- Academic writing
- Commonly confused words
- Critical thinking
- PEEL Paragraphs
- Linking/transition words
- Terms and definitions
- Action Words: What is description, application, analysis and evaluation
Linking/transition words: Things you need to know...
All assignments are written in formal language. You need to ensure that you demonstrate your knowledge and understanding alongside your ability to answer the question/solve the problem.
Below are some ideas to help you to develop your structure and flow.
- Linking / transition words and phrases join ideas, sentences and paragraphs together. They should be used within sentences and to move from one idea to another (between sentences).
These words and phrases indicate the direction, order and flow of ideas. Significantly, they strengthen the quality and structure of your work.
- Redundant Words - less is more. P articularly when trying to reduce the word count, it is important to look for phrases which can be replaced with a single word.
Transitions link one main idea to another separated by a semi-colon or full-stop. When the transition word is at the beginning of the sentence, it should be followed by a comma:
Among other functions, they can signal cause and effect or sequencing (see examples in the table below).
Linking words: conjunctions
Linking words within a sentence are referred to as coordinating conjunctions. Do not worry about the term: think about the function.
Conciseness / redundant words
Microsoft Word now has an additional feature within the Edito r - it is called conciseness or wordiness.
- If you cannot see the Editor menu a quick tip is to hold down the function (fn key at the bottom left of the keyboard) + F7 (top line of keys).
- From the Refinements section - select Conciseness - if there are any suggestions a number will appear in the box alongside this option
- A dotted line will appear under any groups of groups
- Either select the identified text by clicking with your right mouse button OR click on the down down next to the Conciseness menu.
- MS Word will display any alternative words which you can either select and they will be replaced in your text or reject if you want to keep the original phrases.
Examples: try to replace phrases with a single words which mean the same.
Need to know more...
- Related pages
- External links
- Academic writing Illustrates the main features of academic writing so that you are aware of what it is and what it involves
- Critical Thinking Academic work involves thinking, not just accepting what you read or are told.
- Terms and Definitions Important words appear in your assignments and examinations. The aim of this factsheet is to help you to fully understand what they mean.
Additional resources to help you to improve your confidence and grades:-
- Writing Effectively demonstrates the importance of: clarity, structure, relevance, argument and precision.
- Writing Mechanics gives further examples and resources on areas including: sentence structure, vocabulary, spelling, punctuation and grammar.
Linking/Transition words - Scribbr https://www.scribbr.co.uk/syntax/transition-words-examples/ [Accessed 10 February 2023]
There are many books concerning academic writing, look around Dewey number 808
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Connecting ideas in writing
Suggestions for connecting ideas at the sentence and paragraph level in academic writing.
In academic writing, it is important to present an argument clearly and cohesively. In addition, you may be required to discuss and evaluate existing research or ideas about the topic under discussion. Often you will be assessed on your ability to do both. Developing the language to connect ideas in academic writing will help you with both these tasks. The appropriate use of ‘discourse markers,’ that is, words or phrases that signal a relationship, can reveal and reinforce the direction that your argument is taking, and make clear the relations between sections of your writing.
Here we provide suggestions for sentence openers, ‘linking words’ within sentences and between paragraphs, and alternative vocabulary choices you might use when connecting ideas in writing.
Connectives used in and between sentences
Connectives allow us to be more precise about the relationships between statements in a sentence or between sentences. Particular phrases and words serve different functions in connecting ideas and arguments. For example, different clauses or words can signal or ‘signpost’ additional or similar information, opposition or contrast, concession, cause or effect, emphasis, clarification, or a relationship in time or sequence. Some useful examples of each are categorised by function below.
Note that most of these terms can also be used to start new paragraphs. However, some of them need to be incorporated into fuller sentences to be effective as paragraph openers. For example, if you use notwithstanding as a paragraph opener you may have to add other content words to provide more information such as “Notwithstanding a lack of natural resources, the region has…”
Additionally, and, also, apart from this, as well (as), in addition, moreover, further, furthermore.
