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  • 40 Useful Words and Phrases for Top-Notch Essays

english essay phrases

To be truly brilliant, an essay needs to utilise the right language. You could make a great point, but if it’s not intelligently articulated, you almost needn’t have bothered.

Developing the language skills to build an argument and to write persuasively is crucial if you’re to write outstanding essays every time. In this article, we’re going to equip you with the words and phrases you need to write a top-notch essay, along with examples of how to utilise them.

It’s by no means an exhaustive list, and there will often be other ways of using the words and phrases we describe that we won’t have room to include, but there should be more than enough below to help you make an instant improvement to your essay-writing skills.

If you’re interested in developing your language and persuasive skills, Oxford Royale offers summer courses at its Oxford Summer School , Cambridge Summer School , London Summer School , San Francisco Summer School and Yale Summer School . You can study courses to learn english , prepare for careers in law , medicine , business , engineering and leadership.

General explaining

Let’s start by looking at language for general explanations of complex points.

1. In order to

Usage: “In order to” can be used to introduce an explanation for the purpose of an argument. Example: “In order to understand X, we need first to understand Y.”

2. In other words

Usage: Use “in other words” when you want to express something in a different way (more simply), to make it easier to understand, or to emphasise or expand on a point. Example: “Frogs are amphibians. In other words, they live on the land and in the water.”

3. To put it another way

Usage: This phrase is another way of saying “in other words”, and can be used in particularly complex points, when you feel that an alternative way of wording a problem may help the reader achieve a better understanding of its significance. Example: “Plants rely on photosynthesis. To put it another way, they will die without the sun.”

4. That is to say

Usage: “That is” and “that is to say” can be used to add further detail to your explanation, or to be more precise. Example: “Whales are mammals. That is to say, they must breathe air.”

5. To that end

Usage: Use “to that end” or “to this end” in a similar way to “in order to” or “so”. Example: “Zoologists have long sought to understand how animals communicate with each other. To that end, a new study has been launched that looks at elephant sounds and their possible meanings.”

Adding additional information to support a point

Students often make the mistake of using synonyms of “and” each time they want to add further information in support of a point they’re making, or to build an argument . Here are some cleverer ways of doing this.

6. Moreover

Usage: Employ “moreover” at the start of a sentence to add extra information in support of a point you’re making. Example: “Moreover, the results of a recent piece of research provide compelling evidence in support of…”

7. Furthermore

Usage:This is also generally used at the start of a sentence, to add extra information. Example: “Furthermore, there is evidence to suggest that…”

8. What’s more

Usage: This is used in the same way as “moreover” and “furthermore”. Example: “What’s more, this isn’t the only evidence that supports this hypothesis.”

9. Likewise

Usage: Use “likewise” when you want to talk about something that agrees with what you’ve just mentioned. Example: “Scholar A believes X. Likewise, Scholar B argues compellingly in favour of this point of view.”

10. Similarly

Usage: Use “similarly” in the same way as “likewise”. Example: “Audiences at the time reacted with shock to Beethoven’s new work, because it was very different to what they were used to. Similarly, we have a tendency to react with surprise to the unfamiliar.”

11. Another key thing to remember

Usage: Use the phrase “another key point to remember” or “another key fact to remember” to introduce additional facts without using the word “also”. Example: “As a Romantic, Blake was a proponent of a closer relationship between humans and nature. Another key point to remember is that Blake was writing during the Industrial Revolution, which had a major impact on the world around him.”

12. As well as

Usage: Use “as well as” instead of “also” or “and”. Example: “Scholar A argued that this was due to X, as well as Y.”

13. Not only… but also

Usage: This wording is used to add an extra piece of information, often something that’s in some way more surprising or unexpected than the first piece of information. Example: “Not only did Edmund Hillary have the honour of being the first to reach the summit of Everest, but he was also appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.”

14. Coupled with

Usage: Used when considering two or more arguments at a time. Example: “Coupled with the literary evidence, the statistics paint a compelling view of…”

15. Firstly, secondly, thirdly…

Usage: This can be used to structure an argument, presenting facts clearly one after the other. Example: “There are many points in support of this view. Firstly, X. Secondly, Y. And thirdly, Z.

16. Not to mention/to say nothing of

Usage: “Not to mention” and “to say nothing of” can be used to add extra information with a bit of emphasis. Example: “The war caused unprecedented suffering to millions of people, not to mention its impact on the country’s economy.”

Words and phrases for demonstrating contrast

When you’re developing an argument, you will often need to present contrasting or opposing opinions or evidence – “it could show this, but it could also show this”, or “X says this, but Y disagrees”. This section covers words you can use instead of the “but” in these examples, to make your writing sound more intelligent and interesting.

17. However

Usage: Use “however” to introduce a point that disagrees with what you’ve just said. Example: “Scholar A thinks this. However, Scholar B reached a different conclusion.”

18. On the other hand

Usage: Usage of this phrase includes introducing a contrasting interpretation of the same piece of evidence, a different piece of evidence that suggests something else, or an opposing opinion. Example: “The historical evidence appears to suggest a clear-cut situation. On the other hand, the archaeological evidence presents a somewhat less straightforward picture of what happened that day.”

19. Having said that

Usage: Used in a similar manner to “on the other hand” or “but”. Example: “The historians are unanimous in telling us X, an agreement that suggests that this version of events must be an accurate account. Having said that, the archaeology tells a different story.”

20. By contrast/in comparison

Usage: Use “by contrast” or “in comparison” when you’re comparing and contrasting pieces of evidence. Example: “Scholar A’s opinion, then, is based on insufficient evidence. By contrast, Scholar B’s opinion seems more plausible.”

21. Then again

Usage: Use this to cast doubt on an assertion. Example: “Writer A asserts that this was the reason for what happened. Then again, it’s possible that he was being paid to say this.”

22. That said

Usage: This is used in the same way as “then again”. Example: “The evidence ostensibly appears to point to this conclusion. That said, much of the evidence is unreliable at best.”

Usage: Use this when you want to introduce a contrasting idea. Example: “Much of scholarship has focused on this evidence. Yet not everyone agrees that this is the most important aspect of the situation.”

Adding a proviso or acknowledging reservations

Sometimes, you may need to acknowledge a shortfalling in a piece of evidence, or add a proviso. Here are some ways of doing so.

24. Despite this

Usage: Use “despite this” or “in spite of this” when you want to outline a point that stands regardless of a shortfalling in the evidence. Example: “The sample size was small, but the results were important despite this.”

25. With this in mind

Usage: Use this when you want your reader to consider a point in the knowledge of something else. Example: “We’ve seen that the methods used in the 19th century study did not always live up to the rigorous standards expected in scientific research today, which makes it difficult to draw definite conclusions. With this in mind, let’s look at a more recent study to see how the results compare.”

26. Provided that

Usage: This means “on condition that”. You can also say “providing that” or just “providing” to mean the same thing. Example: “We may use this as evidence to support our argument, provided that we bear in mind the limitations of the methods used to obtain it.”

27. In view of/in light of

Usage: These phrases are used when something has shed light on something else. Example: “In light of the evidence from the 2013 study, we have a better understanding of…”

28. Nonetheless

Usage: This is similar to “despite this”. Example: “The study had its limitations, but it was nonetheless groundbreaking for its day.”

29. Nevertheless

Usage: This is the same as “nonetheless”. Example: “The study was flawed, but it was important nevertheless.”

30. Notwithstanding

Usage: This is another way of saying “nonetheless”. Example: “Notwithstanding the limitations of the methodology used, it was an important study in the development of how we view the workings of the human mind.”

Giving examples

Good essays always back up points with examples, but it’s going to get boring if you use the expression “for example” every time. Here are a couple of other ways of saying the same thing.

31. For instance

Example: “Some birds migrate to avoid harsher winter climates. Swallows, for instance, leave the UK in early winter and fly south…”

32. To give an illustration

Example: “To give an illustration of what I mean, let’s look at the case of…”

Signifying importance

When you want to demonstrate that a point is particularly important, there are several ways of highlighting it as such.

33. Significantly

Usage: Used to introduce a point that is loaded with meaning that might not be immediately apparent. Example: “Significantly, Tacitus omits to tell us the kind of gossip prevalent in Suetonius’ accounts of the same period.”

