove the thesis statement. 

After providing the evidence, arguments also often include a conclusion that summarizes the main points made throughout the argument.

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Argumentative Essay Examples to Inspire You (+ Free Formula)

Argumentative Essay Examples to Inspire You (+ Free Formula)

Table of contents

illustration argument essay

Meredith Sell

Have you ever been asked to explain your opinion on a controversial issue? 

  • Maybe your family got into a discussion about chemical pesticides
  • Someone at work argues against investing resources into your project
  • Your partner thinks intermittent fasting is the best way to lose weight and you disagree

Proving your point in an argumentative essay can be challenging, unless you are using a proven formula.

Argumentative essay formula & example

In the image below, you can see a recommended structure for argumentative essays. It starts with the topic sentence, which establishes the main idea of the essay. Next, this hypothesis is developed in the development stage. Then, the rebuttal, or the refutal of the main counter argument or arguments. Then, again, development of the rebuttal. This is followed by an example, and ends with a summary. This is a very basic structure, but it gives you a bird-eye-view of how a proper argumentative essay can be built.

Structure of an argumentative essay

Writing an argumentative essay (for a class, a news outlet, or just for fun) can help you improve your understanding of an issue and sharpen your thinking on the matter. Using researched facts and data, you can explain why you or others think the way you do, even while other reasonable people disagree.

Free AI argumentative essay generator > Free AI argumentative essay generator >

argumentative essay

What Is an Argumentative Essay?

An argumentative essay is an explanatory essay that takes a side.

Instead of appealing to emotion and personal experience to change the reader’s mind, an argumentative essay uses logic and well-researched factual information to explain why the thesis in question is the most reasonable opinion on the matter.  

Over several paragraphs or pages, the author systematically walks through:

  • The opposition (and supporting evidence)
  • The chosen thesis (and its supporting evidence)

At the end, the author leaves the decision up to the reader, trusting that the case they’ve made will do the work of changing the reader’s mind. Even if the reader’s opinion doesn’t change, they come away from the essay with a greater understanding of the perspective presented — and perhaps a better understanding of their original opinion.

All of that might make it seem like writing an argumentative essay is way harder than an emotionally-driven persuasive essay — but if you’re like me and much more comfortable spouting facts and figures than making impassioned pleas, you may find that an argumentative essay is easier to write. 

Plus, the process of researching an argumentative essay means you can check your assumptions and develop an opinion that’s more based in reality than what you originally thought. I know for sure that my opinions need to be fact checked — don’t yours?

So how exactly do we write the argumentative essay?

How do you start an argumentative essay

First, gain a clear understanding of what exactly an argumentative essay is. To formulate a proper topic sentence, you have to be clear on your topic, and to explore it through research.

Students have difficulty starting an essay because the whole task seems intimidating, and they are afraid of spending too much time on the topic sentence. Experienced writers, however, know that there is no set time to spend on figuring out your topic. It's a real exploration that is based to a large extent on intuition.

6 Steps to Write an Argumentative Essay (Persuasion Formula)

Use this checklist to tackle your essay one step at a time:

Argumentative Essay Checklist

1. Research an issue with an arguable question

To start, you need to identify an issue that well-informed people have varying opinions on. Here, it’s helpful to think of one core topic and how it intersects with another (or several other) issues. That intersection is where hot takes and reasonable (or unreasonable) opinions abound. 

I find it helpful to stage the issue as a question.

For example: 

Is it better to legislate the minimum size of chicken enclosures or to outlaw the sale of eggs from chickens who don’t have enough space?

Should snow removal policies focus more on effectively keeping roads clear for traffic or the environmental impacts of snow removal methods?

Once you have your arguable question ready, start researching the basic facts and specific opinions and arguments on the issue. Do your best to stay focused on gathering information that is directly relevant to your topic. Depending on what your essay is for, you may reference academic studies, government reports, or newspaper articles.

‍ Research your opposition and the facts that support their viewpoint as much as you research your own position . You’ll need to address your opposition in your essay, so you’ll want to know their argument from the inside out.

2. Choose a side based on your research

You likely started with an inclination toward one side or the other, but your research should ultimately shape your perspective. So once you’ve completed the research, nail down your opinion and start articulating the what and why of your take. 

What: I think it’s better to outlaw selling eggs from chickens whose enclosures are too small.

Why: Because if you regulate the enclosure size directly, egg producers outside of the government’s jurisdiction could ship eggs into your territory and put nearby egg producers out of business by offering better prices because they don’t have the added cost of larger enclosures.

This is an early form of your thesis and the basic logic of your argument. You’ll want to iterate on this a few times and develop a one-sentence statement that sums up the thesis of your essay.

Thesis: Outlawing the sale of eggs from chickens with cramped living spaces is better for business than regulating the size of chicken enclosures.

