ESL and 1-2-3 Transition Words

Let’s Talk Privacy in English: Use “1-2-3” to Organize Thoughts

talk privacy in 3's in English




Privacy is a thorny topic. We want privacy and yet we also want to make ourselves heard and get our opinions out there. We want privacy and yet we also want to make friends and connect with the fads and memes on the internet. So, do the two things have to be exclusive? Can we not be private and also keep using social media and apps to connect with strangers and stranger things happening around the world? What do you think?



Example of an Answer



Firstly, I think we can do both but we have to be more informed.

On that note, I think we should be selective of what social media and apps to use and the risks involved.

Finally, it is important to know how to manage your online data, when to delete it and how to delete it safely.


Make Your Argument in 3’s



When I think of privacy issues, I think of the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal and the Ashley Madison hack. They were both cases where user data ended up in the hands of the wrong people. We talked about quitting Facebook and that users of Ashley Madison deserved to have their identities exposed because they were cheating on their wives and husbands. But what if I want to make an argument and not just a passing comment? What is the best way to go about this in English?

当我想到网络隐私,我会马上想到最近发生的脸谱网络数据泄露丑闻以及Ashley Madison婚外情网站被黑事件。


The best approach is to organize your opinions and ideas into 3’s. And you can easily do this by beginning each main idea with a “1-2-3” transition word like “firstly”, “secondly” and “thirdly”. Three things are enough to make a good argument. We also tend to remember things easier in 3’s.



“Firstly” Transition Words

– For starters

– To begin with

– First things first


“Secondly” Transition Words

– Next

– Then

– Going further


“Thirdly” Transition Words

– To wrap up

– A final point to note

– In conclusion



Protecting one’s privacy online is a tricky matter. We don’t want our data to fall into the hands of the wrong people. But we also love living out our lives on Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram. Must we have one or the other? Can’t we not have control over our data and also enjoy flaunting selfies and dining-out shots? To make an argument and explain our thoughts on this issue in English, it is good to organize main ideas into 3’s. To do so, count down your ideas with “firstly”, “secondly” and “thirdly” transition words.

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