Discourse markers are words and phrases used in speaking and writing to ‘signpost’ discourse. Discourse markers do this by showing turns, joining ideas together, showing attitude, and generally controlling communication.

In speech, words like ‘actually’, ‘so’, ‘OK’, ‘right?’ and ‘anyway’ all function as discourse markers as they help the speaker to manage the conversation and mark when it changes.

However, discourse markers are an important feature of both spoken & written English. The skilful use of discourse markers often indicates a higher level of fluency in both spoken and written English.

1. Furthering Arguments : Many people believe… In addition to this… Similarly… Equally… Likewise… Also… As well as (this)… Moreover… What’s more… Further more… In the same way… This can also be (seen to be) true in… Just as… In the same way… For example… For instance… By the same token… Likewise…

2. Counter Arguments : Others might argue… Conversely… However… Although… On the other hand… Whereas… When measured against… Contrasting with… On the contrary… Nevertheless… On the other hand… In comparison… The opposite effect is created in… Nonetheless… Yet… Corresponding with this… Correspondingly… On the contrary… In opposition to this… In spite of this…

3. Sequencing Arguments : To begin with… In the first place… First and foremost…. Primarily… Firstly… Secondly… Thirdly… Lastly… Finally… After this it can be seen….

4. Concluding Arguments : Naturally… Of course… Admittedly… Certainly… In conclusion… Finally… Consequently… When all (of these) factors are taken in to account… Subsequently… Therefore… Thus… We can conclude that… Finally, it can be seen…

5. Emphasis : Above all… Essentially… Clearly… Most of all… Especially…. Primarily…. Particularly… In large….

6. Illustration/Exemplification: For example… For instance… Specifically… With regards to… To illustrate… Such as… In the words of (expert)… According to (expert)… As (expert) says….

7. Contrast : But… Despite… Yet… However… Alternatively… Still… Although… Unless… Otherwise… By contrast… Notwithstanding… Rather… Contrarily….

8. Evidence : Which is evident in/ because… …can be seen to be true. We can see that… This is obvious… Obviously…

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