- Academic writing
- Commonly confused words
- Critical thinking
- Linking/transition words
- Terms and definitions
- What is description, application, analysis and evaluation
Linking/transition words: Things you need to know...
All assignments are written in formal language. You need to ensure that you demonstrate your knowledge and understanding alongside your ability to answer the question/solve the problem.
Below are some ideas to help you to develop your structure and flow.
- Linking / transition words and phrases join ideas, sentences and paragraphs together. They should be used within sentences and to move from one idea to another (between sentences).
These words and phrases indicate the direction, order and flow of ideas. Significantly, they strengthen the quality and structure of your work.
- Redundant Words - less is more. P articularly when trying to reduce the word count, it is important to look for phrases which can be replaced with a single word.
Transitions link one main idea to another separated by a semi-colon or full-stop. When the transition word is at the beginning of the sentence, it should be followed by a comma:
Among other functions, they can signal cause and effect or sequencing (see examples in the table below).
Linking words: conjunctions
Linking words within a sentence are referred to as coordinating conjunctions. Do not worry about the term: think about the function.
Conciseness / redundant words
Microsoft Word now has an additional feature within the Edito r - it is called conciseness or wordiness.
- If you cannot see the Editor menu a quick tip is to hold down the function (fn key at the bottom left of the keyboard) + F7 (top line of keys).
- From the Refinements section - select Conciseness - if there are any suggestions a number will appear in the box alongside this option
- A dotted line will appear under any groups of groups
- Either select the identified text by clicking with your right mouse button OR click on the down down next to the Conciseness menu.
- MS Word will display any alternative words which you can either select and they will be replaced in your text or reject if you want to keep the original phrases.
Examples: try to replace phrases with a single words which mean the same.
Need to know more...
- Related pages
- External links
- Academic writing Illustrates the main features of academic writing so that you are aware of what it is and what it involves
- Critical Thinking Academic work involves thinking, not just accepting what you read or are told.
- Terms and Definitions Important words appear in your assignments and examinations. The aim of this factsheet is to help you to fully understand what they mean.
Additional resources to help you to improve your confidence and grades:-
- Writing Effectively demonstrates the importance of: clarity, structure, relevance, argument and precision.
- Writing Mechanics gives further examples and resources on areas including: sentence structure, vocabulary, spelling, punctuation and grammar.
Linking/Transition words - Scribbr https://www.scribbr.co.uk/syntax/transition-words-examples/ [Accessed 10 February 2023]
There are many books concerning academic writing, look around Dewey number 808
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Connecting ideas in writing
Suggestions for connecting ideas at the sentence and paragraph level in academic writing.
In academic writing, it is important to present an argument clearly and cohesively. In addition, you may be required to discuss and evaluate existing research or ideas about the topic under discussion. Often you will be assessed on your ability to do both. Developing the language to connect ideas in academic writing will help you with both these tasks. The appropriate use of ‘discourse markers,’ that is, words or phrases that signal a relationship, can reveal and reinforce the direction that your argument is taking, and make clear the relations between sections of your writing.
Here we provide suggestions for sentence openers, ‘linking words’ within sentences and between paragraphs, and alternative vocabulary choices you might use when connecting ideas in writing.
Connectives used in and between sentences
Connectives allow us to be more precise about the relationships between statements in a sentence or between sentences. Particular phrases and words serve different functions in connecting ideas and arguments. For example, different clauses or words can signal or ‘signpost’ additional or similar information, opposition or contrast, concession, cause or effect, emphasis, clarification, or a relationship in time or sequence. Some useful examples of each are categorised by function below.
Note that most of these terms can also be used to start new paragraphs. However, some of them need to be incorporated into fuller sentences to be effective as paragraph openers. For example, if you use notwithstanding as a paragraph opener you may have to add other content words to provide more information such as “Nothwithstanding a lack of natural resources, the region has…”
Additionally, and, also, apart from this, as well (as), in addition, moreover, further, furthermore.
If, in that case, provided that, unless.
Correspondingly, equally, for the same reason, in a similar manner, in comparison, in the same way, on the one hand, similarly.
Alternatively, although, but, conversely, despite, even so, even though, however, in contrast, in spite of, instead, on the contrary, contrary to, nevertheless, nonetheless, notwithstanding, on the other hand, rather, still, though, yet, whereas, while.
Again, in fact, interestingly, indeed, it should be noted (that), more important(ly), most importantly, to repeat, (un)fortunately, unquestionably.
A further instance of this is..., an example of this is…, for example, for instance, such as, thus, as follows.
In other words, more simply, namely, simply put, to put it differently / another way, such as, that is.
A / the consequence of, because, due to, for, the effect of …, since, the result of …
Accordingly, as a result/consequence, consequently, for this reason, hence, so, therefore, thus.
Admittedly, although, clearly though, even though, however, indeed, obviously.
As a rule, for the most part, generally, in general, in most cases, normally, on the whole, usually.
First, second, third (etc), next, before, earlier, finally, following, given the above, later, meanwhile, subsequently, then, to conclude, while.
A note about presentation and style
Check a usage guide for exact rules for punctuation. Many introductory phrases have a comma after them. For example, 'therefore,' and 'in addition,'.
Apart from using the linking words / phrases above, showing the link between paragraphs could involve writing ‘hand-holding’ sentences. These are sentences that link back to the ideas of the previous paragraph. For instance, when outlining the positive and negative issues about a topic you could use the following:
Example (from beginning of previous paragraph):
- One of the main advantages of X is…
When you are ready to move your discussion to the negative issues, you could write one of the following as a paragraph opener:
- Having considered the positive effects of X, negative issues may now need to be taken into account…
- Despite the positive effects outlined above, negative issues also need to be considered...
