General Writing and Grammar Help/the use of "because"/


How are you?

My IELTS teacher says that we shouldn't use the word "because" in a FORMAL essay and should use "since" instead. Do you agree?


Hello Hame,

Actually, I disagree...

According to the Longman Handbook for Writers and Readers (2nd Ed.), since is informal.  "In general, avoid using since in place of because, which is more formal and precise.  Use since to indicate time, not causality" (p. G-6)


Anson, C.M. & Schwegler, R.A. (2000).  The Longman Handbook for writers and readers (2nd ed.). New York: Longman

General Writing and Grammar Help

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Deborah Burgess


Essays--I can assist students with questions concerning the process of writing an essay including preparation of an outline, development of a topic, development of the thesis statement and topic sentences, and paragraph development. I can assist students in helping them determine the proper rhetorical modes for their essay (narration, illustration, description, process analysis, comparison and contrast, and argumentation. I am able to answer questions concerning rules of style for a research paper including referencing sources. I am able to address questions regarding punctuation and grammar.


I teach a writing workshop for the University of Phoenix (Richmond Campus) and two college courses: Essentials of College Writing and Elements of Composition.

Doctor of Management--University of Phoenix Masters in Human Resources--George Washington University B.A.--French and Linguistics, Oakland University

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