Now that you’ve articulated your thesis , spell out the counterargument(s) as well. Putting your opposition’s take into words will help you throughout the rest of the essay-writing process. (You can start by choosing the counter argument option with Wordtune Spices .)

illustration argument essay

Counterargument: Outlawing the sale of eggs from chickens with too small enclosures will immediately drive up egg prices for consumers, making the low-cost protein source harder to afford — especially for low-income consumers.

There may be one main counterargument to articulate, or several. Write them all out and start thinking about how you’ll use evidence to address each of them or show why your argument is still the best option.

3. Organize the evidence — for your side and the opposition

You did all of that research for a reason. Now’s the time to use it. 

Hopefully, you kept detailed notes in a document, complete with links and titles of all your source material. Go through your research document and copy the evidence for your argument and your opposition’s into another document.

List the main points of your argument. Then, below each point, paste the evidence that backs them up.

If you’re writing about chicken enclosures, maybe you found evidence that shows the spread of disease among birds kept in close quarters is worse than among birds who have more space. Or maybe you found information that says eggs from free-range chickens are more flavorful or nutritious. Put that information next to the appropriate part of your argument. 

Repeat the process with your opposition’s argument: What information did you find that supports your opposition? Paste it beside your opposition’s argument.

You could also put information here that refutes your opposition, but organize it in a way that clearly tells you — at a glance — that the information disproves their point.

Counterargument: Outlawing the sale of eggs from chickens with too small enclosures will immediately drive up egg prices for consumers.

BUT: Sicknesses like avian flu spread more easily through small enclosures and could cause a shortage that would drive up egg prices naturally, so ensuring larger enclosures is still a better policy for consumers over the long term.

As you organize your research and see the evidence all together, start thinking through the best way to order your points.  

Will it be better to present your argument all at once or to break it up with opposition claims you can quickly refute? Would some points set up other points well? Does a more complicated point require that the reader understands a simpler point first?

Play around and rearrange your notes to see how your essay might flow one way or another.

4. Freewrite or outline to think through your argument

Is your brain buzzing yet? At this point in the process, it can be helpful to take out a notebook or open a fresh document and dump whatever you’re thinking on the page.

Where should your essay start? What ground-level information do you need to provide your readers before you can dive into the issue?

Use your organized evidence document from step 3 to think through your argument from beginning to end, and determine the structure of your essay.

There are three typical structures for argumentative essays:

  • Make your argument and tackle opposition claims one by one, as they come up in relation to the points of your argument - In this approach, the whole essay — from beginning to end — focuses on your argument, but as you make each point, you address the relevant opposition claims individually. This approach works well if your opposition’s views can be quickly explained and refuted and if they directly relate to specific points in your argument.
  • Make the bulk of your argument, and then address the opposition all at once in a paragraph (or a few) - This approach puts the opposition in its own section, separate from your main argument. After you’ve made your case, with ample evidence to convince your readers, you write about the opposition, explaining their viewpoint and supporting evidence — and showing readers why the opposition’s argument is unconvincing. Once you’ve addressed the opposition, you write a conclusion that sums up why your argument is the better one.
  • Open your essay by talking about the opposition and where it falls short. Build your entire argument to show how it is superior to that opposition - With this structure, you’re showing your readers “a better way” to address the issue. After opening your piece by showing how your opposition’s approaches fail, you launch into your argument, providing readers with ample evidence that backs you up.

As you think through your argument and examine your evidence document, consider which structure will serve your argument best. Sketch out an outline to give yourself a map to follow in the writing process. You could also rearrange your evidence document again to match your outline, so it will be easy to find what you need when you start writing.

5. Write your first draft

You have an outline and an organized document with all your points and evidence lined up and ready. Now you just have to write your essay.

In your first draft, focus on getting your ideas on the page. Your wording may not be perfect (whose is?), but you know what you’re trying to say — so even if you’re overly wordy and taking too much space to say what you need to say, put those words on the page.

Follow your outline, and draw from that evidence document to flesh out each point of your argument. Explain what the evidence means for your argument and your opposition. Connect the dots for your readers so they can follow you, point by point, and understand what you’re trying to say.

As you write, be sure to include:

1. Any background information your reader needs in order to understand the issue in question.

2. Evidence for both your argument and the counterargument(s). This shows that you’ve done your homework and builds trust with your reader, while also setting you up to make a more convincing argument. (If you find gaps in your research while you’re writing, Wordtune Spices can source statistics or historical facts on the fly!)

illustration argument essay

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3. A conclusion that sums up your overall argument and evidence — and leaves the reader with an understanding of the issue and its significance. This sort of conclusion brings your essay to a strong ending that doesn’t waste readers’ time, but actually adds value to your case.

