Using examples to back up statements of fact can add value to your writing. Making a statement without using examples can make your writing muddy, as well as create more work for the reader. Examples make statements clearer, give readers more information, and decrease the chances that the fact or idea to be wrongly applied to real-life situations.
Examples are most successful when integrated into the text:
- Warm paint colors, like red or pink, can have a stimulating effect on a room’s inhabitants.
- When going to a formal dinner, it is important to wear your best suit, tie, and shoes. (Rather than: When going to a formal dinner, it is important to wear your best clothing.)
Examples can also be added in parenthetical phrases, using Latin abbreviations:
- When you go camping, always make sure to pack first-aid supplies (e. g. [exempli gratia or “for example”] bandages, antiseptic cream, pain medication).
- Workers in the United states (i.e. [id est or “that is”] legal and illegal workers) are concerned about healthcare for their families.
- Note: “I.e.” is not interchangeable with “e.g.” “I.e.” is equivalent to saying “in other words” and “e.g.” is equivalent to “example”
Examples can also be illustrated by describing hypothetical situations, relating real-life situations, or giving the reader possibilities to imagine within the context of the article.