It is always important to make paragraphs part of a coherent whole text; they must not remain isolated units.
Checking for paragraph links in your own work
When you are editing your next written assignment, ask yourself the following questions as you read through your work (Gillett, Hammond, & Martala, 2009):
- Does the start of my paragraph give my reader enough information about what the paragraph will be about?
- Does my paragraph add to or elaborate on a point made previously and, if so, have I made this explicit with an appropriate linking word / phrase?
- Does my paragraph introduce a completely new point or a different viewpoint to before and, if so, have I explicitly shown this with a suitable connective?
- Have I used similar connectives repeatedly? If yes, try to vary them using the above list.
Explore all resources
- Online learning module
Building good paragraphs
Understand paragraph structure, cohesion and coherence, and other elements that assist you to produce well-developed academic paragraphs.
Using sources in assessments: voice in academic writing
Effectively combine your ideas with those of other writers.
We break down the structure of an essay and show you how to do it well.
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The Ultimate List of Linking Words for Your Essay
Let’s face it: You can’t write an essay (or any other writing piece) without linking words.
Also known as connecting words or transition words, they serve to make your writing flow and help those reading your work follow the flow of your thoughts, ideas , and arguments .
This post is your guide to linking words and their role in writing. Not only will you learn the types of these words, examples, and reasons to use them, but you’ll also get a massive list of transition words and phrases as well as linking words PDF to download and use whenever necessary.
Table of Contents:
What are Linking Words?
Why use transition words in essays, linking words examples, addition/agreement/similarity, contrast/contradiction/limitation/opposition, comparison/concession/condition, clarification, cause/effect/result, emphasis/example, generalization, illustration, location/place/space, reason/reference, time/sequence, summary/conclusion/restatement.
- The Ultimate List of Linking Words: Download
Linking words are lexical items (words and phrases) we use to connect ideas in writing and get a reader to the next sentence or paragraph.
They aren’t about essay writing only:
Whether you write a fiction book, marketing content , academic works, autobiography , or poems, you’ll need to connect ideas. That’s what transition words do:
They link your thoughts and arguments into a chain to show how they relate to each other. Also known as transition words, these phrases often start a sentence or a paragraph. However, you’ll also use them in the middle of sentences to bring ideas together.
The most common places for linking words in essays are:
- the start of a paragraph
- the start of a sentence introducing a new idea or extending an argument
- the beginning of a concluding statement
Essay linking words is an integral part of academic writing. Put it simply, you can’t write a paper without using them; otherwise, your writing won’t make any sense for readers.
Transition words for essay serve to:
- connect ideas in writing
- create a flow of thoughts and arguments for readers to understand what you want to say
- guide readers from one idea to another, demonstrating how they relate to each other
- hook readers and encourage them to read the next sentence or paragraph
- add more information
- support or contrast a point
- show the result, conclude, demonstrate an effect of this or that point
Using essay maker and connecting words, each sentence and paragraph must pass readers on to the next one. These connecting words serve as an instrument to guide readers from one thought or point to the next.
Linking words examples are many, and it’s clear why: every piece of writing contains tons of connecting and transition words. Let’s take an essay sample from Bid4Papers writers to see the example of linking words in academic writing:
This one was an essay introduction .
Now, why not take a step further and look for essay linking words in essay conclusions ?
Types and List of Linking Words to Use in Essays
Below you’ll find the ultimate list of transition words for essays by categories. Choose the role you need a word to play (reason, contrast, emphasis, restatement, etc.) and consider the corresponding table of transitions.
If you need the whole transition words list in one place, jump to the next category of this post to find the downloadable linking words pdf.
And now, for connecting words categories:
These words serve to add info to what you’ve previously stated, demonstrate the commonality between arguments, and support your thoughts.
Linking words for contrast is your instrument to show how things are different and provide counterarguments. They work best in persuasive and critical essays.
These lexical items will help you if you need to provide conditions to your statements, show how things are different/similar, or accept a point with reservation.
These words will help you with personal or narrative essays: They are linking words in opinion writing that indicates you’re going to explore ideas in more detail.
Expository essays will win with these words too.
Cause and effect connecting words do what their name says exactly: demonstrating a cause of some point and providing the result of what has been done or started.
These words are for putting forward your point more forcefully, providing examples.
Perfect transition words for hypothesis essays , generalization lexical items serve to make a general statement you’ll then specify and prove in detail.
These words and phrases are for you to provide examples in essays.
Use these words to provide order and reference or clarify spatial relationships between your points or ideas.
These transitional words will help you demonstrate relationships between ideas and provide reasons for what and why has started or occurred.
Use these words in your essay when you need to indicate the time and order of what you say.
Restatement words will help you express an alternative to what you previously stated. They work for all essay types, including rhetorical precis and dialectic essays .
Use summary and conclusion transitional phrases to sum up your points and come up with the final paragraph of your writing.
The Ultimate List of Connecting Words: Download
And now, for the most interesting and practical part:
Below you can find the linking words worksheet that gathers all the most commonly used transitional words in essays. Feel free to download this linking words PDF and refer to it every time you write an essay and experience writer’s block:
Do you need more guides and worksheets like this to assist you with academic writing? Please share your ideas in the comments, and our writers will be happy to help!
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Useful Linking Words and Phrases to Use in Your Essays
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Linking words and phrases are used to show relationships between ideas. They can be used to join two or more sentences or clauses.
