Illustration Essay

Writing Assignment: Illustration Essay
You are required to submit the FINAL copy of this assignment, but you may first submit an optional
DRAFT. This will allow you to receive qualitative feedback that can inform your revision. You should
always avoid focusing solely on the grader’s DRAFT feedback; use the feedback as a supplement to the
course lessons and your own revision ideas. Always expect to revise beyond what the DRAFT grader
specifically notes.
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 you’re 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? Describe everything in this environment—perhaps from the dispositions of
your coworkers and supervisors to what clothes you wear to work.
 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 author’s 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
one credible1
source to earn maximum credit for this essay. This resource from the course

1 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 aren’t 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.
Thesis hints: Here are some general and specific examples of how you might think about your
thesis for this assignment:
General:
If you are illustrating qualities that make up something:
In order for a friend to be considered a true friend, he or she must be (characteristic 1), (characteristic
2), and (characteristic 3).
OR
If you are illustrating a recipe:
(Add a range of ingredients), (add major utensils needed), and (add time necessary) are all that are
required to make (add dish).
Specific:
If you are illustrating qualities that make up something:
In order for a friend to be considered a true friend, he or she must be loyal, honest, and trustworthy.
OR
If you are illustrating a recipe:
Fresh produce, mixing utensils, and about a half an hour are all you need to create excellent
guacamole.
The guidelines for this assignment are as follows:
Length: This assignment should be at least 500 words.
Header: Include a header in the upper left-hand corner of your writing assignment with the
following information:
 Your first and last name
 Course Title (Composition II)
 Assignment name (Illustration Essay)
 Current Date
Format:
 MLA-style source documentation and Works Cited2
 Your last name and page number in the upper-right corner of each page

2 This resource may be helpful as you are making MLA formatting decisions:
https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/
 Double-spacing throughout
 Standard font (TimesNewRoman, Calibri)
 Title, centered after heading
 1” margins on all sides
 Save the file using one of the following extensions: .docx, .doc, .rtf, or .txt
Underline your thesis statement in the introductory paragraph.

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