34. Notably

Usage: This can be used to mean “significantly” (as above), and it can also be used interchangeably with “in particular” (the example below demonstrates the first of these ways of using it). Example: “Actual figures are notably absent from Scholar A’s analysis.”

35. Importantly

Usage: Use “importantly” interchangeably with “significantly”. Example: “Importantly, Scholar A was being employed by X when he wrote this work, and was presumably therefore under pressure to portray the situation more favourably than he perhaps might otherwise have done.”

Summarising

You’ve almost made it to the end of the essay, but your work isn’t over yet. You need to end by wrapping up everything you’ve talked about, showing that you’ve considered the arguments on both sides and reached the most likely conclusion. Here are some words and phrases to help you.

36. In conclusion

Usage: Typically used to introduce the concluding paragraph or sentence of an essay, summarising what you’ve discussed in a broad overview. Example: “In conclusion, the evidence points almost exclusively to Argument A.”

37. Above all

Usage: Used to signify what you believe to be the most significant point, and the main takeaway from the essay. Example: “Above all, it seems pertinent to remember that…”

38. Persuasive

Usage: This is a useful word to use when summarising which argument you find most convincing. Example: “Scholar A’s point – that Constanze Mozart was motivated by financial gain – seems to me to be the most persuasive argument for her actions following Mozart’s death.”

39. Compelling

Usage: Use in the same way as “persuasive” above. Example: “The most compelling argument is presented by Scholar A.”

40. All things considered

Usage: This means “taking everything into account”. Example: “All things considered, it seems reasonable to assume that…”

How many of these words and phrases will you get into your next essay? And are any of your favourite essay terms missing from our list? Let us know in the comments below, or get in touch here to find out more about courses that can help you with your essays.

At Oxford Royale Academy, we offer a number of  summer school courses for young people who are keen to improve their essay writing skills. Click here to apply for one of our courses today, including law , business , medicine  and engineering .

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ESLBUZZ

100+ Useful Words and Phrases to Write a Great Essay

By: Author Sophia

Posted on Last updated: October 25, 2023

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How to Write a Great Essay in English! This lesson provides 100+ useful words, transition words and expressions used in writing an essay. Let’s take a look!

The secret to a successful essay doesn’t just lie in the clever things you talk about and the way you structure your points.

Useful Words and Phrases to Write a Great Essay

Overview of an essay.

100+ Useful Words and Phrases to Write a Great Essay

Useful Phrases for Proficiency Essays

Developing the argument

  • The first aspect to point out is that…
  • Let us start by considering the facts.
  • The novel portrays, deals with, revolves around…
  • Central to the novel is…
  • The character of xxx embodies/ epitomizes…

The other side of the argument

  • It would also be interesting to see…
  • One should, nevertheless, consider the problem from another angle.
  • Equally relevant to the issue are the questions of…
  • The arguments we have presented… suggest that…/ prove that…/ would indicate that…
  • From these arguments one must…/ could…/ might… conclude that…
  • All of this points to the conclusion that…
  • To conclude…

Ordering elements

  • Firstly,…/ Secondly,…/ Finally,… (note the comma after all these introductory words.)
  • As a final point…
  • On the one hand, …. on the other hand…
  • If on the one hand it can be said that… the same is not true for…
  • The first argument suggests that… whilst the second suggests that…
  • There are at least xxx points to highlight.

Adding elements

  • Furthermore, one should not forget that…
  • In addition to…
  • Moreover…
  • It is important to add that…

Accepting other points of view

  • Nevertheless, one should accept that…
  • However, we also agree that…

Personal opinion

  • We/I personally believe that…
  • Our/My own point of view is that…
  • It is my contention that…
  • I am convinced that…
  • My own opinion is…

Others’ opinions

  • According to some critics… Critics:
  • believe that
  • suggest that
  • are convinced that
  • point out that
  • emphasize that
  • contend that
  • go as far as to say that
  • argue for this

Introducing examples

  • For example…
  • For instance…
  • To illustrate this point…

Introducing facts

  • It is… true that…/ clear that…/ noticeable that…
  • One should note here that…

Saying what you think is true

  • This leads us to believe that…
  • It is very possible that…
  • In view of these facts, it is quite likely that…
  • Doubtless,…
  • One cannot deny that…
  • It is (very) clear from these observations that…
  • All the same, it is possible that…
  • It is difficult to believe that…

Accepting other points to a certain degree

  • One can agree up to a certain point with…
  • Certainly,… However,…
  • It cannot be denied that…

Emphasizing particular points

  • The last example highlights the fact that…
  • Not only… but also…
  • We would even go so far as to say that…

Moderating, agreeing, disagreeing

  • By and large…
  • Perhaps we should also point out the fact that…
  • It would be unfair not to mention the fact that…
  • One must admit that…
  • We cannot ignore the fact that…
  • One cannot possibly accept the fact that…

Consequences

  • From these facts, one may conclude that…
  • That is why, in our opinion, …
  • Which seems to confirm the idea that…
  • Thus,…/ Therefore,…
  • Some critics suggest…, whereas others…
  • Compared to…
  • On the one hand, there is the firm belief that… On the other hand, many people are convinced that…

How to Write a Great Essay | Image 1

100+ Useful Words and Phrases to Write a Great Essay 1

How to Write a Great Essay | Image 2

100+ Useful Words and Phrases to Write a Great Essay 2

Phrases For Balanced Arguments

Introduction

  • It is often said that…
  • It is undeniable that…
  • It is a well-known fact that…
  • One of the most striking features of this text is…
  • The first thing that needs to be said is…
  • First of all, let us try to analyze…
  • One argument in support of…
  • We must distinguish carefully between…
  • The second reason for…
  • An important aspect of the text is…
  • It is worth stating at this point that…
  • On the other hand, we can observe that…
  • The other side of the coin is, however, that…
  • Another way of looking at this question is to…
  • What conclusions can be drawn from all this?
  • The most satisfactory conclusion that we can come to is…
  • To sum up… we are convinced that…/ …we believe that…/ …we have to accept that…

How to Write a Great Essay | Image 3

100+ Useful Words and Phrases to Write a Great Essay 3

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Words to Use in an Essay: 300 Essay Words

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Hannah Yang

words to use in an essay

Table of Contents

Words to use in the essay introduction, words to use in the body of the essay, words to use in your essay conclusion, how to improve your essay writing vocabulary.

It’s not easy to write an academic essay .

Many students struggle to word their arguments in a logical and concise way.

To make matters worse, academic essays need to adhere to a certain level of formality, so we can’t always use the same word choices in essay writing that we would use in daily life.

If you’re struggling to choose the right words for your essay, don’t worry—you’ve come to the right place!

In this article, we’ve compiled a list of over 300 words and phrases to use in the introduction, body, and conclusion of your essay.

The introduction is one of the hardest parts of an essay to write.

You have only one chance to make a first impression, and you want to hook your reader. If the introduction isn’t effective, the reader might not even bother to read the rest of the essay.

That’s why it’s important to be thoughtful and deliberate with the words you choose at the beginning of your essay.

Many students use a quote in the introductory paragraph to establish credibility and set the tone for the rest of the essay.

When you’re referencing another author or speaker, try using some of these phrases:

To use the words of X

According to X

As X states

Example: To use the words of Hillary Clinton, “You cannot have maternal health without reproductive health.”

Near the end of the introduction, you should state the thesis to explain the central point of your paper.

If you’re not sure how to introduce your thesis, try using some of these phrases:

In this essay, I will…

The purpose of this essay…

This essay discusses…

In this paper, I put forward the claim that…

There are three main arguments for…

Phrases to introduce a thesis

Example: In this essay, I will explain why dress codes in public schools are detrimental to students.

After you’ve stated your thesis, it’s time to start presenting the arguments you’ll use to back up that central idea.

When you’re introducing the first of a series of arguments, you can use the following words:

First and foremost

First of all

To begin with

Example: First , consider the effects that this new social security policy would have on low-income taxpayers.

All these words and phrases will help you create a more successful introduction and convince your audience to read on.

The body of your essay is where you’ll explain your core arguments and present your evidence.

It’s important to choose words and phrases for the body of your essay that will help the reader understand your position and convince them you’ve done your research.

Let’s look at some different types of words and phrases that you can use in the body of your essay, as well as some examples of what these words look like in a sentence.