We can use linking words to give a result , add information , summarize , give illustrations , emphasize a point , sequence information , compare or to contrast idea .
Useful Linking Words and Phrases
In this article, you will learn about the most common linking words and phrases:
Giving a Result
Usage : To provide the result of what has been stated or has occurred
Linking W ords :
- As a result
- As a consequence
- For this reason
- His wife left him. As a result , he became very depressed.
- She has lived in France, and as a consequence she speaks French fluently.
- We do not have enough money. T herefore we cannot afford to buy the new car.
- We do not own the building. Thus , it would be impossible for us to make any major changes to it.
- There has been a great deal of rain and consequently the reservoirs are full.
- The customer was displeased with her meal, hence the chef prepared a replacement.
- For this reason , they are not a good choice for exterior use.
- Due to a broken wing, this bird can’t fly.
Usage : To add to what has been previously stated
- Additionally / an additional
- As well as that
- In addition
- In addition to this
- Apart from this
- Additionally , the bus service will run on Sundays, every two hours.
- He said he had not discussed the matter with her. Furthermore , he had not even contacted her.
- We are unable to repair this watch. Also , this is the fourth time this has happened.
- I love wearing earrings. I design and make them too .
- We went to the park today. As well as that , we did some shopping.
- Along with parties and parliaments, elections have lost their charm.
- I can’t afford to go to the concert. Besides , I don’t really like classical music.
- You haven’t paid the rent yet. In addition , you owe me money.
- The report is badly presented. Moreover , it contains inaccuracies.
- John’s grades are terrible because he has been so lazy these days. In addition to this , his relationship to his parents got worse.
- Apart from this paragraph, the report contains a number of sensible initiatives.
Usage : To sump up what has been previously stated
Linking words :
- In conclusion
- To summarize
- To conclude
- In conclusion , walking is a cheap, safe, enjoyable and readily available form of exercise.
- To summarize , this is a clever approach to a common problem.
- The food was good and we loved the music. Altogether it was a great evening.
- His novels belong to a great but vanished age. They are, in short , old-fashioned.
- To sum up , there are three main ways of tackling the problem…
- In summary , this was a disappointing performance.
- Briefly , our team is now one of the best in the world.
- To conclude , I want to wish you all a very happy holiday season.
Usage : To provide examples
- For example/ For instance
- In this case
- Proof of this
- There are many interesting places to visit in the city, for example / for instance , the botanical garden or the art museum.
- I prefer to wear casual clothes, such as jeans and a sweatshirt.
- Including Christmas Day and Boxing Day, I’ve got a week off work.
- We need to concentrate on our target audience, namely women aged between 20 and 30.
- I think I would have made a difference in this case .
- This building are a living proof of this existence, so we must preserve it.
- I also make other jewellery like rings and bracelets.
Emphasizing a Point
Usage : To put forward a point or idea more forcefully
- Particularly / in particular
- Without a doubt
- It should be noted
- Undoubtedly , the story itself is one of the main attractions.
- I don’t mind at all. Indeed , I would be delighted to help.
- Obviously , we don’t want to spend too much money.
- I love silver earrings, in particular ones from Mexico
- The car is quite small, especially if you have children.
- Clearly , this will cost a lot more than we realized.
- More importantly , can he be trusted?
- He’s an absolutely brilliant cook.
- I definitely remember sending the letter.
- We still believe we can win this series without a doubt .
- I’m neve r surprised at what I do.
- It should be noted that if you have something to note, then note it
- Unquestionably , teaching has been a paramount part of his career.
- Above all , this forest is designed for wear and tear.
- This is positively the worst thing that I can even imagine.
Usage : To indicate the order of what is being said
- First/ firstly (Second/ secondly, Third/ thirdly, Finally)
- At this time
- Lastly and most importantly
- Last but not least
- First and foremost
- Firstly , I prefer the train because I can see the landscape.
- At this time , the young man leapt into the air and flew off towards sunset.
- They arrived on Monday evening and we got there the following day.
- I had visited them three days previously .
- Your name is before mine on the list.
- Subsequently , new guidelines were issued to all employees.
- Above all , keep in touch.
- Lastly, and most importantly , you should be optimistic.
- Last but not least , I find I seriously cannot relate to women.
- We will continue to focus on our players first and foremost .
Usage: To show how things are similar
- Compare / compare(d) to(with)
- By the same token
- In the same way
- Similarly , the basketball and hockey games draw nearly full attendance.
- Equally , not all customers are honest.
- Her second marriage was likewise unhappy.
- She’s just as smart as her sister.
- Working with housecats is just like working with lions or tigers.
- Some people say I have a running style similar to him.
- Having a power is not the same as using the power.
- He gets the ball off quickly compared to two years ago.
- Teenagers should be more respectful; by the same token , parents should be more understanding.
- Alex enjoys telling jokes; in the same way/similarly/likewise ,his son adores funny stories.
- Correspondingly , the roles each of them played were soon different.
Usage : To show how things are different
- On the other hand
- Despite / in spite of
- In contrast (to)
- Differing from
- Contrary to
- Unlike most systems, this one is very easy to install.
- There is little chance that we will succeed in changing the law. Nevertheless , it is important that we try.
- Laptops are convenient; O n the other hand , they can be expensive.
- The problems are not serious. Nonetheless , we shall need to tackle them soon.
- Despite/ In spite of the rain, I went for a walk.
- In contrast to the diligent bee, the butterfly flies hither and yon with no apparent purpose.
