Illustrative Essay Introductions

Writing a Proper Introduction for Your Illustration Essay

An illustration essay is based on explaining subjects and matters in a way adequate to providing a picturesque description. It should be the kind that makes one have a picture in mind they never had before, for the issues and subjects they are reading about.   It proves a point by supplying adequate evidence. Such a write-up relates to identification of an element in a work, and developing it in relation to the element chosen.  The main intention of the introduction is to act as an eye-catcher to the reader as well as offer a basis on what they should expect. 

Here are steps to start off the illustration essay;

  1. Understand the flow/type of the essay: The flow is determined by the type of illustrative essay assigned. For instance, it could be a definition, explanation or cause type. The type also defines the nature of the topic and thus the nature of introduction. 
  2. Start off with an interesting topic: If you are aware of the reader's taste, it is important to develop the writing around this taste. The exposition must draw readers into the writer’s work and, by providing as much illustration as possible, rally for their support and/or engagement in the discussion. 
  3. Have a thesis: Also the main revolving idea of the illustration essay, the thesis constitutes the main argument of the writer in relation to the topic. More or less, it will show the writer’s position, which he/she will then support by finding out evidence. It ties the reader to what will be proved using the evidence to be presented in the body. The thesis is presented in the introduction.
  4. Be as vivid as possible: Vivid descriptions of events, people and places will provide a mental picture to readers and are suitable for definitive and explanation types of illustration essays. Personal experiences with people, events and places are also good details to add in the introduction. However, balance between providing as much details in the introduction and providing generalizations. More details should be in the body section.
  5. Avoid ambiguity: A general rule in writing is to avoid ambiguities, especially in the introduction. An ambiguous statement is one that is hard to understand and can make readers have a negative attitude about the general assignment. They may thus become less interested.  
  6. Length of introduction: It is not meant to provide all details and will be good as long as it has highlighted the main ideas and introduces the discussion. It should be done by approaching matters in as broad perspective as possible before narrowing down to details in the body.

Not all of us are “right-brained” enough to have a powerful visual imagination. So, when the tutor handles the illustration essay task, hands could get a little shaky. But, no worries! This type of essay is not about artistic visualisation nor it requires any kind of drawing experience. It is much more about the “big picture” vision and the ability to formulate examples supporting your claims/arguments. So…

Contents

What is an Illustration Essay?

Illustration essay is here to prove a particular thing exists. This particular essay type relies much more on a research than analysis in order to prove a particular point. It contains a great deal of description and provides the reader with vocal examples. The thesis is formulated in the introduction; then it is developed with the help of illustrative examples within the body paragraphs – just to be perpetuated in the conclusion by the end of the essay.

Writing the Illustration Essay

An illustration essay is also commonly referred to as an Example essay. Of all the different kinds of essays students write, this exists as the most straightforward, easiest essay to write. While other essays require very specific aspects, such as the Cause and Effect essay, an illustration essay is exactly what it sounds like: an illustration of a particular subject. If you’re wondering if it requires drawing, have no fear! In an illustration essay, the writer illustrates his or her points with clear, authentic examples—not pictures. The body paragraphs should contain research illustrating the thesis, and likely the Works Cited and/or Bibliography pages.

Here is how to approach each of the sections of your illustration essay:

Introduction

This paragraph opens the illustration essay. It typically contains anywhere from 5 to 15 sentences; a number of sentences depend upon the density of the topic being explained in the essay. It should begin with a hook – a sentence to gain and keep the reader’s attention. Hooks may also be referred to as “attention getters”. Examples of hooks include:

  • Interesting facts
  • Relevant statistics
  • Quotation
  • Rhetorical question
  • Personal anecdote

Following the hook should be several background sentences. These sentences provide key information the audience may need to fully understand the concept being illustrated in the essay. Such information could include defining important vocabulary, providing historic or social context, or relevant personal background for individuals discussed in the paper. Information plays a fundamental role when it comes to putting up a piece of content, whether it ‘s an informative essay or not. Finally, the last sentence of the introduction paragraph should be the thesis statement. It’s a good idea to craft your thesis statement before you begin any research; a well-written thesis should be able to guide your research and make it more effective. What makes a good thesis? So glad you asked!

