Illustrations can provide your reader with a large amount of information about an object or topic
in a very small space. An illustration can accurately depict the form of an object, help the reader
to visualize how the object functions, or show the relationship of one object to another. It allows you
to focus your audience's attention precisely on the details that you are describing, as shown in Figure
To use illustrations effectively, follow these guidelines:
- Choose appropriate objects or topics to illustrate. Illustrations are excellent forms
of graphics for situations in which color distinctions are limited or irrelevant; if color
distinctions are the focus of your graphic, you may find a photograph to be more effective. On the other hand,
if you will be printing your document in black and white or photocopying it onto
acetates for overhead projection, an illustration may
result in a graphic that is clearer and easier to interpret.
- Make your illustrations clear and easy to understand. Incorporate only those details
that will be relevant.
- If the size of the elements in your illustration is relevant to your discussion, provide
the scale for your readers.
- Label the elements of your illustration
- Identify each illustration with a figure number and
Figure 13 presents several overviews of an object, illustrating the overall form of the object as well
as the relationship of parts to whole.
## Illustrations ##
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