At school and university, pupils (and students) regularly encounter written works: essays, expositions, reports. Someone copes with them “at times”, while someone sits for hours and cannot figure out what teachers want from him.

But! It is not a matter of inspiration or even an understanding of a given topic. The key to a good text is knowledge of the structure, basic requirements and style. This is the only way to write truly high-quality, interesting work. This article will focus on the illustration essay. You will receive practical advice and recommendations and find out what pitfalls you encounter when writing this type of essay.

Illustration essay definition

An illustration essay serves to clarify ideas (general statements) using examples (illustrations). When choosing examples, you need to make sure that they actually support the idea and that they are enough for this purpose.

The author’s task is to state and prove his unique idea. Visual examples, accurate data, personal observations are used.

Everything is simple here: your goal is to prove a statement. For this, you select and give examples. It is important that these examples really prove your words.

Illustration essay outline

The sequence of creating an essay is reduced to three stages: introduction, main part, conclusion.


An illustration essay, like any other written work, has an introductory part. When writing an introduction, the author seeks to interest the reader, encourage a full reading of the work. The introductory part covers the topic of the essay, contains a catchy quote or a rhetorical question. The main thing is to create an emotional color and a transition to the essence of the story.

The main part

Here, various positions regarding the central problem are examined and proved. The main part includes several points. A separate paragraph has three sections: thesis, argumentation and sub-conclusion.

Correct argumentation plays a special role in creating an illustration essay. A talented author knows how to convince of the truth of the point of view, makes you look at the event from different angles. When arguing, it is necessary to formulate statements, make explanations and give examples.


The case is approaching a logical ending. The problem is formulated again, and a conclusion is drawn. With final proposals, it is necessary to add integrity to the whole picture, to make the reader want to reflect on what they read.

Topics for illustration essay

Possible problems you can cover while writing an illustration essay:

  • Why, having matured, does a person feel a connection with the house of his childhood, with the world of his childhood?;
  • Why is childhood the most important stage in human life?;
  • Why should a person keep a memory of the past? What does it mean to love your family and your homeland?;
  • Why not forget the father’s house?;
  • Is childhood really the “golden” period of a person’s life?;
  • What is the role of childhood in becoming a person?;
  • Why is it in everyday situations that the moral essence of a person often manifests itself?;
  • Is your native language enriched or spoiled due to borrowings?;
  • What is the degree of human influence on nature and what are the possible consequences of this influence;
  • Should a person perceive nature as something living, take care of it?;
  • Is it natural to divide people into rich and poor, is society organized correctly?;
  • Do the well-fed and rich think of those who cannot afford to have their fill?;
  • Can children from a low-income family resist the temptation of abundance and not become embittered?;
  • Can personal and public interests coincide when choosing a profession?;
  • Can a person be free from society, from other people?;
  • The problem of commercialization of culture.

Illustration essay tips

Common mistakes when writing an illustration essay:

  • Erratas and typos. You need to re-read an essay several times to make sure that all phrases and expressions are appropriate and correct. Unsuccessful speech turns, semantic and spelling errors will spoil any essay.
  • Pouring water. Too large introduction, lack of detail in the main part. Sometimes authors go around the topic and do not reveal the essence of the problem. The size of the essay is limited. It makes sense to throw out unnecessary details and descriptions. It’s better to concentrate on what really matters.
  • Too many words. The longer the sentence, the more difficult it is to grasp its meaning. Thoughts in the form of short, concise sentences have a greater effect than long phrases. In addition, the shorter the sentences, the lower the risk of messing up with punctuation marks.

Avoiding common mistakes will help you successfully write an illustration essay and interest readers in a spectacular way of presenting the information.

The most important tips that you first need to keep in mind when writing an illustration essay

Be sure to write a statement on which you will write an illustration essay. After writing the paragraph, again return to reading the phrase.

Use a draft when writing an illustration essay. It is useful to leave blank lines between sentences, leave wide fields where you can then make corrections, additions in the process of editing the original text.

