An illustration essay is a piece of writing that illustrates a point, object or situation in such a detailed manner that the reader can see what the writer is talking about just through his writing. A lot of times, an illustration essay tries to prove that something exists by painting a picture through words for the audience. An illustration essay goes beyond describing something. If the essay is composed correctly, the audience will understand the writer’s subject in as much detail as the writer himself.
In the school setting, the teacher often chooses a topic for an illustration essay for students. However, if it is not already given to you, choose a topic that you are passionate and know a lot about. For example, if you decided to write an essay about how dog breed discrimination occurs in your town, make sure that you know enough about this topic to prove your point.
Don’t just tell your reader about your subject. Sticking with the dog breed discrimination example, don’t just describe what it is. Instead give detailed examples of situations that you feel illustrate the discrimination. Perhaps landlords don’t allow certain breeds of dogs on their properties. Give the audience lots of detail so that there is no doubt in their mind that a certain situation or thing exists. The more examples you can write in your essay, the easier it will be to illustrate that something exists.
Vary Example Types
Not every reader will respond to the same examples. By including different types of examples in your essay, you can better illustrate your topic to more people. Give examples from your own experiences with the topic as well as examples that anyone may come across. These may overlap or your experience with a certain topic may vary substantially from the normal experience with a topic.
Analyzing a situation should be left for an analysis essay, which seeks to prove why something exists rather than just proving that it does exist. Illustration essays should stick to illustrating your point. In longer, more complex writing assignments — like ones assigned in college — students might have the chance to combine these two types of essays. However, in lower grade levels, combining these essay types may result in a lower grade for not fulfilling the assignment properly.
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AP classes are college-level courses offered at high schools across the United States. These classes are recognized by more than 90 percent of colleges and universities. In order to receive credit for a class though, students must take an AP exam at the end of the course, which includes an essay for social science, history and English courses.
Students need to show that they have a deep and broad understanding of the subject they are writing about. As a result, students should start studying for the AP exam several weeks in advance so that they can review all of the material that was previously covered in class. The people who review AP essays are looking to see that students can provide specific facts and evidence to support their arguments, and not just general ideas.
Writing a strong essay requires more than just knowing the right facts. AP essays are timed, and students should accustom themselves to writing under these strict constraints. The amount of time for each essay depends on the test, but students should prepare to write most essays in 30 to 45 minutes. Writing practice essays also helps prepare students for the types of questions that they may be asked. The College Board, which runs the AP exams, offers sample essay questions through its website.
Carefully Read the Question
In an effort to begin writing as quickly as possible, students often fail to read the essay question carefully. In order to receive full credit, students need to make sure that they answer all parts of the question completely. Taking the time to reread the question and think about what the test is asking can help students write better essays.
Even though the test is timed, taking a few minutes to write and craft a plan for the essay is time well spent. Students who plan out their essay can help ensure that their writing is clear, organized and detailed enough to answer all parts of the question. This is also a good time to think about the evidence needed to support the essay’s thesis or argument.
Students should begin with an introductory paragraph that clearly states their thesis for the essay. Following paragraphs should make their points clearly and early on in the paragraph to avoid confusing the reader. Each paragraph should directly support the thesis and provide specific evidence instead of broad generalizations. Writing a short conclusion helps sum up the essay’s points and re-emphasize the thesis.
Although students have little time to execute their essays, it’s still a good idea to proofread quickly if time permits. Doing so helps catch spelling and grammar errors that may detract from the essay.
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Effective essay writing is critical for a student to achieve academic success. It demonstrates to the professor that a student has a comprehensive understanding of the topic, good critical thinking skills and the ability to convey it all in writing. While tackling an essay assignment may seem like a difficult task, heeding a few tips and practicing the craft frequently will result in improved results.
Don’t wait until the last minute before you begin writing your essay. Avoid the pitfalls of procrastination by getting started early and setting a schedule that gives you sufficient time for finishing before the due date. This way, if you run into unexpected issues in the course of writing your essay, or if you decide to change topics, you have enough time to get it done. Additionally, when you rush through the writing, the quality of your writing tends to decline.
Expect to Rewrite
Don’t spend a lot of time worrying about the little aspects of your essay on the first draft. The primary purpose of a rough draft is getting your ideas down on paper in raw form. Once you have accomplished this, go back and make corrections to your work repeatedly until you feel it’s a finished product. Remember that even the most gifted writers write multiple drafts before unveiling the end result. This will help take the pressure off as you first start your essay, lessening your desire to procrastinate.
Avoid Using Overly Technical Language
Experts in every industry typically understand their specialization so well that they have their own language, or jargon. Even if you find yourself becoming familiar with this language over the course of your research, avoid inserting unnecessary jargon into your essay. Depending on your assignment, you may be writing for a general audience that is learning about your topic as you present it. If you are giving readers just an overview of what you learned, throwing in technical terms may be inappropriate.
Carefully organize all your research and give proper credit to your sources whenever it is appropriate to do so. Even if you aren’t using direct quotations, paraphrases and summaries require citations as well. Unless you are writing down an original thought or common knowledge, acknowledge the source you got the information from. Bear in mind that plagiarism is not only committed with the intent to steal the work of others; failing to give credit due to careless citation is no excuse.
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