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Illustration Essay — Your Best Guide to Writing

What is an illustration essay? In short, it's an example essay. Those are synonyms. However, if you need a more detailed illustration essay definition, have a look at any academic prompt that requires students to write this type of paper. You will find out that it's a type of assignment addressed to illustrate a specific topic using particular examples.

Imagine that you are working on an illustration paper about the correlation between mobile devices and driving. To show how essential the problem is, include some vivid examples that prove that driving can be life-threatening when using mobile phones at the same time. Pick the crisper cases! Remember to show more than tell. That is the primary idea of such a paper.

Writing Step by Step

Just like any academic paper, it all begins with picking a topic and outlining the structure.

Collect primary and secondary sources that may be useful for your writing. Highlight specific parts of the text that you would like to insert as the quote. It will save plenty of time if you put down the full source's information on a separate piece of paper.

Before writing, make sure to get rid of all possible distractions like mobile devices or games. Start with an outline.

Developing an Illustration Essay Outline

The way you outline your academic papers depends on the type of assignment and subject that you study. To cite works in humanities, for instance, you should pick MLA format. If you study psychology and the related disciplines, you will be asked to format your work in APA style.

An essay in MLA does not require a cover page, and the list of sources is called Works Cited. In some other citation formats, you should craft a title page, table of contents, and annotated bibliography, which is more complicated than a simple list of references.

In our example, we will pretend that we write this type of paper using MLA, seeing as it is the format most commonly used by students when they have to compose illustration essays for their English composition or literature class.

An illustration essay structure will then look this way:

  1. Introduction
    • Attention grabber
    • Background info (topic introduction)
    • The significance of the offered theme
    • Thesis statement
  2. Body paragraphs (approximately 3)
    • Claim for each body paragraph
    • Supporting evidence for each body paragraph
    • Examples for each body paragraph
    • Transition words between all body paragraphs
  3. Conclusion
    • Restated thesis
    • Summary of the central points (claims)
    • Last word (it could be a hook)

Perhaps, this specific example of an outline for an illustration essay will help to understand the way it works better:

Reasons to Call Cats More Aggressive and Dangerous than Dogs

  1. Introduce the topic by paraphrasing it
    • Include an exciting fact or a joke related to the never-ending rivalry between cats and dogs.
    • Conclude with a thesis (e.g., "In this paper, I will prove that cats can be more dangerous than dogs based on real-life situations, statistics, and personal experience.")
  2. Body
    • Claim 1. Dogs get along well with most of the animal representatives.
    • Claim 2. Cats are more selfish and act out of their own interests.
    • Claim 3. In Egypt and some other African countries where people respect cats, they act like the landlords, scaring off both dogs and tourists.
  3. Conclusion
    • Paraphrase the thesis (e.g., "So, my goal was to prove that cats can be more aggressive than dogs in many life situations.")
    • You may end with a hook to keep the readers interested or impressed: "Does it mean that people should not try to make home pets out of the wild cats?"

The primary question of most students is how to start an illustration essay. We are ready to explain.

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Starting with a Bang

An introduction is the face of your story. The willingness of the audience to read your piece depends on how intriguing and eye-catching the opening few lines are.

You may either start or end with the thesis statement, but keep in mind that you should include it in the first paragraph.

This sentence or few represents the central point of your writing. In an illustration paper, a thesis can be as simple as "Learning how to cook is beneficial for any person despite their gender," or something like, "Studies prove that cats tend to be more aggressive than dogs." Make sure that you choose a thesis that you can prove with the help of relevant sources found online or in the library.

Wrapping It Up

The concluding paragraph of your paper should be as powerful as the opening part. Your goal is to leave a long-lasting impression and prove the significance of the studied question to your audience.

In your conclusion, never introduce new ideas or questions that require answers. You can only finish with a rhetorical one like, "Would the world be better off without cats?"

10 Impressive Illustration Essay Topics

Writing an illustration essay makes no sense without a good topic. If your teacher does not assign a specific topic to you, try to collect some nice ideas through brainstorming with your pals or alone.

It is better to choose something fresh to motivate people to read. Come up with original titles for your papers if you wish to succeed. Ask your teacher whether the selected topic is okay. Try to avoid sensitive issues.

These good illustration essay topics might be your perfect solution!

  1. Studying habits that help students boost their performance.
  2. The best way to break up with someone during a date.
  3. The role of school mascot in the life of an average student.
  4. The half-time show preparation in college.
  5. How to pick the most suitable educational institution.
  6. The work of a bank clerk.
  7. A guide for a start-up specializing in software development.
  8. The main difference between soccer and football.
  9. Several original methods to revitalize your household.
  10. 4-H competition in demonstrating the abilities of home pets.

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