32 However as a Transitional Device

However as a Transitional Device

Alys Avalos-Rivera and Yelin Zhao

Activity 1

1.1. The following passages use the word however to connect ideas and express a specific purpose. Read the passages and try to differentiate appropriate and inappropriate uses of however. Discuss with your peers why however has been used inappropriately in each example.

  1. Department of Education noted that state and local officials should have the flexibility to determine appropriate content for a student’s summary, which must be based on the student’s individual needs and post secondary goals. However, this flexibility must be balanced with the need to assure that students with disabilities, upon leaving high school, have a comprehensive summary of performance (SOP) that promotes self-determination.
  2. One of the greatest advantages of using technology at schools is that students can communicate with people all over the world. However, in contrast there are also some disadvantages.
  3. After I finished my first year of college, I decided to move off campus and I saw many differences between living on and off campus. However, there are many differences between living on and off campus that can impact on students’ health, academic performance, and personal comfort.
  4. Brazil’s average per capita income had fallen from a peak of 25 percent of the U.S. average in the 1960s to just 16 percent by the late 1990s. In the last decade, however, that number began to climb, and it has now risen to roughly 20 percent.
  5. Nowadays most teachers can optimize instruction by using technology in their classes instead of just talking or using the chalkboard. However, digital devices such as the smartphone have become an essential tool for students.
  6. It cannot be established with any certainty what happened to the Titanic during its descent to the seabed. However, what is now known is that once the ship disappeared below the ocean’s surface, it broke into three pieces.
  7. Nowadays, students spend a great deal of money on textbooks, however, the idea of replacing textbooks with tablets may be a solution to reduce the cost of education.
  8. There are many differences between English and Korean, such as their alphabets, grammatical structure, and the use of honorifics. However, it is clear that Korean is harder to learn than English because of its alphabet, grammar, and the use of honorifics.
  9. 25 Male participants’ favorite brand of cigarettes remained stable across the 5 telephone surveys (2003-2008); however, female participants’ favorite brand changed dramatically after the Camel No. 9 advertising campaign.
  10. Teachers, students, and tutors responded that some student materials could be clearer; however, overall the clarity of those materials was acceptable.

1.2. List the passages in which however has been accurately and appropriately used (You can simply write the numbers of each passage).

Numbers: ____________________________________________

1.3. In the following chart list the problematic cases and write down a brief explanation about each problem.

Passage Number Possible Reasons

Based on an analysis of 100 student essays, we found that however, the transitional expression is often misused. Therefore, the goal of the following activities is two-fold. First, it aims to raise your awareness of when and how however should be used appropriately in academic writing. Second, these activities challenge you to practice the use of however as a contrastive transitional device.

Activity 2

Read the following sentences in which however has been used appropriately and follow the instructions given below:

1) Sentences 1-5 emphasize one main theme. Identify this theme and circle it.

2) Sentences 6-10 emphasize two themes. Identify and circle them.

3) In all of the sentences, two features are in contrast. Identify and underline these features.

4) Work out a rule as to when however should be used.

Example: The United Arab Emirates’ rapid modernization has brought remarkable advancements in public health. However, modernization also has brought new risks (e.g. an increment in non-infectious conditions such as cancer).

  1. Brazil’s average per capita income had fallen from a peak of 25 percent of the U.S. average in the 1960s to just 16 percent by the late 1990s. However, in the last decade, Brazil’s average per capita income began to climb, and it has now risen to roughly 20 percent.
  2. Department of Education noted that state and local officials should have the flexibility to determine appropriate content for a student’s summary, which must be based on the student’s individual needs and postsecondary goals. However, this flexibility must be balanced with the need to assure that students with disabilities, upon leaving high school, have a comprehensive summary of performance (SOP) that promotes self-determination and productive post school outcomes.
  3. Since 2001, student attendance failed to meet the state’s requirements during testing days; However, in 2005, attendance on test days allowed the school to meet the annual attendance objectives as defined by the state.
  4. For the acceptability of online tutoring procedures, teachers and tutors all reported that the set-up was easy. Teachers, students, and tutors responded that some student materials could be clearer; However, overall the clarity of those materials was acceptable.
  5. An important increase in contaminant substances was found in Lake Ontario fish. PCNs have shown a dramatic decline since 1979; However, the levels are still above Ontario’s fish consumption advisory guidelines for dioxin-like compounds.
  6. The poet Montoro witnessed some of the worst racial violence of his time and was forced to feel from his home in Cordoba (in 1473) during a riot. His poem to Enrique IV voices the frustration of a citizen who had lost hope that the persecution would end. However, his poem dedicated to Isabel illustrates that the presence of the new queen had restored in the poet some degree of optimism for the future.
  7. Usually, it’s better to take a multivitamin supplement with meals. With an empty stomach, you’ll absorb less of those vitamins. However, taking your multivitamin supplement on an empty stomach is much better than not taking it at all.
  8. If students with ID are auditing a class, then they are not receiving official university credit and are not required to submit assignments. However, if students with ID taking the course for credit, then those students must attempt to master all of the material which other students are expected to learn and submit all assignments as required in the syllabus.
  9. The Indian Removal Act of 1830 led to the forced relocation of thousands of Indian families from the Southeast to what is now Oklahoma. However, the growth and expansion of the white population has intensified the demand for Indian lands in most areas.
  10. Most items in the questionnaire represent statements to which the students responded to on a four-point modified Likert scale ranging from strongly agree, agree, disagree and strongly disagree. However, in the last three items, students were requested to give open answers.

Rules to use however
In the academic writing context, however is often used as a transitional device in the following two ways:

1) to contrast two features/variables/attributes of one theme

2) to contrast two features/variables/attributes of two themes that belong to the same category

Activity 3

Read examples 1-10 in activity 2 again.

1) Circle the punctuation marks used before and after however.

2) Compare the different uses of punctuation before and after however between examples 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and examples 3, 4, 5.

Language usage notes

However is used as a coordinating conjunction to connect two independent clauses. Very often, a period, a punctuation mark to indicate the end of the first independent clause, is placed before However. In this case, the h in however should be capitalized, and a comma should be used after However (see examples 1 to 6).

As shown in examples 7-10, a semicolon can also be used before however to connect two main clauses in a single sentence. In this case, the h in however should not be capitalized, and a comma should be used after however. Compared to a period, a semi-colon is preferred if the two clauses are short.

 

License

Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

However as a Transitional Device by Alys Avalos-Rivera and Yelin Zhao is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book