Introductory words have several names: transitions or sentence modifiers or introductory adverbial words/phrases. These words serve many purposes–among them:
–to lend interest to the sentence
–to provide useful information
–to lead the reader, logically, from one point to the next.
These connecting words are usually used at the beginning of the sentence and are followed by a comma.
Here are some words and phrases you can use to contrast ideas:
– according to
– as shown in
– by contrast
– in theory
– on one hand
TO CONNECT IDEAS
To lend coherence to ideas, you can use these words and phrases. When you need to relate one thought to the next, they provide a well-structured flow.
– above all
– at best
– at least
– for example
– for instance
– in a broader sense
– in all fairness
– in reality
– to that end
TO ADD IDEAS
Often, when attempting to strengthen your point of view, you will want to add ideas. These transitions will help you do just that.
– in addition
– last of all
– of course
– to all that
– what’s more
TO POINT OUT SIMILARITIES/DIFFERENCES
In developing an argument or working to persuade, the effective writer will use words/phrases like these to strengthen his or her viewpoint.
– by comparison
– in a similar sense
– just as
TO MAKE TIME-REFERENCES
They also serve to indicate time.
– a little later
– as of today
– in the meantime
ADVERBIAL WORDS AND PHRASES LEND COHERENCE AND STRENGTH
Use these words to make your writing powerful and understandable. The following illustrates how they can lend clarity to your writing.
Seemingly contradictory example, without a transition:
Joe is a good employee. I have to fire him.
Improved example, using an introductory word:
Joe is a good employee. Nonetheless, I have to fire him.
Do what the best writers (and the best leaders): Use verbal bridges to help your listeners/readers easily understand your ideas.