- The agency will make travel arrangements for you. Alternatively , you can organize your own transport.
- Northern European countries had a great summer. On the contrary/conversely , Southern Europe had poor weather.
- Even so , many old friends were shocked at the announcement.
- Differing from his white colleagues, he preferred instructing his scholars to the ambition of acquiring personal renown.
- The situation in Ireland is quite contrary to this principle.
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Linking Words To Use In An Essay
Linking words are those words that showcase a connection between sentences. Linking words help in forming the uniformity in the essay. These words are also known as transition words and used to show a relation among paragraphs or different sections in an essay. As the name suggests, Linking words bridge the gap between the ideas or concepts written in the essays. Your text seems to be more cohesive with the usage of linking words. Use proper linking words to reduce the reading efforts of the readers. Readers don’t want to take mental stress in understanding your essay. Therefore, it is necessary to make things easy for them.
Different types of linking words in an essay
It is not an easy task to compose a compelling essay. If you want to make your essay more appealing and expressive, then focus on three things, first is research, presentation and persuasion. If you don’t have a knack for writing, then you will fail miserably in forming a cohesive essay with judicial use of linking words.
Linking words play an important role in any type of essay. Without linking words, the information presented in an essay is just a dump of words. If you don’t want your essay to be clunky and disjointed one, use linking words and phrases correctly.
There are various categories of linking words one can use while writing an essay. Today in this blog, you will read 8 main categories and linking words list to be used while framing an essay. So here are 8 types of linking words to be used in an essay:
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Linking words list for order and sequence
Flow is necessary for any type of essay. If there is an absence of flow of ideas, thoughts or logic in your essay, it will lose its glory. Here is a linking words list that helps by showing a sequence order in the essay.
- First/ Second/ Third or Firstly/ secondly/ Thirdly
- Primary/ Secondary
- At the same time
- At this point of time
- First of all
- Following this
- In the first place
- The next step
- In the beginning
- It all started when
- Once upon a time
- To begin with/ To start with
Linking words list to show a comparison
In various types of essays such as argumentative essay writing, compare and contrast essay writing, you might need to show comparison. Read different comparative essay examples to understand the role of these words in making a comparison. Therefore, you can follow the following words to make the comparison more clear. Here is a linking words list to show comparison:
- Just as … so too
- In the same time
- By the same token
- In the same way
Linking words list for contrasting
Just like the way you need linking words to show comparison, there are words that are used to show the contrast as well. Here is a of linking words list to show contrast:
- However/ Nevertheless
- Despite this
- On the contrary
- In spite of
Illustrating an example linking words list
Almost all types of essays require evidence or some examples to prove a specific point of view. But just telling an example may sound blunt. That is why we use linking words to show examples in a beautified manner. Have a look at the linking words list:
- For example
- For instance
- In other words
- An instance
- As revealed by
- To show that
- In the case of
- As an example
- For one thing
Linking words list for additions
If you want to add some more information you can use addition linking words to convey the right meaning. Using “also” or “and” everywhere in the essay can take the charm away. So here is a linking words list you can use to while adding new information.
- In addition
- To illustrate
- To demonstrate
- In line manner
- Not only … but also
- What’s more
- By the same
Cause and effect linking words list
In any essay, if you want to draw a rational conclusion, you need to use cause and effect words. This makes a good connection of the whole essay with a conclusion. Use these linking words in an essay to show the cause and effect relationship.
- As a result of
- As a consequence of
- Contributes to
- For this reason
- Results from
- Is the result of
- Is the consequence of
- Is caused by
Linking words list to Conclude
A good essay is one that is having a good conclusion. While most of the students use almost the same words to conclude their essays, here you have the chance to conclude the essay with some good words. Look at the linking words list for an excellent conclusion:
- To conclude
- In conclusion
- On the whole
- By and large
- All things considered
- In the long run
- For the most part
- By the large
- As a result
As you can see there are 8 main types of linking word categories that can be used while writing an essay. For more understanding visit smartwords.org .
But just using these words is not enough. You need to adjust and position them correctly or else, they will fail to tempt the readers.
In the next paragraph, I will be showing how to use these words in the sentences.
How to position linking or transition words in an essay
Using linking words correctly in an essay is not rocket science. You can learn it easily, all you need is the focus while writing an essay. There are three ways or I should say positions where you can fit your connecting words or linking words.
The first position is: At the beginning of the sentence
You can start a sentence with a linking word that provides a reference to the previous point. Have a look at some examples to understand more clearly.
- One can have a lot of difficulty in writing creatively. However, creative writing is a useful skill.
- I am not a big fan of marvel comics. On the other hand, I like their concept.
- I fumble a lot while speaking. As a result, I fail to clear interviews.
The second position is: In the middle of the sentence
In an essay, you can use linkings words in the middle of the sentences as well. Usually, we write it after the subject. Learn how to use through the following examples.
- One cannot escape from failures. They are, however, good lessons of life.
- I am not good at grammar, as a result, I fail to get good grades in academic assignments.
- The correct information is required for a good essay, but ideas too, play an important role.
The third position is: At the end of the sentence
At times you can use the connection or linking words at the end of the essay. It makes sense, you can see that in the following sentences.
- Learning grammatical rules is a tough process. It is very useful, however.
- I am not a lover of poetry. I love to recite them, on the other hand.
- I am not a confident speaker. I get nervous in public speaking, as a result.
I hope the above-mentioned information will help you to understand the correct use of linking words in an essay. For more help, you can visit Englishathome.com and learn more about the words to use in essays.
