Academic Word Usage I E And E G

Part of developing your capacity as a writer is learning to adapt your style to fit the audience you are writing for. Your writing should be different depending on whether you are writing a tweet for followers to read, a blog for the general public, or an academic essay. Slang may be appropriate for the first two contexts, but unless a piece of slang is needed to make a specific point – and as long as your usage of it is explained – it should not be present in academic writing. In addition, there are words and certain initials that only seem to show up in academic writing. I.e. and e.g. are good examples of this. They tend to be used more in academic writing than in other types of writing. Below I will explain i.e. and e.g. so that you can use them correctly.

E.g. comes from the Latin exempli gratia, which means “for example”. If I am writing about academic practices in Australasia I may write, “Universities in Australasia (e.g. Sydney University and the University of Christchurch) follow practices that are similar to those used in the United Kingdom”. If I did not want to use e.g., I could have written, “Universities in Australasia – for example, Sydney University and the University of Christchurch – follow practices that are similar to those used in the United Kingdom”.

I.e. comes from the Latin id est, which means “that is”. If I am writing about the Olympics I might write, “The medal board was really just a two-horse race, i.e. only two countries were serious contenders”. I could have written, “The medal board was really just a two-horse race. That is, only two countries were serious contenders”. When using i.e. it may be helpful to think of i.e. as “in other words”.

It may seem unnecessary to learn to use e.g. and i.e., but if you are writing an academic document, such as an essay, you should learn to write academically. This will not only help you with university assignments, it will also help you become a better writer. The reason for this is that academic writing tends to stress clarity and brevity. And if you develop your ability to write clearly and concisely, you will a better writer all-round. The skills you learn as an academic writer can be used outside of academic writing.

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