Transition Words and Phrases

Transitioning from one argument to another is crucial for a good essay.

It’s important to guide your reader from one idea to the next so they don’t get lost or feel like you’re jumping around at random.

Transition phrases and linking words show your reader you’re about to move from one argument to the next, smoothing out their reading experience. They also make your writing look more professional.

The simplest transition involves moving from one idea to a separate one that supports the same overall argument. Try using these phrases when you want to introduce a second correlating idea:

Additionally

In addition

Furthermore

Another key thing to remember

In the same way

Correspondingly

Example: Additionally , public parks increase property value because home buyers prefer houses that are located close to green, open spaces.

Another type of transition involves restating. It’s often useful to restate complex ideas in simpler terms to help the reader digest them. When you’re restating an idea, you can use the following words:

In other words

To put it another way

That is to say

To put it more simply

Example: “The research showed that 53% of students surveyed expressed a mild or strong preference for more on-campus housing. In other words , over half the students wanted more dormitory options.”

Often, you’ll need to provide examples to illustrate your point more clearly for the reader. When you’re about to give an example of something you just said, you can use the following words:

For instance

To give an illustration of

To exemplify

To demonstrate

As evidence

Example: Humans have long tried to exert control over our natural environment. For instance , engineers reversed the Chicago River in 1900, causing it to permanently flow backward.

Sometimes, you’ll need to explain the impact or consequence of something you’ve just said.

When you’re drawing a conclusion from evidence you’ve presented, try using the following words:

As a result

Accordingly

As you can see

This suggests that

It follows that

It can be seen that

For this reason

For all of those reasons

Consequently

Example: “There wasn’t enough government funding to support the rest of the physics experiment. Thus , the team was forced to shut down their experiment in 1996.”

Phrases to draw conclusions

When introducing an idea that bolsters one you’ve already stated, or adds another important aspect to that same argument, you can use the following words:

What’s more

Not only…but also

Not to mention

To say nothing of

Another key point

Example: The volcanic eruption disrupted hundreds of thousands of people. Moreover , it impacted the local flora and fauna as well, causing nearly a hundred species to go extinct.

Often, you'll want to present two sides of the same argument. When you need to compare and contrast ideas, you can use the following words:

On the one hand / on the other hand

Alternatively

In contrast to

On the contrary

By contrast

In comparison

Example: On the one hand , the Black Death was undoubtedly a tragedy because it killed millions of Europeans. On the other hand , it created better living conditions for the peasants who survived.

Finally, when you’re introducing a new angle that contradicts your previous idea, you can use the following phrases:

Having said that

Differing from

In spite of

With this in mind

Provided that

Nevertheless

Nonetheless

Notwithstanding

Example: Shakespearean plays are classic works of literature that have stood the test of time. Having said that , I would argue that Shakespeare isn’t the most accessible form of literature to teach students in the twenty-first century.

Good essays include multiple types of logic. You can use a combination of the transitions above to create a strong, clear structure throughout the body of your essay.

Strong Verbs for Academic Writing

Verbs are especially important for writing clear essays. Often, you can convey a nuanced meaning simply by choosing the right verb.

You should use strong verbs that are precise and dynamic. Whenever possible, you should use an unambiguous verb, rather than a generic verb.

For example, alter and fluctuate are stronger verbs than change , because they give the reader more descriptive detail.

Here are some useful verbs that will help make your essay shine.

Verbs that show change:

Accommodate

Verbs that relate to causing or impacting something:

Verbs that show increase:

Verbs that show decrease:

Deteriorate

Verbs that relate to parts of a whole:

Comprises of

Is composed of

Constitutes

Encompasses

Incorporates

Verbs that show a negative stance:

Misconstrue

Verbs that show a negative stance

Verbs that show a positive stance:

Substantiate

Verbs that relate to drawing conclusions from evidence:

Corroborate

Demonstrate

Verbs that relate to thinking and analysis:

Contemplate

Hypothesize

Investigate

Verbs that relate to showing information in a visual format:

Useful Adjectives and Adverbs for Academic Essays

You should use adjectives and adverbs more sparingly than verbs when writing essays, since they sometimes add unnecessary fluff to sentences.

However, choosing the right adjectives and adverbs can help add detail and sophistication to your essay.

Sometimes you'll need to use an adjective to show that a finding or argument is useful and should be taken seriously. Here are some adjectives that create positive emphasis:

Significant

Other times, you'll need to use an adjective to show that a finding or argument is harmful or ineffective. Here are some adjectives that create a negative emphasis:

Controversial

Insignificant

Questionable

Unnecessary

Unrealistic

Finally, you might need to use an adverb to lend nuance to a sentence, or to express a specific degree of certainty. Here are some examples of adverbs that are often used in essays:

Comprehensively

Exhaustively

Extensively

Respectively

Surprisingly

Using these words will help you successfully convey the key points you want to express. Once you’ve nailed the body of your essay, it’s time to move on to the conclusion.

The conclusion of your paper is important for synthesizing the arguments you’ve laid out and restating your thesis.

In your concluding paragraph, try using some of these essay words:

In conclusion

To summarize

In a nutshell

Given the above

As described

All things considered

Example: In conclusion , it’s imperative that we take action to address climate change before we lose our coral reefs forever.

In addition to simply summarizing the key points from the body of your essay, you should also add some final takeaways. Give the reader your final opinion and a bit of a food for thought.

To place emphasis on a certain point or a key fact, use these essay words:

Unquestionably

Undoubtedly

Particularly

Importantly

Conclusively

It should be noted

On the whole

Example: Ada Lovelace is unquestionably a powerful role model for young girls around the world, and more of our public school curricula should include her as a historical figure.

These concluding phrases will help you finish writing your essay in a strong, confident way.

There are many useful essay words out there that we didn't include in this article, because they are specific to certain topics.

If you're writing about biology, for example, you will need to use different terminology than if you're writing about literature.

So how do you improve your vocabulary skills?

The vocabulary you use in your academic writing is a toolkit you can build up over time, as long as you take the time to learn new words.

One way to increase your vocabulary is by looking up words you don’t know when you’re reading.

Try reading more books and academic articles in the field you’re writing about and jotting down all the new words you find. You can use these words to bolster your own essays.

You can also consult a dictionary or a thesaurus. When you’re using a word you’re not confident about, researching its meaning and common synonyms can help you make sure it belongs in your essay.

Don't be afraid of using simpler words. Good essay writing boils down to choosing the best word to convey what you need to say, not the fanciest word possible.

Finally, you can use ProWritingAid’s synonym tool or essay checker to find more precise and sophisticated vocabulary. Click on weak words in your essay to find stronger alternatives.

ProWritingAid offering synonyms for great

There you have it: our compilation of the best words and phrases to use in your next essay . Good luck!

english essay phrases

Good writing = better grades

ProWritingAid will help you improve the style, strength, and clarity of all your assignments.

Hannah Yang is a speculative fiction writer who writes about all things strange and surreal. Her work has appeared in Analog Science Fiction, Apex Magazine, The Dark, and elsewhere, and two of her stories have been finalists for the Locus Award. Her favorite hobbies include watercolor painting, playing guitar, and rock climbing. You can follow her work on hannahyang.com, or subscribe to her newsletter for publication updates.

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english essay phrases

60 Useful Words and Phrases for Outstanding Essay Writing

General explaining.

Let’s start by looking at language for general explanations of complex points.

1. In order to

Usage : “In order to” can be used to introduce an explanation for the purpose of an argument.

Example : “In order to understand X, we need first to understand Y.”

2. In other words

Usage : Use “in other words” when you want to express something in a different way (more simply), to make it easier to understand, or to emphasise or expand on a point.

Example : “Frogs are amphibians. In other words, they live on the land and in the water.”

3. To put it another way

Usage : This phrase is another way of saying “in other words”, and can be used in particularly complex points, when you feel that an alternative way of wording a problem may help the reader achieve a better understanding of its significance.

Example : “Plants rely on photosynthesis. To put it another way, they will die without the sun.”

4. That is to say

Usage : “That is” and “that is to say” can be used to add further detail to your explanation, or to be more precise.

Example : “Whales are mammals. That is to say, they must breathe air.”

5. To that end

Usage : Use “to that end” or “to this end” in a similar way to “in order to” or “so”.

