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Illustration By Example Essay Introductions

Not all of us are “right-brained” enough to have a powerful visual imagination. So, when the tutor handles the illustration essay task, hands could get a little shaky. But, no worries! This type of essay is not about artistic visualisation nor it requires any kind of drawing experience. It is much more about the “big picture” vision and the ability to formulate examples supporting your claims/arguments. So…

Contents

What is an Illustration Essay?

Illustration essay is here to prove a particular thing exists. This particular essay type relies much more on a research than analysis in order to prove a particular point. It contains a great deal of description and provides the reader with vocal examples. The thesis is formulated in the introduction; then it is developed with the help of illustrative examples within the body paragraphs – just to be perpetuated in the conclusion by the end of the essay.

Writing the Illustration Essay

An illustration essay is also commonly referred to as an Example essay. Of all the different kinds of essays students write, this exists as the most straightforward, easiest essay to write. While other essays require very specific aspects, such as the Cause and Effect essay, an illustration essay is exactly what it sounds like: an illustration of a particular subject. If you’re wondering if it requires drawing, have no fear! In an illustration essay, the writer illustrates his or her points with clear, authentic examples—not pictures. The body paragraphs should contain research illustrating the thesis, and likely the Works Cited and/or Bibliography pages.

Here is how to approach each of the sections of your illustration essay:

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
  • Quotation
  • Rhetorical question
  • Personal anecdote

Following the hook should be several background sentences. These sentences provide key information the audience may need to fully understand the concept being illustrated in the essay. Such information could include defining important vocabulary, providing historic or social context, or relevant personal background for individuals discussed in the paper. Information plays a fundamental role when it comes to putting up a piece of content, whether it ‘s an informative essay or not. Finally, the last sentence of the introduction paragraph should be the thesis statement. It’s a good idea to craft your thesis statement before you begin any research; a well-written thesis should be able to guide your research and make it more effective. What makes a good thesis? So glad you asked!

A thesis sentence should be both clear and argumentative.  For an illustrative essay, a thesis statement should focus on identifying the subject to be illustrated and the way the writer plans to support the illustration.

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 upon the complexity of the subject identified in the topic sentence, the writer may need one to three or more background sentences.
  • Research sentences. These sentences can be direct quotations or paraphrases of important ideas found during the research process. Any research sentences supporting the topic should be cited according to your teacher’s preference.
  • Analysis. Analysis sentences explain how the research sentences are relevant to the topic sentence and thesis sentence. These sentences often use analysis words such as shows, portrays, illustrates, proves, and communicates.
  • Conclusion/Transition. This sentence wraps up the paragraph and transitions the reader to the next idea in the following paragraph.

Now, here is where the “illustration” part comes in. You need to support each body paragraph statement with examples, proving or supporting your claim. Two examples covering each statement works the best. There is no need to dive too deep into examples – just lay them out as you outline your body paragraphs.

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Conclusion

Beginning the conclusion paragraph means that you’re almost done! Conclusion paragraphs are typically the shortest paragraphs in an illustration essay. Its purpose is to reiterate the main points within each body paragraph and prove to the reader that the writer proved his or her point within the essay. While these paragraphs are short, they are important; it is the last impression the reader has – so make it a good one!

Conclusion paragraphs should be strongly worded and confident. However, they should not introduce any new information; focus only one what’s already been presented as evidence in the essay.

Tips from our writers – free takeaways!

Transitions can really help move an argument along in an illustration essay. Transitions are words that act as connectors in a sentence; they connect one idea to another. They can show similarity, contrast, or illustration among other connections. Want your illustration essay to shine? Consider incorporating the following transitions to improve the flow of the essay:

  • For example
  • For instance
  • As an illustration
  • To illustrate
  • In this case
  • Similarity
  • In contrast
  • Another

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

As with all essay writing assignments, it’s important to begin early and stay on-task. Keep to a writing schedule, beginning with an idea outline to organize your thoughts and help guide your research.

Check out this no-frills outline:

  • Thesis: Cats make the best pets because they are loving, intelligent, and independent
  • Body Paragraph 1: Prove cats are loving
    • Example 1: they are loving to their owners (well, maybe not all of them)
    • Example 2: they are loving to other animals (except dogs, of course)
  • Body Paragraph 2: Prove cats are intelligent
    • Example 1: capability to train cats
    • Example 2: ability of cats to solve problems and play
  • Body Paragraph 3: Prove cats are independent
    • Example 1: cats can entertain themselves
    • Example 2: they are born hunters
  • Conclusion: Wrap it up with strong statements – prove your initial point

Illustration Essay Sample

Be sure to check the sample essay, completed by our writers. Use it as an example to write your own essay. Link: Illustration Essay on Social Statuses

Drawing the line (figuratively)

Taking the time to outline and narrow your research focus makes finding information much, much easier! But it is not always necessary to verse an outstanding illustrative essay. The best way to prove your point is to show a real-life example. Nothing really works better than cases and situations taken straight from your life experience (almost like the narrative essay, right?) People with colorful life experience tend to be the best in the illustrative essay “business”.

Remember: you have many resources available to you to help you earn the grade you want. Stick to a good writing schedule and take a rough draft to your professor for constructive criticism. Visit the campus writing center if you have one, or send your essay to our professional writers service for editing. Revisit and revise your draft at least once—perfection is a process!

Guides

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.

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