Ever hear the phrase “for illustration purposes only”?
An illustration is a picture or drawing, but in this case, it doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with actual images. “For illustration purposes only” means that examples are being presented to highlight or explain a topic.
The same is true for an illustration essay. Its purpose is to use evidence to demonstrate a point or prove that a phenomenon exists.
Let’s take a closer look at that definition and learn how to write a good illustration essay.
What Is an Illustration Essay?
At the core of an illustration essay are examples—and plenty of them. The goal of the essay is to use various examples to prove a point or phenomenon.
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.
The illustration essay, on the other hand, should avoid taking a stance and avoid personal opinion. It should remain objective and provide examples to illustrate.
With this definition of an illustration essay in mind, let’s move on to actually writing one.
How to Write a Good Illustration Essay
One of the key steps in writing any good essay is planning. You’ll need to do things like prewrite, research, and outline to focus your ideas.
Here are four steps to help you plan your illustration essay.
Step 1: Find an appropriate topic
Remember, you’re not writing an argument essay, so don’t choose something like abortion or gun control as the focus of your paper.
Instead, choose something like one of the following:
- College freshmen often become overwhelmed during their first semester.
- People who live in cold climates are likely to become depressed in winter.
- Children are influenced by the type of television programs they watch.
These topics don’t present an argument. They present a topic that requires you to incorporate examples to help illustrate the point or phenomenon.
Step 2: Brainstorm a list of examples
You’re going to need a fair amount of examples to support your thesis. Of course, the longer your paper, the more examples you’ll need.
Make sure you list more examples than you think you’ll ultimately include. Chances are, not all of your examples will fit into your paper, so it’s better to be able to leave out a few ideas than to struggle to find more.
Let’s say you’re writing about college freshmen becoming overwhelmed during their first semester.
Your list might include the following examples of what overwhelms students:
- Classes and the corresponding workload.
- Balancing work, school, and family obligations.
- Sorority or fraternity obligations.
- Extracurricular activities, such as games, practices, and performances.
- Pressure to maintain grades or to maintain sports or scholarship eligibility.
- Learning how to do certain tasks for themselves for the first time, such as cooking and laundry.
Your list might need to be longer than this to ultimately find the best three or four key examples, but a short list is a solid start to finding the best examples for your paper.
Step 3: Do research
There are certainly times when your prof won’t require you to include any research. If that’s the case, you’ll simply use your own experiences and ideas as examples.
If you need to incorporate research, however, you will want to find appropriate examples from your sources.
For instance, one example might be a student who almost dropped out of college because he was overwhelmed with coursework. Another example could be a student who sought treatment for panic attacks because she felt pressured to maintain a high GPA in order to keep her scholarship.
Don’t forget to cite your sources in proper format, such as APA or MLA.
Read 5 Best Resources to Help With Writing a Research Paper if you’re looking for a little help with finding sources. (And always make sure they pass the CRAAP test!)
Step #4: Make an outline
The outline is your chance to pull all your information together and sketch out your ideas.
When outlining, you’ll decide which examples you’ll include in your paper and what types of information you’ll provide to illustrate those examples.
You’ll also decide in what order you’ll discuss the examples. It’s often a smart idea to include your strongest example last. That’s what readers will remember.
Don’t forget to include a strong thesis statement in your outline too. That will ensure you have a clear direction for your paper.
2 Tips to Remember
Before you begin drafting your illustration essay, keep these two important tips in mind.
Tip #1: Know the assigned point of view
By point of view, I don’t mean your opinion on the topic. (Remember, your opinion won’t be included in an illustration essay.) I mean the point of view from which you write—you know, first person (I, we, our, us), second person (you, your, you’re), or third person (he, she, it, they).
Third person is preferred in academic writing, so even if you don’t have to include research in your essay, don’t assume that you can write in first person. Check the assignment guidelines to make sure you’re writing from the assigned point of view.
Tip #2: Include enough examples
Your prof probably won’t tell you how many examples you’ll need to include in order to write a successful illustration essay. I don’t have the magic number, either.
What I can tell you, though, is that you should definitely include more than one example to support each key point.
In a shorter essay, two to three examples will generally suffice. If you’re writing an essay longer than four to five pages, you’ll probably need more than three examples to support each main idea.
Check out these sample illustration essays to see how other students incorporate examples into their essays.
Give Yourself a Hand!
You’ve put a lot of time and effort into planning and drafting your paper. Good work!
At this point, I suggest you take a break. Take a walk. Get a snack. Let your mind focus on something else before you return to your paper to revise. If you have the time, set your paper aside for a day or two, then make any necessary revisions.
At Kibin, we’re always ready to lend a hand with revision too, so let us provide some constructive feedback while you take that walk.