Example : “Zoologists have long sought to understand how animals communicate with each other. To that end, a new study has been launched that looks at elephant sounds and their possible meanings.”

Adding additional information to support a point

Students often make the mistake of using synonyms of “and” each time they want to add further information in support of a point they’re making, or to build an argument. Here are some cleverer ways of doing this.

6. Moreover

Usage : Employ “moreover” at the start of a sentence to add extra information in support of a point you’re making.

Example : “Moreover, the results of a recent piece of research provide compelling evidence in support of…”

7. Furthermore

Usage :This is also generally used at the start of a sentence, to add extra information.

Example : “Furthermore, there is evidence to suggest that…”

8. What’s more

Usage : This is used in the same way as “moreover” and “furthermore”.

Example : “What’s more, this isn’t the only evidence that supports this hypothesis.”

9. Likewise

Usage : Use “likewise” when you want to talk about something that agrees with what you’ve just mentioned.

Example : “Scholar A believes X. Likewise, Scholar B argues compellingly in favour of this point of view.”

10. Similarly

Usage : Use “similarly” in the same way as “likewise”.

Example : “Audiences at the time reacted with shock to Beethoven’s new work, because it was very different to what they were used to. Similarly, we have a tendency to react with surprise to the unfamiliar.”

11. Another key thing to remember

Usage : Use the phrase “another key point to remember” or “another key fact to remember” to introduce additional facts without using the word “also”.

Example : “As a Romantic, Blake was a proponent of a closer relationship between humans and nature. Another key point to remember is that Blake was writing during the Industrial Revolution, which had a major impact on the world around him.”

12. As well as

Usage : Use “as well as” instead of “also” or “and”.

Example : “Scholar A argued that this was due to X, as well as Y.”

13. Not only… but also

Usage : This wording is used to add an extra piece of information, often something that’s in some way more surprising or unexpected than the first piece of information.

Example : “Not only did Edmund Hillary have the honour of being the first to reach the summit of Everest, but he was also appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.”

14. Coupled with

Usage : Used when considering two or more arguments at a time.

Example : “Coupled with the literary evidence, the statistics paint a compelling view of…”

15. Firstly, secondly, thirdly…

Usage : This can be used to structure an argument, presenting facts clearly one after the other.

Example : “There are many points in support of this view. Firstly, X. Secondly, Y. And thirdly, Z.

16. Not to mention/to say nothing of

Usage : “Not to mention” and “to say nothing of” can be used to add extra information with a bit of emphasis.

Example : “The war caused unprecedented suffering to millions of people, not to mention its impact on the country’s economy.”

Words and phrases for demonstrating contrast

When you’re developing an argument, you will often need to present contrasting or opposing opinions or evidence – “it could show this, but it could also show this”, or “X says this, but Y disagrees”. This section covers words you can use instead of the “but” in these examples, to make your writing sound more intelligent and interesting.

17. However

Usage : Use “however” to introduce a point that disagrees with what you’ve just said.

Example : “Scholar A thinks this. However, Scholar B reached a different conclusion.”

18. On the other hand

Usage : Usage of this phrase includes introducing a contrasting interpretation of the same piece of evidence, a different piece of evidence that suggests something else, or an opposing opinion.

Example: “The historical evidence appears to suggest a clear-cut situation. On the other hand, the archaeological evidence presents a somewhat less straightforward picture of what happened that day.”

19. Having said that

Usage : Used in a similar manner to “on the other hand” or “but”.

Example : “The historians are unanimous in telling us X, an agreement that suggests that this version of events must be an accurate account. Having said that, the archaeology tells a different story.”

20. By contrast/in comparison

Usage : Use “by contrast” or “in comparison” when you’re comparing and contrasting pieces of evidence.

Example : “Scholar A’s opinion, then, is based on insufficient evidence. By contrast, Scholar B’s opinion seems more plausible.”

21. Then again

Usage : Use this to cast doubt on an assertion.

Example : “Writer A asserts that this was the reason for what happened. Then again, it’s possible that he was being paid to say this.”

22. That said

Usage : This is used in the same way as “then again”.

Example : “The evidence ostensibly appears to point to this conclusion. That said, much of the evidence is unreliable at best.”

Usage : Use this when you want to introduce a contrasting idea.

Example : “Much of scholarship has focused on this evidence. Yet not everyone agrees that this is the most important aspect of the situation.”

Adding a proviso or acknowledging reservations

Sometimes, you may need to acknowledge a shortfalling in a piece of evidence, or add a proviso. Here are some ways of doing so.

24. Despite this

Usage : Use “despite this” or “in spite of this” when you want to outline a point that stands regardless of a shortfalling in the evidence.

Example : “The sample size was small, but the results were important despite this.”

25. With this in mind

Usage : Use this when you want your reader to consider a point in the knowledge of something else.

Example : “We’ve seen that the methods used in the 19th century study did not always live up to the rigorous standards expected in scientific research today, which makes it difficult to draw definite conclusions. With this in mind, let’s look at a more recent study to see how the results compare.”

26. Provided that

Usage : This means “on condition that”. You can also say “providing that” or just “providing” to mean the same thing.

Example : “We may use this as evidence to support our argument, provided that we bear in mind the limitations of the methods used to obtain it.”

27. In view of/in light of

Usage : These phrases are used when something has shed light on something else.

Example : “In light of the evidence from the 2013 study, we have a better understanding of…”

28. Nonetheless

Usage : This is similar to “despite this”.

Example : “The study had its limitations, but it was nonetheless groundbreaking for its day.”

29. Nevertheless

Usage : This is the same as “nonetheless”.

Example : “The study was flawed, but it was important nevertheless.”

30. Notwithstanding

Usage : This is another way of saying “nonetheless”.

Example : “Notwithstanding the limitations of the methodology used, it was an important study in the development of how we view the workings of the human mind.”

Giving examples

Good essays always back up points with examples, but it’s going to get boring if you use the expression “for example” every time. Here are a couple of other ways of saying the same thing.

31. For instance

Example : “Some birds migrate to avoid harsher winter climates. Swallows, for instance, leave the UK in early winter and fly south…”

32. To give an illustration

Example : “To give an illustration of what I mean, let’s look at the case of…”

Signifying importance

When you want to demonstrate that a point is particularly important, there are several ways of highlighting it as such.

33. Significantly

Usage : Used to introduce a point that is loaded with meaning that might not be immediately apparent.

Example : “Significantly, Tacitus omits to tell us the kind of gossip prevalent in Suetonius’ accounts of the same period.”

34. Notably

Usage : This can be used to mean “significantly” (as above), and it can also be used interchangeably with “in particular” (the example below demonstrates the first of these ways of using it).

Example : “Actual figures are notably absent from Scholar A’s analysis.”

35. Importantly

Usage : Use “importantly” interchangeably with “significantly”.

Example : “Importantly, Scholar A was being employed by X when he wrote this work, and was presumably therefore under pressure to portray the situation more favourably than he perhaps might otherwise have done.”

Summarising

You’ve almost made it to the end of the essay, but your work isn’t over yet. You need to end by wrapping up everything you’ve talked about, showing that you’ve considered the arguments on both sides and reached the most likely conclusion. Here are some words and phrases to help you.

36. In conclusion

Usage : Typically used to introduce the concluding paragraph or sentence of an essay, summarising what you’ve discussed in a broad overview.

Example : “In conclusion, the evidence points almost exclusively to Argument A.”

37. Above all

Usage : Used to signify what you believe to be the most significant point, and the main takeaway from the essay.

Example : “Above all, it seems pertinent to remember that…”

38. Persuasive

Usage : This is a useful word to use when summarising which argument you find most convincing.

Example : “Scholar A’s point – that Constanze Mozart was motivated by financial gain – seems to me to be the most persuasive argument for her actions following Mozart’s death.”

39. Compelling

Usage : Use in the same way as “persuasive” above.

Example : “The most compelling argument is presented by Scholar A.”

40. All things considered

Usage : This means “taking everything into account”.

Example : “All things considered, it seems reasonable to assume that…”

How many of these words and phrases will you get into your next essay? And are any of your favourite essay terms missing from our list? Let us know in the comments below!

Additional Information ( more examples)

+20 examples of important transition words, additional information.

