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Linking Words In English For Essays About Life

The linking words list below is essential for IELTS writing task 2 for high score. The examiner needs to see a range of linking words in your essay to award you a high score for the criterion of Coherence and Cohesion which is 25% of your marks. You will be checked on your range, accuracy and your flexibility of linking words in IELTS writing task 2. These connecting words are suitable for all types of essay writing as well as GT IELTS writing task 2

Download PDF: Linking Words for IELTS Writing Task 2

Listing

This is often used to either put your paragraphs in order or used inside the paragraph to list your supporting points.

  • firstly
  • secondly
  • thirdly
  • fourthly
  • lastly /last but not least / finally

Adding Information

You will need to support your main points in your IELTS essay. These linkers inform the reader that extra information is about to be presented.

  • in addition
  • additionally
  • furthermore
  • moreover
  • also
  • not only … but also
  • as well as
  • and

Giving Examples

It is often useful to give examples to support your ideas in IELTS writing task 2. Make sure you use this range of linking words to do so.

  • for example
  • one clear example is
  • for instance
  • such as
  • namely
  • to illustrate
  • in other words

To learn how to put examples in sentences for essay writing, please follow this link: How to Add Examples to Essays.

Results and Consequences

These linking devices can be used for solution essays or any essay when you need to explain the consequences of something.

  • as a result
  • consequently
  • therefore
  • thus
  • hence
  • so
  • for this reason

Highlighting and Stressing

It is important to be clear about what you mean in your essay. These linking words help you stress particular points.

  • particularly
  • in particular
  • specifically
  • especially
  • obviously
  • of course
  • clearly

Concessions and Contrasts

You often need to give opposite ideas, particularly for discussion essays so the linking words below will help you show the reader when you want to introduce an opposite point. Also you might want to give exceptions to a rule for a concession.

  • admittedly
  • however
  • nevertheless
  • even though
  • although
  • but
  • despite
  • in spite of
  • still
  • on the other hand
  • by contrast
  • in comparison
  • alternatively
  • another option could be

Reasons and Causes

These connecting words will help you explain reasons and causes for something which is very common in IELTS writing task 2, especially for cause / solution essays.

  • because
  • owing to
  • due to
  • since
  • as

Giving your Opinion

  • in my opinion
  • I think
  • I believe
  • I admit
  • in my view
  • I concur / agree
  • I disagree / I cannot accept

Don’t make a mistake with the way you express your opinion. Watch this video for useful tips on giving your opinion and how to avoid mistakes: IELTS: Presenting your Opinion

Concluding Linkers

  • in conclusion
  • to conclude
  • to sum up

To get more tips and advice on linking words to start your IELTS conclusion, please watch this video lesson: IELTS Conclusion Linkers

Practice with Linking Words

Improve your use of linking words by fill in the gaps below with linking words from the above list.

  • There are a number of drawbacks to people using Facebook as a way of communicating (1)………………… it is (2)…………….. one of the most common social networking platforms for both individuals and businesses.
  • (3)……………………….. the lack of exercise taken by average people, obesity and other weight related problems are on the rise.
  • Unemployment and poverty, (4) ………….. in urban areas, is often deemed to be the cause of rising crime rate.
  • (5) ……….. the rise in urban crime, more and more people continue to move to cities looking for a better life.
  • More children are becoming obese and (6)…………….. schools should be encouraged to provide more sports lessons and outdoor activities.

Answers

Click below to reveal the answers:

Answers
  1. even though
  2. admittedly
  3. Due to / Owing to ( you can’t have “because of” because it is at the beginning of a sentence)
  4. particularly / especially / specifically
  5. despite
  6. therefore / so / for this reason

 

IELTS Speaking Linking Words

Linking words for IELTS speaking. Both word list and tips.

Recommended

Main IELTS Pages

Develop your IELTS skills with tips, model answers, lessons, free videos and more.

