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Conjunctive Argument Definition Essay

Conjunctions are composed of two categories: subordinating conjunctions and coordinating conjunctions. The function of conjunctions is to link ideas. Unlike subordinating conjunctions, coordinating conjunctions have not received much attention in second language acquisition, because it is generally believed that coordinating conjunctions are easy to acquire due to simplistic notions of parallelism. Given the overall frequency with which the word “and” occurs in spoken and written English, it should be assumed that its function is both pervasive and essential.

The simple, little conjunctions are called coordinating conjunctions. They are for, and, nor, but, or, so, so. Among the coordinating conjunctions, the most common, of course, are and, but, and or. It might be helpful to explore the uses of these three little words.

To suggest that one idea is chronologically sequential to another: "Tashonda sent in her applications and waited by the phone for a response.”

To suggest a contrast that is unexpected in light of the first clause: "Joey lost a fortune in the stock market, but he still seems able to live quite comfortably.”

To suggest that only one possibility can be realized, excluding one or the other: "You can study hard for this exam or you can fail.”

. “AND “does have important functions in reading and written discourse and that it occurs so frequently that it deserves thorough examination. Also, the primary concern is that there is a gap between reading textbooks and grammar textbooks. That is why students do not acquire the conjunction “and” well. The scope of this paper will be narrowed by analyzing students’ essays to see if production, particularly error patterns, can help us understand students’ acquisition of conjunctions with the sole focus on “and”. 

Coordination is a process of combining two constituents of the same type to produce another, larger constituent of the same type.” in the famous “The Grammar Book “.There are three major ways of using conjunctions in English. The first is to combine like constituents with a coordinating conjunction, such as and, but, or, which is considered as simple coordination. The second is called ellipsis, in which redundancies in the VP are eliminated. The third option includes use of a pro-form, as in the following example:

High frequency use conjunction “and”:

“Annie plays softball, and she plays soccer too.” In the example, "and" links two independent clauses of equal importance in terms of meaning.

In this sentence, the pronoun “she” substitutes “Annie” to eliminate the redundancy, and “too” means “also”. This coordinating conjunctive is used many times either in writing or in speaking. Even though there are some synonyms, "and “is a high frequency coordinating conjunction because it is short, easy to pronounce and also can be used in both writing and in speaking.

Medium frequency use conjunction “so”:

"Yes, you can make the legal argument; the TARP isn't a bankruptcy court, so the Feds had only two choices; let AIG go into bankruptcy, with possibly disastrous consequences, or pay up its contracts in full.” The excerpt is:

"So" also links two independent clauses in equal importance; however, "so" also introduce the reason or result for what I just mentioned. In specific, by using "so" the Feds had two options because as a result TARP is not a bankruptcy court. People use "so" in many ways when they speak and when they write, and as this reason, teaching this conjunction to the second language students would be very necessary.

Low frequency use conjunction “yet”:

“John plays basketball well, yet his favorite sport is badminton.”

The word yet seems to carry an element of distinctiveness that “but “can seldom register.

A conjunctive adverb will also introduce, interrupt, or conclude a single main clause. In this situation, you will often need commas to separate the conjunctive adverb from the rest of the sentence.

High use conjunctive adverb” however”:

“However, never daunted, I will cope with adversity in my traditional manner ... sulking and nausea.”

“However joins words, phrases, or clauses together to clarify what the writer is saying. Their presence provides smooth transitions from one idea to another.

Medium use conjunctive adverb “instead”:

“At 10 a.m., Paul was supposed to be taking his biology midterm. Instead, he was flirting with the pretty waitress at the coffee house.”

In the place of something previously mentioned the conjunctive adverb “instead” is used as a substitute or an equivalent.

Low use conjunctive adverb “accordingly”:

“She was accordingly quite interested in grammar.”

Conjunctive adverbs can indeed function as simple adverbs. In such a situation, they merely modify a verb, adjective, or another adverb. When they behave this way, they do not need any special punctuation. They are simply functioning as adjectives.

Subordinating conjunction:

High frequency subordinating conjunction “because”:

“I went out because the sun was shining”.

The conjunction “because” is used while stating an explanation for a statement. We can consider the following example as an explanatory for the above statement. “Because” is highly used by the second language students and also natives. Since this conjunction is one of the basic transition words: the students use this conjunction many times in writing and speaking, so I assume that all the level students know this conjunction. In the example, “because” indicates there is cause; a jumbo size loan and a high foreclosure rate and a result; his mortgage is divided into two categories in a sentence.

“He is called Mitch, because his name is Mitchell”.

