Sentence Connectors in OET Letter Writing

Sentence Connectors in OET Letter Writing

Why sentence connectors?

Sentence connectors, when used appropriately, play an important role in the sentence structure, and make it relevant but make sure to use a connector only when it is needed. Yes, sentence connectors are an important tool for writing proficiently in English.

The main purpose of connectors

  • To join information together within a sentence. 
  • To add additional useful detail to the sentence. 
  • Help to ensure that the meaning of the sentences is clear for readers to understand.

Note: Connectors can be used to start a sentence, in between the sentence, in the middle position of a sentence.

Some use of connectors:

  • Add emphasis to the main idea, (clearly, significantly, notably)
  • To define the time frame more clearly, (initially, subsequently, finally)
  • To show the contrast between two ideas, (however, instead, despite)
  • Shows cause and effect. (Accordingly, therefore, consequently)
  • link the ideas in two or more sentences (though, Although, Even though)
  • show relationships between ideas within an independent clause. (that, which, what)

Sentence connectors in healthcare letters

When writing a formal healthcare letter, it is important to choose

  • a professional tone for your writing. 
  • suitable for the writing context.

Let’s look at some examples of connectors:

  • Simple connectors (also called conjunctions): and, but, or, later, as, too, because.
  • Complex connectors: however, therefore, although, unless, subsequently, additionally, otherwise.

All-time doubts or concerns of an OET aspirant:

1. What is the preferred OET writing style?

  • OET encourages the candidates to write in a natural way. 
  • You will be scored according to your range of vocabulary and your ability to demonstrate them accurately.
  • Requires a balance between formal professional written language and concise, that is giving a lot of information clearly and in a few words. (brief but comprehensive). 
  • Direct phrasing, which is easy for the reader to understand. Choose the best language that fits for clarity.

2. Can I use simple connectors?

Yes, you are free to use simple connectors. You can include demonstrating the use of both simple and complex connectors appropriately.  

Simple connectors are as follows: and, but, or, later, as, too, because.

3. Can I start a new sentence using any connector?

Yes, you can use a connector to start a new sentence but with restrictions. 

OET does not recommend beginning a new sentence with some simple connectors, such as: also, so, and, but

Instead, choose a more formal alternative for the start of your sentence, such as: Additionally, Therefore, However

Note: These are fine to include in the middle of the sentence, they are not banned from using in OET writing.

4. What connectors should I avoid?

Some connectors are less suitable for healthcare letter writing. These include:

  • Academic connectors: furthermore, moreover
  • Informal connectors: besides, meanwhile, apart from that, later on
  • Outdated connectors:  hence, thus, thereafter

5. How many connectors I can use in my OET letter?

OET says ‘The assessors do not count the number of connectors you include in your letter, and simply using a lot of connectors will not boost your score’.  

OET checks for: 

  • the range of vocabulary
  • sentence clarity
  • Concise (brief but comprehensive)
  • linking of ideas appropriately
  • the choice of language used.

6. ‘Since’ and ‘As’ – Can I use these connectors in my OET Writing?

Yes, you can use ‘since’ or ‘as’ when it is appropriate for the sentence you are writing. 

Alternatives: due to, following.

Note: Don’t use a connector if it doesn’t add any value to the sentence.

How can I learn more about connectors?

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