ENGLISH GRAMMAR UNIT 3 (MISS ANGELA DURAN)
CONNECTORS AND LINKING WORDS
Let's consider how signal words and phrases can help to make our writing clear and coherent.
As we've seen, a key quality of an effective paragraph is unity. A unified paragraph sticks to one topic from start to finish, with every sentence contributing to the central purpose and main idea of thatparagraph.
But a strong paragraph is more than just a collection of loose sentences. Those sentences need to be clearly connected so that readers can follow along, recognizing how one detail leads to the next. A paragraph with clearly connected sentences is said to be coherent.
The following paragraph is both unified and coherent. As you read, notice how the italicized words and phrases (which wecall signals) guide us along, helping us to see how one detail leads to the next.
Why I Don't Make My Bed
Ever since I moved into my own apartment last fall, I have gotten out of the habit of making my bed--except on Fridays, of course, when I change the sheets. Although some people may think that I am a slob, I have some sound reasons for breaking the bed-making habit. In the first place, Iam not concerned about maintaining a tidy bedroom because no one except me ever ventures in there. If there is ever a fire inspection or a surprise date, I suppose I can dash in there to fluff up the pillow and slap on a spread. Otherwise, I am not bothered. In addition, I find nothing uncomfortable about crawling into a rumpled mass of sheets and blankets. On the contrary, I enjoy poking out acosy space for myself before drifting off to sleep. Also, I think that a tightly made bed is downright uncomfortable: entering one makes me feel like a loaf of bread being wrapped and sealed. Finally, and most importantly, I think bed making is an awful way to waste time in the morning. I would rather spend those precious minutes checking my email or feeding the cat than tucking in corners orsnapping the spread.
Signal words and phrases guide readers from one sentence to the next. Although they often appear at the beginning of a sentence, they may also show up in the middle (usually after the subject) or even at the end. Here are the common signal words and phrases, grouped according to the type of relationship shown by each.
1. Addition Signals
First, second, thirdIn addition
In the first place, in the second place, in the third place
To begin with, next, finally
In the first place, no "burning" in the sense of combustion, as in the burning of wood, occurs in a volcano; moreover, volcanoes are not necessarily mountains; furthermore, the activity takes place not always at the summit but more commonly on the sides orflanks; and finally, the "smoke" is not smoke but condensed steam.
(Fred Bullard, Volcanoes in History, in Theory, in Eruption)
2. Cause-Effect Signals
As a result
For this reason
The ideologue is often brilliant. Consequently some of us distrust brilliance when we should distrust the ideologue.
(CliftonFadiman, “Eggheads, Intellectuals, Ideologues, Highbrows”)
3. Comparison Signals
By the same token
In like manner
In the same way
In similar fashion
When you start with a portrait and search for a pure form, a clear volume, through successive eliminations, you arrive inevitably at the egg. Likewise, starting with the egg and following the same process inreverse, one finishes with the portrait.
4. Contrast Signals
On the contrary
On the other hand
Every American, to the last man, lays claim to a “sense” of humour and guards it as his most significant spiritual trait, yet rejects humour as a contaminating element wherever found. America is a nation of...
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