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50 linking words to use in academic writing
It’s very common for students to use long words they don’t understand very well in their essays and theses because they have a certain idea of what academic writing should be. Many students believe that academic writing is wordy and convoluted, and uses a lot of jargon. This leads many students to fall into a trap of imagining that the longer the word, the more impressive and intelligent their writing will seem.
We often see long sentences and multisyllabic words where shorter sentences and simpler words would do. Some students even use Microsoft Word’s thesaurus function to replace a common word with a more complicated word. This is a risky move, because unless you’re very careful, the new word may not carry quite the same meaning as the original, even if it’s similar.
The result can range from funny to confusing, which defeats the purpose of academic writing: to be as clear and concise as possible, using just the right words to convey your argument. Using uncommon words, instead of making your paper seem smarter, generally detracts from your ideas.
To avoid this, using linking or transition words that signpost your arguments can help to clarify your views and show the reader what to expect from certain paragraphs or sentences. These words give structure to the whole, helping you to organise your ideas and assist the reader in understanding them.
We have prepared some flashcards containing linking words you can use in academic writing.
CLICK HERE to download these FREE flashcards
Below is a handy list of words that are both useful and appropriate to academic language.
Not only… but also
In the same way
Showing cause and effect
As a result
Hence (never ‘hence why’)
Since (try to avoid ‘as’ when showing cause and effect)
This suggests that
It follows that
For this reason
Comparing and contrasting
On the other hand
On the contrary
Showing limitation or contradiction
Despite/in spite of
While (not whilst!)
Emphasis, addition or examples
Further (not ‘furthermore’)
First, second and third (not firstly, secondly and thirdly)
It can be concluded that
As can be seen
Given the above
The best way to get better at writing academic language is to read academic writing. You’ll pick up all sorts of useful tips from published papers in your area of study.
Updated 31 January 2023 Ellen McRae, PhD, AE (IPEd), MNZSTI Senior Managing Editor
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- Common linking words
All sentences in a paragraph need to relate to the main idea in the topic sentence. The reader should be able to see how each sentence flows from the previous one and how each is connected to the topic sentence. Linking words and phrases weave sentences together to create a cohesive paragraph.
Linking words and phrases
- Paragraph structure
- Paragraphs activity
- Topic sentences
- Why use linking words?
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As a "part of speech" transition words are used to link words, phrases or sentences. They help the reader to progress from one idea (expressed by the author) to the next idea. Thus, they help to build up coherent relationships within the text.
This structured list of commonly used English transition words — approximately 200, can be considered as quasi complete. It can be used (by students and teachers alike) to find the right expression. English transition words are essential, since they not only connect ideas, but also can introduce a certain shift, contrast or opposition, emphasis or agreement, purpose, result or conclusion, etc. in the line of argument. The transition words and phrases have been assigned only once to somewhat artificial categories, although some words belong to more than one category.
There is some overlapping with prepositions and postpositions, but for the purpose of usage and completeness of this concise guide, I did not differentiate.
Linking & Connecting Words — Part 1/2
Agreement / Addition / Similarity
Opposition / limitation / contradiction, examples / support / emphasis, cause / condition / purpose, effect / consequence / result, conclusion / summary / restatement, time / chronology / sequence, space / location / place.
The transition words like also, in addition, and, likewise , add information , reinforce ideas , and express agreement with preceding material.
in the first place
not only ... but also
as a matter of fact
in like manner
in the same fashion / way
first, second, third
in the light of
not to mention
to say nothing of
by the same token
Transition phrases like but , rather and or , express that there is evidence to the contrary or point out alternatives , and thus introduce a change the line of reasoning ( contrast ).
although this may be true
of course ..., but
on the other hand
on the contrary
at the same time
in spite of
even so / though
be that as it may
These transitional phrases present specific conditions or intentions .
in the event that
as / so long as
on (the) condition (that)
for the purpose of
with this intention
with this in mind
in the hope that
to the end that
for fear that
in order to
seeing / being that
only / even if
These transitional devices (like especially ) are used to introduce examples as support , to indicate importance or as an illustration so that an idea is cued to the reader.
in other words
to put it differently
for one thing
as an illustration
in this case
for this reason
to put it another way
that is to say
with attention to
by all means
important to realize
another key point
first thing to remember
most compelling evidence
must be remembered
point often overlooked
to point out
on the positive side
on the negative side
Some of these transition words ( thus, then, accordingly, consequently, therefore, henceforth ) are time words that are used to show that after a particular time there was a consequence or an effect .
Note that for and because are placed before the cause/reason. The other devices are placed before the consequences or effects.
as a result
under those circumstances
in that case
These transition words and phrases conclude , summarize and / or restate ideas, or indicate a final general statement . Also some words (like therefore ) from the Effect / Consequence category can be used to summarize.
as can be seen
in the final analysis
all things considered
as shown above
in the long run
given these points
as has been noted
for the most part
by and large
on the whole
in any event
in either case
These transitional words (like finally ) have the function of limiting, restricting, and defining time . They can be used either alone or as part of adverbial expressions .
at the present time
from time to time
sooner or later
up to the present time
to begin with
in due time
in the meantime
in a moment
all of a sudden
at this instant
by the time
Many transition words in the time category ( consequently; first, second, third; further; hence; henceforth; since; then, when; and whenever ) have other uses.
Except for the numbers ( first, second, third ) and further they add a meaning of time in expressing conditions, qualifications, or reasons. The numbers are also used to add information or list examples . Further is also used to indicate added space as well as added time.
