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Illustration Essay

​For this formal essay assignment, choose a topic and write an illustration essay.  A list of possible topics is below.  You may choose one of these topics or come up with a topic of your own. 

What are the advantages of ____________________________?
What are the disadvantages of _________________________?
What are some silly fads or fashions from a specific time period?
What are the most important traits of an effective leader?
What are the most important qualities of a good mate?
What are the most important qualities of good teachers?
What are the most important qualities of a good boss?
What are the most important qualities of a good parent?
What are the most important qualities of a good friend?
What are the easiest ways to effectively relieve stress?
What are the best things in life that are free?
What are the most common mistakes that good parents make?
What are the most important personality traits that someone can have?
What are the biggest pressures faced by college students?
What are the most important qualities for success?
What are the most prevalent stereotypes on television?
What are the most useless products or inventions of a specific period?
What are the most important qualities of a good workplace environment?
What are the biggest temptations that college students face?
What are the most important characteristics of a good neighborhood?
What are the most important characteristics of a good house?
What are the most important characteristics of a good vacation?
What are the most important qualities of a winning ____________ team?
What are the most important qualities of an excellent meal?

Your essay needs to be five paragraphs.  Below, you will see the criteria for each paragraph.
 
Paragraph 1--Introductory Paragraph

The introduction provides a general lead-in.                                       

A clearly-stated, specific thesis statement comes at the end of the introduction.  The thesis statement includes a topic and a controlling idea about the topic.  The thesis statement identifies the topic of each body paragraph.

Thesis statement example:
--The most important traits of an effective leader include __topic for body paragraph #1____, __topic for body paragraph #2_____, and __topic for body paragraph #3____.   

*Remember that an introduction is organized like a funnel or an inverted triangle.  For ideas on how to write your introduction, see introductory paragraphs.

Paragraphs 2, 3, 4--Body Paragraphs

Each body paragraph transitions from the previous paragraph.                  

Each body paragraph has a clear topic sentence that directly supports the thesis statement.

Topic sentence examples:

--Body 1—One important trait every effective leader needs is __topic for body paragraph #1__.

--Body 2—In addition to __topic of body paragraph #1­­__, an effective leader needs __topic for body paragraph #2__.

--Body 3—The most important trait of an effective leader is __topic for body paragraph #3___.       

The topic sentence in each body paragraph is supported.                                            
Each piece of support in a body paragraph includes a transition.


Each piece of support in a body paragraph has details to explain or prove it.        

Each body paragraph has a concluding sentence.                                                             
All the sentences in the body paragraph “flow” together.                 

                *Remember the general format for a body paragraph:

                                Topic Sentence
                                                Support 1
                                                                Details
                                                Support 2                           
                                                                Details
                                                Support 3
                                                                Details
                                Concluding Sentence

Concluding Paragraph

The conclusion rephrases the thesis statement and summarizes the main points in the essay.

*for ideas on how to write your conclusion, see concluding paragraphs.

 
​Example Essays: History's MysteryDangers of Outer SpaceHazards of Movie GoingAfrica