There are many linking words which can lead us into additional information and while it is useful to vary your vocabulary beyond ‘ and ,’ these words are not mere replacements for ‘ and .’ They have nuanced differences, thus, by these particular meanings, we can offer a more delicate illustration of the relationships between our ideas.

  • ‘Furthermore’ is used to add information that expands upon the previous point. It precedes information that expands upon that already given. It usually occurs at the beginning of an independent clause.
  • ‘Moreover’ and ‘More so’ are both similar to ‘furthermore’ while giving special emphasis to the greater importance of the following clause.
  • “Despite cutting back on other staff, her father gave her a position, furthermore , he gave her an enviable office while still not having a role for her.”
  • Writers also sequence additional information. ‘Firstly,’ ‘secondly’ and ‘thirdly’ are obvious options used to achieve this, however, there are others. For example, we can look into the past with ‘previously,’ ‘until the present’ or ‘preceded by.’
  • “Present growth in the company was *preceded by several quarters of stagnation”*
  • ‘Meanwhile’ and ‘simultaneously’ talk about things which are happening at the same time as another, while ‘concurrently’ does this while emphasising that the two ideas have played out in conjunction with one another.
  • Usually, ‘incidentally’ is used to add relevant information while downplaying its significance compared with that of other ideas.
  • “The priority of the zoo had been to protect species’ from extinction. The panda breeding program was enjoying some rare success, while simultaneously , other programs to increase the numbers of endangered species were being trialled. Meanwhile , the zoo was being visited by an influx of tourists who were, incidentally , able to enjoy seeing the young animals.”
  • ‘Subsequently’ and ‘afterward’ lead into information after the fact.

Compare and Contrast

When writers need to illustrate similarity they can employ words such as ‘in like manner,’ ‘comparatively,’ and ‘correspondingly.’ Whereas , when they wish to highlight difference they have phrases like ‘on the contrary,’ ‘however,’ ‘notwithstanding,’ ‘nevertheless’ and ‘on the other hand.’

Notwithstanding the vehement opposition to online education programs being made available to inmates, considerable improvements were made to the re-employment prospects of many offenders who benefited from the trial. On the contrary, prisoners who were not able to access education while incarcerated were found to be more likely to reoffend and return to prison.

Clarification

When it comes time to clarify an argument or point, some of the transitional phrases which are used are, ‘to reiterate,’ ‘specifically,’ or ‘inasmuch as.’

Consequence and Conclusion

When we have lead our reader through our flow of logic, there might be nothing more rewarding than driving our point home by showing consequence or concluding our arguments. There are a lot of strong phrases such as ‘accordingly,’ ‘hence,’ ‘thus’ and ‘thereupon’ which can do this.

I hope you will feel encouraged, by this article, to continue to further your understanding of how transitional words can work to guide your reader through your flow of logic. When used well, they add power and order to your argument and can add to the result you see from your work.

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Powerful words and Phrases to use in Essays

words and phrases to spice up an essay

Although many might consider essay writing an easy task, it is not always the case with most students. Writing academic papers (essays, term papers, research papers, dissertations, theses, proposals, reports, and other assignments) requires students to hone and practice continuously. Thus, mastering writing at the academic level takes time and much practice, after which most students begin to be confident writing essays. For some, this confidence comes towards the end of the undergraduate course, while some master the art a few months or a week into their undergrad level studies.

This might sound like you, and you do not have to feel sorry about it. We have a list of academic writing power words that you can use when writing academic assignments. These words and phrases to use in your essay and other papers will help you avoid the dead words that probably deny you the top grade. Together with our team of experts in best essay writing, we have listed essential academic words that you can use in your introduction, body, and conclusion for all your essays and research papers .

Although you might have arguments and ideas that might attract the best grade, using the words we have listed could help you articulate, expound, and present the ideas effectively. Consequently, you will end up with a standard academic paper that any professional can grade, or that attracts your reader's attention and keeps them glued to the end.

After all, academic writing is a formal practice that disdains cliches or dead words such as colloquial expressions, controversial phrases, or casual words/slang. This means that the words you use when texting your friends, such as LOL, OMG, TIA, and the rest, should only end in the messages and not on the PDF or Word document you are typing your essay. As we have mentioned, formal academic writing is very delicate; it requires in-depth skills.

We hope that as you plan, write, and polish your essay, you will consider using the words we have listed here for inspiration and to hone your professional writing skills.

Words to Spice up your Introduction

Crafting a perfect introduction is arguably the most challenging part of academic writing. Whether you write the introduction first or last, it is always the invitation point for your readers to enjoy what is in the body. So, naturally, with adequate planning and structuring, you need to ensure that the introduction counts.

To begin an essay, you need to mind that your reader is uninformed about your arguments and topic, which means that the very first sentence has to summarize the central argument and the topic.

Although there is no preserved set of words to use in your essay introduction, you use the following words and phrases to explain what your essay is discussing (its scope) without losing the formality of your academic writing.

  • For decades
  • Over the years
  • Challenging
  • Significance
  • Complex problem
  • To begin with
  • As far as is proven in the literature
  • From the statistics presented by studies
  • The main objective
  • This topic resonates

This list of phrases is not complete; you can use the other phrases and words we will cover in the following sections of this guide. As long as you have a good reason to use a phrase, do not feel limited : use it for the glory of excellent grades.

General Explanations

When providing general explanations, both in the body, introduction, and conclusion of your essays, either for complex or easy points, you can use these phrases:

  • In order to
  • In other words
  • To that end
  • In another way
  • That is to say

We will see (in the course of this guideline) how else you can use the exact phrases in your essay.

Giving Examples in your essay

Any standard piece of academic writing must include examples. For instance, when presenting an argument in an argumentative or persuasive essay, you must illustrate your essay with examples to make the arguments stand out. Examples help clarify explanations, which makes it easy for the reader to connect the dots. Besides, they create an ideal picture in the mind of the reader. Instead of repeating for example when introducing illustrations in your essay, here are other phrases, transitions, and words that you can use in their place.

  • To illustrate
  • As evidence
  • To elucidate
  • To exemplify
  • On this occasion
  • As in the case of
  • Take the case of
  • In this sense
  • In this situation
  • In another case
  • In this case
  • As a demonstration
  • As a testament
  • To demonstrate
  • As an example,
  • For instance
  • For example
  • To give an illustration

Academic essays that receive top scores always have well-kit paragraphs that entail the topic sentence, arguments, examples (illustration), and closing sentences with the relevant transition words. These academic phrases are helpful when introducing examples. You can ideally use them in any academic piece, including theses, proposals, and dissertations. They help you avoid repeating similar phrases, which facilities readability and smooth flow in your essays.

Showing importance of arguments in an essay

When writing academic essays, it is vital to demonstrate that a given argument or point is fundamental. You can highlight this in your essay writing by using the following phrases:

  • In particular
  • Specifically
  • Importantly
  • Significantly
  • Fundamentally

These words can comfortably be used interchangeably when demonstrating significant ideas that are critical to understanding a topic.

Arguing based on facts from other authors

You can use phrases that acknowledge what others have said concerning a topic at the beginning of your essay. When you begin your essay with such phrases, you are posing your argument based on the authors' findings or a general interest/concern in your area of research. You can use such phrases when the evidence supports or refutes your arguments. Here are the essay phrases to use when acknowledging authors:

  • Considering
  • In light of
  • Taking into consideration
  • On account of
  • All things considered
  • On the whole
  • Insomuch as
  • Inasmuch as
  • Forasmuch as

Introducing the views of an author who is an authority in your area of interest or topic is critical in academic essay writing. For example, when you include a quote but do not want to use parenthetical citation or the exact words, you can use academic phrases such as:

  • According to X
  • X contends that
  • Referring to the views of
  • Drawing from X
  • As argued by Y
  • Findings by Y
  • As hypothesized by X
  • As proposed/shown/demonstrated/suggested by X
  • Studies by X
  • A recent study by X

Although you are referencing a quote here, it is not always advisable to use direct quotes at the start of your essay unless directed by your instructor. This means that using the above phrases can help spice up your essay introduction.

Laying Emphasis

When writing an essay, whether it be an English class essay or any essay, you must emphasize the main argument. The idea behind this is to create coherence within your essay. You can use the transition words below to emphasize your paragraphs. This list of academic essay words can be used in the introduction, body, and even conclusion.