These transition words are often used as part of adverbial expressions and have the function to restrict, limit or qualify space . Quite a few of these are also found in the Time category and can be used to describe spatial order or spatial reference.
in the middle
to the left/right
in front of
on this side
in the distance
here and there
in the foreground
in the background
in the center of
List of Transition Words
Transition Words are also sometimes called (or put in the category of) Connecting Words. Please feel free to download them via this link to the category page: Linking Words & Connecting Words as a PDF. It contains all the transition words listed on this site. The image to the left gives you an impression how it looks like.
Usage of Transition Words in Essays
Transition words and phrases are vital devices for essays , papers or other literary compositions. They improve the connections and transitions between sentences and paragraphs. They thus give the text a logical organization and structure (see also: a List of Synonyms ).
All English transition words and phrases (sometimes also called 'conjunctive adverbs') do the same work as coordinating conjunctions : they connect two words, phrases or clauses together and thus the text is easier to read and the coherence is improved.
Usage: transition words are used with a special rule for punctuation : a semicolon or a period is used after the first 'sentence', and a comma is almost always used to set off the transition word from the second 'sentence'.
Example 1: People use 43 muscles when they frown; however, they use only 28 muscles when they smile.
Example 2: however, transition words can also be placed at the beginning of a new paragraph or sentence - not only to indicate a step forward in the reasoning, but also to relate the new material to the preceding thoughts..
Use a semicolon to connect sentences, only if the group of words on either side of the semicolon is a complete sentence each (both must have a subject and a verb, and could thus stand alone as a complete thought).
Further helpful readings about expressions, writing and grammar: Compilation of Writing Tips How to write good ¦ Correct Spelling Study by an English University
Are you using WORD for writing professional texts and essays? There are many easy Windows Shortcuts available which work (almost) system-wide (e.g. in every programm you use).
Tony’s Teaching & Learning
Useful linking words and phrases for essays.
Another link for linking words here
1. To indicate a contrast:
In comparison, …….
on the other hand, …
in contrast, …
on the contrary….
… is another possibility
despite this …..
in spite of ……
for all that
all the same
However, issues confront the idea of .. are..
Likewise , if …. (similarly,…)
the other way around – with the order reversed; “she hates him and vice versa
ease of use influences usefulness but not vice versa .
contrariwise, …. (dan sebaliknya…) = on the contrary,..
2. To provide an illustration
for example, ….
that is …..
that is to say
in other words…..
typical of this/such….
a typical/particular/key example
3. To extend a point
in the same way, ….
above all, ……..
3. Supporting idea
it is congruent with …theory that suggests …
this factor is equivalent to ….construct
this factor is analogues to ….construct
4. to emphasis
…, as outlined above,…
5. To show cause and effect/conclusion:
resulting from….., ….
in this/that case, ….
for this reason, ….
owing to/due to the fact that ….., ….
it follows that …..
this suggests that…….
in conclusion, …..
it might be concluded from this that…..
this implies ….
to conclude, ….
6. Logical conclusion
On the basis of these arguments, we suggest…
7. To show the next step:
Initially, …. (pertama-tama, ..)
to begin/start with……….
in the first/second place……….
first and foremost………….
first and most importantly……..
after …, …
next, ……. = Subsequently , ….
on top of that,….
8. to summarize
Notably …… (terutama …)
This is in contrast to …. which provides a simple use
Posted in Introduction to Uni.Study through Academic Writing (Topic 1-FC) , my ENGLISH:)
no words seem to be enough to explain it to you my happiness. i had a serious problem about the linking words, but now i can easily use them in my essay.
By: junior kamanda on June 3, 2010 at 1:02 pm
By: selmi on September 24, 2010 at 4:58 pm
ok carry on
By: selmi on September 24, 2010 at 5:00 pm
I absolutely loved them.. Thanks.
By: Naw on November 3, 2010 at 1:17 am
Thanks! I found them useful, really good tips
By: Aeka on April 18, 2011 at 10:33 pm
great lov it
By: qymxlove34 on April 26, 2011 at 12:36 pm
By: katie on October 15, 2012 at 3:49 pm
Thanks! Very usefull!
By: Zukhra on August 8, 2011 at 6:33 am
[…] Some more linkers […]
By: Useful links for Writing task 2 « IELTS on November 9, 2011 at 1:20 am
so good, thanks so much!
By: Rach on December 13, 2011 at 6:26 pm
Found these helpful, Thanks a lot.
By: Terry on May 4, 2012 at 7:07 am
i really admire these linking words if i learn more of these,i can improve my grammar in the writings
By: eaint khit on July 21, 2012 at 2:55 am
Hope these words help me…
By: sasha grover on September 8, 2012 at 6:28 am
By: katrina on October 15, 2012 at 3:48 pm
I have bookmarked this page fro further use , just what i was looking for, thanks a mill – Rachel
By: Rachel on January 1, 2013 at 5:15 pm
This is a fantastic resource! You have made my first year at university so much easier. I firmly believe the correct use of ‘linking words’ is the key to a good essay.
By: Michelle on April 22, 2013 at 2:44 pm
Thanks! Really is useful…
By: ash on December 2, 2013 at 1:23 am
Really help me in my assignment 😙
By: iqah on July 13, 2016 at 6:24 pm
Hi, I found these useful. thnx Tonyteaching 🙂
By: Ali on December 22, 2016 at 4:06 pm
[…] Linking Words and Phrases […]
By: Проверка новости — "Саховат" on August 28, 2020 at 2:10 pm
Very useful many thanks man!
