What is the Difference between Affect and Effect?

It is not uncommon to confuse affect for effect, or vice versa; after all, they are homophones. They indeed sound alike but do not mean the same. So, if you have ever had trouble using affect or effect correctly in your sentences, then this blog is a must-read as by the end of it, you’d most certainly learn to differentiate between the two.

What does affect mean?

In most cases, affect works as a verb as it influences or impacts something. For instance,

  • Untimely rains affected the crops. 
  • Global warming is affecting the environment.

What does effect mean?

Usually, effect works as a noun. It is the result of an impact or an action on something. Let us consider the examples given above.

  • The crops started rotting as an effect of untimely rains. 
  • Global warming is an effect of the shrinking glaciers.

Simply put, when there is an action (affect), you see a reaction or result of the action (effect). Hence, it is crucial to be conscious of not using these two words interchangeably, or it will completely disrupt the intended meaning of the sentence.

How to correctly use affect and effect in academic writing?

It is essential to maintain clarity and not make the wrong choice of words in academic writing. The misinterpretations arising from the mixing up of words can cause the research paper to get rejected.

Given below are examples of using affect and effect in academic writing correctly.

Example 1:

IncorrectWe studied the affect of paracetamol on the immune system.

Correct: We studied the effect of paracetamol on the immune system.

Example 2:

Incorrect: How do electromagnetic waves effect the environment?

Correct: How do electromagnetic waves affect the environment?

So, now that you have clarity on these two words, always ensure to use them correctly or else, using the wrong word will affect the quality of your writing, and as an effect, you may receive negative remarks for the language quality.

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