What Is An Illustration Essay? Comprehensive Guide For Students

An illustration is a literary technique that employs examples to support an essay’s thesis or primary theme. The most common application of illustration is at the paragraph level to illustrate or support a point. You may encounter illustration essays of all forms in your college courses. An illustration essay is sometimes referred to as a student’s initial step towards the excitement of discovery. This type of paper motivates them to develop new ideas for supporting arguments and focus more on the research process. The illustration essay demonstrates how to locate and put together appropriate information for best essay writing.

“What is an illustration essay?” is a popular inquiry from students. To cut a long story short, it is a type of instructive writing similar to exemplification papers. The purpose of this assignment is to learn how to use a specific way to represent the existence of an item or occurrence. Let’s look at some pointers that will help you get better grades.

Definition of illustration essay

An illustration essay refers to informative writing in which the goal is to demonstrate a specific thing that exists and behaves in a certain way. Exemplification paper is another name for an illustration essay. It implies that the author must summarise empirical evidence and provide the definition. It is not a brand-new discovery but a summary of experiences with vivid examples that clearly define the issue. Good examples are essential for an illustration essay.

Steps to Write an Illustration essay

Topic Selection

The first step is to choose a topic that seems interesting to you. Choose a topic on which you can find enough information online.


Do some brainstorming about the selected topic and write down whatever idea comes to your mind. It will help you to develop the thesis statement later.


The next step is to conduct research and gather as much information as possible about the chosen topic. It is recommended to gather data from credible sources only.

Make an Outline

An outline is an integral part of an essay that helps keep your essay organized. Make a list of essential ideas and concepts you wish to incorporate in your essay. Also, make a list of as many examples as possible, and then choose the best ones to illustrate. Generally, the outline of an illustration essay looks like that:

  • Introduction
  • Thesis
  • Body Paragraph 1
  • Body Paragraph 2
  • And Body Paragraph 3
  • Conclusion

While making an outline, make sure to write down the ideas you want to include in each section.

Introduction & Thesis Statement

The introduction is the first paragraph of your essay and it usually consists of five to ten sentences. The number of sentences in the introduction section depends upon the nature of the topic. Begin the introduction section that hits the gist of the topic, followed by some background information. The last sentence of the paragraph contains your thesis statement that highlights the central theme of your essay.

Make sure to develop a cohesive and logical thesis statement that you can support with arguments and relevant examples. The thesis statement should reflect your point of view, but it should not be a value judgment. The thesis statement serves as a blueprint for the entire essay. It informs the readers about what you will discuss in the essay. For attention grabber or hook statements, you can use the following methods. An attention grabber could be like:

  • Fascinating facts
  • Statistics
  • Famous quotations
  • Rhetorical questions
  • An anecdote from personal experience

Body Paragraphs

The body section is the central part of the essay that usually consists of three paragraphs. The number of paragraphs can be more than three, depending on the nature of the essay. You can use the following methods to write down the body paragraph.

  • Start each paragraph with a topic sentence
  • The topic sentence should introduce the main idea of the paragraph emphasizing the thesis statement
  • Provide supporting evidence and example after the topic sentence
  • Make sure to provide credible evidence to support the topic sentence
  • Provide three or more background sentences to support your thesis statement
  • Use quotations and paraphrases of famous ideas to support your topic
  • Incorporate analytical sentences to demonstrate the relevance of topic sentences with evidence and examples. You can use words such as shows, portrays, illustrates, proves, and communicates in analytical sentences.
  • Conclude each paragraph in the main body with a linking sentence that concludes the paragraph. It should move the reader to the next idea in the next paragraph.

The body section is the part where illustration comes in. You must provide examples to back up the statements in body paragraphs. It is best to use two examples for each statement. There is no need to go into too much detail with examples. You have to lay them out briefly to illustrate your topic in the body paragraph


The conclusion paragraph does not have too many sentences. The goal of the conclusion is to emphasize the thesis statement and essential arguments from the body paragraphs. Its primary aim is to demonstrate to the reader that the writer illustrated the essay’s claim thoroughly. A conclusion paragraph is crucial for your essay, so keep it brief but create an excellent final impression.

The tone of your language, in conclusion, should be confident and assertive. A conclusion should not provide any new information. Instead, it should focus on what was already presented in the essay.

An essential tip for the essay

Make sure to use transition words in the illustration essay. Transitions are those words in a sentence that operates as connectors. They connect one notion to the next. Transition words also demonstrate similarity, contrast and illustration. To improve the essay’s flow, consider using the following transitions:

  • For example
  • For instance
  • As an illustration
  • To illustrate
  • In this case
  • Similarly
  • In contrast
  • Another
  • Case in point


Beginners might find it tough to compose an illustrative essay. Drafting an illustration essay can be made much easier by following simple directions. It entails studying the definition of an illustration essay, writing procedures, outlining formulation, and reading about examples. We hope you will have a deeper understanding of the issue after reading this article.