How to Write an Illustration Essay

How to write an illustration essay

When you hear the word “illustration”, some of the many things that come to mind are image, sketch, and clarity. By application, an illustrative essay shows your reader clearly what you are narrating, with the use of examples. Students are often assigned this type of paper, and it can be a bother if you’re a beginner. However, writing an illustration essay is easier than you think. When you know how to write this type of essay, other types of academic paper will be easier for you. There are some guidelines you should follow if you want to write a brilliant essay, and you will learn all of that in this article. You can also use the best essay writing services in USA by getting in touch with our professional writers at Grade Amplifier. First, we will start by giving you the definition of an illustration essay, after which we will go into detailed guidelines.

What Is an Illustration Essay?

An illustration essay is a type of academic paper where you use examples to support an idea. This essay requires that you use many examples as pieces of evidence to clarify your points. The purpose of this academic paper is to teach you how to employ supporting facts in demonstrating a notion. Also, learning this writing provides you with the skills necessary for a dissertation.

Similar to an illustration essay is an exemplification paper. The use of examples is how you can help your readers understand the narrative. The stronger your evidence, the easier it is to demonstrate your point to the audience. In other words, you need the proper evidence for effective writing. You can use real-life experiences, historical events, and scientific studies, depending upon the point or topic you are addressing.

Furthermore, you can think of this paper as when someone makes a drawing to show you how something looks. In the case of this essay, you will use your examples to illustrate in details a particular concept. Mastering the format of an illustration essay will help you when writing other academic papers. This is because regardless of the type of paper, you will need evidence to support your theory.

Topics for an Illustration Essay

Sometimes, instructors will provide topics for the students that they deem necessary for their level. However, your professor may require you do the research yourself, and come up with an interesting essay topic. How do you do that?

First, one of the best sources of inspiration is the media. You can get different unique ideas from reading blog posts or scrolling through your social media timeline. Watch online videos, read articles, books, journals, watch a movie, or listen to a podcast.

Another way to get ideas for your illustration essay topic is by monitoring the current happenings and paying attention to your environment. You can also take a stroll to open places, have a conversation with someone, or watch news channels. The source or format you use is inconsequential, so long as you find a good topic for your essay.

 Below are some topics for an illustration essay:

  • Write an illustrative essay on how sports journalism has changed in the past ten years
  • Demonstrate how advances in technology affect the way we learn
  • Illustrate the major arguments for the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris Agreement
  • Outline the key benefits of electric vehicles for the environment
  • Write an illustration essay on the importance of the free press in a democracy
  • Show with examples, how managers can improve the output of an employee in the workplace
  • Does the beauty industry hurt the self-esteem of young girls and women?
  • Explain how social media influences voters, public opinion, and political campaigns
  • Describe the challenges for the future of complementary and alternative medicine in the United States
  • Discuss the contribution of education to economic and social development

The Structure of an Illustration Essay

An illustration essay follows the structure of a standard academic paper. It is the same with other types of writing and includes an introduction, main body, and a conclusion.


The introductory section of your essay is what draws the attention of your reader. If you don’t put any effort into making this section engaging, you will start off on the wrong foot. The purpose of an introduction is to give your audience an overview of what you will be illustrating. Try to have the attention of the reader first, then present your subject.

An introductory paragraph contains a hook that would make someone want to indulge your paper. Following the hook should be several background sentences on the topic of discussion. Also, add a thesis here like you would in other academic papers. The thesis statement should be the last sentence in your introduction.

Illustration Essay Thesis 

For this type of essay, your thesis gives the reader a description of your paper. Note that it shouldn’t sound like you are taking a stand on the subject and making an argument. Like in other types of essay, the thesis can be a sentence or a few sentences long.

Body Paragraphs

Typically, you should have three body paragraphs with each supporting the main argument, with a different piece of evidence. The structure for your paragraphs should consist of the following:

  • Topic sentence, which is the supporting argument
  • Background sentence
  • Examples
  • Analysis and illustrations.  

Note that you can place your pieces of evidence in terms of their significance. You can start from the most compelling down the least, or start from the least up to the most compelling evidence. How you decide to order the evidence will depend chiefly on what ways you want the reader to “picture” your narration. Also, keep your examples specific and clear, and explain them fully.


The conclusion paragraph is often the shortest in an essay. Draft it the same way you would write any other academic paper. Remember, the essence of this section is to summarize your main points, without introducing any new ideas. It’s your last chance to leave an impression on your reader, so be sure to do it well. You can suggest further discussions of the topic to your audience, as this will indicate your illustration doesn’t cover every aspect of the essay topic.

Do you need help with the structure of your illustration essay? Get in touch with our writers for all the support you need. We offer cheap essay writing services you can count on at all times.

Step by Step Guide for Writing an Illustration Essay

Step 1: Plan and Conduct Some Research

The first step before you begin writing your essay is planning. Read the requirements in the instructions and what is expected of you. Did your instructor already choose a topic, or are you required to do that? Also, what number of words and how many pages should your essay be? Schedule ahead on the suitable time to start writing, so you can meet the deadline.