If, in that case, provided that, unless.
Correspondingly, equally, for the same reason, in a similar manner, in comparison, in the same way, on the one hand, similarly.
Alternatively, although, but, conversely, despite, even so, even though, however, in contrast, in spite of, instead, on the contrary, contrary to, nevertheless, nonetheless, notwithstanding, on the other hand, rather, still, though, yet, whereas, while.
Again, in fact, interestingly, indeed, it should be noted (that), more important(ly), most importantly, to repeat, (un)fortunately, unquestionably.
A further instance of this is..., an example of this is…, for example, for instance, such as, thus, as follows.
In other words, more simply, namely, simply put, to put it differently / another way, such as, that is.
A / the consequence of, because, due to, for, the effect of …, since, the result of …
Accordingly, as a result/consequence, consequently, for this reason, hence, so, therefore, thus.
Admittedly, although, clearly though, even though, however, indeed, obviously.
As a rule, for the most part, generally, in general, in most cases, normally, on the whole, usually.
First, second, third (etc), next, before, earlier, finally, following, given the above, later, meanwhile, subsequently, then, to conclude, while.
A note about presentation and style
Check a usage guide for exact rules for punctuation. Many introductory phrases have a comma after them. For example, 'therefore,' and 'in addition,'.
Apart from using the linking words / phrases above, showing the link between paragraphs could involve writing ‘hand-holding’ sentences. These are sentences that link back to the ideas of the previous paragraph. For instance, when outlining the positive and negative issues about a topic you could use the following:
Example (from beginning of previous paragraph):
- One of the main advantages of X is…
When you are ready to move your discussion to the negative issues, you could write one of the following as a paragraph opener:
- Having considered the positive effects of X, negative issues may now need to be taken into account…
- Despite the positive effects outlined above, negative issues also need to be considered...
It is always important to make paragraphs part of a coherent whole text; they must not remain isolated units.
Checking for paragraph links in your own work
When you are editing your next written assignment, ask yourself the following questions as you read through your work (Gillett, Hammond, & Martala, 2009):
- Does the start of my paragraph give my reader enough information about what the paragraph will be about?
- Does my paragraph add to or elaborate on a point made previously and, if so, have I made this explicit with an appropriate linking word / phrase?
- Does my paragraph introduce a completely new point or a different viewpoint to before and, if so, have I explicitly shown this with a suitable connective?
- Have I used similar connectives repeatedly? If yes, try to vary them using the above list.
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Useful Linking Words and Phrases to Use in Your Essays
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Linking words and phrases are used to show relationships between ideas. They can be used to join two or more sentences or clauses.
We can use linking words to give a result , add information , summarize , give illustrations , emphasize a point , sequence information , compare or to contrast idea .
Useful Linking Words and Phrases
In this article, you will learn about the most common linking words and phrases:
Giving a Result
Usage : To provide the result of what has been stated or has occurred
Linking W ords :
- As a result
- As a consequence
- For this reason
- His wife left him. As a result , he became very depressed.
- She has lived in France, and as a consequence she speaks French fluently.
- We do not have enough money. T herefore we cannot afford to buy the new car.
- We do not own the building. Thus , it would be impossible for us to make any major changes to it.
- There has been a great deal of rain and consequently the reservoirs are full.
- The customer was displeased with her meal, hence the chef prepared a replacement.
- For this reason , they are not a good choice for exterior use.
- Due to a broken wing, this bird can’t fly.
Usage : To add to what has been previously stated
- Additionally / an additional
- As well as that
- In addition
- In addition to this
- Apart from this
- Additionally , the bus service will run on Sundays, every two hours.
- He said he had not discussed the matter with her. Furthermore , he had not even contacted her.
- We are unable to repair this watch. Also , this is the fourth time this has happened.
- I love wearing earrings. I design and make them too .
