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Discourse Connectors

Summary:

This resource provides guidelines for effectively combining shorter, simpler sentences into longer ones.

Contributors:Tony Cimasko
Last Edited: 2013-03-22 07:16:14

Creating longer texts such as job application letters, college application essays, and reports requires you to string together many small and separate ideas into a larger, unified whole.  However, if you do not have discourse connectors, words and phrases and sentences to tie those separate ideas together, all you will have is fragments.

By using discourse connectors, you show your readers how everything relates to everything else—something that is absolutely essential if you are going to get your readers to completely understand your ideas.  The following will give you some basic information on discourse connectors, and then you will have the chance to practice the concepts yourself.

Words and Phrases

These words and phrases can simply be inserted at the beginning of a sentence that you want to more clearly associate with a previous sentence (or sentences). Here is a list of some discourse connectors:

consequently, despite this, therefore, furthermore, in addition, moreover, however, indeed, in fact, nevertheless, then

Example:  Miguel worked in sales for five years, and he worked another three in accounting.  He is eligible for a management position.

Revision 1:  Miguel worked in sales for five years, and he worked another three in accounting.  Therefore, he is eligible for a management position.

A number of these (consequently, therefore, however, in fact, nevertheless, then) can also be used in other positions in the sentence.   

Revision 2:  Miguel worked in sales for five years, and he worked another three in accounting.  He is therefore eligible for a management position.

Revision 3:  Miguel worked in sales for five years, and he worked another three in accounting.  He therefore is eligible for a management position.

Regardless of the arrangement, using these words and phrases makes the associations between sentences much clearer.  Consequently, they make your sentences less “choppy.”

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