Examples, Examples and More Examples

In “Stylish Academic Writing “by Helen Sword, I particularly enjoyed reading the section titled “Show and Tell”. Sword explains that the mantra of stylish academic writing consists of “showing and telling” and that all academic writers provide their readers with “well-chosen examples, examples, and more examples.” The use of many examples enables the readers to fully understand the author’s perspective and grasp the key concepts.  Without examples the readers do not feel as connected to the writing and are often left struggling to comprehend the meanings and points behind the literature or abstract ideas.

I agree with Sword in the importance of use examples, specifically through the use of anecdotes. They are key elements of writing because they not only “effectively illustrate abstract concepts, they also satisfy our natural desire for narratives that feature human beings rather than merely ideas.” Anecdotes can provide amusement and humor to the audience and are often significant techniques to keep the readers’ attentions. With a short story provided as the main source of an example, the reader can feel a connection to both the writing and the author. I can definitely relate this strategy to my writing style. I love to use anecdotes whenever possible. I believe that sometimes using an anecdote can actually be a more effective and intriguing technique to convey a message rather than attempting to simply explain that message. Anecdotes allow the writing to extend past the piece of paper as they have the capabilities to capture all emotions and can sometimes be the best source of evidence to support a statement.

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