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Organizing Ideas

Structure for Coordinating Conjuction (CC) (for, and , nor, but, or, yet, so)

Sentence Pattern 1

CC - Structure for Coordinating Conjunction (CC) (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so)

_________________, CC _________________.
Independent clause* Independent clause

(See APA, “4.03 Comma,” 2010, p. 89).

Example

Participants in this study were recently diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, and they indicated that they engaged in less than two-hours of exercise each week.

To add information, ideas

and (CC)

To show cause and effect

so (CC) - do not start a sentence with this word and do not use a comma after it.

To contrast

but (CC)

yet (CC)

To show alternatives

or (CC)
*Independent Clause

An independent clause is a group of words containing a subject and a verb that can stand on its own as a sentence. Independent clauses can be joined to other clauses and phrases.

Structure for Subordinating Conjunction (SC) (because, while, even though, etc.)

Sentence Pattern 2

SC - Structure for Subordinating Conjunction (SC) (because, while, even though, etc.)

Example (a)

_________________, SC _________________.
independent clause* dependent clause

Many patients with chronic health conditions do not participate in despite evidence that exercise has a beneficial impact on health.

Example (b)

SC _________________, _________________.
dependent clause independent clause.

Despite evidence that exercise has a beneficial impact on health, many patients with chronic health conditions do not participate in exercise.

To show cause and effect

because (SC) – The “result” is placed in the independent clause: Result + because + Cause.

Example:

I shut my windows because it was windy outside.
indepdent clause / dependent clause
[result, what happened] + because [event that caused another action]

To contrast

though / although (SC)

even though (SC)

despite (SC)

whereas (SC)

To show conditions

if (SC)

whether (SC)

as long as (SC)

To show alternatives

whether ... or not (SC)

To show time or sequence

until (SC)

when (SC)

while (SC)

after (SC)

before (SC)

since (SC) - Use only to indicate time, not cause and effect.

*Independent Clause

An independent clause is a group of words containing a subject and a verb that can stand on its own as a sentence. Independent clauses can be joined to other clauses and phrases.

Structure for Transitional work or phrase (T) (however, therefore, for example, etc.)

Sentence Pattern 3

T - Structure for Transitional word or phrase (however, therefore, for example, similarly, although, because, so, but, etc.)

Example (a)

_________________ ; T, ___________________.
Independent clause* independent clause.
Patients reported that they understood the benefits of exercise ; however, most reported cultural values and their roles and responsibilities as barriers to participation.

Example (b)

T, ______________________.
independent clause.
Similary, Chowdhury et al. (2013) found that a considerable proportion of all cardiovascular disease events could be attributed to poor adherence to vascular medications.1

To add information, ideas

in addition (T)

furthermore (T)

To summarize or repeat

in brief/in short (T)

in summary (T)

in other words (T)

as noted/stated (T)

as previously stated (T)

in general (T)

To give examples

for instance (T)

for example (T)

to illustrate (T)

specifically (T)

To show cause and effect

therefore (T) - The cause is in the first part of the sentence and the result is in the second part of the sentence.

consequently (T)

accordingly (T)

as a result (T)

To compare

similarly (T)

likewise (T)

To contrast

however (T)

nevertheless (T)

conversely (T)

on the other hand (T) – This phrase is frequently misused.

on the contrary (T)

To show time or sequence

previously (T)

currently (T)

subsequently (T)

at the same time (T)

during (preposition)

To emphasize

specifically (T)

in particular (T)

moveover (T) - Caution: This word is frequently used incorrectly. Use it when you add information that supports an earlier statement.

To conclude

Not always necessary for conclusion paragraph; Use these words when giving the final point of a brief idea or example.

in conclusion (T)

finally (T)

to conclude (T)

*Independent Clause

An independent clause is a group of words containing a subject and a verb that can stand on its own as a sentence. Independent clauses can be joined to other clauses and phrases.

Connect your ideas

Just one way to connect your ideas!

Do not overuse transitions: Two sentences in a row beginning with a transition is repetitive.

Explaining a connection between two ideas is always best.

Vary your sentence structure: Try limiting transition words to a maximum of three per page.

1. Use pronouns to avoid unnecessary repetition.

Example

Beta-blockers have a number of adverse effects including brochospasm. They are contraindicated in patients with asthma.1

2. Repeat key words or phrases.

Example

Al Jaber (2013) found that poor adherence to antihypertensive medicines leads to increased risk of hospitalization due to stroke. Similarly, Davis et al. (2013) found that a significant number of all cardiovascular disease events were linked to poor adherence to medications, and that the poorer the adherence the greater the risk of an adverse event. Idris and Albulushi (2012) found that poor adherence was the most common cause of poor BP control in patients with resistant hypertension.

3. Use parallel structure ** or phrases.

Example

Al Jaber (2013) found that poor adherence to antihypertensive medicines leads to increased risk of hospitalization due to stroke. Similarly, Davis et al. (2013) found that a significant number of all cardiovascular disease events were linked to poor adherence to medications, and that the poorer the adherence, the greater the risk of an adverse event. Idris and Albulushi (2012) found that poor adherence was the most common cause of poor BP control in patients with resistant hypertension.

For more information on parallel structure, see the following links:

  1. Parallelism: http://lavc.edu/0-Kentico-Training/document-library/docs/Parallelism-(1).aspx (Los Angeles Valley College).
  2. Parallel structure: http://www.chompchomp.com/terms/parallelstructure.htm (Simmons, 2017).

References

American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association.(6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Hornby, A. S. (2005). Oxford advanced learner’s dictionary, (7th ed.). New York: NY: Oxford UP.

Messenger, W. E., de Bruyn, J., Brown, J., & Montagnes, R. (2008). The Canadian writer’s handbook (5th ed.). Don Mills, Canada: Oxford University Press.

Source used for examples:

  1. Bunker, J. (2014). Hypertension: Diagnosis, assessment and management. Nursing Standard, 28(42). 50-59. doi:10.7748/ns.28.42.50.e8682 (pp. 57, 58).
  2. Neeb, K. (2006). Fundamentals of mental health nursing (3rd ed.). Philadelphia, PA: F. A. Davis (pp. 186, 189).

Special Cases for Grammar

To add information, ideas

as well as – (not a conjunction). Use between two grammatically parallel elements, never at the beginning of a sentence (e.g., Correct: Using unfamiliar words as well as providing too much information may confuse some patients. Not: As well as that, some patients may become confused by unfamiliar words.

also – Do not use this word as a transition at the beginning of a sentence. Use it before a verb (e.g., Correct: The results also showed.... Not: Also,the results showed....)

not only ... but also - (Adverb). Special sentence structure applies. Example: In person-centered treatment, it is not only important to understand the cause of the problem in the past, but also the here and now of the patient’s present.2

(Messenger et al., The Canadian Writer’s Guide, “Correlative Conjunctions,” pp. 206-207).

To give examples

such as - Special case – this word is a determiner. Do not use a comma if the information after “such as” is essential; do use a comma if the information after “such as” can be removed without changing your meaning.

To emphasize

such as - Special case – this word is a determiner. Do not use a comma if the information after “such as” is essential; do use a comma if the information after “such as” can be removed without changing your meaning.

To emphasize

especially/particularly - (Adverb). Never use at beginning of sentence; use a comma when phrase is at end of sentence. Example: Hand hygiene is important, particularly in healthcare settings.

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