Using Signal Words and signal phrases in an Essay

Jul 14, 2020 | 0 comments

Jul 14, 2020 | Guide | 0 comments

Writing is a limitless form of expression and an attempt to express thoughts, ideas, or emotions.

Writers use words as the building blocks for their message, which can be used in many different ways.

Words can combine in many different ways, resulting in various interpretations of what you are trying to say.

Signal words are like invisible stitches that connect two halves of a sentence.

Signal phrases serve as guides ensuring only certain things will be communicated when using them.

Signal words are also known as transitions.

Signal words are just a transition between two sentences; they also help the reader understand how one sentence relates to another.

What are signal words?

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Signal words are words and phrases that show a connection between ideas.

They are also called sentence superheroes, transitional words.

Like traffic signs or signposts are important to drivers to warn of danger ahead, signal words are essential in writing.

One will know the transitions and the relationship between ideas when signal words are used in writing.

It will be easy for students to build new ideas framework by reflecting on what they have read and predicting the next outcome.

The reader can make predictions of what will follow when signal lights are used correctly in writing.

When a signal word is not used, the possibility of getting confused when reading sentences is very high.

It is essential to ensure clarity at the beginning of your essay as you write for the reader to know where you are going are with your argument.

This way, the reader will know your intentions and for clear communication.

Any person reading your work will know where you are coming from with your argument and where you are going.

Types of Signal Words

Signal words are categorized in different ways, which are highlighted below.

Introduction Signals

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When writing your introduction, it is crucial to ensure you have clear phrases to indicate that you are starting the essay.

There are specific assets that are used in an introduction that shows specific sentences belong in this category.

Examples of an introductory signal sentence include; in this essay, I will analyze/ explore/discuss…

This way, the reader knows exactly what to expect in your work.

Time and Order Signals 

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The structure of your essay tells much about your planning.

They Indicate when something happened about something else.

To signal the reader concerning time and order, use the phrases

  • Before
  • Since
  • Soon
  • During
  • Previously
  • Immediately
  • While

Emphasis Signal Words

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The most important ideas in any given article are often the ones that pertain to its main point.

Some supporting points may not be as pertinent, but they serve an integral purpose by reinforcing which side of a debate is stronger or more persuasive.

But when it comes down to what really matters about the piece you’re reading – whether for pleasure or academic purposes – usually those key concepts will be near-ubiquitous

If something has been mentioned constantly throughout your text (or even just once), the chances are good that this idea was chosen because it’s absolutely pivotal!

For instance,

The most important weapon in fighting corruption in third-world countries is political will.

The emphasis words highlighted set apart political will as the main weapon among many others.

Some typical words showing emphasis include the following:

Important to note, most of all, a significant factor, a primary concern, a key feature, the main value, precious, most noteworthy, remember that, a major event, the chief outcome, the principal item, pay particular attention to, the chief factor, a vital force, above all, a central issue, a distinctive quality, especially relevant, should be noted, the most substantial issue

Compare and Contrast Signals Words

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Contrast signal word

Some signals will indicate that you have a different opinion concerning your argument, and you should highlight them.

To show you have an alternative viewpoint, contrast words use the following phrases:

Even though, Conversely, Nevertheless, In contrast, On the other hand, Instead, Despite, but yet, differ, difference, variation, still, on the contrary, otherwise.

Comparison Signals

They show the relationship or similarities between ideas

The second idea, in some way, looks like the first one.

What the writer wants to achieve is to point out the similarities between the subjects.

Examples include:

In like manner, Likewise, Similarly, Just as, Just like, like, likewise, equally, in the same way, alike, as in a similar fashion.

Importance of compare and contrast signal words

Compare and contrast signal words have the following importance in an essay

When writing compare and contrast essays, you are trying to examine subject matters.

You can either compare them, contrast them or do both.

The essence of comparing and contrasting essays is to show the differences and similarities between the two subject matters.

When writing an essay, you must highlight the subjects you compare and contrast and highlight what is learned.

One of the reasons you are comparing and contrasting is to give the reader constructive information.

It would help if you used comparison and contrast phrases to signal to the reader how to analyze the subject matter.

Additions Signals

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As you write your essay, you may want to build up or continue your arguments in the same direction.

You will then need to add more details or points of the same kind.

Addition signals show the thought process of the writer in presenting more than one idea.

Addition words tell you that the writer is going to continue in a similar direction.

He will add more details and points of the same kind. Addition words are typically used for enumeration.

Useful phrases in this category include:

Apart from, In addition to, Besides, First of all, Furthermore, Another, Moreover, second, Also, Finally, First, For one thing, Last of all, Likewise, Next, And, Second, The third reason

Illustration signals

Illustration signals | Essay Freelance Writers