Building bridges: linking expressions Topic sentences make general statements which are developed in greater detail Linking sentences form bridges from one paragraph to the next Bridges must joint at both ends! A linking or bridging sentence picks up what was said in the previous paragraph and introduces what will be discussed in the next one From paragraph 3 onwards, you should try to combine your LINK and TOPIC sentences (might take some practice)
warning All these linking words and phrases are to be used at the start of a new sentence They are NOT CONJUNCTIONS (e.g. and, but, when, because) which are used to join two sentences into one
Try this Each of the following sentences has been used by a pupil as the opening to a paragraph somewhere in the middle of their essays. With a partner, discuss how effective they are as LINKS. Look for the following: Does the sentence point back to the topic of the previous paragraph? If so, which part of the sentence makes this clear? Does the sentence point forward to the topic of the next paragraph? If so, which part of the sentence makes this clear?
First 2 The poet’s use of descriptive language not only gives the reader an idea of the violence on the streets of Brooklyn but also helps to create an impression of the character of the ‘Brooklyn Cop’ The use of exaggeration gives a humorous effect to some sections of the poem.
3, 4 Nevertheless, Lady Macbeth’s persuasion is not the only factor that leads Macbeth to murder King Duncan In contrast to Macbeth, Banquo realises that it would be unwise to trust what the witches said.
5,6 However, the most significant factor in Macbeth’s decision to kill Duncan is not the influence of his wife or the prophecies of the witches, but his own ambition. Macbeth is unable to sleep after he has killed the king because he is tormented by guilt
7, 8 After murdering Duncan, Macbeth returns to his wife, still with the blood-stained daggers in his hands. This decision to go back to see the witches for a second time accelerates the decline of Macbeth’s character.
Logical thought… Each statement paragraph should build on the previous one and take the argument a step further Don’t worry! This will likely take some practice if you are not used to linking your paragraphs up this way
Stepping stones or staircases? The connections you make between ideas should not be like stepping stones, going from one idea to the next in a straight line Your ideas should be linked like a staircase, taking the reader step by step towards a destination—the conclusion of the argument
Put ‘em in order—begin by deciding which sentence is the topic sentence This paragraph is about Macbeth’s ambition to be king. At first Macbeth feels that if this is his destiny, it will come about naturally Macbeth’s ambitions to be king of Scotland become increasingly strong in the course of the first act of the play. It is clear, then, that even before Lady Macbeth puts pressure on him in Act 1 scene 7, the ambitious side of his nature has already taken him closer to the decision to murder the king ‘If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me/ Without my stir’ However, when King Duncan announces that his son Malcolm is to be the next king, Macbeth finds it increasingly difficult to hide his ‘black and deep desires’ Early on, the witches predict that Macbeth will become king. For example, when Lady Macbeth hints that Duncan’s arrival at Macbeth’s castle might provide an ideal opportunity to kill him, Macbeth, instead of rejecting the suggestion outright, says ‘we will speak further’.