Comparing and Contrasting Signal Words

Writers sometimes have to employ the use of signal words to be able to effectively pass their ideas across. Here are a few of the signal words put into groups, and how they are used to give a certain understanding in writing

Signal Words and Their Role in Writing

Signal words or transition words are words that bring out thought processes and ideas using a very unique style. What they do is, they combine two thoughts or two ideas in an essay, making it obvious that these thoughts belong in the same space. These signal words make it easier for the reader to understand which points are being communicated by the writer. There are different forms of signal words, each being put to use in a particular fashion in order to give a certain result. They perform so many functions in a piece of writing that the entire writing could be formed by such words. Whether they are simply showing a thought progression, or they are giving readers an insight to the different parts of a main idea, an essay cannot make sense without these words in a healthy amount. This article seeks to give insight on the different forms of signal or transition words and compare their use in any form of writing.

Signal Words:Types

There are different forms of signal words, as mentioned before, and each of these forms play a specific role.
  • Addition words These words give the impression that a a thought process that follows another is part of it, and has been written for further clarification. Sometimes they are used to give an idea that all the thoughts being represented in the writing follow each other, or are parts of a big idea which has probably been divided into separate chunks. A good example of how these work is: At the beginning of a thought a person could start of with ‘For one thing’…. And then with subsequent thoughts, the writer could add ‘to add to the above thought,’ or ‘in addition’ or ‘secondly’ and also ‘finally’.
  • Words placing emphasis These words give center place to the ideas that form the backbone of the writing. The right usage of these words is heavily dependent on the context in which it is placed. For example, the importance of an idea is dictated by the total direction of the article being written, therefore what idea may be the most important in one essay is in no way the most important one in another essay. Words that show emphasis are : Foremost, most important, highly relevant, and so on. A good example of one of these phrases would be ‘Political Will is a highly relevant determinant in the fight against corruption‘. Here, readers are made to understand that if you are looking for the strongest tool to use to fight corruption, use political will.
  • Compare and contrast words Just like their name suggests, these words are used to make comparisons between two thoughts and ideas. The comparisons can be highlighting similarities or contrasting elements in the writing. These words can be regarded as simple words, but when strategically placed in a writing, they tend to give off the idea that certain elements introduced in the writing are more similar or different than some. Comparison words talking of similarity could be: Likewise, just like.. And comparison words that show contrast could be: conversely, however, but
  • Words that show illustration These signal words are employed to shows that the writer intends to demonstrate or give an example of a thought he has probably mentioned earlier. As mentioned before, these are also simple words which have been placed to give off a certain idea. Good examples of such wording are: for instance, for example, for illustration, to demonstrate..
  • Words showing cause and effect These words show that a certain idea is birthed from an initial point. There are many ways to showcase this, which makes it obvious that the effect being written about is linked to a cause somewhere within the essay. Some words to use are: consequently, resulting, therefore and a few others
Knowing exactly how to use words to pass ideas across is a skill that can be acquired by any writer once they are exposed to it. Funny enough, people use these words without knowing what they are called or how they are to be used. For readers to easily get the full idea of what the writer is trying to portray, a healthy use of these words cannot be done without.