  • In any case
  • Some other words include unquestionably, without a doubt, certainly, undeniably, without reservation, naturally, surprisingly, always, forever, perennially, eternally, never, emphatically,

Showing some sequence

When describing ideas or presenting arguments in sequence within an essay, here are the proven phrases and words that can earn you the best grades in school.

  • First, second, third
  • First, secondly, thirdly
  • Following this
  • At this point
  • Before this
  • Consequently
  • Subsequently
  • At this time

It would help if you were extra careful when introducing ideas because each paragraph only has one idea. They are also ideal when giving a list of examples.

You can also show the order of events using the phrases below:

  • Furthermore
  • In the meantime
  • Simultaneously
  • In the first place
  • First of all
  • For the time being
  • With this in mind

These phrases come in handy when writing about a linear event or a sequential occurrence of facts. They further help to maintain a good flow, clarity, and coherence.

Creating Flow and providing further information

Essays, even the short ones, should be as informative as possible. Knowing how to present arguments, points, and facts concisely and helps you avoid bluff in the essay. As the flow of your essay matters to the reader and for your grades, we recommend that you use these phrases or words that denote more information or flow. These words will help you to chronologically and structurally present your arguments and ideas

  • In addition
  • What's more
  • Additionally

These are academic phrases that help you expand your argument; add a point you have made without interrupting the flow of your essay. You can also use them when beginning new paragraphs.

The next set of essay words are a great choice when you want to add a piece of information that corroborates the argument or point you just mentioned. When writing academic essays and papers, it is critical to concur with your arguments. Doing so not only helps you to keep your readers glued but also helps you to contextualize your research.  They also help you avoid repeating also many times. Repetitions are a sure way to score poor grades in your essay : they make your writing predictive and boring. Here are some words to save you grades and embracement.

  • Another key thing to remember
  • Not only but also ( use this when establishing similarity in your arguments- it makes the argument stand out)
  • Coupled with
  • Firstly, secondly, thirdly

You can also use the essay phrases below when stating your claim or introducing your claim. When your essay requires you to prove how you will achieve a goal- as is with a problem-solution essay or proposal argument essay , you can use these sentences to expand your points.

  • To this end

You can also use the academic phrases below to improve continuity in your essay write-up. These essay phrases explain a point that you already made but differently. Avoid repetition when elaborating specific points or arguments in your essay by using the phrases below

  • To put it in another way
  • To put it more simply

The phrases above can also be used when rounding up a point that came before the sentence that you begin.

An Example: He was already abusive to both the mother and the kids. In other words, it was a long-term domestic violence case.

Comparing and Contrasting Points

In academic essays, there are instances when you are required to include information that proves or refutes a point. For instance, when writing an argumentative essay, you have to include a counterargument. To show the views of the researchers that disagree with your main argument or point of view, you can use these words to introduce alternative arguments:

  • Nevertheless
  • On the contrary
  • On the other hand
  • Even though

These phrases are a seamless way to include an alternative perspective.

An Example: While 35% of the population appears to be living below the poverty line, the remaining 65% seem to be doing well.

You can also use phrases that show contrast, present uncertainty, and compare facts associated with your significant arguments. Here are some of the phrases:

  • By contrast
  • In comparison

The phrases above demonstrate expertise in your topic, authority in writing and help you convince your readers.

When you intend to demonstrate a positive aspect of your subject matter, you can use these phrases in your academic piece:

  • Despite this
  • Provided that
  • Nonetheless

Example : Provided that there is a red flag in a relationship, it is only safe that the victim acts or seeks help.

To add contrast, you can also highlight the relevance of an opinion, argument, point, or fact as regards your research. Here are some academic words that can help you introduce paragraphs or sentences that have big ideas in your essay:

  • Another key point

Perfect words to conclude your essay

An essay conclusion carries as much weight as the introduction. Therefore, you must ensure that you have concluding words for your essay good enough to wrap up your arguments. In addition, considering that your conclusion should have a summary of the main ideas, your final statement and road plan to the conclusion must be evident. Here is a list of categorized phrases to use to conclude an essay effectively:

  • In conclusion
  • To summarize
  • In the final analysis
  • On close analysis
  • As can be seen from the argument above
  • The most compelling finding
  • The outstanding idea
  • The most persuasive point
  • This suggests that
  • It can be seen that
  • The consequence is
  • Subsequent to
  • Most significantly
  • It should be noted
  • It is worth noting

These are essay phrases that you use when articulating your reasons in the essay. Some of them summarize the relevant ideas or arguments, while others emphasize the relevant arguments.

Parting Shot

We have explored the list of useful phrases for writing great essays. When coupled with the correct vocabulary words, an essay easily scores the top grade in a rubric. When you use the words above, you automatically sound smart.

Whether you are writing a narrative, argumentative, or descriptive essay, these are words that you can use to convince your readers. They help you maintain a good flow, play around with other vocabularies, present authors' views, and finalize your essay in a bang.

We hope that these words will transform your essays from better to best. So, stay confident while articulating points, arguments, and ideas in your essays.

If writing an essay is not your thing, and these academic words and phrases sound Greek to you, you can hire an essay writer. Sourcing essay writing help from Gradecrest guarantees you a sample academic essay that is well-formatted. In addition, we have writers who specialize in writing different essays and can deliver within the shortest turnaround time.

english essay phrases

Gradecrest is a professional writing service that provides original model papers. We offer personalized services along with research materials for assistance purposes only. All the materials from our website should be used with proper references. See our Terms of Use Page for proper details.

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english essay phrases

Useful phrases for your essays (advanced level)

Here you have some phrases to include in your essays (CEFR C1-C2). Hope you like it and find it useful !!

Introducing the phenomenon to be discussed

  • More and more families are choosing to have only one child.
  • The trend nowadays is towards having smaller families.
  • Over the past ten years or so the media have frequently carried reports of ……………
  • Recent research indicates that the number of teenagers who smoke is increasing.
  • Hardly a week goes by without another report of …………….. appearing in the media.
  • This raises the issue of whether ……………..
  • Although most people would generally agree that …………… few would deny that …………….

Stating your opinion

  • As I see it,
  • It seems to me that ………… I would also say that ….
  • I am convinced that ……………
  • I am inclined to believe that ………………
  • There is no doubt in my mind that ………………
  • One of the drawbacks of ……. is ……….
  • However, one of the benefits is that …………

Changing topic

  • As regards the causes for this, …………..
  • Concerning the causes for this, ………
  • As for the causes, ………..

Presenting arguments

  • One justification often given for ……….. is that……………..
  • Advocates/Proponents would claim that ………………
  • Those who object to …………….. often argue that ……………….
  • Another objection is that ……
  • However, it should not be forgotten that …………..
  • ……….. are opposed to ……………. on the grounds that ……………..
  • From the point of view of ……………..
  • According to ………………..

Describing causes

  • One factor which has led to ………… is …………..
  • One of the factors which has brought this about is ………
  • The problem often stems from ………………..
  • The situation has been exacerbated by …………….
  • ………….. has only made the situation worse.
  • One consequence of ……………. is …………….

Proposing steps and measures

  • As regards the most appropriate response to this situation, one suggestion would be to ………
  • The first step to be taken would be to ……..
  • To alleviate the situation people should ………..
  • In addition they ought to ……………
  • To begin to tackle this situation society/individuals/the government need/s to ……….
  • ………….. would certainly ameliorate the situation.
  • This can only be dealt with if …………
  • To overcome this problem, …………..
  • Were the government to ……………, the situation would doubtless improve.
  • Individuals can do a great deal to …………
  • The burden of responsiblity lies in the hands of ……..
  • It is vitally important that ………
  • Legislation should be introduced to control ……………..
  • It would be a grave error if we ……………..
  • All in all it seems to me that ………..
  • The obvious conclusion to be drawn is that …………………..
  • All things considered, ………….
  • On balance, I tend to believe that …………
  • The world would surely be a better place to live in if …………..
  • If people stopped ….ing, we would have/ we could look forward to a ……………
  • The prospects for the future will be bleak/grim unless ……………….

I think you should also have a few pages somewhere where you can keep a record of other useful essay phrases that you come across in your reading. Write them down and practise using them in your own writing.

