Word Choice: Elicit or Illicit

When words sound or look almost the same, it can be very easy to make the wrong word choice and use them inappropriately in your writing. Therefore, it is important to make sure that words are used appropriately. Otherwise, your reader may fail to grasp what you are trying to communicate to them. In this blog I will briefly explain the difference between the words elicit and illicit. I will also introduce an invaluable resource that can help all writers continue to improve their skills.

Elicit is a verb meaning ‘to call forth’ or ‘bring out’. For example, if a journalist is interviewing someone, and in doing so, asking them for information, we might say they are eliciting information. Alternatively, if someone’s actions called for someone else to act, we might say their actions elicited a response.

In contrast, illicit is an adjective which means ‘unlawful’ or ‘not permitted’. For example, we might identify drugs which have been outlawed in a given region as illicit substances. Using both of the terms being discussed in this blog, we could write, ‘in order to bust the drug ring, the undercover police officer elicited illicit substances’.

If you want to continue improving as a writer, it is a great idea to make use of proofreading services. The professionals at Proofread My Essay can give excellent feedback on your work. And by paying attention to the way they edit your spelling, grammar, word choice, referencing, and formatting, you can identify areas of your writing abilities that could be strengthened.

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Filed under Academic Writing, Writing Tips

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