 

A transition is a “passage from one state, stage, subject, or place to another.” At least that’s what Merriam-Webster’s dictionary says. But that thing’s only been around for like 184 years or so, so I’d like to amend it a bit.

Instead, let’s say a transition is “a passage from one state, stage, subject, place, or IDEA to another.” That’s what we do when we transition in our essays. We transition between ideas that are usually related to one subject.

We do this from section to section, from paragraph to paragraph, from sentence to sentence, and often, within individual sentences.

On the macro level (sections and paragraphs), we often use whole paragraphs or sentences to transition from one idea to the next. However, on the micro level (between and within sentences), we use transition words.

Politicians use transitions all the time when they’re presented with an undesirable question and prefer to spin to another subject.

Well, some are better at it than others.

For better or worse, we’re focusing on these little gems today: transition words for essays. Why? Because they’re oh-so-important when it comes to moving from one idea to another and melding those ideas into one cohesive whole within your essay.

Without transition words, you can lose your direction. But their overuse, or misuse, can lead to a clunky, redundant mess of transitional madness.

So today, let’s tackle what you need to know about using transition words for essays.

What Exactly Are Transition Words, and Why Are They Important?

If you’re reading this, then you’re probably all too used to writing essays. I don’t need to explain to you the essay’s prevalence in just about every level of the education system.

You already understand the different types of essays that require you to analyze, interpret, compare and contrast, and break down any number of subjects.

When writing any essay, it’s important that all of your ideas progress in a clear and concise direction. It’s also important that you present them in a logical order. After all, we can only focus on one idea at a time.

What makes transition words so important? They allow us, as writers, to seamlessly move from one idea to the next. They also let us do so in a way that’s almost imperceptible to the reader.

Let’s take this quote as an example:

“Times of transition are strenuous, but I love them. They are an opportunity to purge, rethink priorities, and be intentional about new habits.” —Kristin Armstrong

In this quote, we see the speaker uses the transition word “but” to shift from the difficulty related to life transitions to the positives that can come from them. It flows so well that you don’t even notice the word.

In contrast, imagine if she said, “Times of transition are strenuous. I love them.” This would give the reader pause as the connection isn’t clear. Instead, by using “but,” Armstrong effectively transitions you to the positive aspects of her thinking, which she then elaborates on.

As you can see, neglecting to use transition words entirely will result in writing that’s disconnected and difficult to read and understand. Transition words are vital to establishing flow and fluency in your paper. That flow and fluency allows your reader to seamlessly identify and connect to your ideas.

However, when transitions are overused or misused, they can be counter-productive.

What Are Some Common Transition Mistakes?

Learning to use transitions is easy, but learning to use them fluidly is more difficult. It’s kind of like dancing. Anyone can hold on to another person and move his feet. Doing it gracefully is another story.

So let’s take a look at some of the most common mistakes I see with the use of transition words for essays.

Transition by numbers

“Firstly, smoking is bad for your lungs. Second, smoking can discolor your teeth. Third, smoking is bad for the people around you. In the fourth place, smoking is very expensive.”

Often when writing an essay, we’re asked to present several arguments or pieces of evidence. So numbering each of the points as we present them seems logical. However, this isn’t a list. It’s an essay. Try to avoid using “first,” “second,” and “third” exclusively when transitioning to a new point.

The broken record

“Exercise can improve your cardiovascular function. In addition, it can increase your self-esteem. Additionally, exercise can be a great way to meet new people. Plus, exercise can extend your life and make you feel younger.”

Some transition words will be used more than others, and that’s fine. However, a big part of writing is finding the right balance. You may have a favorite transition word, but try to show some restraint in using it. Switch it up from time to time. Avoid overusing transitions that essentially all mean the same thing.

Starting with ands and buts

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been taught that it’s a sin to start a sentence with “and” or “but.” And being the rebel writer I am, I love to break this rule (<– see?). But I have to admit, doing it continuously is less than ideal (<– see?).

