How to Write an Illustration Essay?

By: Max Malak

7 min



How to Write an Illustration Essay?

This is a type of essay where you will be using various examples to support your stance. Here, your aim is not to discover a new concept, instead, solidifying your current argument in the thesis statement. It follows a rhetorical style and has to be backed up using real-life examples and past experiences to make your work more relatable.

Start Writing an Amazing Illustration Essay

Here is a step-by-step guide for writing a good illustration essay:

Selecting a Topic

If you have the freedom to choose the topic for your illustration paper, make the most out of it. The instructions by your teacher will help you shortlist some ideal topics. Consider the following factors while making your pick:

What Genuinely Interests You?

If you often find yourself dozing off while writing an essay, the best solution is to select a topic you are passionate about. You will want to explore the subject yourself and will not feel forced throughout the writing process. Your interest is reflected in your work. The readers enjoy the work that has been done wholeheartedly.

Availability of Resources

Before you settle on a topic, do preliminary research. This will help you figure out if there is enough material available for you to work with. Try not to select an idea that is either too broad in focus or too narrow. A topic broad in scope is challenging to tackle. Chances are, you will fail to write an essay that is systematic and well-flowing. A very focused subject will make it difficult for you to find relevant examples.

The Newness of the Topic

With that said, if you have been assigned a topic already or explore new territory, do not get overwhelmed. You can use the internet for potential essay examples. Brainstorming new ideas yourself is always encouraged. However, make sure you check with your instructor before starting writing. This is important, especially if you are new to this.

Conduct Your Research

Make research your best friend. When working on an illustrative essay, do not even think about jumping into writing without having enough material on you. This form of writing requires you to include many examples. Ensure you are finding credible sources for extracting this information. Platforms like Oxford Academic and Google Scholar are excellent for your research. This way, you can get several hands-on examples from professional writers.

Write an Outline

Outline creation plays a key role in writing an essay. It helps create a structure and logical flow within your paper, making it intriguing for the writer. The outline for an illustration essay is similar to a standard academic essay. It will consist of 5 paragraphs, and the breakdown of the sections is as follows:

  1. One paragraph is for the introduction,
  2. Three paragraphs are for the body of the essay,
  3. One paragraph is for the conclusion.

You can make web-diagrams and flowcharts while brainstorming to help create the outline. These diagrams will prevent unnecessary repetition of information. Furthermore, it helps streamline your research. You can filter out irrelevant facts and figure while jotting down important content.

Work on Content

It is time you should start writing the essay. Use the outline that you made previously to work on the sections below.


This forms the first section of your essay. You will begin with an introductory sentence. Follow this with an illustration essay thesis. Make sure to include all the necessary details here without dragging the paragraph. It has to be concise and to the point. Mention the topic you have selected and what made you choose it. You can also include its significance for the readers, so they feel connected to your work.

Thesis Statement

This should be written in the last couple of lines of your introduction. It is the argument you will be basing your essay on. Make this concise and specific. The paragraph to come later will be proving or rejecting the statement made. It will be summing up the main point of your illustrative essay.

Body Paragraphs

These are the paragraphs that come right after the introduction. In these paragraphs, you will have to support your thesis statement using evidence and concrete examples. Consider every paragraph as an essay in itself. Introduce an argument and back it up using examples from real life and personal experiences. Utilize the sources you were working with earlier.

It is worthwhile to check if each paragraph is coherent to the next and focus on the thesis statement. Use transition words for a smooth flow of content.

Building a Conclusion

Create an entire summary of the paper. Include all the highlights, examples, and illustrations. It would help if you also wrote the main takeaways. Show your audience the bigger picture. If a conclusion is well-written, it can have a lasting impact on the reader.


This is the last page of your essay. Whatever claims you have made, pieces of evidence you have used, and examples you have quoted, this is your turn to show that they are credible. It is especially very important in APA style. List them down using the sources' title, along with the authors' names and publication date.

Final Check

The most common mistake students make to submit the essay as soon as they finish writing it. It often leaves the paper full of tiny grammatical errors. Proofreading helps edit out all these errors. You can even ask a colleague or friend to read your essay to gain a fresh perspective and alter it if need be. It also helps determine whether the content aligns with the thesis statement. The last step is to run it through plagiarism software. Also, the most common formats to write this type of essay is APA or MLA. This means you will follow a formal structure and keep the formatting in mind when you are working.

Tips for Writing an Illustration Essay

Gather Evidence

Here is a word of advice! If you plan to write a three-paragraph essay, then include dedicating each paragraph to one illustration. There are instances in which you will have more options. In such cases, please take out a piece of paper and jot them down. Next, try to rate them. Your criteria should be the "importance" of each point.

Apart from this, check the number of arguments that you can make for each point. Lack of evidence and supporting points can tarnish the quality of your paper. You can simplify the process by making small mind maps and visually witness the amount of data you have for each item. Once you are done with this step, you can then choose the most intriguing and valid points.

Use Specific Examples

Every writer has a specific writing style. Some of you might engage in profound symbolism that is difficult for the readers to understand what you are trying to tell them. So, for such writers, including specific and ear-to-understand examples is a must. You can be creative with them by making them vivid or even shocking. The idea is to trigger certain emotions in a reader. Your writing must make lasting impressions so that they can always recall your work.

A plus point is to use personal experiences in your essay. However, it would be best if you first carried out audience analysis. The problem with such writings is that not everyone can understand or relate to those experiences. So, before you sit and recall your memories to formulate good examples, define your target readers. Only after this will you use appropriate tone and examples to capture their attention and entice them to read further.

Illustration Essay Topics

  • How to adjust to a college environment?
  • Reflect on the issue of gender stereotypes in the 21st century.
  • How to stay motivated during your college years?
  • What recent reforms should educational institutions bring to remain effective?
  • How to write your personal experiences in a college admission essay?
  • How can you make informed career decisions?
  • How to stay connected with university friends after graduation?
  • Talk about your favorite superhero comic series.
  • How to get a sales job in New York City?
  • How can a student write a perfect resume?
  • How is the beauty industry impacting social lifestyles?
  • Why is personal branding important in this age?
  • How do movies impact our lives?

The guide is useful for students like you looking forward to learning how to write an illustrative essay. Stay patient and keep working hard to perfect this art.

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Max Malak

Product Manager

Here at Studybay, I work as a Head of Affiliates in the marketing department. I studied Liberal Arts and took related classes at Tokyo Sophia University. I believe that challenges are what make my job fun and exciting. That's why I like completing complex, complicated, and even weird tasks and then sharing my experience with colleagues.

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