Indicate the relationship between the ideas expressed in a clause and the ideas expressed in the rest of a sentence.

Medium frequency subordinating conjunction “so that”:

“I am saving money so that I can buy a bicycle.”

Subordinating conjunctions also join two clauses together, but in doing so, they make one clause dependent (or "subordinate") upon the other.

Low frequency subordinating conjunction “whether”:

“I do not know whether she was invited.”A subordinating conjunction is a word which joins together a dependent clause and an independent clause. This page will explain the most common subordinating conjunctions and how to use them. “Because it was raining, I took my umbrella”. The important word here is “because”. This is a subordinating conjunction. It is used to show the relationship between the two clauses. A subordinating conjunction usually comes at the beginning of the dependent clause, but the dependent clause itself can be before the main clause usually followed by a comma or after it sometimes following a comma.

“Although it was hot, he was wearing a coat”

“He was wearing a coat although it was hot.”

Some of the most important subordinating conjunctions fall into two groups: contrast, and cause and effect.

Subordinating conjunction is also called as, adverbial conjunctions. Conjunctive adverbs are pathetic, confused little creatures. They can't decide if they are adverbs or conjunctions in traditional grammar! Accordingly, they try to be both. This leads to all sorts of punctuation problems.

Conjunctive adverb connects two clauses. Conjunctive adverbs show cause and effect, sequence, contrast, comparison, or other relationships. Sometimes conjunctive adverbs try to pretend they are full conjunctions and hook two independent clauses together. This pretension is indeed a sad travesty! They are not really full conjunctions, and they can't do that job by themselves. Typically, they lurk just behind a semicolon in this situation, and it is the semicolon that does the real job of joining the two independent clauses. A comma should always follow the conjunctive adverb in such instances.

For example:

The bank robber dodged the bullet; however, Joey was shot seventeen times in the tibia.

Conjunctive adverb is not strong enough to join two independent clauses without the aid of a semicolon.

Comma is used following the conjunctive adverb when it appears at the beginning of the second clause unless the adverb is one syllable. When compared to other adverbs, conjunctive adverbs may move around in the clause or sentence in which they appear. When they appear at the end of the clause, they are preceded by a comma. If they appear in the middle of the clause, they are normally enclosed in commas, though this rule is not absolute and is not always applied to very short clauses.

Conjunctions have one job, to connect. They join words, phrases and clauses together to clarify what the writer is saying. Their presence provides smooth transitions from one idea to another. When the job of an adverb is to connect ideas, we call it a conjunctive adverb.

A conjunctive adverb can join two main clauses. In this situation, the conjunctive adverb behaves like a coordination conjunction connecting two complete ideas. Notice, however, that you need a semicolon not a comma, to connect the two clauses.

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Transitional tags run the gamut from the most simple — the little conjunctions: and, but, nor, for, yet, or, (and sometimes) so — to more complex signals that ideas are somehow connected — the conjunctive adverbs and transitional expressions such as however, moreover, nevertheless, on the other hand.

For additional information on conjunctions, click HERE.

The use of the little conjunctions — especially and and but — comes naturally for most writers. However, the question whether one can begin a sentence with a small conjunction often arises. Isn't the conjunction at the beginning of the sentence a sign that the sentence should have been connected to the prior sentence? Well, sometimes, yes. But often the initial conjunction calls attention to the sentence in an effective way, and that's just what you want. Over-used, beginning a sentence with a conjunction can be distracting, but the device can add a refreshing dash to a sentence and speed the narrative flow of your text. Restrictions against beginning a sentence with and or but are based on shaky grammatical foundations; some of the most influential writers in the language have been happily ignoring such restrictions for centuries.*

Here is a chart of the transitional devices (also called conjunctive adverbs or adverbial conjunctions) accompanied with a simplified definition of function (note that some devices appear with more than one definition):

additionagain, also, and, and then, besides, equally important, finally, first, further, furthermore, in addition, in the first place, last, moreover, next, second, still, too
comparisonalso, in the same way, likewise, similarly
concessiongranted, naturally, of course
contrastalthough, and yet, at the same time, but at the same time, despite that, even so, even though, for all that, however, in contrast, in spite of, instead, nevertheless, notwithstanding, on the contrary, on the other hand, otherwise, regardless, still, though, yet
emphasiscertainly, indeed, in fact, of course
example or
after all, as an illustration, even, for example, for instance, in conclusion, indeed, in fact, in other words, in short, it is true, of course, namely, specifically, that is, to illustrate, thus, truly
summaryall in all, altogether, as has been said, finally, in brief, in conclusion, in other words, in particular, in short, in simpler terms, in summary, on the whole, that is, therefore, to put it differently, to summarize
time sequenceafter a while, afterward, again, also, and then, as long as, at last, at length, at that time, before, besides, earlier, eventually, finally, formerly, further, furthermore, in addition, in the first place, in the past, last, lately, meanwhile, moreover, next, now, presently, second, shortly, simultaneously, since, so far, soon, still, subsequently, then, thereafter, too, until, until now, when