- We went to the park today. As well as that , we did some shopping.
- Along with parties and parliaments, elections have lost their charm.
- I can’t afford to go to the concert. Besides , I don’t really like classical music.
- You haven’t paid the rent yet. In addition , you owe me money.
- The report is badly presented. Moreover , it contains inaccuracies.
- John’s grades are terrible because he has been so lazy these days. In addition to this , his relationship to his parents got worse.
- Apart from this paragraph, the report contains a number of sensible initiatives.
Usage : To sump up what has been previously stated
Linking words :
- In conclusion
- To summarize
- To conclude
- In conclusion , walking is a cheap, safe, enjoyable and readily available form of exercise.
- To summarize , this is a clever approach to a common problem.
- The food was good and we loved the music. Altogether it was a great evening.
- His novels belong to a great but vanished age. They are, in short , old-fashioned.
- To sum up , there are three main ways of tackling the problem…
- In summary , this was a disappointing performance.
- Briefly , our team is now one of the best in the world.
- To conclude , I want to wish you all a very happy holiday season.
Usage : To provide examples
- For example/ For instance
- In this case
- Proof of this
- There are many interesting places to visit in the city, for example / for instance , the botanical garden or the art museum.
- I prefer to wear casual clothes, such as jeans and a sweatshirt.
- Including Christmas Day and Boxing Day, I’ve got a week off work.
- We need to concentrate on our target audience, namely women aged between 20 and 30.
- I think I would have made a difference in this case .
- This building are a living proof of this existence, so we must preserve it.
- I also make other jewellery like rings and bracelets.
Emphasizing a Point
Usage : To put forward a point or idea more forcefully
- Particularly / in particular
- Without a doubt
- It should be noted
- Undoubtedly , the story itself is one of the main attractions.
- I don’t mind at all. Indeed , I would be delighted to help.
- Obviously , we don’t want to spend too much money.
- I love silver earrings, in particular ones from Mexico
- The car is quite small, especially if you have children.
- Clearly , this will cost a lot more than we realized.
- More importantly , can he be trusted?
- He’s an absolutely brilliant cook.
- I definitely remember sending the letter.
- We still believe we can win this series without a doubt .
- I’m neve r surprised at what I do.
- It should be noted that if you have something to note, then note it
- Unquestionably , teaching has been a paramount part of his career.
- Above all , this forest is designed for wear and tear.
- This is positively the worst thing that I can even imagine.
Usage : To indicate the order of what is being said
- First/ firstly (Second/ secondly, Third/ thirdly, Finally)
- At this time
- Lastly and most importantly
- Last but not least
- First and foremost
- Firstly , I prefer the train because I can see the landscape.
- At this time , the young man leapt into the air and flew off towards sunset.
- They arrived on Monday evening and we got there the following day.
- I had visited them three days previously .
- Your name is before mine on the list.
- Subsequently , new guidelines were issued to all employees.
- Above all , keep in touch.
- Lastly, and most importantly , you should be optimistic.
- Last but not least , I find I seriously cannot relate to women.
- We will continue to focus on our players first and foremost .
Usage: To show how things are similar
- Compare / compare(d) to(with)
- By the same token
- In the same way
- Similarly , the basketball and hockey games draw nearly full attendance.
- Equally , not all customers are honest.
- Her second marriage was likewise unhappy.
- She’s just as smart as her sister.
- Working with housecats is just like working with lions or tigers.
- Some people say I have a running style similar to him.
- Having a power is not the same as using the power.
- He gets the ball off quickly compared to two years ago.
- Teenagers should be more respectful; by the same token , parents should be more understanding.
- Alex enjoys telling jokes; in the same way/similarly/likewise ,his son adores funny stories.
- Correspondingly , the roles each of them played were soon different.
Usage : To show how things are different
- On the other hand
- Despite / in spite of
- In contrast (to)
- Differing from
- Contrary to
- Unlike most systems, this one is very easy to install.