By: O'Sullivan on November 22, 2020 at 7:08 pm
In an expository essay write down 10 linkers you know
By: Chimarunma on January 4, 2021 at 2:47 pm
Thanks! to share this information, it is very useful
By: María on June 7, 2021 at 6:18 am
Thanks .. Really Helpful
By: Dimple birdee on June 11, 2021 at 10:22 pm
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70+ Connective Words To Power Up Your Essays [COMPREHENSIVE LIST]
by Kerri-Anne Edinburgh | Aug 5, 2021
When you’re writing an essay or assignment, you need to use every trick in the book to maximise your marks. And one of the best tools for radically improving your writing is the power of connective words .
Used correctly, connective words can give your writing new depth and meaning, improve readability (important for your examiner!) and demonstrate the logic of your arguments.
Luckily for you, we’ve got plenty of categories, definitions and connectives examples to help you get started…
Psst – this article uses loads of connectives. See if you can spot them in use: we’ve italicised the best examples!
What are connective words?
Simply put, connectives are words – or phrases – that link parts of your writing together.
You’re probably familiar with the most common connective words: and, as, because, but, if, or, so . In fact, I’ve used a few of them already – did you spot them?
Don’t limit your essay writing to the basics though, because there are hundreds of connectives that can help you to demonstrate different ideas, such as cause and effect , or the chronology of events .
We’re going to explore ten types of connectives below, but first , here’s a quick refresher on the grammar behind connective words:
Definitions: The grammatical bit
Understanding the grammar behind your writing might not be your thing – but bear with me, because remembering these six definitions will help you know which connective to use when, and where to place them!
(If you’re just looking for examples of connectives, feel free to skip straight past this bit!)
Connectives fall into three grammatical categories: conjunctions, prepositions, and adverbs.
- For example: and, but, for, or, yet .
- Today , I finished my history assignment but forgot to workout .
- Such as: at, in, of, on, under .
- I need to finish the conclusion of my essay before I go to dinner.
- For instance: upwards, quickly, fortunately .
- My deadline is tomorrow. Fortunately , I proofread my thesis chapter already .
Using adverb and preposition connective words adds specific meaning – and thus clarity – to your writing. They are particularly useful for successful essay signposting .
Definitions part 2: Connectives in sentences
When using connectives, it’s also important to remember that not all sentences are created equal in importance . And so , when connecting them into longer sentences, different types of connectives create different results:
- For example: I find French tricky but I love learning Spanish.
On the other hand,
- A subordinate clause relies on the main clause to make sense. Therefore, these connectives give information about the relationship between the clauses by specifying an order or place to events, or a cause and effect link.
- Here’s an example: I need to do my homework if I want to get a good grade .
A useful type of subordinating connective for essay writing is the:
- For instance: Firstly , I carried out the experiment, and secondly , I analysed the results.
And that’s your grammar refresh done!
If you’re struggling with essay-writing grammar, a great tool for checking your writing is Grammarly * – we use it at Exam Study Expert because it catches a broad range of mistakes. Their blog is also a great place to learn how to use conjunctions , prepositions , adverbs and more.
How to use connective words
So how do you go about using connectives?
In this section, we’re going to discuss the where, what and how …
Where to add connectives:
As we’ve seen , connective words are often found in the middle of a sentence, joining two clauses. But don’t forget you can also use them at the beginning of a sentence to link two consecutive sentences – OR two ideas within your paragraphs (did you see what I did there?).
Some of your connectives will even be linking entire paragraphs and sections – these are often examples of signposting to guide the reader through your section or argument.
What’s more , many connectives are not just single words but phrases. These connectives are particularly useful for essay writing and academic vocabulary. For example: as well as, for an example of this, for instance, in addition to, on the other hand, such as .
What to use connectives for:
When you’re writing an essay or assignment there are plenty of tasks you need to achieve: presenting evidence, making arguments and more.
Happily, connectives can help you achieve all these tasks by clarifying your meaning. You can use connectives for:
- Reinforcing or emphasising a point
- Exemplifying and showing results
- Comparing and discussing points of view
- Constructing a timeline or sequence of events
- Listing points (and signposting them)
- Explaining your argument
- Drawing together conclusions
It’s a long list! So master using connectives and you’ll drastically improve the readability of your writing across all sections of your essay.
How to add in useful connective words:
You’re probably already using basic connectives in your writing.
But if you want to get serious about the benefits to your grades, make sure you’re systematic about how you add them during your essay construction – and (later) proofreading to check they make sense on a large(r) scale!
From experience, I would suggest that the best method for choosing and adding effective connectives is to:
- Sketch out a rough draft of your paragraph or essay section
- Are they separate arguments for the same thing? Or opposite points of view? Do they follow on logically (cause and effect) or chronologically?
- Mark where you want to add signposting connectives to indicate structure
- Check your examples of connective word types and choose options that convey the meaning you need…
And for that purpose, we’ve compiled four lists of connective words for you – including the TOP 70 connectives for effective essay writing! So read on…
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Types of connective words
So let’s get down to the really useful stuff: examples of connectives you can use in different situations in your essays!
There are three main types of connectives that we’re going to explore in turn:
- Comparative , Causal, and Temporal
Comparative connective words
These helpful words and phrases are perfect both for comparing similarities in data and arguments, and for pointing out their differences and oppositions. Use them to compare, discuss and argue.
When comparing points, you’ll often be adding to your argument, so these connectives are used for “ addition ”. The most common connectives for addition are: and, also, furthermore, moreover .
