What Is an Illustration Essay: 12 Topics, Examples, and Useful Writing Tips

What Is an Illustration Essay: 12 Topics, Examples, and Useful Writing Tips

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, the process of writing, and several examples of the illustration paper.

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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. When working on the illustration essay, writer should interpret 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 texts better, you may like the service full of free essay examples, where you can find not only great essay topics for both professional and amateur writers, but also various examples how to prove your main point in the illustration essay.

Here is the list of illustrative paper examples. Here you can find the best essay topics you can choose from to write a nice illustration paper.


  1. Use specific sports terms in the body of your text 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 text 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).


  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 topic) and create 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 important keywords/points to explain why you believe/deny the specific idea - this sentence is your thesis statement. Thesis statement is necessary not only for the introduction but also for the body paragraphs — it’s the main point that you need to prove or show in your illustration paper.

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 new reasons for choosing a particular topic. Start the first body 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 illustration essay. [Learn here how to write an analytical essay]

Step 3: Your illustration essay body paragraphs should be supported by the good outline in order to be able to show your point of view fully (an outline serves as the action plan for your writing from cover to cover). Keep on writing a paragraph supporting each reason with an information why you chose a specific illustration 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. In the body paragraphs, 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, professional writers should double-check the entire text for the following mistakes:

  1. Grammar & spelling (you can use any online proofreading service for that purpose)
  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 using popular academic writing services.

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

To answer, “what is an illustration paper,” the student must realize how important are the examples taken from personal experience. You should find enough details to support an illustration essay body paragraphs with the vivid examples from your personal experience. Use several good methods to get inspired: personal observation, interviews, experience, media, and other services. The process of finding appropriate data may take some time, but it will make the quality of your text much better.

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 and important information before you contact the people of your interest.

Recall your personal experience to include in your writing. Personal memories are a good source of new 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 the process  of writing.

Illustration Essay Outline

Although some students claim creating an outline is a waste of time, it is a very helpful step. It is recommended to create a 5-sentencs outline; 1-sentence per one paragraph. Your outline the main ideas of your essay and then only need to expand them,


  • introduce the topic
  • provide backround information
  • explain relevance and value of the topic
  • add strong thesis statement

Body paragraphs

  • present your ideas in a logical order
  • discuss one idea per paragraph
  • use linking devices
  • make your paragrpahs balanced


  • restate thesis statement
  • summarize main ideas
  • conclude the whole paper

Paragraph Structure

To make your essay coherent and logical, the paragraphs should be balalnced. It means they should consist of at least 3 sentences to include all the necessary components.  
  1. Each paragraph should start with the topic sentence that is the main idea of the paragraph
  2. There should be a supporting and controllong idea
  3. The paragrph should end with a concluding sentence that summarizes it
  4. Each parahrpah should resonate with thesis statement
  5. Discuss only one idea per paragraph

Helpful Tips for Your Perfect Illustration Essaay

  • Mind classical essay structure
  • Do not just tell, describe
  • Use appropriate language
  • Add examples
  • Express and develop ideas logically
  • Avoid wordiness
  • Keep your paragraphs ballanced
  • Proofread

Sources for 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) and other services where you can talk to different people who can share their experience by writing meaningful posts or publishing interesting videos. You can use it to prove any point you make in your body paragraphs. Pick the best essay topics examples for your illustration paper from the following sources:

  • Books
  • Videos
  • Articles
  • Feedback
  • Audios
  • Image

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 examples, help with the research, or good points to catch the reader’s eye, we have a solution. Just contact one of the best writing services and make an order! Go to the official academic writing service’s website to get the top-notch papers at affordable prices!