- There is little chance that we will succeed in changing the law. Nevertheless , it is important that we try.
- Laptops are convenient; O n the other hand , they can be expensive.
- The problems are not serious. Nonetheless , we shall need to tackle them soon.
- Despite/ In spite of the rain, I went for a walk.
- In contrast to the diligent bee, the butterfly flies hither and yon with no apparent purpose.
- The agency will make travel arrangements for you. Alternatively , you can organize your own transport.
- Northern European countries had a great summer. On the contrary/conversely , Southern Europe had poor weather.
- Even so , many old friends were shocked at the announcement.
- Differing from his white colleagues, he preferred instructing his scholars to the ambition of acquiring personal renown.
- The situation in Ireland is quite contrary to this principle.
- Frequently Used Linking Words and Phrases: Reasons and Results
- Linking Words for Essays: How to Link Those Paragraphs
- Useful Words and Phrases to Use as Sentence Starters to Write Better Essays
- Popular Linking Words and Transitional Phrases in English
Thursday 10th of November 2022
Very very educational
Sunday 16th of October 2022
what the dog doing
Tuesday 23rd of August 2022
good website with good information
Friday 21st of January 2022
dijah said it is goooooooooooooooooood
Thursday 2nd of December 2021
hey searching for some new friends, someone up?
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The Ultimate List of Linking Words for Your Essay
Let’s face it: You can’t write an essay (or any other writing piece) without linking words.
Also known as connecting words or transition words, they serve to make your writing flow and help those reading your work follow the flow of your thoughts, ideas , and arguments .
This post is your guide to linking words and their role in writing. Not only will you learn the types of these words, examples, and reasons to use them, but you’ll also get a massive list of transition words and phrases as well as linking words PDF to download and use whenever necessary.
Table of Contents:
What are Linking Words?
Why use transition words in essays, linking words examples, addition/agreement/similarity, contrast/contradiction/limitation/opposition, comparison/concession/condition, clarification, cause/effect/result, emphasis/example, generalization, illustration, location/place/space, reason/reference, time/sequence, summary/conclusion/restatement.
- The Ultimate List of Linking Words: Download
Linking words are lexical items (words and phrases) we use to connect ideas in writing and get a reader to the next sentence or paragraph.
They aren’t about essay writing only:
Whether you write a fiction book, marketing content , academic works, autobiography , or poems, you’ll need to connect ideas. That’s what transition words do:
They link your thoughts and arguments into a chain to show how they relate to each other. Also known as transition words, these phrases often start a sentence or a paragraph. However, you’ll also use them in the middle of sentences to bring ideas together.
The most common places for linking words in essays are:
- the start of a paragraph
- the start of a sentence introducing a new idea or extending an argument
- the beginning of a concluding statement
Essay linking words is an integral part of academic writing. Put it simply, you can’t write a paper without using them; otherwise, your writing won’t make any sense for readers.
Transition words for essay serve to:
- connect ideas in writing
- create a flow of thoughts and arguments for readers to understand what you want to say
- guide readers from one idea to another, demonstrating how they relate to each other
- hook readers and encourage them to read the next sentence or paragraph
- add more information
- support or contrast a point
- show the result, conclude, demonstrate an effect of this or that point
Using essay maker and connecting words, each sentence and paragraph must pass readers on to the next one. These connecting words serve as an instrument to guide readers from one thought or point to the next.
Linking words examples are many, and it’s clear why: every piece of writing contains tons of connecting and transition words. Let’s take an essay sample from Bid4Papers writers to see the example of linking words in academic writing:
This one was an essay introduction .
Now, why not take a step further and look for essay linking words in essay conclusions ?
Types and List of Linking Words to Use in Essays
Below you’ll find the ultimate list of transition words for essays by categories. Choose the role you need a word to play (reason, contrast, emphasis, restatement, etc.) and consider the corresponding table of transitions.
