We touched upon why fluency and coherence are important in writing in part one of our “Achieving Fluency and Coherence Series.” In part one, we provided three different scenarios to where it’ll be helpful to use linking words: providing reasons, giving examples, and comparing and contrasting. Now, we’re going to look at three more, specifically how to use linking words to describe cause and effect and certainty.
Showing cause means to make something happen, positive or negative. While the following phrases are synonyms of each other, you could argue that they differ depending on the situation. “Because of” is a phrase more widely used in casual situations; “Due to” can be used informally or formally; “As a result of” is more commonly used in formal situations.
- Due to / Because of / As a result of
“Because of” is a phrase more widely used in casual situations; “Due to” can be used informally or formally; “As a result of” is more commonly used in formal situations. Let’s take a look at the following passage that uses these three phrases.
She was the best candidate to get the promotion because of her hardworking efforts. While everyone was a strong candidate, her boss specifically chose her due to her positive work attitude. As a result of her promotion, her salary increased which she was able to put towards a vacation with her family.
Cause and effect often go together. Because of A, B happened. Therefore, an effect can be described as the result of an influence. The following is a list of words and phrases to show effect.
- Therefore / For that reason / For this reason – These three are synonyms and can be used formally or informally.
- Consequently / As a result – These two can be used interchangeably.
- Thus – Thus can be used to link reasons with results. However, it also has different functions. To use “thus” to show effect, it’s placed at the beginning of the sentence followed by a comma. “Thus” can also replace “therefore.”
- Hence – Another way to say “from this time.”
- Eventually – Is commonly used after a long while or a lot of effort has been put in.
- The reason why – Perhaps the most straightforward way to show effect.
- So – A common way to show effect.
Unlike cause, linking words of effect can often be used interchangeably between formal and casual situations. Let’s take a look at the following passage using some of these phrases and words.
No one believed him when he said a zombie apocalypse was approaching. Therefore, he was the only one to prepare well when the zombies came. He managed to save some people after some time. Eventually, they grew to trust to him. Thus, they became a close group of friends trying to save as many people as they can.
Showing certainty means to express something cannot be doubted. The following is a list of words and phrases to confidently define your stance on your argument.
- Certainty / Definitely / No doubt – These are used as synonyms to say “Without any doubt.”
- Undoubtedly – Used to express “very likely” or “almost certainly.”
- You bet – Used conversationally to describe certainly.
Expressing certainty is more common in informal writing. Additionally, “You bet” is used widely in conversations. Let’s take a look at the following passage using some of these linking words.
He was almost certain he was going to rank first in the class. However, as he made a careless mistake in his writing, the number one spot went to his best friend. His best friend undoubtedly knew he was upset. So he didn’t brag about it.
How would you write a paragraph using a linking word from these three categories?