Highlight paragraphs; observe the red line; use short, simple, varied sentences

Use the proposal building scheme:

  • “I believe (I think, I believe, etc.) that … since …”;
  • “I think that this (act, phenomenon, situation) can be assessed as … because …”
  • In my opinion .., I share the author’s position …;
  • In conclusion, we can conclude that …

Own a set of definitions for each topic. Confident knowledge of terms and concepts is the primary condition for success when working on an illustration essay.

Before you start writing, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Which section of the topic to write about do I know best?
  • Which of the suggestions in my version can I reveal most fully?
  • What ideas do I want to communicate?
  • What concepts should be used when expanding the topic?
  • How much time will it take me to write this work?

Draft. It is obligatory to write the topic in the draft – this is a condition of the task, re-read it several times. Divide the draft into two columns, write down the topic in the first, and write down words, phrases, associations, quotes in the second – everything that appears in the mind when reading a quote is your working material.

Good examples of illustration essays

Prove or expose the phrase: “The goal of a school should always be to develop a harmonious personality, not a specialist” (Albert Einstein).

The main idea of ​​this statement is that the duty of any school is not primarily teaching specific disciplines, but developing spiritual and social qualities in a person. The author reflects on the significance of the school as a source of personality formation. I completely agree with the opinion of Albert Einstein, and I believe that this topic is relevant to the entire world community.

Consider this statement from the point of view of social science. Personality is a concept that characterizes a person as a social being, which has its own individual qualities and preferences, which are formed in society. The school, as a social institution, teaches people generally accepted norms of behavior, introduces them to culture and thereby adapts everyone to life in society. 

A specialist who has received certain knowledge and skills in one area has a completely different meaning. Such a subject can be well informed and trained in their profession, and at the same time, not affect the structure of society as a whole. Thus, the role of a specialist is limited only to a certain area of ​​activity, and the role of a person is invaluable to the entire world community.

As confirmation of the above, I will bring such great personalities as Tolstoy and Winston Churchill. The activities of these people influenced the whole history of mankind, and after all, they were all losers. The poor school did not affect the further successes of these geniuses in the field of literature, politics and science.

In conclusion, I want to say that the school is not a place where a successful and great person is brought up, it is a place where a harmonious individual is formed.

“Democracy is a bad form of government, but humanity hasn’t come up with anything better” (W. Churchill)

In this statement, W. Churchill raises the idea of ​​minor democracy as a political regime. According to the author, democracy is not an ideal form of government, but clearly better than authoritarianism and totalitarianism.

Democracy is a political regime in which power belongs to the people; the rights and freedoms of citizens are the main priorities. Under an authoritarian regime, the economic and political sphere is controlled by the state, while in the social and spiritual people freedom is granted. In a totalitarian regime, all spheres are completely under state control. Comparing these regimes, we see that democracy involves the work of the authorities on the interests of the population, and not on their own. 

At the same time, on a par with pluses, democracy also has drawbacks. For example, in countries where the political activity of the population is low, the government does not fulfill its functions (optimization of political power, ensuring stability, management) in full, because democracy implies the participation of the people.

However, democracy is considered the best of the regimes. During the reign of Stalin, a totalitarian regime was established in the country. People did not have the rights and freedoms that we have now. There was strict censorship of the word, the media, control of absolutely all spheres of society. Most of the prominent scholars and writers recognized abroad were repressed; people lived in fear. All of the above actions by the state are completely contrary to democratic principles.

But democracy, as mentioned above, has some drawbacks. In 2016, as we know from the media, in the United States elections were held by popular vote. Most voted for Donald Trump. In the early days, he decided to strike at Syria, after which he aggravated relations with Korea, which adversely affected his authority as a ruler. As a result, the majority of the country’s population did not support Trump’s policy and “turned away” from the president they elected.

Thus, although democracy has its drawbacks that make it not the ideal regime, nevertheless, it takes into account the rights and freedoms of all sections of the population, the contradictions between which have always been.