If you need the whole transition words list in one place, jump to the next category of this post to find the downloadable linking words pdf.
And now, for connecting words categories:
These words serve to add info to what you’ve previously stated, demonstrate the commonality between arguments, and support your thoughts.
Linking words for contrast is your instrument to show how things are different and provide counterarguments. They work best in persuasive and critical essays.
These lexical items will help you if you need to provide conditions to your statements, show how things are different/similar, or accept a point with reservation.
These words will help you with personal or narrative essays: They are linking words in opinion writing that indicates you’re going to explore ideas in more detail.
Expository essays will win with these words too.
Cause and effect connecting words do what their name says exactly: demonstrating a cause of some point and providing the result of what has been done or started.
These words are for putting forward your point more forcefully, providing examples.
Perfect transition words for hypothesis essays , generalization lexical items serve to make a general statement you’ll then specify and prove in detail.
These words and phrases are for you to provide examples in essays.
Use these words to provide order and reference or clarify spatial relationships between your points or ideas.
These transitional words will help you demonstrate relationships between ideas and provide reasons for what and why has started or occurred.
Use these words in your essay when you need to indicate the time and order of what you say.
Restatement words will help you express an alternative to what you previously stated. They work for all essay types, including rhetorical precis and dialectic essays .
Use summary and conclusion transitional phrases to sum up your points and come up with the final paragraph of your writing.
The Ultimate List of Connecting Words: Download
And now, for the most interesting and practical part:
Below you can find the linking words worksheet that gathers all the most commonly used transitional words in essays. Feel free to download this linking words PDF and refer to it every time you write an essay and experience writer’s block:
Do you need more guides and worksheets like this to assist you with academic writing? Please share your ideas in the comments, and our writers will be happy to help!
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50 linking words to use in academic writing
It’s very common for students to use long words they don’t understand very well in their essays and theses because they have a certain idea of what academic writing should be. Many students believe that academic writing is wordy and convoluted, and uses a lot of jargon. This leads many students to fall into a trap of imagining that the longer the word, the more impressive and intelligent their writing will seem.
We often see long sentences and multisyllabic words where shorter sentences and simpler words would do. Some students even use Microsoft Word’s thesaurus function to replace a common word with a more complicated word. This is a risky move, because unless you’re very careful, the new word may not carry quite the same meaning as the original, even if it’s similar.
The result can range from funny to confusing, which defeats the purpose of academic writing: to be as clear and concise as possible, using just the right words to convey your argument. Using uncommon words, instead of making your paper seem smarter, generally detracts from your ideas.
To avoid this, using linking or transition words that signpost your arguments can help to clarify your views and show the reader what to expect from certain paragraphs or sentences. These words give structure to the whole, helping you to organise your ideas and assist the reader in understanding them.
We have prepared some flashcards containing linking words you can use in academic writing.
CLICK HERE to download these FREE flashcards
Below is a handy list of words that are both useful and appropriate to academic language.
Not only… but also
In the same way
Showing cause and effect
As a result
Hence (never ‘hence why’)
Since (try to avoid ‘as’ when showing cause and effect)
This suggests that
It follows that
For this reason
Comparing and contrasting
On the other hand
On the contrary
Showing limitation or contradiction
Despite/in spite of
While (not whilst!)
Emphasis, addition or examples
Further (not ‘furthermore’)
First, second and third (not firstly, secondly and thirdly)
It can be concluded that
As can be seen
Given the above
The best way to get better at writing academic language is to read academic writing. You’ll pick up all sorts of useful tips from published papers in your area of study.
Updated 31 January 2023 Ellen McRae, PhD, AE (IPEd), MNZSTI Senior Managing Editor
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75 linking words for academic writing (+examples)
Linking words play an important role in academic writing: They connect different paragraphs, sections or ideas in a text. Therefore, they considerably improve the readability and argumentation of academic texts such as a thesis, dissertation, essay or journal publication. This list of 75 linking words includes examples of how they can be used in academic writing.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase using the links below at no additional cost to you . I only recommend products or services that I truly believe can benefit my audience. As always, my opinions are my own.
