Saturday, May 2, 2020

Beautify your Essays with the Proper Use of Connectives

Symbolic Represenation of Connectives
Pic Credit: Google Search
I came across various types of confusion among students surrounding the use of connectives. Therefore, I decided to write a post and try to clarify some of those confusions and thus help them take advantage of these linking words and phrases (connectives can be single words as well as phrases) to beautify their essays.

Connecting Sentences


First of all, connectives can be used within paragraphs to connect two or more related sentences. I guess there is not much confusion in there. As you have seen in this paragraph itself, I am using connectives from the start. Don't be obsessed, however, in using such words. If you use them too much then it might ruin your essay, as too much repetition of such words can render your essay boring to read, which, in turn, can hurt your scores! Therefore, stay in safe side by using the connectives in appropriate places only.

Connecting Paragraphs

Similarly, on the essay level also, you can use such linking words to show a sequence in the paragraphs. There are different connectives to connect paragraph with arguments on for and against side. For instance, if you are discussing the pros of say, urbanization, with three major ideas or points (thus, three paragraphs), and cons, with two major ideas (thus, two paragraphs) then during such instance you can use connectives to connect the paragraphs one by one.

I will give an example of such an essay structure for you:

Topic:
Introduction (thesis):
Firstly, - idea for the topic
Secondly, - idea for the topic
Thirdly, - idea for the topic
{Alternatively you may use other connectives such as:- Likewise, Similarly, Moreover, Furthermore, Also, In addition - you may use terms like, Finally/Ultimately/Lastly for the final idea, on the same side of the argument.}
4th Idea - In contrast, However, Neverthelsess, Nonethesless, But, On the other hand, On the other side,  and so on.
5th Idea - as continued from above - need to use the alternative connectives above like - likewise, similarly, etc. even though the argument is still against the topic of the essay.
Conclusion - In conclusion, In summary, To sum up, In short, In a nutshell (conclusion paragraph)
Thirdly, or, Moreover/Furthermore/Also, (for penultimate paragraphs)

Finally/Furthermore/Moreover, Lastly, .. (for last paragraph of the point)


What you are doing is essentially linking the paragraphs. Well, moreover and furthermore come after a few more points, rather than right after the first point.

Which connectives are for Paragraphs and which are for Sentences?

Connectives are the same whether you use them on idea level (paragraph level) or sentence level. Depending upon the context you choose the appropriate connectives. Google search can reveal a lot of connectives.

Here is a pdf file with a good number of connectives (words and phrases): https://www.tamiu.edu/uc/writingcenter/documents/TransitionsandConnectives.pdf

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