How to Write an Illustration Essay

During your school days, you will have been set the task to create an Illustration essay.

Your task is to craft an essay that will create a picture within the reader’s mind. This picture is usually created by the writer interpreting the subject and using evidence for the reader to interpret the broader subject.

So, if you feel you struggle with something like this or need extra help writing an essay, keep reading. You will learn how to create your essay in easy steps. You will be able to craft an Illustration essay in no time at all.

Know Your Topic and Create Your Plan

Before you start writing, you need a plan. If you have already been given a topic, then this will be easy for you. In fact, you can skip ahead if you like. If you are choosing your own? Then keep reading.

A plan is vital when writing an essay. A plan will organise your thoughts and make writing your essay simpler.

Brainstorm All of Your Ideas

Finding a topic you feel strongly about or are interested in is always a good place to start when creating your essay.

But regardless if you are writing about a topic you are invested in or have been given, brainstorming will give you the starting point you need.

It will allow you to create an outline for your essay and help organise your thoughts.

Choose A Topic from The Plan

After coming up with some ideas and narrowing down your options, it’s now time to pick your topic.

When picking that your topic fits your topic’s requirements, keep in mind and make sure it is not too broad/too narrow.

Too broad, and you will not be able to go into the details of your topic; too narrow, then you may struggle to find things to write about. A balance is needed.

Research the Chosen Topic Properly

Researching your topic, whether you have chosen it or it has been given to you, is the stage that will help you build a strong essay.

You will need to do some in-depth research to create the best platform to build off from.

How much evidence you gather will depend on how many paragraphs you intend to write. Three paragraphs? You will need three good examples. Five paragraphs? Then you will need five.

Make sure you pick only the best, though, points that will powerfully illustrate your point.  Gather a variety of different sources as well, both primary sources and secondary sources.

As well as using a wide range of different sources, you need to use reliable sources. Reliable sources are essential in creating a solid essay, as they are trusted.

You should also provide a well-rounded essay by using one type of source and a selection.

Now, you are reading to get into the writing part of your essay. To write, you need a structure.

Build Your Essay Structure and Outline Everything

Illustration essays follow the typical structure of most essays. Below will be an outline for you to follow if you are unsure or stuck.


  • A hook to grab your readers attention
  • Include a link to your thesis statement

Thesis Statement

  • A few sentences to describe your essay
  • A few sentences summarising your topic
  • Link to the main body

Main Body

  • An argument supporting the thesis
  • Evidence and example
  • Illustration
  • A link to the conclusion (final paragraph only)


  • A short summary of the essay
  • Concluding sentence

Although this is a short version of your plan, we can take an in-depth look at what a good plan will look like. Now, we can start writing.

Start with the Introduction

Your introduction paragraph is where you are going to introduce your topic. Typically is made of around 10 sentences; you can write between 5-15. It depends on you really, and how much there is to say about the topic.

Beginning your introduction with a hook will grab your readers attention and make your reader actually want to read your essay. You can use a variety of different types of hooks. They can be:

  • The fact that you find interesting
  • A statistic
  • A quote
  • An anecdote
  • Rhetorical question

After you have hooked your reader and have their attention, you now want to write some background sentences. These will fill your reader in on your topic and allow them to understand the point you are trying to make.

You should also provide definitions for essential vocabulary, context, or relevant information to any key figures in your essay. Information is vital in any essay you write.

The final line of your introduction should be your thesis statement. This statement needs to be well-thought-out, well-formed and coherent.

A well-formed thesis statement summarises the essay for the reader. It makes the main points clear concise. It should be:

  • Informative: it needs to highlight what the essay is about without expressing any opinion or views.
  • Straightforward and easy to read.
  • Appealing: like your introduction, it needs to hook the reader.

It is worth referencing examples online to really understand the style and what should be included. It is also good to make your statement before researching, as this will guide your research.

Craft the Main Body to Your Essay

This part of the essay is used to support your thesis, each paragraph providing a different piece of evidence. Each piece of evidence shows the reader that what you have to say actually has value.

Each of these paragraphs, while containing different information, will follow the same pattern or construction. The blueprint will be:

  • Topic Sentence: Identifies the topic and how it relates to the thesis
  • Background Sentence: Gives more information about the topic (decide how many you need)
  • Research Sentence: Direct quotes or paraphrase ideas. All need to be cited
  • Analysis: Explains how the research sentence relates to the topic and thesis
  • Conclusion or Transition: Concludes the paragraph or transitions between points

In fact, the main body of this type of essay is where the illustrating comes into play. You need to make sure you are giving each statement make with sufficient evidence. Two examples work the best for this, and you don’t need to go deep into explaining it either.

Make Your Conclusions

Typically the shortest paragraph you will be writing during this essay, you are nearly done when you reach this point.

The purpose of your concluding paragraph is to go over the main points of your essay. This will help the reader reach their own conclusions on the topic you have presented.

The reader will be able to see whether the writer, you, have proved their point effectively. Even though this paragraph is as short as a hobbit, they are vital to your essay. You need to make it solid and impressive as this is the last thing the reader will read, therefore the last impression.

Don’t make the mistake of introducing any new information here as you won’t be able to explain it. Reiterate the main points.

Now, all that is left is left for you to do is edit and revise. Here is a good guide that will explain it more: Editing and Proofreading.

In Conclusion

This type of essay can be challenging for any beginners. Still, by following this simple plan, you will find that the essay becomes more uncomplicated and more straightforward.

Just remember, you have a vast selection of resources to use, which you can use to gain the grade that you need or want. An excellent tip to take away is to stick to a good writing schedule and for you to take a draft to your teacher.

They will provide you with any constructive criticism, which you can use to create a much stronger essay.

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