Linking words expressing order and sequence in academic writing
Linking words expressing additions in academic writing, linking words expressing cause and effect in academic writing, linking words expressing contrasts and comparisons in academic writing, linking words expressing emphasis in academic writing, linking words expressing illustrations in academic writing, linking words expressing summaries and conclusions in academic writing, linking words expressing conditionality in academic writing, linking words expressing generalisations in academic writing, linking words expressing concessions in academic writing.
1. First(ly), second(ly), third(ly)
Example: First, I review the existing literature on cross-border collaboration. Second, I explain the methodology …
Example: The thesis starts with a literature review. Next, I describe the case study design.
Example: Finally, recommendations for future research are presented.
Example: Study participants underwent several experiments and were subsequently examined.
Example: The event increased public awareness of this issue. Afterwards, politicians debated it more openly.
Example: Eventually, this led to the creation of a social movement.
Example: Before scientists discovered the role of neurons in information processing, they assumed that…
Example: Previously, scholars believed that nurture was the most important factor in a child’s development.
Example: Scholars examine the causes and effects of poverty.
Example: Furthermore, the data illustrates the number of chemicals that can be found in drinking water.
Example: Additionally, the interviewee lamented a lack of attention to his work.
12. As well as
Example: Scholars utilise qualitative as well as quantitative methods to study this phenomenon.
Example: Besides the public outreach component, we wrote a handbook to disseminate the research results in the academic community.
Example: The financial compensation was also appreciated by the study participants.
Example: Moreover, interviewees were asked to describe their own experiences.
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Example: This theory was ultimately rejected because it was built on a flawed dataset.
Example: The outcomes improved since different parties joined forces.
Example: As the number of studies increases, better conclusions can be drawn.
Example: Scientists realised that the data analysis had flaws. So they decided not to run the same data analysis again.
Example: Many researchers have conducted this experiment with similar results. Therefore, this theory can be debunked.
Example: The literature highlights the importance of age and physical fitness. Consequently, these factors will be investigated further.
Example: Due to a low response rate, the study’s validity is low.
Example: One academic study found the opposite results. Nevertheless, it can be argued that…
Example: Many scholars have explored this issue. Yet, to date, no inclusive framework exists to explain…
Example: Although a confidentiality agreement was provided, study participants were hesitant to disclose private information.
26. In spite of
Example: In spite of the different study contexts, all experiments pointed to similar results.
Example: People often stated that they are aware of the rules whereas they behaved as if they did not.
Example: While older studies often emphasise structural effects, newer ones tend to highlight the role of agency.
29. In contrast
Example: In contrast to previous findings, my analysis shows that…
Example: One study found that the majority of residents in disadvantaged areas do not have access to sufficient resources. Similarly, my research revealed that most residents live too far away from the services and resources they would need to climb the social ladder.
Example: E qually important, however, is the role of personal beliefs in decision-making processes.
Example: The interviewee considered this issue important and expected his colleagues to do likewise.
33. On the other hand
Example: On the one hand, research in this field advanced considerably in the last 20 years. On the other hand, a lot remains unclear.
Example: Unlike social scientists, physical scientists often conduct laboratory examinations.
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Example: Particularly relevant for this study is the molecular orbital theory.
Example: Especially younger interviewees expressed dissatisfaction with the status quo.
37. Above all
Example: Above all, this method can generate better insights into the physical processes at hand.
Example: Indeed, motivation turned out to be a defining factor of academic success.
Example: Clearly, these scholars were not aware of recent advances in medical sciences.
Example: This was definitely the most important event of the year.
Example: More importantly, the findings underscore the importance of conflict resolution.
Example: Undoubtedly, all stakeholders had good intentions.
Example: Obviously it is too early to draw final conclusions.