Here are some examples in practice:
- Leonardo Da Vinci was an artist and inventor, and also an influential Renaissance humanist.
- Exam Study Expert’s psychologist William offers expert one-on-one exam coaching . Furthermore , you can sign up for a free introductory session!
- My empirical data demonstrates that … ; similarly , theoretical models projected …
On the other hand , you might need to demonstrate and contrast your argument with the opposing point of view with a connective for “ opposition ”. The most commonly used are: alternatively, except, however, unless .
These examples all demonstrate opposition:
- Winston Churchill is best known for his wartime leadership of the United Kingdom, yet he was already in his 60’s when he took office.
- Some students find great study motivation from starting the day with their hardest task. In contrast , others find getting the ball rolling with smaller tasks more effective.
- Our first questionnaire was comprised of six questions. However , for our second questionnaire we …
Causal connective words
Causal connectives are effective for discussing cause and effect – relationships that have logical links that you want to point out and prove.
As such , academic writing is often full of causal connectives, and many of them demonstrate a very academic vocabulary (great for bonus points in your assignment!).
Most essays and assignments have a section (or several sections!) where you need to draw together your facts, ideas and arguments and point out the connections. These are the connectives to turn to at those moments!
The most commonly used are: as such, as a result (of), because, consequently, therefore, thus .
Here are some examples:
- The brains of London taxi drivers have a larger than usual area that deals with memory because they are required to memorise and navigate thousands of streets.
- Flashcards are a highly effective learning and memory tool, provided that you use them correctly.
- This study surveyed over 3,000 students. As a result , we were able to …
Temporal connective words
Whether you’re explaining the sequence of events that led to a historical battle, or demonstrating the steps in your experiment, temporal connectives are a highly valuable tool.
They’re all about discussing time and the chronology of events – what happened before, during and after . Therefore , they make for great signposting words too!
These examples explore each of the four sections in our temporal connectives lists:
- The law of gravity was not widely understood until it was mathematically formulated by Sir Isaac Newton in 1687.
- If you’re stressed about your exams, mindful meditation can be a great help. At the same time ,an inspirational quote might give you the boost you need!
- Initially , the experiment was expected to demonstrate … Eventually , we came to the conclusion that …
The TOP 70 connective words for effective essay writing!
To make sure that you’ve got the tools you need to improve your grades, we’ve compiled this epic list of all the best connectives to use in academic writing.
This is just a selection from the hundreds of connective words and phrases available. So there’s no need to make your essay stale by over-using the same one or two!
If there’s nothing else you grab when you’re ticking off Step #4 from the connectives methodology above – make sure you grab this list!
It covers all the stages of essay structuring and writing, from introduction to conclusion . And includes lists of connectives for:
- Signposting and listing
- Comparing and contrasting
- Illustrating your findings
- Demonstrating cause and effect
- Emphasising points
- Qualifying your arguments
We’ve highlighted the best and most commonly used connectives for each section to ensure you’ve got THE best resource to improve the quality of your essay immediately.
To finish off , here are some examples to get your essay-writing inspiration flowing:
- Firstly , it is well-known that retrieval practice is an effective learning method as compared with re-reading study texts and notes.
- I’m feeling tired tonight. Nevertheless , I must finish my homework and I want to take the dog for a walk.
- When it comes to …, however , there are several effective methods to …, in particular , …
Good luck with your essay!
Now you’ve mastered adding effective connective words to your essay you’re ready for the next step. Be sure to check out our guide on proofreading your assignment before you hand it in. Good luck!
And for more expert, science-backed study resources, sign up to the Exam Study Expert newsletter right here:
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such an informative blog for the aspirants who are preparing for any exams
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A 500-word essay averages two double-spaced pages. The length of a document depends on the paper and margin sizes as well as the general text formatting.
An essay containing 200 words is limited in length, requiring between three and five paragraphs depending on the sentence structure and vocabulary used. An essay is a short piece of writing about a particular topic.
A linking sentence coherently connects two other sentences together in an essay. It is placed between the two sentences in order to provide them with more context, allowing the paragraph to proceed in a logical fashion.
Linking/Transition Words · Re-phrasing, in other terms; rather; or; better; in view of this; in contrast · Sequencing, first (ly); second (ly); third (ly);
Additionally, and, also, apart from this, as well (as), in addition, moreover, further, furthermore. Condition to provide a condition. If, in that case
Types and List of Linking Words to Use in Essays: Addition/Agreement/Similarity; Contrast/Contradiction/Limitation/Opposition; Comparison/
Emphasizing a Point · Undoubtedly · Indeed · Obviously · Particularly / in particular · Especially · Clearly · Importantly · Absolutely
Linking words list to Conclude · To conclude · In conclusion · Finally · Evidently · To sum up · On the whole · Summarising · In closing
To avoid this, using linking or transition words that signpost your arguments can help to clarify your views and show the reader what to expect
Emphasis ; Undoubtedly, Indeed ; Obviously, Generally ; Admittedly, In theory/fact ; Particularly, Especially ; Clearly
The transition words like also, in addition, and, likewise, add information, reinforce ideas, and express agreement with preceding material. in the first place.
Above all, indeed, truly, of course, certainly, surely, in fact, really, in truth, again, besides, also, furthermore, in addition. Details. Specifically
1. To indicate a contrast: In comparison, ……. however, …. ... on the contrary…. ... but …. ... ease of use influences usefulness but not vice versa.
Connectives fall into three grammatical categories: conjunctions, prepositions, and adverbs. Conjunctions: are a type of connective BUT they're