English: skills for learning
English: skills for learning

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

English: skills for learning

Week 5: Linking ideas


So far you have looked at the essay-writing process and at the structure of each part of a good essay. This week you will look at the essay as a whole and focus on ways to link its various parts so that readers will find it easy to read.

Anna introduces the week in the following video:

Download this video clip.Video player: swe_1_wk5_640_hq.mp4
Skip transcript


Welcome to Week 5. And well done, you’re halfway through the course.

So what makes a successful essay and in general a successful text. Well essays and any other written documents are successful if they’re easy to read. That is, if they are clearly organised and all the parts are linked and work together to make a point.

This week you will concentrate on ways to link your ideas in writing. You will first look at how a student linked his introduction and his conclusion to the rest of his text. Then you will learn how to use information the reader is already familiar with to introduce new information.

Finally, you will look at ways to link ideas and information through linking words. In particular you will look at ways to add new information, compare and contrast ideas, and express cause and effect relationships.

End transcript
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Some of the activities this week are based on Fred’s essay from Week 4. I suggest you download the file [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]   that’s been provided and print it out, as you may find it helpful to be able to highlight, underline or annotate portions of the text.

By the end of this week you will be able to recognise ways to:

  • link the introduction and the paragraphs to the essay question
  • introduce new information by linking it to information already known to the reader
  • link paragraphs and sentences through linking words and phrases.

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371