43. Of course
Example: Of course, this study should be replicated in a different context.
Example: Surprisingly, all results were unambiguous.
45. Such as
Example: Scientists have explored different parts of the problem, such as CO2 emissions and hydrological processes.
46. For example
Example: Many interviewees were nervous. For example, when asked to describe the event, some of them started to stutter.
47. For instance
Example: Scholars have criticised this approach for different reasons. For instance, they argued that qualitative methods are insufficient to draw generalisable conclusions.
48. In this case
Example: Difficulties arise when no study participants can be found. In this case, alternative methods should be considered.
50. To conclude
Example: To conclude, the empirical analysis supports previous research findings.
51. In conclusion
Example: In conclusion, the reviewed literature highlights a clear research gap.
52. To sum up
Example: To sum up, a mixed methods approach is a better choice than a purely quantitative one.
53. In summary
Example: In summary, it is my opinion that conditions should be improved.
54. In short
Example: In short, scholars call for more research on climate change mitigation.
Example: Altogether, these examples support the main argument.
Example: Energy supply became a growing problem. Thus, new policies were implemented.
Example: The first dataset was incomplete. Hence, a new dataset had to be developed.
Example: Unless stated otherwise, I refer to the concept as…
59. As long as
Example: As long as the conditions do not change, the results should remain stable.
Example: If scientists study this phenomenon in the future, they should pay attention to structural drivers.
61. Provided that
Example: Provided that nothing changes, the effects on society will be negative.
Example: Should the distribution change, it is fair to expect…
63. Even if
Example: Even if more experiments are conducted, human behaviour remains hard to predict.
Example: Often, this issue was flagged by interviewees themselves.
Example: Commonly, this criterion is used for categorising plants.
Example: Overall the data confirmed the hypothesis.
Example: Typically emotions run high in such situations.
Example: Generally speaking, scholars address this issue from two angles.
Example: Mainly researchers in the global North discuss this phenomenon.
Example: Mostly, these results cannot be replicated outside of the lab.
71. Even if
Example: This is hard to prove. Even if the study sample is large enough.
72. Regardless of
Example: Regardless of their genetic makeup, mice showcased the same symptoms.
Example: Albeit experiencing setbacks, successful students do not get discouraged.
Example: Admittedly, the validity of this study should be increased.
Example: Nonetheless, this study can be seen as a valuable contribution to the international literature.
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- Common linking words
All sentences in a paragraph need to relate to the main idea in the topic sentence. The reader should be able to see how each sentence flows from the previous one and how each is connected to the topic sentence. Linking words and phrases weave sentences together to create a cohesive paragraph.
Linking words and phrases
- Paragraph structure
- Paragraphs activity
- Topic sentences
- Why use linking words?
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As a "part of speech" transition words are used to link words, phrases or sentences. They help the reader to progress from one idea (expressed by the author) to the next idea. Thus, they help to build up coherent relationships within the text.
This structured list of commonly used English transition words — approximately 200, can be considered as quasi complete. It can be used (by students and teachers alike) to find the right expression. English transition words are essential, since they not only connect ideas, but also can introduce a certain shift, contrast or opposition, emphasis or agreement, purpose, result or conclusion, etc. in the line of argument. The transition words and phrases have been assigned only once to somewhat artificial categories, although some words belong to more than one category.
There is some overlapping with prepositions and postpositions, but for the purpose of usage and completeness of this concise guide, I did not differentiate.
Linking & Connecting Words — Part 1/2
Agreement / Addition / Similarity
Opposition / limitation / contradiction, examples / support / emphasis, cause / condition / purpose, effect / consequence / result, conclusion / summary / restatement, time / chronology / sequence, space / location / place.
