Illustration Essay Writing & Topic Help


(Updated on January 15, 2020)

An illustration essay is a text that incorporates illustrations that are intended to be as significant as the text itself.  This means that rather than being supplementary figures, these drawings are a central aspect of the essay's meaning, and are intended to be "read" in the same way that the text should be read.  Illustration essays are similar to photo essays, in which photographs serve as primary informational material; the only difference between the two is that illustration essays use drawn sketches and photo essay employ photographs.

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The drawings of an illustration essay are inextricable from the meaning.  To emphasize the importance of the drawings, illustration essays will typically feature sketches and text on most pages, rather than bookend the drawings at the beginning or end in separate, illustration-only pages.  The drawings should not, in other words, be placed as an appendix to the assignment, but should be presented in tandem to the text so that the reader will "read" both the illustration and the words on each page.

Illustration Essay Writing & Topic HelpTypically, an illustration essay is presented in order to explore topics that can be better or best represented with an element of visual representation.  They can also be simply an innovative way of presenting information that could be perfectly clear through text-only representation.  Regardless, every illustration report should organize The drawings in the same way as the paper is organized.  This means that the beginning sketches should provide background information, the next series of sketches should develop the idea of the topic in a gradually building order of importance, and the final illustration should reflect some sort of conclusion.  The drawings should, if separated from the text, mimic the paper's meaning through visual representation alone.

The text of an illustration report shouldn't focus solely on describing or explicating the paper's drawings.  Rather, the text should assume that the drawings are central rather than supplementary to the meaning of the text and refer to them without spending an inordinate amount of time explaining them.  The text should devote the bulk of its effort to developing points and claims in the same way a traditional paper would.

Because the interpretation of illustrations depends somewhat on the quality of the presentation of those sketches, an illustration report should replicate its drawings in such a way that they closely resemble their original forms in both color and quality.

Illustration Essay Topics

If a student is studying illustration, then it's expected that he/she may have to create an essay on an illustration essay topic.  There may be many different types of illustration essay topics that students can select based on the nature of the illustration course or the student's particular interests.  However, the method of finding an appropriate illustration essay topic may depend on the professor or purpose.

In many cases, a professor will assign students with an illustration essay topic that all students will have to use for their documents.  For example, if students are studying about digital illustration, the professor may require all students to write about vector-based illustration with programs such as Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw.  Students would then have to research these programs in order to write about the assigned illustration essay topic.

In other cases, professors may allow students to determine their own topics for illustration projects based on the students' areas of interests.  In such a case, students may have to fit their preferred illustration essay topic into a general subject area, such as the historical record of illustration, illustration tools, or a particular illustrator.  Students would also need to perform their own research into the specific topic.

Regardless of the illustration essay topic that a student chooses, he/she will be successful if he/she understands how to write an essay.  Many students in illustration programs may not have as much writing experience as students in other programs because illustration students are taught to communicate primarily through artwork.  Therefore, students may require help from a professor, writing center, or professional writer in order to create effective illustration essays.

Students can begin their documents by researching the particular illustration essay topic in depth.  They should keep notes pertaining to their research so that they can have an easier time remembering what they have learned when they begin to write their documents.  Regardless of the illustration assignment topic, learners should always investigate multiple research options, including periodicals, books, magazine, experiments, and interviews.

There is a difference between illustration essay topics and titles.  Many students believe that the title of a report is the topic.  However, students can't create an essay without first knowing what topic they will need to cover.  Also, all students can write about the same illustration assignment topic, but not all students can have the same title for their documents, especially if published and copyrighted.

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