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Using adverbs such as “additionally” and “however” as the building blocks of good scientific writing


Most students and researchers find it easy to collect information from the literature for the introduction or discussion section of their manuscript.

However, linking different facts together to produce logical, clear text is often difficult, especially if you do not have English as first language.

In this post, we’ll show you how it’s easy to use adverbs as “building blocks” in your writing to link or move between different ideas.

Examples of adverbs include additionally, however, therefore and moreover. There are many other adverbs that are not suitable for scientific editing and writing, such as anyway, anyhow and after all.

In this post, we’ll focus on the most common adverbs used in formal scientific writing, and provide examples of how each group of adverbs can be used.


Link similar facts or related ideas

  • Similarly
  • Additionally
  • Moreover
  • Furthermore
  • In addition
  • In agreement

In this study, GRT gene expression was upregulated in the leaves of Arabidopsis plants after exposure to salinity. In agreement with this finding, GRT protein expression is upregulated in the leaves of wheat plants exposed to salinity.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of death in smokers. Additionally, smokers have a 10-fold increased risk of developing cancer.


Move between two different ideas or results that don’t agree

  • However
  • In contrast
  • Conversely

Rats administered 5 mg/kg DBMA orally developed liver tumours within six weeks. However, rats subcutaneously injected with 5 mg/kg DMBA did not develop any tumours.

Rice is the major food crop in Asia. Conversely, rice comprises only 5% of total crop production in Europe.


Indicate the order or timing of events and discoveries

  • Initially
  • Recently
  • Subsequently
  • Finally

The structure of DNA was initially solved in 1953 by Watson and Crick. Subsequently, Meselson and Stahl and confirmed the semi-conservative mechanism of replication in 1958.


Indicate the order of your experimental methods and results

  • Initially
  • Firstly
  • Secondly
  • Subsequently
  • Next
  • Finally
  • Lastly

Firstly, we sequenced the YRX  gene from each mutant. Next, we measured the expression levels of YRX  expression in each mutant using qRT-PCR. Lastly, we used Western blotting to measure YRX protein expression.


Link two sentences or sections of text

  • Hence
  • Consequently
  • Accordingly
  • Therefore
  • Since
  • As

As the factors which regulate the development of astrocytoma are poorly characterised, we performed an immunohistochemical study of ten antigens in human astrocytoma and normal brain tissues.

The factors that regulate the development of astrocytoma are poorly characterised; therefore, we performed an immunohistochemical study of ten antigens in human astrocytoma and normal brain tissues.

Sequencing indicted the presence of a YUH mutation in patient 1; hence, we sequenced the YUH  gene in the siblings of patient 1.

We hope this list helps you to feel more confident when using adverbs in your scientific writing.  


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