The Illustration paragraph is an excellent start for basic level writers and ESL writers; this type of paragraph is one of the most basic types of paragraphs and easy to follow. Moreover, the illustration paragraph helps writers become more analytical in a fully developed and focused way. The illustration paragraph allows writers to examine one element from his or her life and explain his/her likes or dislikes regarding this element by using clear and specific examples. This element can be anything, such as a specific place, a specific thing, a person, a subject, a job, an animal, etc. This type of paragraph allows writers to understand his or her feelings about his/her written subject. The following format and two examples of an illustration paragraph provide a helpful tool for writers to follow. Step 1 provides general advice about planning your paragraph. Step 2 contains a step by step format/recipe of an illustration paragraph. Step 3 and 4 are two student samples that compliment the format in step 2.

Be sure to take time and think about the one element that you want to write about. Take some time to think of three things to tell why you like or dislike this element. Furthermore, be sure to think of specific examples that will support your three reasons.

Follow this format:

A standard format/recipe of an illustration paragraph:

a). Write 1 clear topic sentence that mentions the element that you are going to write about, and be sure to include 3 key words or phrases that explain why you like or dislike the element that you are writing about.

b). Write 1 sentence that explains your first key word from your topic sentence.

c). Write 1-2 sentences that provide a clear and specific example that supports the explanation of you first key word.

d). Using a transitional phrase, write 1 sentence that explains your second key word.

e). Write 1-2 sentences of a clear and specific example that supports your explanation of your second key word.

f) Using another transitional phrase, write 1 sentence that explains your third key word from your topic sentence.

g) Write 1-2 more sentences that contain a supportive clear and specific example for your third key word.

h) Write 1 concluding sentence that will seal off your entire paragraph.

Follow this example:

A student example of 1 well developed and well focused illustration paragraph: The lower case letters are a guideline, which match up with the ingredients from the above format.

(a) My favorite place to vacation is Maui, Hawaii because it has relaxing beaches, great weather, and the people are friendly. (b) First of all, Maui has the most relaxing beaches, which helps people clear their minds from all stress. (c) For example, during the year, I live in California, which is very stressful from school and work; however, in the summer, I am on the beaches of Maui. When I am on these beaches, I listen to music and just stare out into the water, and no thoughts enter my mind. (d) Maui is also my favorite place because the weather is so comfortable; it is not to hot and not to cold. (e) For instance, every morning, every afternoon, and every evening, the sun is warm, but there is always a refreshing breeze known as the trade winds, which really makes a person feel in a good mood. Even when it rains in Maui, the weather is not too cold; it still stays warm. (f) Finally, I like Maui because the people are so friendly, which makes the atmosphere that much more pleasurable and peaceful. (g) To illustrate, every time I go into a store, a restaurant, or even out on the streets, everybody is always greeting you saying Aloha. The local people always have a smile on their face and are always calm with the tourists. (h) In conclusion, for all these reasons Maui is my favorite place.

Follow this second example:

Another student sample of 1 well developed and well focused illustration paragraph: The lower case letters are a guideline, which match up with the ingredients from the format in step 2.

(a) My least favorite genre of movies is horror films, because they usually are influential, disturbing, and depressing. (b) To begin with, horror movies are too influential, which can cause people to do bad things. (c) For example, I went to school with two people who loved horror movies, especially movies that dealt with serial killers. One day these two classmates were caught with weapons and diaries that explained their plan to duplicate what they saw in some of the horror movies they watched. (d) Another reason why I dislike horror movies is because they disturb me from my sleep due to the content of these films (ghosts, killers, monster's etc). (e) To illustrate, the other day, my two best friends invited me over to watch some scary movies. We watched The Strangers and Paranormal activity, and after we watch these films, I went home and did not sleep all night; I kept thinking that someone or something was in my house. (f) Third, I do not like horror films because they are depressing; people always die in them, and I do not like to see that, especially if I already had a bad day. (g)For instance, one day I had the worst day at work and school. When I came home, my roommate was watching a horror movie, and at least ten people died within the first 20 minutes. Seeing this did not make me feel any better but worse. (h) To conclude, these are all the reasons why I dislike horror films.

Always properly edit your work for content/organization and grammar/mechanics.