Select the transitional device that best matches the sentence.

Four of the participants did not experience skin eruptions after application of the ointment. __________ this finding, the researchers have excluded the compound from further tests.

Correct answer: On the basis of.

Explanation: “On the basis of” signifies that a conclusion has already been drawn, while “because of” indicates a cause for an observation. Although these two transitional devices appear similar, they are not interchangeable. Using the wrong one will confuse the reader about the tone of the message.

Confusing: On the basis of the error, we had to restart the procedure.

Explanation: When a native-speaker reads this, it feels confusing because “On the basis of” means the reader needs to know what the conclusion is, but they can’t find it in the sentence. This kind of confusion will make the reader lose trust in the author’s work.

Correct example of the use of “because of”:

Because of his lewd comments, many politicians from his party have begun to have doubts about his integrity.

What about “based on”?

“Based on” and “on the basis of” have identical meanings. The difference between them is grammatical. For further detail, see

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