You have probably heard that the most important aspect of good writing is the effective employment of linking words. This is because short and choppy sentences lack drama whereas long sentences make a tedious read. Using linking words is a grammatically correct and stylistically effective way to connect ideas and sentences.
One of the criteria you are judged on in IELTS writing task 2 is coherence and cohesion. Now let us explore the use of linking words and how they add coherence to a sentence.
What are linking words?
Linking words or Transition words are Adverbs that act as conjunctions. They are the easiest and the most effective ways to connect ideas in a sentence. Using linking words in writing makes it much appealing. Few examples are: Nevertheless, Particularly, Thus, Naturally, etc.
Why do we use linking words?
Linking words are a fantastic grammatical as well as a stylistic tool to make your writing sing! Here are a few functions of linking words:
- Linking words are essential to make your writing clear.
- Provide cohesion to the writing.
- Illustrate how the clauses/ parts of the text are related to each other.
- Add extra information to the main point, like contrast, emphasis or a list of examples.
- They help express purpose and opinion.
- They help make a suitable conclusion.
How to use linking words correctly?
It must be remembered, before you start using linking words randomly, that, linking words are emphatic. Therefore, should be used in moderation, if not sparingly. Here are some ways you can use linking words in your writing:
- They show the logical connection between clauses, sentences or paragraphs, therefore you cannot go overboard with them.
- Their position is a sentence is like that of conjunction. For example:
- I like fruits, especially mangoes. Or,
- They arranged a ride for us; particularly, for Emma, because she twisted her ankle.
- You should use appropriate linking words. In the examples cited above, you cannot interchange the linking words (written in bold). Remember that, there are specific words for specific actions.
- In most cases linking words are followed by a comma.
List of linking words
Coherence and cohesion in your IELTS writing task 2, carries 25% marks, which is quite a lot if you think about it. You need to show a range of linking words so that the examiner can award you a high score. Following is a list of Linking words and their contexts:
|To emphasize or to add an idea.||Likewise, in addition, moreover, furthermore, also, as well, again, specifically, obviously, clearly, especially, particularly, in particular.|
|To transition to a different or even opposite idea.||Conversely, nevertheless, on the other hand, on the contrary, despite, in spite of, although, even though, but, yet, while, however, except, in comparison, by contrast, however.|
|To reach a conclusion.||Thus, therefore, consequently, as a result, because, in conclusion, to sum up, since, as, so, inasmuch as.|
|To admit a concession.||Admittedly, of course, naturally, alternatively, even though.|
|To point out a sequence.||Firstly, secondly, thirdly, lastly, next, finally, then, until, after that.|
Make sure your writing contains a good sprinkling of linking words. Using too much of them would throw off the readers from one thought to another, thus reminding them of a bad roller-coaster ride!
IELTS writing task 2 marks you on:
- Task response
- Coherence and cohesion
- Lexical resource
- Grammar range and accuracy.
Coherence and cohesion alone contain 25% of the full marks. Therefore, to achieve a good score in writing task 2, it is necessary to master linking words. Your examiner will mark you on how well you have used different types of linking words in various contexts. To sum it up, use a wide range of linking words in your writing, but make sure to use them sparingly.