Business Writing Tip #100—Signposts

You may have noticed that I’ve mentioned signposts a couple of times. Just as it is useful to have signposts to show us the way when we’re travelling, signposts show our readers the way with our writing.signpost syria

We can divide signposting language into two broad categories:

  1. Major signposts that signal key aspects of the work, such as purpose, structure, the author’s stance, main points, direction of the argument, conclusions.
  2. Linking words and phrases that show connections between sentences and paragraphs.

Here are some lists of signpost words.

Linking words

  • The aim of this study/report is to …
  • The purpose of this thesis is to …
  • This essay argues that …
  • The main questions addressed in this paper are …
  • This essay critically examines …
  • The above discussion raises some interesting questions.
  • This paper begins by … It will then go on to … Finally, …
  • This chapter reviews the literature …
  • In conclusion, …

Words to connect ideas

Try these words or phrases when you want to:

Give an example Add a thoughtEmphasise a thought
For example
For instance
In fact
That is
In other words
In particular
First, second, third, and so on
Specifically
And
As well
Similarly
A further factor to consider
In addition
Also
Furthermore
Besides
Again
What’s more
In this way
Indeed
In fact
As a matter of fact
Certainly
As you can see
Clearly
Give credit to another point of view Sum up a series of ideasMention items in chronological order
Although
Despite
Though
Even though
Granted
Of course
To be sure
In short
In brief
To sum up
In summary
First, second, third, and so on
Then
Next
Before
After
Later
During
When
Until
While
Meanwhile
Since then
Finally
Lastly
Eventually
Show cause and effectCompare items or ideasContrast items or ideas
So
Thus
Therefore
As a result
Because
Hence
Consequently
Accordingly
Similarly
Just as
Like
Likewise
In the same way
On the other hand
Unlike
But
Although
Instead
Yet
Still
On the contrary
In contrast
However
Rather
Nevertheless
Mention items in order of degreeUse a spatial orderGive a reason
Most importantly
Foremost
Moreover
Furthermore
In addition
First, second, third, and so on
Next to
Beside
Under
Below
In front of
Near
Above
Beyond
To the right
To the left
In between
For this reason
Because
Because of
Due to
Reformulate an idea
In other words
To put it simply
That is
To paraphrase

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