6. Revise (with Wordtune)

The hard work is done: you have a first draft. Now, let’s fine tune your writing.

I like to step away from what I’ve written for a day (or at least a night of sleep) before attempting to revise. It helps me approach clunky phrases and rough transitions with fresh eyes. If you don’t have that luxury, just get away from your computer for a few minutes — use the bathroom, do some jumping jacks, eat an apple — and then come back and read through your piece.

As you revise, make sure you …

  • Get the facts right. An argument with false evidence falls apart pretty quickly, so check your facts to make yours rock solid.
  • Don’t misrepresent the opposition or their evidence. If someone who holds the opposing view reads your essay, they should affirm how you explain their side — even if they disagree with your rebuttal.
  • Present a case that builds over the course of your essay, makes sense, and ends on a strong note. One point should naturally lead to the next. Your readers shouldn’t feel like you’re constantly changing subjects. You’re making a variety of points, but your argument should feel like a cohesive whole.
  • Paraphrase sources and cite them appropriately. Did you skip citations when writing your first draft? No worries — you can add them now. And check that you don’t overly rely on quotations. (Need help paraphrasing? Wordtune can help. Simply highlight the sentence or phrase you want to adjust and sort through Wordtune’s suggestions.)
  • Tighten up overly wordy explanations and sharpen any convoluted ideas. Wordtune makes a great sidekick for this too 😉

illustration argument essay

Words to start an argumentative essay

The best way to introduce a convincing argument is to provide a strong thesis statement . These are the words I usually use to start an argumentative essay:

  • It is indisputable that the world today is facing a multitude of issues
  • With the rise of ____, the potential to make a positive difference has never been more accessible
  • It is essential that we take action now and tackle these issues head-on
  • it is critical to understand the underlying causes of the problems standing before us
  • Opponents of this idea claim
  • Those who are against these ideas may say
  • Some people may disagree with this idea
  • Some people may say that ____, however

When refuting an opposing concept, use:

  • These researchers have a point in thinking
  • To a certain extent they are right
  • After seeing this evidence, there is no way one can agree with this idea
  • This argument is irrelevant to the topic

Are you convinced by your own argument yet? Ready to brave the next get-together where everyone’s talking like they know something about intermittent fasting , chicken enclosures , or snow removal policies? 

Now if someone asks you to explain your evidence-based but controversial opinion, you can hand them your essay and ask them to report back after they’ve read it.

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  1. Tips on How to Write an Argumentative Essay

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  2. How to Write and Revise an Argument Essay

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  3. Argumentative Essay Outline Format [12 Best Examples]

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  4. 005 Argumentative Essay Sample Research Paper ~ Museumlegs

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  5. How to Write an Illustration Essay : Complete Guide

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COMMENTS

  1. Illustration Essays: Definitions, Templates and Examples

    1. What is an Illustration Essay? An Illustration Essay is an essay designed to describe and explain with examples. You will be required to use examples to reveal details about the subject you are discussing. In many ways, it is the easiest form of essay because you don't have to come up with a thesis or argue a point.

  2. Illustration Essay

    an Excelsior University site Rhetorical Styles » Illustration Essay Illustration Essay Illustration is a rhetorical style that uses examples to support the thesis or main idea of a paragraph or essay.

  3. How to Write an Illustration Essay: Tips on Illustrative Writing

    1 Understanding the Basics 2 Research and Gathering Examples 2.1 Useful Tips for Effective Research 2.2 Types of Illustration Essay Examples 3 Creating Illustration Essay Outline 4 Writing An Engaging Introduction 5 Crafting Compelling Body Paragraphs 6 Using Examples Effectively 7 Writing a Strong Conclusion 8 Editing and Proofreading

  4. Illustration/Example

    The Purpose of Illustration in Writing. To illustrate means to show or demonstrate something clearly. An effective illustration essay, also known as an example essay, clearly demonstrates and supports a point through the use of evidence. The controlling idea of an essay is called a thesis. A writer can use different types of evidence to support ...

  5. Illustration Essay: Topics, Tips and the Outline

    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.

  6. How to write an illustration essay

    An illustration essay is a type of argumentative essay that uses examples to support its thesis. However, unlike other essays, an illustration essay does not rely solely on logic and reasoning to make its case. Instead, it uses concrete, specific examples to illustrate the point it is trying to make.

  7. Illustration Essay Guide

    An illustration essay is a piece of writing that uses examples to support a thesis statement or main idea. It is also known as an exemplification essay because it provides specific instances that demonstrate or " exemplify " the writer's point.

  8. What Is an Illustration Essay and How Can You Write a Good One?

    Don't confuse the illustration essay with an argument essay. Although an argument essay uses examples (just as an illustration essay does), the goal of an argument essay is to convince readers. It takes a stance on a subject and attempts to persuade readers of the writer's opinion.

