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Advanced Composition
Putting it Together: Conjunctive Adverbs and the Semicolon

October 23 and 24, 2002

Coordination is what we call it when we join two independent clauses together. The conjunctive adverbs are similar to the coordinating conjunctions we studied last week. They are different, however, because a writer must learn to use the semicolon ( ; ) in order to use them. A semicolon joins two independent clauses (like a coordinating conjunction), but often uses one of the conjunctive adverbs to join the two. We will look at three of the common conjunctive adverbs tonight.

Examples of Conjunctive Adverbs and the Semicolon

Studies show that the increasing number of cars in the Vancouver area causes a danger to everyone’s health; however, people continue to drive more and bigger SUV’s and cars. (Note the construction: semicolon, conjunctive adverb, comma) “However” shows a contrast between ideas here.

People love to drive alone; in fact, it is the only time of day many people are by themselves. “In fact” is used to emphasize ideas in the first clause.

It seems too many of us will continue to drive alone in our pollution-causing cars; as a result, the air quality in the Vancouver area will continue to deteriorate. “As a result” is used to show a cause-result relationship between ideas.

 Writing Assignment:

Write about a serious problem in our city that worries you. (Do not write about cars and pollution tonight). Use all three of the conjunctive adverbs from the examples above. Punctuate them all with a semicolon. Note that, normally, a writer would not use three sentences such as these in a single paragraph; however, for tonight’s class, we will do this for practice.

Teacher Writing Sample for this topic.

For more assignments, visit our Assignment Archive







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