I often suggest my students, “Never surprise your examiner.” Connective words(signposts within a sentence) and signposting devices(between sentence and paragraphs) if you want to chieve this. Let’s analyse this letter in terms of signposting(Bolded).
|Dear Mr Perez,|
I was extremely grateful to receive your letter of the 23rd, informing me about your country. I would be most interested in visiting Mexico if I was given the opportunity.
You requested some information about my usual activities. With regard to my employment, I am currently a student pursuing a degree in electrical engineering. Moreover, I am employed on a part-time basis as a private tutor for young children, which I find quite rewarding. During my Leisure time I typically read or meet acquaintances socially.
As to food, there is a great variety available in my country. Also, here is a strong influence from Asian cuisine, such as Thai and Malaysian. If you were to visit I would be pleased to prepare one of my Thai stir-fries for you.
Finally, you enquired about the climate of my country. Most of the year it is extremely sunny and pleasant, although the heat can be excessive in summer. Winters are cool but never overly cold, and usually rainy.
I hope to hear from you soon with further information about Mexico.
Do you notice those bold words above? As an IELTS examiner why do I like these connective words?
Use at least one connective word per paragraph after introduction.
Table 1 Signposts usually found at the beginning of the sentence
|Introduce a new subject||Regarding|
With regard to
The most important reason
|Introduce a contrasting idea||However|
On the other hand
|Introduce a similar idea||Likewise|
|Add another idea||Moreover|
|Give an example||For example|
|Give the cause||Because of|
|Give the effect||Therefore|
As a result
As a consequence
For this reason
Table 2 Signposts usually found within a sentence (conjunctions)
|Introduce a contrasting idea||Cities are polluted, but/while/whereas the countryside is not.|
|Give an example||Urbanisation causes a lot of pollution such as air, noise and water pollution.|
|Add another idea.||Air pollution is caused by smoke from factories and/as well as cars.|
|Air pollution is caused by smoke from factories too/also.|
|Give the cause||Cities are polluted because/as there is so much smoke.|
|Give the effect||There is a lot of smoke in cities so/so that they become polluted.|
This is the table consisting of all the most common connective devices used in IELTS writing and speaking.
Using connective words to signpost:-
Certainty Condition Definition
obviously if is
certainly unless refers to
plainly whether means
of course provided that that is
undoubtedly for consists of
Example Reason Time
for instance since before
one example as since
for example so as
just as because (of) until
in particular due to meanwhile
such as owing to at the moment
namely the reason why when
to illustrate in other words whenever
leads to as soon as
cause just as
however in conclusion
on the other hand in summary
in spite of finally
though to sum up
but to conclude
on the contrary to recapitulate
otherwise in short