An argumentative essay comprises -
A thesis statement - This states your argument.
Topic sentences - These introduce each new idea to prove your argument. Writers build paragraphs around topic sentences.
Supporting information - Details, examples, facts, and data that support each topic sentence.
Good organization and logical flow make an effective argumentative essay. Transitions, signals, and other language devices allow writers to link thoughts and achieve coherence. Coherence means ideas are well organized, fact driven and, as a whole, they prove the thesis statement. This is essential in argumentative essay writing.
A common way to link sentences is with the basic words and, but, so and because. Academic language offers alternative words and phrases to ensure your sentences flow well.
And - in addition, additionally, moreover, apart from this, as well (as), further, furthermore
But - alternatively, conversely, despite, although, even though, however, on the other hand, in contrast, on the contrary, nevertheless, nonetheless
So - accordingly, as a result/consequence, consequently, for this reason, hence, therefore, thus
Because - due to, a/the consequence of, the result of, for, since, the effect of
Most of these words join two independent clauses, and they follow similar punctuation and grammar rules. For example:
Technology has enhanced communication. In addition, health & lifestyle benefits are unprecedented.
Technology has a dramatic impact on lifestyle choices; nevertheless, humanity continues to abuse the power that technology bestows.
Economic turmoil threatens business’ survival. Most companies, therefore, invest in technology that promotes efficiency and reduces costs.
Observe the different ways to use linking words to combine independent clauses. Notice their punctuation marks and their varying positions within a sentence. Check a usage guide if you are not sure of the correct rules.
A strong essay links ideas so a reader can follow the progression of an argument without losing focus or becoming confused. Sometimes information needs to be repeated to highlight the angle being developed. Other times, concepts and accusations must be explained or clarified by providing examples.
To repeat/simplify - in other words, simply put, to put it differently / another way
To show similarities – similarly, in a similar manner, correspondingly, in the same way, equally, for the same reason
To give examples - for example, for instance, a further instance of this is..., an example of this is…, such as
To concede/contrast - admittedly, although, even though, however
To show emphasis - interestingly, indeed, it should be noted (that), (un)fortunately, more important(ly), most importantly, unquestionably
Here is an example of how these words improve cohesion and sentence flow:
The complexities and moral dilemmas that nuclear technology poses are beyond the scope of simple minds. In other words, mankind is not ready to adopt nuclear technology into mainstream life. In the same way, advances in cloning and stem cell treatment raise ethical questions that humans struggle with. For example, could cloning be used to advance warfare? Admittedly, progression to this level is years away, but it is a valid concern.
Again, take note of sentence construction and punctuation in the paragraph above.
We have linked sentences and connected ideas. The final step is to provide stepping-stones between paragraphs. This seals the overall essay unity.
A useful mechanism is to remind readers of main points from previous paragraphs so that your next topic sentence makes a stronger impression. Use signal/pointing words at the beginning of paragraphs, as well as time signals.
Signal words - besides, in addition to, having..., not only...but also..., although, even though, while, despite
Time signals – first, second (etc.), meanwhile, subsequently, finally, to conclude
In an essay about the effects of technology on humanity, the topic of one paragraph could be:
Technology has prolonged life through advances in healthcare.
To proceed to the next paragraph, you could write:
In addition to unparalleled progress in medical treatment, technology enables people to acquire unlimited knowledge.
While there have been many positive outcomes, technology has also caused much pain and suffering.
Having looked at several advantages of technology, the negative implications now need to be considered. First,...
The purpose of connecting sentences, ideas, and paragraphs is to guide the reader along the path you develop. That is a solid way to prove an argument. An essay writer does not leave it to the reader to make assumptions or to fill in the blanks. Linking words and phrases, and other transition signals are a vital element of academic work. Learn to use them accurately to write better essay.
Transitional devices are like bridges between parts of your paper. They are cues that help the reader to interpret ideas a paper develops. Transitional devices are words or phrases that help carry a thought from one sentence to another, from one idea to another, or from one paragraph to another. And finally, transitional devices link sentences and paragraphs together smoothly so that there are no abrupt jumps or breaks between ideas.
