Below I give four examples of figures that are effective in presenting findings or setting up a research question.  

Figure 1 [Heron and Lowman, JGR, 2014]: The ‘thermal blanket’ effect (temperature increase due to continental insulation) 250 Myr after supercontinent formation as a function of average Rayleigh number. Temperature increase is solely due to insulation during the 2D numerical simulations for both basal boundary conditions (insulating core-mantle boundary and isothermal core-mantle boundary). Increasing the convective vigor of the model decreases the impact of continental insulation.
Figure 2 [Heron et al., JGR, 2015]: Subduction zone and large igneous province position. The figure shows that large igneous provinces appear at the surface in areas isolated from subduction.  The positions of the subduction zones between
300 Ma and present [Steinberger and Torsvik, 2012] are plotted alongside the positions of 24 large igneous provinces (LIPs) between 300 and 0 Ma. The LIP positions have been corrected to their original paleoposition at the time of their deposition. The color of the subduction zone corresponds to the age at which subduction occurred and LIP color corresponds to the age at which formation occurred, respectively. The outline of the present-day (0 Ma) position of the continents, the paleosubduction at 300 Ma, and the “center” of the supercontinent Pangea (orange-shaded region) are shown as a reference on each panel. (a) Paleosubduction at 300 Ma highlights the area within which all continental material was positioned, the “center” of Pangea, and has been isolated from subduction since the Carboniferous (the shaded region represents 50% of the surface area of the site bounded by Pangea subduction). (b) Paleosubduction and LIP position between 300 Ma and 100 Ma. The Skagerrak (SK), Siberian Traps (ST), Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CP), Karoo Ridge (KR), and Bunbury Basalts (BU) LIPs (and the nearest 300 Ma subduction location) are highlighted.
(c) Paleosubduction and LIP position between 100 Ma and 0 Ma. The subduction zone and LIP positions were determined by Steinberger and Torsvik [2012] and Torsvik et al. [2006, 2008], respectively.

Figure 3 [Roman and Heron, GRL, 2007]: Coulomb stress models of fault response to dike inflation in a tectonic stress field of variable relative magnitude. We find that patterns of volcano-tectonic (VT) seismicity (earthquake locations and fault-plane solutions) resulting from dike inflation depend strongly on the relative strength and orientation of background tectonic stresses. (a) Fault response to dike inflation in an isotropic tectonic stress field. (b) Fault response to dike inflation in a ‘weakly deviatoric’ tectonic stress field. (c) Fault response to dike inflation in a ‘strongly deviatoric’ tectonic stress field (dogbone limbs shown by heavy black lines, model dike shown by dot-dash line). In all cases the inflating dike is vertically oriented, 1 km long, and inflates by 1 m. Colors correspond to the approximate magnitude of Coulomb stress change on modeled faults. Thin black (right-lateral) and gray (left-lateral) lines show the optimal fault orientation (in the combined stress field) at every point around the dike. Representative fault-plane solutions are also shown. Insets show the relative magnitude of modeled tectonic stress. Interpretations of VT seismicity should always account for the possible effects of tectonic stresses.
Figure 4 [Heron et al., JGR, submitted]: The Wilson cycle with an additional tectonic feature of intraplate deformation. Inheritance may not be just important in the crustal lithosphere. Rifting (B), continental collision (D) and/or intraplate deformation (i) can leave lasting impressions on the crust and mantle. The importance of inherited crustal and mantle structures in influencing the tectonic pathway of deformation is shown by purple arrows. The grey arrow shows the focus of this study, analyzing the potential influence of existing mantle structures (from B, D, or i) on intraplate deformation, and whether they can be distinguished from inherited crustal structure. The reference examples for the established pathway tectonic influence are: [1] Huismans and Beaumont [2011]; [2] Royden and Keen [1980]; [3] Flack and Warner [1990]; Morgan et al. [1994]; Lie and Husebye [1994]; Calvert et al. [1995]; Calvert and Ludden [1999]; van der Velden and Cook [2002]; White et al. [2003]; Gray and Pysklywec [2012]; Ghazian and Buiter [2013]; Schiffer et al. [2014, 2016]; [4] Tapponnier and Molnar [1975]; [5] Stephenson et al. [2009]; Buiter et al. [2009]; [6] Cowgill et al. [2003]; Dezes et al. [2004]; Avouac et al. [1993]; Cowgill et al. [2003]; Tapponnier and Molnar [1975]; Kahraman et al. [2015]. The role of plumes in the Wilson cycle are not discussed in this figure.