Look out for more advanced expressions that you can use in place of phrases that weren’t even impressive at the B2 level – phrases like “solve the problem”. Here are a few alternative problem and solution phrases to get you going.:

a  crisis  in education which must be  addressed

something that must  be tackled  /  be dealt with

a  challenge  which must  be met

something must be done  to restore  law and order in the inner cities

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How to write an essay in English

By ielts expert, 29 june 2023 - 16:00.

How to write an essay in English, blog image

Many students say writing is the worst part of their English, but it’s often just a case of confidence. With practice, and the tips in this post, you can gain the confidence you need to maximise your English and really show it off. This post will look at the three stages of writing - planning, writing the text and reading it back.

If you are preparing for an exam, please be aware that for the latest information on exam format you should always go straight to the source – IELTS website . You can practice free online IELTS Academic Writing tests or General Training Writing tests . You can also practice writing your answer by downloading an IELTS Writing Answer Sheet .

Planning is an integral part of your writing. You might say “I don’t plan”, but somewhere in your subconscious, you do! By raising your awareness of your own planning process you can improve enormously. As a teacher, I see many students who plan and many who don’t. In general, the students that plan produce much better work, so if you are in the “no plan” camp, you should at least experiment with some of the ideas coming up.

Planning 1: Address the question

If you are writing for a class assignment or an exam, it is crucial that you address the question given. Adequate planning (five minutes is better than nothing) will keep you on track. 

Start by breaking the question down into its parts. There will usually be two or three aspects to the question. You want not only to cover all aspects of the question, but also make it obvious to your teacher or the examiner that you have done so, and the best way to demonstrate this is to give each aspect its own paragraph.

Planning 2: Brainstorm vocabulary as well as ideas

Once you have identified your paragraphs, think about what vocabulary you have at your disposal. Perhaps you would like to write one paragraph from a particular angle, but when you start planning you might find there are holes in your vocabulary and you are better able to write from a different angle. Choose ideas which best overlap with what you can clearly state in English.

Planning 3: Write chunks of language

Even with all the vocabulary in the world, some ideas are complex to express in writing. Causality, speculation and hypothetical scenarios are all abstract concepts which make it more challenging to say exactly what you want, but these are also an opportunity to push your English ability to the max and show your grammatical range. 

Sound out in your head how you will make your arguments, and when you get stuck, try writing this part down in your plan. It might be a whole sentence of just a clause. This will help you decide if you have enough English ability to get across a really impressive idea, or if you need to simplify your thoughts in order to remain clear to the reader.

Writing the text 1: Use your plan!

I have seen many students write logical, competent plans that address the question, only to go off on a random tangent when they start writing! 

Of course, you might change some things as you go along, for example if you have a new idea, but keeping an eye on your plan will prevent you from getting distracted and bring you back to the question you must answer. It will also keep you aware of how you are doing for word count and time.

Writing the text 2: Write your introduction last

You should at least consider this idea. The purpose of an introduction is to tell the reader what they are going to read, so how can you write the introduction when you haven’t written the content yet?

Introductions are fiddly to write on a blank canvas, but much easier when we already have the content written in front of us.

If you are writing on paper, it is still possible to write the introduction last - you just need to leave a few lines for it.

Writing the text 3: Make sure your introduction and conclusion match

Your introduction and conclusion should also match the content of your main body paragraphs. This might seem obvious, but I wish I had a euro for every time I have seen an introduction passionately in favour of something followed by body paragraphs and a conclusion that were passionately against.

This problem can be avoided by writing your conclusion last, as suggested above. It will also be avoided by planning, and thinking a little more deeply how you feel about the question before you start. When I say a little more deeply, I’m talking about a minute or so, not hours.

Writing the text 4: Use linkers

Linkers are often misunderstood as simply a way of showing “formal English” but in fact, we use linkers all the time, even when chatting with friends. We use them in speech and in writing to indicate “I’m going to add to what was just said,”  “I’m going to contradict what was just said,” and generally to help the listener or reader understand where we are going next.

After writing the text

This is another area where many students are very reluctant - you need to read what you wrote! 

Check for spelling errors, missing third person s, capital letters, whatever errors you are prone to make… and if you don’t know what errors you are prone to make, it’s because you aren’t checking your writing, so you need to start today! You can be the expert on your own writing strengths and weaknesses, and this will just make you better and better.

Moreover, you should read back your text because it’s enjoyable to see how skillfully you put your ideas down and how convincing your arguments are. You did it! Well done! Enjoy the moment with some positivity!

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10 English Phrases to Express Your Opinion in an Essay

This is a guest post by  Sam Pealing.  Make sure to visit his website EnglishForStudy.com for more academic English help!

I admire international students. Seriously.  If you’re a non-native English speaker doing a degree or doctorate in English, then I take my hat off to you.

I get a lot of questions about writing essays, and I’ve taught hundreds of students how to write effective essays (which get good grades).  One of the most common mistakes that I see is a lack of opinion.

Most of the time, students describe a situation, but they don’t give their opinion or stance. This can really damage your grade because lecturers are always looking for ‘critical thinking’. If you don’t give your opinion in your essays, your lecturers can’t see your critical thinking.

To put it simply: If you don’t put your opinion or stance in an essay, then you’ll probably lose marks.

In this article, you’ll learn 10 effective phrases that you can use to give your opinion in your essay.  I’ve also created a free lesson pack which will help you to practice the phrases in this article. CLICK HERE to download it.

Introducing the Phrases

If you’re looking for a quick fix for your essay, these phrases should help you to start putting your own opinions in your essays.

But, before you rush over to your essays to start putting these phrases in, there’s something you need to know.

If you’re writing an academic essay, you will need to support your opinions with strong evidence . This is especially true if you are using some of the stronger phrases.

This evidence can be a journal article, a lecture, a textbook, or something else which is a trustworthy source of information.

In a more informal essay, like one in an IELTS or TOEFL language test, you don’t need to support your answers with strong evidence. Your experiences or opinions will be enough.

Quick note : I know! You’re ready to see the phrases.

This won’t take long and it’s really important.

1. For these phrases to be really effective, you’ll need to review your grammar. Shayna has some great videos on her Espresso English Youtube channel .

I recommend these:

  • Subject/Verb agreement
  • Formal and Informal English
  • Correcting Grammar Mistakes

2. If you want to know the structure of a good essay paragraph, check my post here .

10 English Phrases to Express Your Opinion in an Essay Espresso English

Informal English Phrases

These phrases are suitable for language tests such as TOEFL or IELTS. In an academic essay, these phrases will probably be too informal because they are too personal.

“In my opinion, + [your sentence]”

  • In my opinion , a good education is more important than a good car.

“I believe that + [your sentence]”

  • I believe that schools should encourage students to walk or cycle to school rather than drive.

“In my mind, + [your sentence]”

  • “ In my mind , no-one should have to pay for medical care.”

More Formal Academic Phrases With ‘That’

These phrases are more suitable for academic essays. If you are unsure whether you should use an informal phrase or an academic phrase, use an academic one. If you think your writing might be informal, read this post to learn more.

The patterns here are quite straightforward. Just add your sentence after ‘that’.

“It would seem that + [your sentence]”

Use this when you support your opinion with evidence.

  • “ It would seem that children learn best when they are feeling comfortable.”

“It could be argued that + [your sentence]”

Use this when you want to challenge an existing opinion.

  • “ It could be argued that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks in this situation.”

“This suggests that + [your sentence]”

Use this when you don’t want to fully commit to an opinion. You’re giving yourself some distance.

  • “ The evidence suggests that people who speak more than one language have more job opportunities.”

“This proves that + [your sentence]”

Use this when you are confident with your opinion. This phrase is quite strong*

  • “ This proves that the best way to lose weight is through a controlled diet and a good exercise program.”

“This supports the idea that + [your sentence]”

Use this one when you are supporting an opinion that you have already made.

  • “ This new research supports the idea that successful English learners look for opportunities to use English.”

Other Ways to Express Opinion

“although [idea you disagree with], [idea you agree with]”.

Use this when you want make your opinion seem balanced.

  • “ Although reports suggest that cigarettes could help people to lose weight, there are too many serious health problems associated with smoking.”

Note: The ‘ although’ pattern is very effective because it shows two sides of the argument. In the example, I support the idea that smoking is bad for your health –BUT- I recognise that it could have some benefits.

Structure your ‘ although’ sentence like this: Although, [weaker argument you disagree with], [stronger argument you agree with].

