Using Linkers
     
In addition to the categories of vocabulary you have already learnt, there are other lexical (vocabulary) forms that support our expressions in composing a good paragraph. One such classification of lexis is linkers. Linkers are also called transitions or discourse markers. They help us establish our ideas explicitly. Linkers make it easy for us to compare, contrast, illustrate, define, and summarize our thoughts and develop coherent paragraphs. This unit introduces some linkers that help you to write a descriptive paragraph.
 
  What are linkers?
  Linkers are words that relate one idea or sentence of the text with another. They connect the ideas logically.
 
  Why are they used?
  They give direction to the writer. They are also used to guide the reader through his thoughts. They make the meaning specific.
 
  How to choose a linker?
  Meaning is the first and the most important criterion in choosing a linker. The second is the logical relation that needs to be made distinctly clear. For example, linkers like because, so and therefore express logical relations which are different from those expressed by although, but and nevertheless.
 
  What is their use in descriptive paragraphs?
  It is important to use linkers while describing a person, place or thing. They help us in listing facts chronologically, linking events across time, comparing and contrasting sketches, explaining graphic images and illustrating the main idea.
 
Listed below are some of the important linkers. Let us now learn them.

type of linker

examples

broad meaning

example

cause and effect

because, so,  accordingly, thus, consequently, hence, therefore, as

introduces a reason and shows result

We had to wait because, it was raining.

comparison

similarly, likewise, whereas, but, on the other hand, except, by comparison, when compared to, equally, in the same way

identifies similarities between two ideas

Life is difficult in extreme polls; similarly, it is horrible near the Equatorial regions.

contrast

but, however, yet, still, even though, nevertheless, on the other hand, otherwise, after all, for all of that, on the contrary, notwithstanding, in contrast, unlike,  whereas, instead of, alternatively, although

identifies differences between two ideas

Raj did not perform well in the exam; nevertheless, he got a distinction in English.

time

at once, immediately, meanwhile, at length, in the meantime, at the same time, in the end, when, then, as, before that, after that

indicates time and frequency of events

The bell rang and the students left immediately.

addition

and, also, even, again, moreover, further, furthermore,  similarly, in addition, as well as

adds ideas in support of the main idea

It is very hot today; moreover, there is a power outage.

example

for example, such as, for instance,  in this case, in another case, on this occasion, in this situation,  in this manner, to illustrate

introduces  illustrations in support of the main idea

I think he is very rich; for example, he gave a hundred rupee note to a beggar. 

sequence

first, second, third, next, then, following, now, at this point, after, after this, subsequently, eventually, finally, previously

shows the importance of the ideas by listing according to the priority

There is a students’ procession today; therefore, they diverted the traffic.

summary

in brief, on the whole, in sum, to sum up, thus

draws conclusion by summarizing the ideas

It is a love story, the actors performed well, the direction is excellent, the settings are beautiful; in brief, it is a good film.

Let us look at the linkers used in our model paragraph:

The Human Body

The human body is a wonderful piece of work that nature has created. It is not beautiful like the body of a butterfly or a peacock but it is shaped practically. It can do many types of work which other animals cannot. It is not strong like the body of a tiger.But in place of physical strength it has a big and sharp brain. By using this brain the human physique has been able to overcome many of its limitations. By sitting in an aeroplane it flies faster than a kite, by riding a motorcycle it travels faster than a leopard, and by firing a machine gun it fights much better than a tiger.In spite of all this, the human body suffers from many diseases because it has a weakness for habitssuch as smoking, drinking and overeating.When it is healthy the body can give great pleasure but when it is sick it can cause great pain. The wise man would always keep his body fit because a healthy mind can work only in a healthy body.
 
Some of the linkers in the paragraph are but, in spite of, such as, when, because.
But is a linker that speaks of the contrast of beauty and strength between animals and the human body.
In spite of is also a linker that contrasts the strength of the human body with its weaknesses.
Such as is a linker that illustrates the weaknesses of human body by naming them.
When is a time linker that tells us what happens at the time the body is healthy or sick.
Because is a linker that states the reason for keeping the body fit and healthy.