Free Illustrative Essays

Henry David Thoreau once said, “If you would convince a man that he does wrong, do right. However, do not care to convince him. Men will believe what they see. Let them see.” In terms of academic writing, this phrase means being able to draw visual images with the help of words. What is an illustration essay? An illustration essay is what best describes a paper written to create a picture in the reader’s mind and deliver the target message more effectively. In this article, we will discuss the meaning, topic, and several examples of the illustration essay.

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Illustration Essay Definition & Usage

A student may ask, “What is an illustration essay”? It is a logical question. This genre of writing is rare compared to argumentative, persuasive, compare & contrast, or narrative papers. Illustration essay interprets specific situation/person/object by providing certain examples and different details to let the reader understand the selected topic broader. To understand different types of academic essays better, you may like the website full of free essay examples.

Here is the list of illustrative essay examples. Choose the topic without conducting research!

Sports

  1. Use specific sports terms to illustrate how to swim a stroke in Olympic swimming, dive, or demonstrate other abilities in the water.
  2. Explain how dancing/acting on the stage is different from the high school cheerleading; what is a higher art?
  3. Discuss why a sports team of your preference (basketball, football) is underrated; why the soccer team you dislike is overrated.

Academic Life

  1. Illustrate the stages a college applicant should take in writing a winning college entrance essay to join the target educational institution.
  2. Share how you managed to survive your first year in college with your readers by writing several effective tips from your experience.
  3. Explain how you used to flirt with the opposite gender correctly to avoid being a part of the “friendship zone.”

Work & Career

  1. Show the way professional scientists conduct research by describing every required step in details.
  2. Explain what an HR manager does; write down several examples from your personal interaction with the representatives of this profession.
  3. Illustrate what a chief from the prestigious restaurant downtown does to cook the dish of the day (e.g., a deer).

Communities

  1. List & explain the features of a good business writing (e.g., make a list of the winning professional terms/keywords, which helped you to pass a job interview).
  2. Write about the city, which used to survive some natural disaster (an earthquake, tsunami, tornado, hurricane, etc).
  3. The topic on how society can support children who became the victims of school bullying/hate crimes/home violence.

How to Write an Illustration Essay


Writing an essay is made of five basic steps. Before writing your paper, decide on the most effective title.

Step 1: Identify the object of your writing (a.k.a. the main illustrative essay topic) and write a powerful thesis statement, which will impress both the teacher and entire reading audience. Help your reader to understand your topic ahead. Pick minimum three keywords/points to explain why you believe/deny the specific idea - this sentence is your thesis statement.

Example: “Gender stereotypes exist in the professional world. Many business companies prefer having men as their CEOs.”

Step 2: You are almost done with your introduction paragraph. Keep on writing what you are going to share with the reader, and provide reasons for choosing a particular topic. Start the first paragraph with the hooking sentence. Several types of the hooks exist to consider: direct quote, poetry line, metaphor, simile, joke, fact, etc. This technique will grab the reader’s attention from the first line of the essay. [Learn here how to write an analytical essay]

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Step 3: Your illustration essay should be supported by the good outline (an essay outline serves as the action plan for your writing from cover to cover). Keep on writing a paragraph supporting each reason why you chose a specific essay topic until you get three good reasons.

Example: “Last time I attended a job interview, I have lost my place to Mr. Green, and the only ‘good’ reason the local HR told me is he believes women do not possess powerful marketing ideas to help their company”.

Step 4: It is the easiest step in the essay writing. The writer must list three points explaining why he chose the specific illustration topic/example at the beginning of each sentence, and then support it with the meaningful evidence retrieved from the research.

Step 5: After writing a conclusion, a professional writer would like to double-check the entire essay for the following mistakes:

  1. Grammar & spelling
  2. Punctuation
  3. Plagiarism & other small issues

Even if you know how to write an illustration essay perfectly, do not ignore the stage of proofreading & editing, or hire professional online editors to check your final paper.

Types of Examples You May Use to Support an Illustration Essay Thesis   

To answer, “what is an illustration essay,” the student must realize the importance of examples taken from personal experience. You should support an illustration essay with the vivid examples from your personal experience. Use several good methods to get inspired: personal observation, interviews, experience, & media.

A personal observation requires observing different locations related to your chosen topic. Do not forget to take notes explaining your impressions through five human senses.

An interview means having a face-to-face conversation with people who are experts in the fields connected with your topic. These people can share exciting examples so that your writing will stand out from the rest of the papers. Conduct a research to prepare a list of related questions before contacting the people of your interest.

Recall your personal experience to include in your writing. Personal memories are a good source of ideas you can share with the readers to support the main argument. Research & look at some images to jog your memory. Write every topic detail you remember from your personal life experience; do not forget to include sensory expressions & comments from other people. Let the adjectives and adverbs help you with your writing.

Media is one of the most useful sources of ideas & examples in the modern world. Spend some time on social networks (Facebook, YouTube, Instagram) where people of all types share their experience by writing meaningful posts or publishing interesting videos. Pick the best topic examples for your illustration essay from the following sources:

  • Books
  • Videos
  • Articles
  • Feedback
  • Audios
  • Images

We hope that after reading the article from the market specialists, you understand the answer to the questions like, “What does illustrate mean in an essay?” If you want more illustration essay examples, help with the research, or good points to catch the reader’s eye, we have a solution. Just make an order! Go to the official academic writing service’s website to get the top-notch papers at affordable prices!

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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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