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What Does An Illustration Essay Mean: Basic Tips To Take Into Account

An illustration, or exemplification essay, is a writing style that incorporates specific information, like research and anecdotes, to convey a specific message or idea. In other words, these pieces allow writers to develop an idea or opinion and explain their reasoning by presenting examples of it.

Mastery of this form provides an important foundation for both academic and professional careers because of its general relevance. All essays and reports, regardless of whether they’re informational, argumentative, or just being done for homework, require the evidence and factual support that an illustration essay teaches writers to use.

While illustration essays are arguably the most simplistic, there are still basic tips to take into account.


  • - Give a clear and defined thesis. Thesis statements provide guidance and structure for both the writer and reader to navigate through the piece. Make sure your statement clearly defines the point that you are trying to make. Structure your thesis statement in a way that leaves room for further examples, and use evidence to further support your claim.

  • - Provide an example for every point you make. Without evidence and support, the points you make are essentially meaningless. Use facts, research, anecdotes, and stories to strengthen your main points as they relate back to your thesis. These should strengthen your main points not distract from them.

  • - Know your form. There are two types of illustration essays - single example and multiple example. A single example limits each paragraph to one example. While not standard practice for the multiple example form, single example pieces also allow for the use of narrative examples to be incorporated. The multiple example type, on the other hand, discusses two or more examples per paragraph. This type is not meant to include one example in one paragraph, and then two examples in the next. Be clear on which type you are writing and practice consistency.

  • - Use smooth transitions. Transitioning between stories in an essay can be tricky. Do your best to incorporate stories in a way that allows for a seamless transition. This can be achieved by being mindful of word choice. Phrases like, “for example” and “as indicated by” will quickly become repetitive. Other phrases you could use are, “An illustration of this is”, “For Instance”, and “This is exemplified by”. Don’t be afraid to get your thesaurus out and mix up your word choice. The reader will thank you.

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