The transition words like also, in addition, and, likewise , add information , reinforce ideas , and express agreement with preceding material.
in the first place
not only ... but also
as a matter of fact
in like manner
in the same fashion / way
first, second, third
in the light of
not to mention
to say nothing of
by the same token
Transition phrases like but , rather and or , express that there is evidence to the contrary or point out alternatives , and thus introduce a change the line of reasoning ( contrast ).
although this may be true
of course ..., but
on the other hand
on the contrary
at the same time
in spite of
even so / though
be that as it may
These transitional phrases present specific conditions or intentions .
in the event that
as / so long as
on (the) condition (that)
for the purpose of
with this intention
with this in mind
in the hope that
to the end that
for fear that
in order to
seeing / being that
only / even if
These transitional devices (like especially ) are used to introduce examples as support , to indicate importance or as an illustration so that an idea is cued to the reader.
in other words
to put it differently
for one thing
as an illustration
in this case
for this reason
to put it another way
that is to say
with attention to
by all means
important to realize
another key point
first thing to remember
most compelling evidence
must be remembered
point often overlooked
to point out
on the positive side
on the negative side
Some of these transition words ( thus, then, accordingly, consequently, therefore, henceforth ) are time words that are used to show that after a particular time there was a consequence or an effect .
Note that for and because are placed before the cause/reason. The other devices are placed before the consequences or effects.
as a result
under those circumstances
in that case
These transition words and phrases conclude , summarize and / or restate ideas, or indicate a final general statement . Also some words (like therefore ) from the Effect / Consequence category can be used to summarize.
as can be seen
in the final analysis
all things considered
as shown above
in the long run
given these points
as has been noted
for the most part
by and large
on the whole
in any event
in either case
These transitional words (like finally ) have the function of limiting, restricting, and defining time . They can be used either alone or as part of adverbial expressions .
at the present time
from time to time
sooner or later
up to the present time
to begin with
in due time
in the meantime
in a moment
all of a sudden
at this instant
by the time
Many transition words in the time category ( consequently; first, second, third; further; hence; henceforth; since; then, when; and whenever ) have other uses.
Except for the numbers ( first, second, third ) and further they add a meaning of time in expressing conditions, qualifications, or reasons. The numbers are also used to add information or list examples . Further is also used to indicate added space as well as added time.
These transition words are often used as part of adverbial expressions and have the function to restrict, limit or qualify space . Quite a few of these are also found in the Time category and can be used to describe spatial order or spatial reference.
in the middle
to the left/right
in front of
on this side
in the distance
here and there
in the foreground
in the background
in the center of
List of Transition Words
Transition Words are also sometimes called (or put in the category of) Connecting Words. Please feel free to download them via this link to the category page: Linking Words & Connecting Words as a PDF. It contains all the transition words listed on this site. The image to the left gives you an impression how it looks like.
Usage of Transition Words in Essays
Transition words and phrases are vital devices for essays , papers or other literary compositions. They improve the connections and transitions between sentences and paragraphs. They thus give the text a logical organization and structure (see also: a List of Synonyms ).
All English transition words and phrases (sometimes also called 'conjunctive adverbs') do the same work as coordinating conjunctions : they connect two words, phrases or clauses together and thus the text is easier to read and the coherence is improved.
Usage: transition words are used with a special rule for punctuation : a semicolon or a period is used after the first 'sentence', and a comma is almost always used to set off the transition word from the second 'sentence'.
Example 1: People use 43 muscles when they frown; however, they use only 28 muscles when they smile.
Example 2: however, transition words can also be placed at the beginning of a new paragraph or sentence - not only to indicate a step forward in the reasoning, but also to relate the new material to the preceding thoughts..
Use a semicolon to connect sentences, only if the group of words on either side of the semicolon is a complete sentence each (both must have a subject and a verb, and could thus stand alone as a complete thought).
Further helpful readings about expressions, writing and grammar: Compilation of Writing Tips How to write good ¦ Correct Spelling Study by an English University
Are you using WORD for writing professional texts and essays? There are many easy Windows Shortcuts available which work (almost) system-wide (e.g. in every programm you use).