Sentence Connectors in OET Letter Writing

Sentence Connectors in OET Letter Writing
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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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