After choosing a topic to work on, go on to set out time for some research. Even if the subject is one you are familiar with, you will need the help of other sources to gather information for your writing. Besides, you may find valuable materials with profuse evidence for your work.

Step 2: Choosing your Sources and Evidence 

There are enough pieces of evidence to help you write a brilliant essay; all you need to do is find them. You can start by reading the media for some background information on your topic. Finding enough data may take some time, but it’s worth it.

Since this is an academic paper, the sources and evidence you use in your writing should be credible, objective, and authoritative. Some of the different types of evidence you could use include scholarly articles, anecdotal evidence, current events, statistics, research studies, and historical evidence.

Personal experiences are encouraged when writing an illustration essay. Use specific ones that relate to the topic. You can also include examples from your observation of different environments in your paper. Furthermore, you can schedule an interview with an expert in the field you are writing about to get their opinion. An expert’s opinion is always a great way to make your paper impressive.

If you are planning on writing an essay with three body paragraphs, do not limit yourself to only three examples or illustrations. Make a list of your options, and in the end, choose the most effective ones.

Step 3: Draft an Illustration Essay Outline  

An outline makes the writing process smooth and less cumbersome. Put down the main points and examples you plan to illustrate. In the end, you should have an Introduction, Body Paragraphs, and Conclusion. We explained earlier how to write each of these sections.

For emphasis, the first paragraph in your essay consists of the introductory sentences and a thesis. Try to make it engaging and irresistible for your audience. Your body paragraphs are where you state the main points and evidence. 

Be sure to use evidence suitable for the subject you are discussing. Finally is the concluding paragraph, where you draw the main points together.

Note that in an illustration essay, you are building a bigger picture, with each example and following illustrations. Leave your audience with the last sentence that shows the final image, which is the essay’s primary goal.

Step 4: References 

Referencing is a requirement in every academic paper. You should state your sources on the final page of the illustration paper. There are different referencing styles, but your instructor will tell you which to use when writing. Generally, all you have to do here is list all the sources you used in your paper. Write the name of the author, the title of the article, and the date of publication.

Step 5: Proofread and Edit your Paper

When you are through writing your illustrative essay, the next essential thing is to proofread your work and edit. This step is required because grammatical errors and mistakes will give you a lower grade. Even with the most astounding ideas, if you fail to edit your essay, you will get a disappointing mark. What’s more, editing your work will allow your reader to focus on the message you want to pass.

One of the ways to spot silly mistakes is to read the paper out loud or backwards. Another way is to use editing software like Grammarly. However, don’t rely entirely on a spell checker. You can also ask someone else to read your paper and identify any errors you miss.

Additional Tips for Writing an Illustration Essay

Transition Words and Phrases: To make your illustration essay easily readable, use transition words and phrases. They help connect a preceding sentence or paragraph with the next one. Not only will that help in ordering the presentation of your essay, but it also places it on a higher caliber. Some examples of transition words and phrases are: first, second, third, furthermore, to illustrate, for instance, similarly, for example, and likewise. These words and phrases help the reader stay informed on the sequence of your writing.

Filter Out Some Details: You will have many pieces of information after brainstorming and doing your research, most times, even more information than you require for your writing. However, because there is a word limit, and you don’t want to bore your reader as well, focus on the essential points. Including a lot of details may seem like the only way to make your illustration essay convincing, but you can do that with few.

Select Suitable Examples: When writing, you need to use only examples suitable to the topic under discussion and your target audience. The target audience is the group of people the essay intends to reach and address. If the academic paper is a class assignment, you don’t have to write for your teacher or instructor. For example, if your topic is to compare effective vs ineffective studying techniques, the intended audience is students. So, your focus should be on them. Determining your target audience will help you know what information and evidence to use in your paper.

Give Descriptions: Remember you are writing an illustration essay, not some list of examples. In as much as this type of paper needs several examples to express the ideas, do not state them without descriptions. Explain how they relate to your topic and thesis. As well, you don’t want to insult the intelligence of your audience by over-explaining your points.

Write Clearly and Concisely: To do this, try to use the fewest words possible in a sentence. Remove redundancies and unnecessary words and phrases. Also, use straightforward languages in passing your thoughts across. Doing all this will not only help you stay within the word limit but can make your writing more efficient. If possible, write in the active voice. 

Use an Appropriate Tone: A writer’s tone shows his attitude towards the subject and matches the purpose of writing. That said, you can transmit a series of emotions that connects the reader, the topic of discussion, and you – the writer. When writing an illustration essay, you want to be assertive yet friendly. Always keep in mind that you are not trying to impose your points to your audience.

Create a Proper Title: For your essay, you need to come up with a suitable title. It should be brief; hence you must avoid any unnecessary words. The title is the first thing anyone will see before reading your essay. It should be able to describe to them in the fewest possible words, the content of your paper. Avoid using abbreviations or adding an exclamation mark to your title.

Stuck with Your Illustration Essay?

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