  9. Illustration Essay: How to Write, 10+ Topics, and Examples

    The purpose of an illustration essay is to explain or clarify a concept, idea, or argument by providing examples and evidence that help readers understand the topic in a deeper and more concrete way.

  10. Illustration

    Figure 1. More often than not, the style of illustration is used at the paragraph level of essay writing. In an illustration essay or a paragraph that employs illustration, your focus is on using examples that are relevant and strong to your argument and appropriate for your audience.

  11. How To Write An Illustration Essay Help + Topics Examples

    An illustration essay can be described as a short work of nonfiction that usually consists of an introduction, several body paragraphs and one or two conclusion paragraphs. The author uses examples from literary texts to support their argument.

  12. Illustration and Exemplification

    When writing an illustration essay, keep in mind the following: Use evidence that is appropriate for your topic as well as appropriate for your audience. Assess how much evidence you need to adequately explain your point , which depends on the complexity of the subject and the knowledge of your audience regarding that subject.

  13. What Is an Illustration Essay? Definition, Tips & Examples

    Illustration Essay Definition To give you a clear idea of your first potential question on the concept of - what is an illustration essay - here is a simple definition from our essay writing service: Illustration papers serve as a form of written composition employed to present instances or examples of a particular concept or idea.

  14. Illustration Essay: Definition, Topics, Examples and Tips

    5. Body Paragraphs. This body section is typically made up of 3 paragraphs, but the number can be increased depending on the topic. In an illustration essay the body paragraphs should begin with a topic sentence followed by some supporting details and an example.. Make sure to include stronger evidence to support the thesis.

  15. 150 Illustration Essay Topics For Every Student

    Illustration Paper Topics. You may additionally need topics for an illustrative essay or a paper. You may need this for a presentation or your undergraduate long essay. You can consider the following illustration topic ideas: Describe a religious ceremony and practice you once witnessed and its importance to sociology.

  16. Writing an Illustration Essay

    An illustration essay is a variant of the basic essay format. In other words, it follows the format: Introduction (including the 'thesis statement') Main body (divided into separate but connected paragraphs) Conclusion (summarising your argument). The difference is that in an illustration essay, the evidence is largely provided by the ...

  17. Illustration Essay Guide: Tips for Successful Writing

    Updated 22 May 2023 An illustration essay is a practical exercise before writing your future thesis. People call it as student's first step to the joy of discovery. This kind of papers encourages them to use fresh ideas when it comes to supportive arguments and to pay more attention to the research process.

  18. 3 Strong Argumentative Essay Examples, Analyzed

    The Toulmin model is the most common. It begins with an introduction, follows with a thesis/claim, and gives data and evidence to support that claim. This style of essay also includes rebuttals of counterarguments. The Rogerian model analyzes two sides of an argument and reaches a conclusion after weighing the strengths and weaknesses of each.

  19. How to Write an Argumentative Essay

    Revised on July 23, 2023. An argumentative essay expresses an extended argument for a particular thesis statement. The author takes a clearly defined stance on their subject and builds up an evidence-based case for it. Argumentative essays are by far the most common type of essay to write at university. Table of contents

  20. 50 Compelling Argumentative Essay Topics

    50 Argumentative Essay Topics. Illustration by Catherine Song. ThoughtCo. An argumentative essay requires you to decide on a topic and take a position on it. You'll need to back up your viewpoint with well-researched facts and information as well. One of the hardest parts is deciding which topic to write about, but there are plenty of ideas ...

  21. Illustration Essay: Guide to Writing an Excellent Piece of Work

    Illustration essay writing is crucial for your personal academic development. It creates the necessary basis for dissertation and thesis writing in the future. While writing an illustration essay, you learn how to develop arguments based on thorough research and analysis. By illustrating different points in the academic format, you demonstrate ...

  22. 20 Easy and Free Argumentative Essay Examples for Students

    Follow the steps of the chosen model and start writing the essay. The models for writing an argumentative essay are the classical model, the Rogerian model, and the Toulmin model. To make sure that you write a good argumentative essay, read the different types of examples mentioned in this blog. 1.

  23. Argumentative Essay Examples to Inspire You [+Formula]

    December 12, 2023 Argumentative Essay Examples to Inspire You (+ Free Formula) Have you ever been asked to explain your opinion on a controversial issue? Maybe your family got into a discussion about chemical pesticides Someone at work argues against investing resources into your project

  24. How to Write a Synthesis Essay, WIth Examples

    Synthesis essays are often contrasted with argumentative essays, but the truth is that the two are not mutually exclusive. For example, an argumentative essay can use the format of a synthesis essay—combining points from multiple sources to form a new unified idea—in order to refute a preexisting idea.