Academic Phrasebank

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Major Sections
Introducing work
Reviewing literature
Describing methods
Reporting results
Discussing findings
Writing conclusions


General Functions
Being critical

Classifying and listing
Compare and contrast

Defining terms
Explaining causality
Expressing caution
Describing trends
Describing quantities
Giving examples
Writing about the past
Preview and transition

Useful links





Giving Examples as Support

Writers may give specific examples as evidence to support their general claims or arguments. Examples can also be used to help the reader or listener understand unfamiliar or difficult concepts, and they tend to be easier to remember. For this reason, they are often used in teaching. Finally, students may be required to give examples in their work to demonstrate that they have understood a complex problem or concept.

Many paragraphs in academic writing show development from general statements to specific details or examples. In most paragraphs, therefore, examples usually come after a more general statement, as in the short extract below.

Many words can often acquire a more narrow meaning over time, or may come to be chiefly used in one special sense. A classic example of this practice is the word doctor. There were doctors (i.e., learned men) in theology, law, and many other fields beside medicine, but nowadays when we send for the doctor we mean a member of only one profession.

It is important to note that when statements are supported with examples, the explicit language signalling this (see below) may not always be used.

Examples as the main information in a sentence



example of X is ....

For example, the word doctor used to mean a learned man.
For example, Smith and Jones (2004) conducted a series of semi-structured interviews in ....
Young people begin smoking for a variety of reasons. They may, for example, be influenced by their peers, or ....

An example of this is the study carried out by Smith (2004) in which .......
This is exemplified in the work undertaken by .....
Another example of what is meant by X is ......
The effectiveness of the X technique has been  exemplified in a report by Smith et al (2010) where ....
This distinction is further exemplified in studies using ….

This is certainly true in the case of ....
In a similar case in America, Smith (1992) identified ....
This can be seen in the case of the two London physics laboratories which ....
This is evident in the case of ….
The evidence of X can be clearly seen in the case of ....

X is a good illustration of ....
X illustrates this point this point clearly.
By way of illustration, Smith (2003) shows how the data for .....
This can be illustrated briefly by .....
These experiments illustrate that …. X and Y  have distinct functions in ....

Examples as additional information in a sentence

Young people begin smoking for a variety of reasons, such as pressure from peers and the role model of parents.
Pavlov found that if some other stimulus, for example the ringing of a bell, preceded the food, the dog would start salivating.
In Paris, Gassendi kept in close contact with many other prominent scholars, such as Kepler, Galileo, Hobbes, and Descartes.
The prices of resources, such as copper, iron ore, oil, coal and aluminium, have declined in real terms over the past 20 years.
Many diseases can result at least in part from stress, including: arthritis, asthma, migraine, headaches and ulcers.

Reporting cases as support

Overall, these cases support the view that ….
Recent cases reported by Smith et al. (2013) also support the hypothesis that ….
This case study confirms the importance of ….
The evidence presented thus far supports the idea that ....
This has been seen in the case of ….
This case demonstrates how X used innovative marketing strategies in ....
This case has shown that ....
As this case very clearly demonstrates, it is important that ....
This case shows the importance of further investigation in patients with ....
This case demonstrates the need for better strategies for ....
The case reported here illustrates the ....
In support of X, Y has been shown to induce Y in several cases (Smith et al., 2001).
Recent cases reported by Smith et al. (2013) also support the hypothesis that ….


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