A thesis sentence should be both clear and argumentative.  For an illustrative essay, a thesis statement should focus on identifying the subject to be illustrated and the way the writer plans to support the illustration.

Body Paragraphs

A body paragraph’s purpose is to support the thesis. Each paragraph should contain a different piece of evidence that proves the writer’s thesis has merit. All body paragraphs follow a universal format involving five basic sentence types:

  • Topic Sentence. This sentence identifies the topic of the paragraph and how it relates to the thesis statement.
  • Background sentence(s). Depending upon the complexity of the subject identified in the topic sentence, the writer may need one to three or more background sentences.
  • Research sentences. These sentences can be direct quotations or paraphrases of important ideas found during the research process. Any research sentences supporting the topic should be cited according to your teacher’s preference.
  • Analysis. Analysis sentences explain how the research sentences are relevant to the topic sentence and thesis sentence. These sentences often use analysis words such as shows, portrays, illustrates, proves, and communicates.
  • Conclusion/Transition. This sentence wraps up the paragraph and transitions the reader to the next idea in the following paragraph.

Now, here is where the “illustration” part comes in. You need to support each body paragraph statement with examples, proving or supporting your claim. Two examples covering each statement works the best. There is no need to dive too deep into examples – just lay them out as you outline your body paragraphs.

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Conclusion

Beginning the conclusion paragraph means that you’re almost done! Conclusion paragraphs are typically the shortest paragraphs in an illustration essay. Its purpose is to reiterate the main points within each body paragraph and prove to the reader that the writer proved his or her point within the essay. While these paragraphs are short, they are important; it is the last impression the reader has – so make it a good one!

Conclusion paragraphs should be strongly worded and confident. However, they should not introduce any new information; focus only one what’s already been presented as evidence in the essay.

Tips from our writers – free takeaways!

Transitions can really help move an argument along in an illustration essay. Transitions are words that act as connectors in a sentence; they connect one idea to another. They can show similarity, contrast, or illustration among other connections. Want your illustration essay to shine? Consider incorporating the following transitions to improve the flow of the essay:

  • For example
  • For instance
  • As an illustration
  • To illustrate
  • In this case
  • Similarity
  • In contrast
  • Another

Transitions can link similar ideas in the same body paragraph or link different examples between body paragraphs.

As with all essay writing assignments, it’s important to begin early and stay on-task. Keep to a writing schedule, beginning with an idea outline to organize your thoughts and help guide your research.

Check out this no-frills outline:

  • Thesis: Cats make the best pets because they are loving, intelligent, and independent
  • Body Paragraph 1: Prove cats are loving
    • Example 1: they are loving to their owners (well, maybe not all of them)
    • Example 2: they are loving to other animals (except dogs, of course)
  • Body Paragraph 2: Prove cats are intelligent
    • Example 1: capability to train cats
    • Example 2: ability of cats to solve problems and play
  • Body Paragraph 3: Prove cats are independent
    • Example 1: cats can entertain themselves
    • Example 2: they are born hunters
  • Conclusion: Wrap it up with strong statements – prove your initial point

Illustration Essay Sample

Be sure to check the sample essay, completed by our writers. Use it as an example to write your own essay. Link: Illustration Essay on Social Statuses

Drawing the line (figuratively)

Taking the time to outline and narrow your research focus makes finding information much, much easier! But it is not always necessary to verse an outstanding illustrative essay. The best way to prove your point is to show a real-life example. Nothing really works better than cases and situations taken straight from your life experience (almost like the narrative essay, right?) People with colorful life experience tend to be the best in the illustrative essay “business”.

Remember: you have many resources available to you to help you earn the grade you want. Stick to a good writing schedule and take a rough draft to your professor for constructive criticism. Visit the campus writing center if you have one, or send your essay to our professional writers service for editing. Revisit and revise your draft at least once—perfection is a process!

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