Transitional expressions help your writing flow smoothly. One type of transitional expression, the conjunctive adverb, also serves to connect independent clauses that are coordinate. In other words, conjunctive adverbs are used to link together two ideas with similar subjects and emphases while helping your writing to flow.
Conjunctive adverbs are usually placed between two independent clauses following a semicolon and followed by a comma. When conjunctive adverbs occur anywhere else in the sentence, they are usually separated from the rest of the sentence by commas. Occasionally, a conjunctive adverb will begin a sentence, in which case it will be followed by a comma.
Here is a list of conjunctive adverbs:
To show addition or another face
To show contrast or change an idea
To show time
To show result
To show a specific case
To show comparison
To strengthen a point
To return to your point after conceding
To recognize a point off your main point
Consider the following examples:
The weather is beautiful today; therefore, I think I’ll ride my bike to the beach.
The weather is beautiful today. I think, therefore, I’ll ride my bike to the beach.
The weather is beautiful today. Therefore, I think I’ll ride my bike to the beach.
A conjunctive adverb serves to join together, and create a smooth transition between, two ideas with similar emphases. Try looking at your own writing and locating two simple sentences that might be more effective if joined together by a conjunctive adverb. Remember, however, to avoid overusing them. Always try to use a variety of sentence types to keep your writing interesting.