Using Adverbs, Adjectives and Nouns

You can use adjectives to show your opinion.

  • “This research was poorly conducted with a lack of control .”

The adjective and nouns in the example are negative . You can get some good ideas from this video on Extreme Adjectives . Note: try not to use any emotional adjectives .

Make Your Own Phrases!

Of course, these phrases aren’t the only ones that you can use! You can find more – or – you can create your own by combining different patterns.

Here’s an example of #7, #9 and #10 used together.

“Although it is difficult for older adults to learn a second language, an important study by Smith (2014) proved that the elderly can successfully learn new languages.”

What Should You Do Now?

So now you should have a better idea of how to include more opinions in your essays. But that’s not all; there are probably some new words here that you don’t know.

So here’s what you should do:

  • Choose three of the opinion expressions and phrases that you want to try.
  • Practice writing sentences using them (if you don’t have a topic, try this: should students do homework? You can see examples of this in the lesson pack )
  • Get the Lesson Pack for this lesson (which contains the vocabulary and the phrases from this lesson) CLICK HERE to download it .

Learn more:

  • Basic English phrases
  • Intermediate English phrases
  • Advanced English phrases

About Sam Pealing

Sam Pealing is an English language coach who specialises in two important areas: 1. helping you to get great grades at university, and 2. helping you to become an effective and confident English user. If you’re feeling frustrated or confused with English, Sam has created the perfect email course for you! You can join his course here –or- you can read more by him on English For Study .

Get corrections on your written English:

10 English Phrases to Express Your Opinion in an Essay Espresso English

More Espresso English Lessons:

About the author.

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Shayna Oliveira

Shayna Oliveira is the founder of Espresso English, where you can improve your English fast - even if you don’t have much time to study. Millions of students are learning English from her clear, friendly, and practical lessons! Shayna is a CELTA-certified teacher with 10+ years of experience helping English learners become more fluent in her English courses.

Writing an essay: Phrases to use in your essays exercise part 1

After you have planned your essay (first decided what the main argument of your essay will be and the best arguments/points to use and then how to structure what you will write ), you are ready to start writing it.

When writing the essay, your choice of vocabulary and phrases/expressions is important. To make your essay read better and look more professional, you shouldn't repeat or overuse the same phrase or expression too many times. Instead, use other words or phrases which have the same meaning. For example, besides using 'because', you can also use 'due to'.

In addition to this, try to use vocabulary which sounds more professional or formal. So instead of using 'tell', use 'inform' and instead of using 'this could be because', use 'this could be a result of'.

The problem about doing this, is that you need to already know the alternative vocabulary and phrases/expressions. If you don't, you have to learn them. One way of doing this is reading other people's essays. See the phrases and vocabulary which they use and make a note of them. But reading a lot essays will take you a long time to do.

Another way of improving your essay writing vocabulary is to find lists of phrases and vocabulary which are used when writing essays. The problem with using these types of lists is that they don't show you in what context/situation to use the phrases/vocabulary. And it could result in you using them incorrectly.

Because of this, I have created two exercises to help you improve your knowledge of English vocabulary and phrases to use in an essay both quickly and correctly. In these two exercises you will not only learn alternative words and phrases to use in your own essays, but you will see when and how they should be used.

In this exercise, you will learn different ways of saying the same thing in an essay. In this first part of the exercise you will find the first half of an essay titled ' Should schools use computers or textbooks for teaching subjects in class? '.

In each paragraph, you will find a part (or parts) which are in bold and underlined . You will be shown alternative ways you can write these parts in a question which is below the paragraph it is in.

When reading each part which is in bold and underlined , think what the purpose of it is: is it giving a reason? is it giving an example? etc...

In each question below, you will be given 4 alternatives ways of writing the part. Three of these alternatives mean the same thing (are synonyms) as the part in the paragraph, one of them isn't. To answer the question correctly, you have to choose the three which have the same meaning . When you have chosen the three, click the the ' Check answer ' button to see if you are right.

For hundreds of years, textbooks have been used by schools as one of the main methods to educate their students. But with the rise of technology (computers, the internet etc...) many experts are now saying that students should learn many subjects (from maths to geography) at school using computers instead. So why do these experts believe that software on a computer is better for learning than using a traditional textbook?

1. Which of the three below sentences have the same meaning as ' many experts are now saying that students should learn '?

One of the reasons which people who support the idea of replacing textbooks with computer software for teaching in classrooms give is that it makes the learning environment more enjoyable and productive. Because most educational software applications on computers are interactive (they can contain videos, animations, games etc...), they are more engaging for students to use. Making students want to use them more than reading a textbook. As a result, students not only learn more, but do so more quickly than they would by using a textbook.

2. Which of the three below sentences have the same meaning as ' Because most educational software applications on computers are interactive '?

3. Which of the three below sentences have the same meaning as ' As a result, students not only learn more, but do so '?

Not only do they encourage students to learn more quickly than textbooks can, but they can also be used to monitor the individual performance of students. For example, their exam or course work results. As students complete tests and exams on applications they are using on computers, a record of their results is automatically kept. This makes it easier for the teacher to identify issues any of their students are having with a particular area of a subject, so they can undertake the necessary actions to solve them.

4. Which of the three below sentences have the same meaning as ' For example, their exam or course work results. '?

5. Which of the three below sentences have the same meaning as ' This makes it easier for the teacher to identify issues any of their students are '?

To continue improving your essay writing vocabulary, go to the second part of this exercise .

Now that you know these alternative ways to say the above parts in the essay, practise them by creating your own sentences and using them in these.

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This is me, Chris Clayton, the owner and main writer for Blair English. I'm also a part-time English teacher in sunny Spain. I have a love of history and the web. I hope you find the website useful.

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20 Useful Vocabulary & Phrases to Start Your Essay

There are many ways to write a strong essay opening. Using these essay opening phrases will help you to become an essay writing master.

The first sentence of your essay is called the “hook.” You can start your essay with a relevant quotation or general statement. Phrases to start your essay – you can use an online paraphraser tool, or you can use our list below:

english essay phrases

1. Today, Nowadays, These days:

☛Today, many people do not know their neighbors in big cities. ☛Nowadays, there is a trend that the media focuses on problems and emergencies rather than positive developments. ☛These days most of the students are doing their assignments with the help of the internet.

2. In this day and age, at the present time, now:

☛In this day and age, companies have a much greater responsibility than the old mantra to do no evil.

3. In today’s modern world:

☛In this modern world Muslims are facing many challenges.

4. We live in an age when many of us are…

5. There is no denying that….

6. It is often said that…

7. It is a well-known fact that…

8. There is no doubt that…

9. It goes without saying that…

10. It is universally accepted that…

11. Recently, ….. has changed our life completely.

12. Recently, ….. has become an indispensable part of our lives.

13. Over the past ten years or so the media have frequently carried reports of …

14. Recent research indicates that the number of ……. who ……… is increasing.

15. Hardly a week goes by without another report of …………….. appearing in the media and this raises the issue of whether ……………..

16. People are divided in their opinion regarding…

17 . …. is one of the most important issues…

18. Whether …. or …. is a controversial issue…

19. Although most people would generally agree that …………… few would deny that …………….

20. Some people like to ….

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    To do this, use any of the below words or phrases to help keep you on track. 1. Firstly, secondly, thirdly. Even though it sounds obvious, your argument will be clearer if you deliver the ideas in the right order. These words can help you to offer clarity and structure to the way you expose your ideas.

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    guide to the most important words and phrases to know in the field of English for Academic Purposes (EAP). This list gives around 370 important phrases for academic writing, grouped into 15 functional areas. Written phrases 1. Specifying topics and relations between ideas in terms of in relation to in/within the context of with respect to with ...

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    4. That is to say. Usage: "That is" and "that is to say" can be used to add further detail to your explanation, or to be more precise. Example: "Whales are mammals. That is to say, they must breathe air.". 5. To that end. Usage: Use "to that end" or "to this end" in a similar way to "in order to" or "so".

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    To make your essay's conclusion as strong as possible, there are a few things you should avoid. The most common mistakes are: Including new arguments or evidence; Undermining your arguments (e.g. "This is just one approach of many") Using concluding phrases like "To sum up…" or "In conclusion…" Example of an essay conclusion

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