Spelling it out

Transitions are meant to guide your reader through your essay from idea to idea and section to section. Consequently, there’s this tendency to spell everything out. I’ve read so many conclusion paragraphs that begin with “in conclusion.”

If you’re writing a strong conclusion, then there’s no reason to spell this out. Your reader will know. Trust me.

Now that you know why transition words are important and how to use them correctly, let’s take a look at 97 transition words for essays.

97 Transition Words for Essays You Need to Know

Transition words can be used to achieve various effects. Therefore, I’ve broken the following transition words into categories. This makes them a bit easier to digest—and refer back to later.

Addition

These transition words are used to provide additional information on a point.

  • and
  • as
  • moreover
  • as well as
  • likewise
  • additionally
  • similarly
  • furthermore
  • of course
  • then
  • in addition
  • not to mention
  • equally
  • besides
  • also
  • correspondingly

Example:“Developing strong reading habits will improve your grade in English class, as well as any other class that involves reading, which happens to be all of them.”

Contradiction

These transition words are used to show the flip side of a point. They can be incredibly useful when transitioning from one side of an issue to the other.

  • but
  • although
  • instead
  • nonetheless
  • however
  • conversely
  • in contrast
  • then again
  • while
  • albeit
  • otherwise
  • nevertheless
  • rather
  • even though

Example: “The loss of my mother was the most difficult moment of my life. Then again, it was also the point when I began truly living my own life.”

Cause

These transition words are often used at the beginning of a sentence to show the cause of an action.

  • when
  • if…then
  • because
  • in order to
  • since
  • whenever
  • due to
  • provided that
  • with this in mind

Example: “I always think about having a drink when I’m feeling stressed about work.”

Effect

These are used in a similar way as the cause transitions, but later in the sentence to show the result of an action.

  • thus
  • as a result
  • therefore
  • consequently
  • accordingly
  • and so
  • hence
  • because of this

Example: “I was feeling stressed about work; thus,I thought about having a drink.”

Emphasis

These transition words are used to drive a point home by providing further information for the reader to think about in relation to it.

  • in other words
  • especially
  • for instance
  • for example
  • such as
  • indeed
  • like
  • notably
  • particularly
  • with this in mind
  • explicitly
  • namely
  • chiefly
  • including
  • principally

Example: “Bullying in school can be detrimental to students, particularly when it occurs during the formative years of their education.”

Conclusion

These transitions are used to bring together various points that you’ve mentioned in your paper.

  • overall
  • altogether
  • in short
  • in fact
  • after all
  • ultimately
  • all in all
  • in any event
  • as mentioned
  • in general
  • in other words
  • in summary
  • as you can see

Example:As mentioned, smoking is harmful to your health and the health of those you love.”

Arrangement

These are extremely important when it comes to developing strong flow from idea to idea, especially when they relate to time.

  • first
  • last
  • then
  • after
  • before
  • once
  • next
  • during
  • formerly
  • as soon as
  • at the same time
  • finally
  • now
  • forthwith
  • eventually
  • meanwhile
  • henceforth
  • hereafter
  • in the future
  • in the past
  • prior to
  • following
  • subsequently

Example:Before we discuss the candidates’ platforms, let’s review their political histories.”

Putting Transition Words for Essays into Practice

This is by no means an exhaustive list. However, each of these transition words is common and valuable. They’re definitely transition words for essays you need to know. I encourage you to refer back to this list anytime you write an essay.

Need some inspiration? Check out these example essays where the writers did a good job of using transition words to connect ideas:

If you find that your essay lacks smooth transitions, the list of 97 transition words for essays will help you to add some.

If your essay feels redundant upon second reading because you’ve used similar transition words repeatedly, use these categories to find some good replacements.

If it still doesn’t feel right, I suggest you send your essay to the editing team at Kibin. Not only will the professional editors review your use of transitions, but they’ll work with you to improve your use of transition words for essays going forward.

Good luck!

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