The most common use of for example in academic writing is the use we saw in 3 and 4. For example introduces a specific example of an idea or concept that has been described in the preceding sentence. The most common use of for example in academic writing puts it at the beginning of a complete sentence.
3. In most cases, treats are used as a reward for children’s good behavior. For example, Nora in San Antonio would buy her daughters pudding cups, fruit roll-ups, or ice cream for good behavior.
For example is most commonly:
- After a complete sentence that introduces a main idea or concept
- At the beginning of a second complete sentence or main clause
- o The first letter of For is capitalized because it is the beginning of a new sentence.
- o For example is followed by a comma to separate it from the full sentence that follows it’
SENTENCE FRAGMENT WARNING
For example must be attached to a complete main clause; it cannot appear by itself followed only by a list of items.
Treats are used as a reward for children’s good behavior. For example, pudding cups, fruit roll-ups, or ice cream for good behavior.
THIS IS NOT GRAMMATICAL!
What follows for example here is just a list of noun phrases. There is no finite verb in this sentence, so it is a fragment, not a complete sentence. The for example phrase that appears at the beginning, must introduce a complete sentence
In 3, the first sentence states one of the findings of the research study, that mothers use treats to reward children for good behavior. The next sentence gives a specific example of this from one of the participants in the study. The phrase For example, alerts the reader that the sentence that comes after it is going to provide an example of the idea described in the previous sentence.
Exercise: For example or such as?
In the sentence below, decide whether For example or such as is the correct phrase and explain why.
A. The physical activity of preparing the food, _________________ chopping the fruit or kneading the dough, can be therapeutic. _________________, one woman described making cookie dough as a tremendous reliever of distress.
B. People reported that particular brands of chocolate provided them with comfort. ________________, one individual described the moment of biting into a Godiva chocolate as especially comforting. She described how Godiva chocolate was a food that she consumed only on special occasions, ________________ Valentine’s Day.