In short, an illustration essay will use clear, interesting examples to show, explain, and
support a thesis statement (remember, your thesis is your main argument, or the main
point youre trying to make). One key to an effective illustration essay is to use enough
details and specific examples to make your point effectively. In other words, descriptive
writing is key.
You have several options for this assignment, so you will need to choose one:
Illustrate the ideal work environment. If everything was perfect at work, what would
it be like?
Illustrate what it means to be a true friend. What does being a true friend mean
to you? What true friends have you had, and how do their actions coincide with
being your definition of a true friend?
Illustrate how your favorite team or player received their current standing or
ranking. How did the team or player do in the most recent season? What qualities did
this team or player demonstrate to earn this ranking?
Look at your favorite poem or short story, and use illustration to explain what
makes it your favorite. Do you enjoy the authors language? Do you enjoy the
storyline? What else do you enjoy that makes it your favorite?
Illustrate the purpose of props on the set of your favorite media production. What
props are there? Why are they important?
Illustrate how to create your favorite dish. What steps are required to create this
dish? Be sure that you take your audience through this process step by step!
Illustrate how to play your favorite game. What steps and/or actions are necessary
to play this game? Take your readers through the motions, step by step.
The questions above are designed to help you begin brainstorming ideas; however, you are
free to develop your own brainstorming questions and use them to develop your essay.
Since the purpose of this essay is to illustrate, you should have enough specific details and
examples for your essay to be considered an illustration essay.
Many illustrations may come from your personal experiences. However, even personal
experiences should be supported by research in college essays. Thus, you must cite at least
source to earn maximum credit for this essay. This resource from the course1 Please note: Basic dictionary sources, user-edited websites (e.g., Wikipedia, eHow, etc.), and sites that house
databases of quotations are not considered credible sources. You will lose points in the Research category of the
rubric if your sources arent credible.
will help you understand more about evaluating sources. Failure to use and cite at least one
credible source will result in a point deduction from your grade. Properly cite your source(s)
in MLA format and include a Works Cited page (this resource from the course will help).
Review the rubric for this essay to get an idea of how your work will be assessed.
As with all college writing, your essay should have a strong thesis statement in addition to an
introduction, body, and conclusion.
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