To illustrate is to explain a general statement by means of one or more specific
makes what we say more vivid and more exact. Someone might
say, "My math professor is always finding crazy ways to get our attention. Just
yesterday, for example, he wore a high silk hat to class." The first sentence is a
general statement about this professor's unusual ways of getting attention. The
second sentence, however, gives a specific example of something he did that
clearly shows what the writer means.
Writers often use illustration to develop a paragraph. They explain a general
topic sentence with one, two, three, or more specific examples. Detailed and wellchosen
examples add interest, liveliness, and power to your writing.
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