Illustration paragraphs

In an illustration paragraph, specific examples are used to clarify and support a general statement.

Topic sentence makes a general statement.
Support sentences give one or more specific examples.
Concluding sentence (usually unnecessary)

 This is a graphic with heading and people. The heading reads: Useful transitional words and phrases. The people have speach bubbles above their head that give four examples of transitional words and phrases: for example, for instance, an illustration of this, another example


Examples of questions which require an illustration paragraph

  • Illustrate the mechanisms of two types of simple responses to light.
  • Where are piedmont glaciers found?
  • How does high population density affect the behaviour of mice?

Sample paragraph 1

Where are piedmont glaciers found?
Piedmont, or mountain, glaciers are found in many parts of the world. In North America they are distributed along the mountain ranges of the Pacific Coast from central California northward. They abound in the Andes range in South America and are familiar and greatly admired spectacles in the Alps, the Pyrenees, the Caucasus Mountains and the mountains of Scandanavia. Rivers of ice flow down the valleys of various Asian mountain ranges, including the Himalayas, the Hindu Kush, and the Karakoram and Kunlun ranges. They are also a feature of the Southern Alps of New Zealand and are found in the lofty mountains of New Guinea. The largest piedmont glaciers are the Malaspina and Bering glaciers, both in Alaska.

Sample paragraph 2

How does high population density affect the behaviour of mice?
When mice are kept at high population densities, their behaviour changes in a number of ways. Aggressive activity within populations of mice rises as density increases. Cannibalism of young also goes up, and so does aberrant sexual activity. Communal nesting, frequent in natural mouse populations, increases abnormally. In one example, 58 mice, one to three days old (from several litters) were found in one nest: most unusual communal living. None survived because most of the mothers deserted them immediately after birth.
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