A style guide for the approaching exams

Over the course of the next couple of months I want to offer some advice on non-subject specific ideas about how to attract/maximise your marks. Let’s start by looking at the language of construction

1. Discourse markers. They introduce a topic, move an argument forward, signal comparison and contrast and draw an argument to a close. They can be used at the start of paragraphs as well as in the body of your text. Examples of discourse markers are:

However
Moreover
Furthermore
Additionally
Likewise
Another point is
Significantly
Similarly
Comparatively
Contrastingly
Finally
In conclusion

2. Connective phrases (‘lexical bundles’): These are phrases that link your quotes to your analysis and explorations of the text,
enabling you to succinctly move between text and your comments. Examples include:

which suggests that…
which implies that…
the fact that…
the impact of this is…
from which we can infer that…
the impact of this is…
which conveys that…
which demonstrates that…
which contrasts with

3. Higher level verbs/verb phrases: draw on a more sophisticated range of verbs to signal explanation, analysis and evaluation of a quotation or example.

suggests
implies
depicts
illustrates
denotes
infer
emphasizes
conveys
explores
expresses

4. Comparative language: you will need to be able to draw comparisons and contrasts between different arguments. Effectively used comparative language enables you to do this clearly and fluently.

not only…
but also…
in contrast…
whereas

5. Passive voice – the use of the passive voice creates a detached, academic tone in your writing, suggesting an exploration of different critical or analytical viewpoints rather than personal viewpoint.

This essay will argue that…
Overall the most convincing argument is arguably
Therefore, it is clear that…
It can be suggested that…
It has been implied that…
It was described as…
It can be inferred from this…

6. Modal verbs: these suggest possibility, that something could or might be true but that there are a range of interpretations. It’s useful to use modal verbs when you are exploring different readings of a case study/example or a critical reading. Politics is full of case studies that could be argued both ways.
could…
can…
should…
might…

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s