Psst... 98% of Kibin users report better grades! Get inspiration from over 500,000 example essays.
More than 80% of students share they understand the topic better with the help of examples. Teachers who realize the power of visualization in learning try to involve images/videos in their lessons to explain the material in-depth. They may assign an illustration essay to teach this trick to their students. What is an illustration essay? The article you are reading contains valuable information on how to write the academic paper of this type, which topics to cover, and what the purpose of such writing is.
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If you still find it difficult to work on the illustrative essay or another type of homework assignment, it is better to contact professional essay writers ASAP.
What Is an Illustration Essay?
Another way to call illustration essay is an example paper because it provides vivid examples on the given topic to make it clear. It is an easy and straightforward form of writing. In fact, any type of essay or research paper requires examples to illustrate & support the essay main point, which is an argument.
Example: Write about gender stereotypes. Support your point of view that female employees are paid less and often discriminated at the workplace by drawing particular examples from other sources or personal experience. You may describe the way your sister is treated at the factory where she is currently working with male employees.
Cause-&-effect and compare-&-contrast essays need examples. We can conclude that an illustrative essay is the part of an academic paper. The main difference between an illustration essay and argumentative or persuasive essay (the most popular homework assignment) is the fact student does not have to prove anything in the first case. Include only corresponding examples.
Read about these and other typical mistakes college students tend to make while writing the academic papers of different types and topics.
How to Write an Illustration Essay
How to write an illustration essay to make the target reading audience understand your topic despite their experience in the chosen field? Good essay writing always begins with the process of planning. Dedicate some time to writing a detailed essay outline to support the entire process. Once you are done with your research on the topic of your interest, develop a step-by-step instruction on a separate paper. Teachers offer an outline as an extra option. We recommend writing an essay outline even when your requirements do not tell to do it. There are several steps every writer must take:
- Develop final draft
- Proofread & edit
Read the suggested set of rules to get an overall understanding of how to plan and write a powerful, interesting illustration essay. So, what is an illustration essay?
You need a good topic
Brainstorming helps to come up with the best topic ideas; make a list of the points you would like to discuss in your illustrative essay. Don’t try to choose a debatable topic like gun control. Think about how to interpret your topic with the help of related images and describe the examples using various details. That is all a paper of this type should include.
Make & Use a List of Examples
A writer needs to make a list of topic-related examples to support the thesis statement and every paragraph’s argument effectively.
Example: You need to write about the young professionals. A reader might be interested in discovering what factors irritate people who obtain the first full-time job in their lives. What does illustrate mean in an essay on this topic? Use the following examples to explain what overwhelms & annoys young workers:
- A large volume of a workload at the early stages.
- Lack of professional support from the senior managers.
- Learning how to accomplish specific assignments (typing texts on specific equipment, using special technological advancements, reporting to seniors, organizing work schedule, etc.)
- Trying to find a balance between work, education, and family responsibilities.
DO MY HOMEWORK TASK
Every writer needs to conduct research before writing an informative paper on the chosen topic. Even if you are an expert in the field of your interest, do not mind researching with the help of print material or modern channels like search engines. It is not hard to research in Google. Modern technologies allow researching without spending much time on it.
You need to support every argument in your illustration essay to make the reader believe you are competent in the field of your study. Each time you use good ideas found in the sources written by other people, reference them properly. Are you acquainted with MLA, APA, and other paper formats? If you need help with this issue, use professional essay writing service to hire a good expert in college homework.
Once you decide on the topic and paper format, you need to make an outline. An outline is similar to the table of contents: it contains a title of each section (intro, body, and conclusion) along with a short sentence describing each section.
9 Good Topics for Your Outstanding Illustration Essay
Would you like to have a list of good illustration essay topics to save time on research?
What is an illustration essay? Students who have unanswered questions after reading a brief guide from academic writers should turn to the professional academic services. Here, it is possible to order custom illustration essay or another homework solution within the set period of time!
Do Research and Write an Outline
- The police utilize racial profiling against minorities to target them for random searches or treat them as suspects in different types of crimes.
- Climate is changing over the globe.
- Mega-retailers leave no place for the small businesses.
- Companies involved in IT industry tend to discriminate against female employees by promoting them to seniors less often than male employees, offering lower wages to them, and ignoring their mother rights.
- Candidates who win president elections are the wealthiest.
- The portrayal of violence in numerous video games, applications, television shows, and modern movies makes youth get involved in different types of criminal activity.
- The right to possess concealed weapons has prevented many tragedies.
- Why is it good to be the ruler of a country?
- Advanced nations do not allow families of more than three members to guarantee the decreasing rates of population growth and rise in the economy.