Cohesive devices/transition words are often misunderstood and misused in the IELTS exam. This guide is full of examples of cohesive devices and advice and practice activities that will help you to understand how to use them effectively in the IELTS test.
Table of Contents
1. What are Cohesive Devices?
Cohesive devices, also known as transition words or linking expressions, act as signposting language for your reader and let them know what is coming next. For example, ‘and’ signals that you are going to make an additional point, whereas ‘but’ signposts a contrasting idea.
You can use cohesive devices to link ideas within a sentence using devices like ‘also’ or ‘because’, as well as between sentences using expressions such as ‘In addition…’ or ‘In conclusion…’.
Cohesive devices, when used appropriately, will make up part of your score in Coherence and cohesion which is worth 25% of your overall score for writing.
2. Why are Cohesive Devices Needed in the IELTS Academic Test?
Cohesive devices are frequent in academic writing as one of their other functions is to present and support arguments (writing skills you will have to demonstrate in IELTS academic writing tasks 1 and 2).
To achieve a high band score in the writing marking criteria Coherence and cohesion, you need to:
- Logically organise information and ideas
- Create progression throughout your essay/report
- Use a range of cohesive devices appropriately
3. Types of Cohesive Devices
|Function||Cohesive devices||Example sentence|
|Summary||To summarise, in conclusion, to sum up, overall||In conclusion, although it is true that university graduates earn more money after graduating, it is not fair for the taxpayer to cover these costs.|
|First, firstly, in the first place, then, eventually, meanwhile, finally||Firstly, the coffee beans are picked and dried then packaged and sent to supermarkets.|
|Contrast||But, however, nevertheless, although, although, by comparison, in comparison, on the other hand, in spite of, while, whereas||Many drivers obey the highway code whereas some drivers break the rules of the road.|
|Giving Examples/ Restating||For example, for instance, that is ( to say), including, in other words, such as||Some genres of music have been shown to reduce stress, for example, classical music.|
|Reasons/Results||Because, so, therefore, consequently, due to, as a result||Wild elephant populations are declining as a result of illegal poaching.|
|Addition||And, also, in addition, furthermore, moreover, similarly||Eating too much sugar can cause diabetes and it has also been linked to other diseases.|