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In academic writing it is important that the writer makes sure the text is clear for the reader. This is done through many means, but one of these means is using reference words. Reference words are words like this, those, he, they etc. These words can be used (sometimes with a noun) to reference back to something mentioned previously in the text.

Look at the following sentences:

Pollution is a growing concern among governments in the world. It is a key contributor to several illnesses in industrial society.

Here, ‘it’ links back to pollution which is the topic of the previous sentence. However, sometimes the reference word needs more clarification.

We can also clarify what we are referring to by using a noun with a reference word. Look at the following examples:

Pollution is a growing concern among governments in the world. This problem is a key contributor to several illnesses in industrial society.
– ‘This problem’ confirms to the reader that we are talking about pollution (pollution is the only problem in the           previous sentence)

Pollution is a growing concern among governments in the world. These administrations have attempted to curb some forms of industrial pollution.
– ‘These administrations’ informs the reader we are talking about the government, because governments and         administrations are almost synonymous.

When writing an academic text, it is extremely important to ensure you are clear and precise. Clear and precise referencing can help with this.

For more information about referencing words and cohesion in academic writing, please refer to the following sites:

UEFAP http://www.uefap.com/writing/parag/par_coh.htm

University of Sydney: http://writesite.elearn.usyd.edu.au/m3/m3u5/m3u5s5/m3u5s5_1.htm

 

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