There are several types of transitional devices, and each category leads readers to make certain connections or assumptions. Some lead readers forward and imply the building of an idea or thought, while others make readers compare ideas or draw conclusions from the preceding thoughts.
Here is a list of some common transitional words or phrases:
and, again, and then, besides, equally important, finally, further, furthermore, nor, too, next, lastly, what's more, moreover, in addition, first (second, etc.)
whereas, but, yet, on the other hand, however, nevertheless, on the contrary, by comparison, where, compared to, up against, balanced against, vis a vis, but, although, conversely, meanwhile, after all, in contrast, although this may be true
because, for, since, for the same reason, obviously, evidently, furthermore, moreover, besides, indeed, in fact, in addition, in any case, that is
To Show Exception:
yet, still, however, nevertheless, in spite of, despite, of course, once in a while, sometimes
To Show Time:
immediately, thereafter, soon, after a few hours, finally, then, later, previously, formerly, first (second, etc.), next, and then
in brief, as I have said, as I have noted, as has been noted
definitely, extremely, obviously, in fact, indeed, in any case, absolutely, positively, naturally, surprisingly, always, forever, perennially, eternally, never, emphatically, unquestionably, without a doubt, certainly, undeniably, without reservation
To Show Sequence:
first, second, third, and so forth. A, B, C, and so forth. next, then, following this, at this time, now, at this point, after, afterward, subsequently, finally, consequently, previously, before this, simultaneously, concurrently, thus, therefore, hence, next, and then, soon
To Give an Example:
for example, for instance, in this case, in another case, on this occasion, in this situation, take the case of, to demonstrate, to illustrate, as an illustration, to illustrate
To Summarize or Conclude:
in brief, on the whole, summing up, to conclude, in conclusion, as I have shown, as I have said, hence, therefore, accordingly, thus, as a result, consequently, on the whole
Writing Transitions Between Paragraphs
Good transitions can connect paragraphs and turn disconnected writing into a unified whole. Instead of treating paragraphs as separate ideas, transitions can help readers understand how paragraphs work together, reference one another, and build to a larger point. The key to producing good transitions is highlighting connections between corresponding paragraphs. By referencing in one paragraph the relevant material from previous ones, writers can develop important points for their readers.
It is a good idea to continue one paragraph where another leaves off (instances where this is especially challenging may suggest that the paragraphs don't belong together at all.) Picking up key phrases from the previous paragraph and highlighting them in the next can create an obvious progression for readers. Many times, it only takes a few words to draw these connections. Instead of writing transitions that could connect any paragraph to any other paragraph, write a transition that could only connect one specific paragraph to another specific paragraph.
Example 1: Overall, Management Systems International has logged increased sales in every sector, leading to a significant rise in third-quarter profits.
Another important thing to note is that the corporation had expanded its international influence.
Revision: Overall, Management Systems International has logged increased sales in every sector, leading to a significant rise in third-quarter profits.
These impressive profits are largely due to the corporation's expanded international influence.
Example 2: Fearing for the loss of Danish lands, Christian IV signed the Treaty of Lubeck, effectively ending the Danish phase of the 30 Years War.
But then something else significant happened. The Swedish intervention began.
Revision: Fearing for the loss of more Danish lands, Christian IV signed the Treaty of Lubeck, effectively ending the Danish phase of the 30 Years War.
Shortly after Danish forces withdrew, the Swedish intervention began.
Example 3: Amy Tan became a famous author after her novel, The Joy Luck Club, skyrocketed up the bestseller list.
There are other things to note about Tan as well. Amy Tan also participates in the satirical garage band the Rock Bottom Remainders with Stephen King and Dave Barry.
Revision: Amy Tan became a famous author after her novel, The Joy Luck Club, skyrocketed up the bestseller list.
Though her fiction is well known, her work with the satirical garage band the Rock Bottom Remainders receives far less publicity.