How to Use Connective Words in Sentences

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  • 0:01 Connective Words
  • 1:09 Putting an Idea in a Place
  • 1:50 Further Information
  • 2:50 Comparing and Contrasting
  • 3:30 Concluding
  • 4:00 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kevin Newton

Kevin has edited encyclopedias, taught history, and has an MA in Islamic law/finance. He has since founded his own financial advice firm, Newton Analytical.

Want to make your writing really flow? Or perhaps you want to distinguish between two ideas or follow a train of thought? In any case, you'll need connective words to make it all possible.

Connective Words

Writing a paper is a lot like linking the different cars of a train together. You want your ideas to not only all get to the destination but also get there in such a way that makes it easy for the people on the other end to unload them and make the most use of what you send as quickly as possible. However, if you just throw words and ideas at your audience, it's as if you awkwardly arranged the shipments into one massive, mile-long train car that won't be easy to handle. Instead, we can use connectors to connect those ideas, much like couplers connect train cars.

In fact, linking related ideas works quite a bit like linking train cars. Of course, you can always use 'and,' but a paper with 'and' as every linking connection would feel repetitive. Think about it like this - if you're arguing a point in your paper, you want to provide as much proof as possible. In other words, you really want to pile on how much you are right. The word 'and' is a useful shovel, but even more powerful tools include 'additionally,' 'another,' 'equally important,' and 'too.'

Putting an Idea in a Place

However, sometimes the placement of an idea is just as important as getting it to the desired recipient. After all, a fresh shipment of refrigerated meat is only good if the recipient has received the equipment necessary to keep it cold. So too, are some points much better made with words that put an idea into their place.

These sequencing words help to make everything flow better by moving ideas along in a logical manner. These words can describe everything from the physical location of something to its place in time. Examples of words that can provide reference to physical location include 'above,' 'behind,' 'below,' 'at the end, 'first,' or 'in the middle.' Meanwhile, words like 'next,' 'before,' or 'in a minute' can show where an idea falls over a span of time.

Further Information

Imagine that your train is shipping some piece of equipment that requires specialized knowledge in order to use it properly. As such, you'd expect for the trained personnel who operate the machine to arrive with the equipment, right?

That's what these example, results, and purpose words do. They help clarify any confusion regarding the issue at hand. 'For example' is a great example of a word that can introduce a specific instance that may help shed some light on a situation, as are words like 'similarly' and 'just as important.' Meanwhile, words like 'as a result,' 'consequently,' or 'because of this' show the results, while 'to this end' or 'for this reason' can show the purpose. In other words, connective words that provide further information can answer not only 'how' or 'what' but also 'why.'

Comparing and Contrasting

Sometimes, it is useful to examine two or more ideas for their similarities and differences. This is called comparing and contrasting, and not surprisingly, we have several words that introduce to the reader that this is about to happen.

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