Skip main navigation

Linking ideas in academic writing

Explore the grammar behind linking ideas in your academic writing including: prepositional phrases, conjunctions, clauses & adverbial phrases.
7.7
There are different ways in which you can link ideas in your writing, but you need to understand the grammar behind them. These three sentences all have the same meaning. They all include two ideas which are linked in different ways. What is the grammatical difference in the ways they are linked? The linking word or phrase is underlined in each sentence.
37.2
“because of” is a preposition, or prepositional phrase, and we use prepositions before noun phrases. Other prepositions or prepositional phrases include; “With”, “From”, “Such as”, “Due to”, “Despite”, “According to”.
58.9
“because” is a conjunction, and we use conjunctions to join clauses. Each clause must include a subject and a verb. Other conjunctions include; “And”, “Or”, “But”,and “While”.
79.2
“As a result” is an adverb or adverbial phrase.
86.9
Notice that here we use it to join ideas in two separate sentences.
95
Other adverbs or adverbial phrases include; “However”, “On the other hand”, “Moreover”, “In contrast”, and “Similarly”. These adverbs or adverbial phrases are often used at the beginning of sentences, but notice that they can sometimes be placed in other positions. Some words “Such as”, “Before”, “After” and “Until” can be a preposition or a conjunction depending on the context.
You can use different methods to link ideas in your academic writing but it’s essential to understand the grammar behind them.
In this video Jonathan compares three sentences that have the same meaning. They all include two ideas, linked in different ways. Explore the underpinning grammar and how we use prepositional phrases, conjunctions, clauses and adverbial phrases in different ways.
You can view the examples from the video in this PDF document.
This article is from the free online

An Intermediate Guide to Writing in English for University Study

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education

close