A word of caution: Do not interlard your text with transitional expressions merely because you know these devices connect ideas. They must appear, naturally, where they belong, or they'll stick like a fishbone in your reader's craw. (For that same reason, there is no point in trying to memorize this vast list.) On the other hand, if you can read your entire essay and discover none of these transitional devices, then you must wonder what, if anything, is holding your ideas together. Practice by inserting a tentative however, nevertheless, consequently. Reread the essay later to see if these words provide the glue you needed at those points.

Repetition of Key Words and Phrases

The ability to connect ideas by means of repetition of key words and phrases sometimes meets a natural resistance based on the fear of being repetitive. We've been trained to loathe redundancy. Now we must learn that catching a word or phrase that's important to a reader's comprehension of a piece and replaying that word or phrase creates a musical motif in that reader's head. Unless it is overworked and obtrusive, repetition lends itself to a sense of coherence (or at least to the illusion of coherence). Remember Lincoln's advice:

You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.

In fact, you can't forget Lincoln's advice, because it has become part of the music of our language.

Remember to use this device to link paragraphs as well as sentences.

Pronoun Reference

Pronouns quite naturally connect ideas because pronouns almost always refer the reader to something earlier in the text. I cannot say "This is true because . . ." without causing the reader to consider what "this" could mean. Thus, the pronoun causes the reader to sum up, quickly and subconsciously, what was said before (what this is) before going on to the because part of my reasoning.

We should hardly need to add, however, that it must always be perfectly clear what a pronoun refers to. If my reader cannot instantly know what this is, then my sentence is ambiguous and misleading. Also, do not rely on unclear pronoun references to avoid responsibility: "They say that . . ."


Music in prose is often the result of parallelism, the deliberate repetition of larger structures of phrases, even clauses and whole sentences. We urge you to read the Guide's section on Parallelism and take the accompanying quiz on recognizing parallel form (and repairing sentences that ought to use parallel form but don't). Pay special attention to the guided tour through the parallel intricacies within Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.

Coherence Devices in Action

In our section on writing the Argumentative Essay, we have a complete student essay ("Cry, Wolf" — at the bottom of that document) which we have analyzed in terms of argumentative development and in which we have paid special attention to the connective devices holding ideas together.

Look at the following paragraph:

The ancient Egyptians were masters of preserving dead people's bodies by making mummies of them. Mummies several thousand years old have been discovered nearly intact. The skin, hair, teeth, fingernails and toenails, and facial features of the mummies were evident. It is possible to diagnose the disease they suffered in life, such as smallpox, arthritis, and nutritional deficiencies. The process was remarkably effective. Sometimes apparent were the fatal afflictions of the dead people: a middle-aged king died from a blow on the head, and polio killed a child king. Mummification consisted of removing the internal organs, applying natural preservatives inside and out, and then wrapping the body in layers of bandages.

Though weak, this paragraph is not a total washout. It starts with a topic sentence, and the sentences that follow are clearly related to the topic sentence. In the language of writing, the paragraph is unified (i.e., it contains no irrelevant details). However, the paragraph is not coherent. The sentences are disconnected from each other, making it difficult for the reader to follow the writer's train of thought.

Below is the same paragraph revised for coherence. Italics indicates pronouns and repeated/restated key words, bold indicates transitional tag-words, and underlining indicates parallel structures.

The ancient Egyptians were masters of preserving dead people's bodies by making mummies of them. In short, mummification consisted of removing the internal organs, applying natural preservatives inside and out, and then wrapping the body in layers of bandages. Andthe process was remarkably effective. Indeed, mummies several thousand years old have been discovered nearly intact. Their skin, hair, teeth, fingernails and toenails, and facial features are still evident.Their diseases in life, such as smallpox, arthritis, and nutritional deficiencies, are still diagnosable. Eventheir fatal afflictions are still apparent: a middle-aged king died from a blow on the head; a child king died from polio.

The paragraph is now much more coherent. The organization of the information and the links between sentences help readers move easily from one sentence to the next. Notice how this writer uses a variety of coherence devices, sometimes in combination, to achieve overall paragraph coherence.


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