I'm writing an academic paper in computer science field.

Is "i.e." permissible for a formal document like an academic papaer?

I hope to write a sentence such as the following:

The output of the machine "y1" is utilized as the input of the next machine "x2", i.e. "x2=y1".

What I hope to say is

  • the machine 1 output "y1".
  • the machine 2 get "y1" as its input "x2".
  • That means "x2 = y1"
  • 3
    "i.e." is not out of place in academic writing. You could also the English term instead of the Latin abbreviation: The output of the machine "y1" is utilized as the input of the next machine "x2", that is: "x2=y1". Commented Sep 14, 2016 at 1:14
  • 3
    If you are submitting an academic paper, you will almost certainly be given stylistic guidelines; universities and journals will either have their own style manual or use an established style (e.g. APA, CSE, MLA), which may provide guidance on the use of Latin, abbreviations, and/or Latin abbreviations.
    – choster
    Commented Sep 14, 2016 at 2:32

1 Answer 1


It is used in academic writing. Both APA and MLA let you use i.e., but you will want to follow whatever style guide you're supposed to. You can ask your advisor about this.

I found a random paper that uses i.e., as an example. Geometric Modeling Using Octree Encoding (emphasis mine):

Objects may be concave or convex, have holes (including interior holes), consist of disjoint parts, and possess sculptured (i.e., “free-form”) surfaces.

  • Note that APA only permits "i.e.", "e.g." and so on, inside brackets
    – binaryfunt
    Commented Apr 27, 2019 at 13:41

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