Useful Linkers For Essays About Education

It’s very common for students to use long words they don’t understand very well in their essays and theses because they have a certain idea of what academic writing should be. Many students believe that academic writing is wordy and convoluted, and uses a lot of jargon. This leads many students to fall into a trap of imagining that the longer the word, the more impressive and intelligent their writing will seem.

We often see long sentences and multisyllabic words where shorter sentences and simpler words would do. Some students even use Microsoft Word’s thesaurus function to replace a common word with a more complicated word. This is a risky move, because unless you’re very careful, the new word may not carry quite the same meaning as the original, even if it’s similar.

The result can range from funny to confusing, which defeats the purpose of academic writing: to be as clear and concise as possible, using just the right words to convey your argument. Using uncommon words, instead of making your paper seem smarter, generally detracts from your ideas.

To avoid this, using linking or transition words that signpost your arguments can help to clarify your views and show the reader what to expect from certain paragraphs or sentences. These words give structure to the whole, helping you to organise your ideas and assist the reader in understanding them.

We have prepared some flashcards containing linking words you can use in academic writing.

CLICK HERE to download these FREE flashcards

Below is a handy list of words that are both useful and appropriate to academic language.

Describing similarities




Not only… but also

In the same way


Showing cause and effect


As a result


Hence (never ‘hence why’)

Since (try to avoid ‘as’ when showing cause and effect)




This suggests that

It follows that

For this reason

Comparing and contrasting




On the other hand



On the contrary

Showing limitation or contradiction

Despite/in spite of

While (not whilst!)

Even so

On the contrary





Emphasis, addition or examples

To illustrate

To clarify

Further (not ‘furthermore’)

First, second and third (not firstly, secondly and thirdly)

For instance




In fact


In addition


To summarise

It can be concluded that

As can be seen


Given the above

As described



We have prepared some flashcards containing linking words you can use in academic writing.

CLICK HERE to download these FREE flashcards


Pro tip

The best way to get better at writing academic language is to read academic writing. You’ll pick up all sorts of useful tips from published papers in your area of study.

IELTS Writing Task 2 Vocabulary and Organisation

An overview of IELTS writing task 2: Useful vocabulary and information

 by Derick Smith

For writing Task 2, which is worth more than Task 1, you should spend about 40 minutes writing a 250 word essay. You will be given a contemporary social topic which you must respond to in a number of ways. 

Examples of IELTS task 2 question types:

  • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages
  • Discuss both sides
  • Give a reason why you think the problem exists
  • Express your views about the issue
  • Say whether you agree or disagree
  • Decide which side of the argument you support

As always, first make sure to read the question carefully to identify every part. (If you do not address each part you will not get a good mark in this task.)

Example IELTS task 2 question:

In general, people do not talk to one another when using public transport. Why is this so, and what could be done to change this situation?

Next you should make a plan about what you will write and how you will arrange it. For example -  

  1. Identify a number of reasons
  2. decide which will be primary and which will be supporting ideas
  3. think about a number of possible solutions
  4. organise your paragraphs


This vocabulary will get you started but you must develop and expand on these structures and find a variety that you understand fully and can use confidently.

Giving your opinion

In my opinion… / My opinion is that… /

It would seem that.../ It appears that...

I somewhat agree / agree / strongly agree with the idea that…

I somewhat disagree / disagree / strongly disagree with the idea that…

I think / believe / feel that…

From my point of view / perspective...

Structuring your writing- Main points

First / First of all / Firstly…/ In the first place...

Initially.../ To begin with.../ To start with…

Some people believe that.../ Many people think that…

Structuring your writing - Supporting / contrasting points

Second / Second of all / Secondly… / In the second place…

Then... / Next… / After that.../

Besides… / Likewise… / In addition …

Consequently… / What’s more… / Furthermore… / Moreover...

On the other hand… / Apart from that… / Finally...

Concluding your writing

On balance, I believe….

In general / seems like / that

In summary…

My personal conclusion is…

As we have seen…

For more detailed information about paragraph 1 and how to approach it check out our post ‘IELTS Task 2: Discuss both sides and give your opinion’

For structuring Task 2 check out our post here

And for more information and practice tests check out our top ten IELTS blogs.

Now it's your turn... Try to use any of this vocabulary in a sentence and post it in the comments below. If you have any questions, please ask us in the comments section.

Post by Derick Smith

IELTS Dublin

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