STUDENT DEVELOPMENT CLUB #11: SECRETS OF BETTER ACADEMIC WRITING: How To Start A Sentence with ‘Otherwise’, ‘Alternatively’, ‘Instead of’, ‘Rather than’, and ‘If not’ as Negative Condition Transitions

STUDENT DEVELOPMENT CLUB #11: SECRETS OF BETTER ACADEMIC WRITING: How To Start A Sentence with ‘Otherwise’, ‘Alternatively’, ‘Instead of’, ‘Rather than’, and ‘If not’ as Negative Condition Transitions


A sentence can be started by a number of ways.  A good writer or speaker uses correct and appropriate sentence openers in order to deliver the message to the reader or listener effectively and professionally.
The following is one of the ways you can start a sentence as you write or speak:

Negative condition transitions are the transitions that start or connect sentences by implying some kind of negativity in the statements. Sentences can also be negatively started by using the following transitions:

Instead of + Noun Phrase
Rather than + Noun Phrase
If not,

Otherwise: It means 'in other ways', 'in another way', 'in a different way' or 'other than as expected'.
Otherwise, you should go and see a doctor.
Otherwise, we can go together. Don't go there alone.
Otherwise, you can work in groups and not individually.

Alternatively: it means 'in place of', or 'as an alternative to'.
Alternatively, you can go and see a doctor.
Alternatively, we can go together. You should not go there alone.
Alternatively, you can work in groups and not alone as before.

Instead of + Noun Phrase: it means 'in the place of', 'as an alternative to' or 'on the contrary'.
Instead of staying home like this, you should go and see a doctor.
We can go together instead of going alone there.
You can work in groups instead of working individually.

Rather than + Noun Phrase: it means 'on the contrary' or 'to some extent'.
Rather than staying at home, you should go and see a doctor.
We can go together rather than going alone.
You can work in groups, rather than working individually.

If not: it means 'perhaps'. It indicates possibility of being more remarkable than the rest. It also means something is better, greater, or sooner than the other.
If not, you should go and see a doctor.
We can go together. If not, you can go alone.
You can work individually. If not, you can work in groups.

For More Practices Use Out-Come Oriented Teaching Resources
Why we should use the following resources? It's because they are found in our students' life and when they are used, they produce tremendous learning outcomes to them. These resources are:
Radio broadcasts
TV broadcasts
Audio or visual music
Audio or visual speeches
Audio or visual movies
By using one, or some of the above teaching resources, give the students the following tasks:

Task 1: Listening
Play an audio and let students identify what they have learnt.

Task 2: Speaking
Put students in pairs and guide them to practice orally what they have learnt. Make sure you give them clear instructions before they take over.

Task 3: Reading
Give students the text to read and ask them to identify sentences with the sentence patterns learnt.

Task 4: Writing
Give students writing task. Give them clear instructions on what to write about while making sure they write properly what you have taught them.

Note: To understand well if the selected materials contains the required information and target skills and whether they relevant culturally and contextually, the teacher have to go through the materials by checking them. For example, if it is a part of the speech, the teacher has to listen to it until he/she is satisfied that the content is relevant and appropriate to the students.

Coordinators are necessary in connecting the ideas, statements, and actions of the same status, that is, the sentences in which the parts involved have equal regards. Thus, in the matters of such quality, students have to understand how to express themselves.

In order to help students become masters of these Secrets of Better Academic Writing, they should be more engaged by giving them more speaking and writing tasks or activities in which they will use these addition transitions to construct various sentences, paragraphs, and the whole composition.

Also check out how to study and teach:
For more on how to study & teach English Language topics, visit the following class links:

For more on Literature Topics, check out Literature in English Blog
For how to be professional keeper of your Diary in both Kiswahili and English, check out Shajara Yangu Blog

For Form IV NECTA Examination Sections, check out Elaborated CSEE NECTA Examination Sections

Emmanuel Kachele

Emmanuel Kachele is a founder and Blogger of KACHELE ONLINE Blog, an educational blog where 'O' Level English - 'OLE', 'A' Level English (ALE) and other related teaching and life skills are shared extensively. This is an online center for all Tanzanian Secondary School English Language students and teachers (Forms I-VI) and all interested English Language learners and teachers worldwide.

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