Certain words and phrases act as signposts to point your reader to other parts of your essay. Writing Tip A coherent piece of writing, such as an essay, works as a whole rather than as a series of separate points, and should have a clear line of development, marked by ‘signposting’ language. Look at this paragraph with three signposting words or phrases. Japan and the United Kingdom, with an emperor and a monarch as head of state respectively, are sometimes compared with each other. The former country remained culturally isolated for a long period of its history, while the latter evolved through its engagements, peaceful and military, with the world. Despite these differences, there are some interesting similarities. All three of these words or phrases refer backwards to earlier parts of the text. Not only do they help you to avoid repetition, but they also serve, in the reader’s mind, to link one part of your writing to another. Respectively This word is used to mean ‘the order in which I mentioned them’. In the paragraph above, it tells the reader that Japan has an emperor as head of state, and the United Kingdom has a monarch. It can be used at the end of a clause (as in the text above) or earlier in the sentence: ‘Sevilo’ (from Savile Row) and ‘nekutai’ are, respectively, the Japanese words for a Western style business suit and a tie (or necktie).
Swipe to navigate through the chapters of this book
Please log in to get access to this content
To get access to this content you need the following product:
- Macmillan Education UK
- Sequence number
- Chapter number