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Transition Words & Phrases | List & Examples

Published on May 29, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on March 15, 2023.

Transition words and phrases (also called linking words, connecting words, or transitional words) are used to link together different ideas in your text. They help the reader to follow your arguments by expressing the relationships between different sentences or parts of a sentence.

The proposed solution to the problem did not work. Therefore , we attempted a second solution. However , this solution was also unsuccessful.

For clear writing, it’s essential to understand the meaning of transition words and use them correctly.

Table of contents

When and how to use transition words, types and examples of transition words, common mistakes with transition words.

Transition words commonly appear at the start of a new sentence or clause (followed by a comma ), serving to express how this clause relates to the previous one.

Transition words can also appear in the middle of a clause. It’s important to place them correctly to convey the meaning you intend.

Example text with and without transition words

The text below describes all the events it needs to, but it does not use any transition words to connect them. Because of this, it’s not clear exactly how these different events are related or what point the author is making by telling us about them.

If we add some transition words at appropriate moments, the text reads more smoothly and the relationship among the events described becomes clearer.

Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. Consequently , France and the United Kingdom declared war on Germany. The Soviet Union initially worked with Germany in order to partition Poland. However , Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941.

Don’t overuse transition words

While transition words are essential to clear writing, it’s possible to use too many of them. Consider the following example, in which the overuse of linking words slows down the text and makes it feel repetitive.

In this case the best way to fix the problem is to simplify the text so that fewer linking words are needed.

The key to using transition words effectively is striking the right balance. It is difficult to follow the logic of a text with no transition words, but a text where every sentence begins with a transition word can feel over-explained.

There are four main types of transition word: additive, adversative, causal, and sequential. Within each category, words are divided into several more specific functions.

Remember that transition words with similar meanings are not necessarily interchangeable. It’s important to understand the meaning of all the transition words you use. If unsure, consult a dictionary to find the precise definition.

Additive transition words

Additive transition words introduce new information or examples. They can be used to expand upon, compare with, or clarify the preceding text.

Function Example sentence Transition words and phrases
Addition We found that the mixture was effective. , it appeared to have additional effects we had not predicted. indeed, furthermore, moreover, additionally, and, also, both and , not only but also , , in fact
Introduction Several researchers have previously explored this topic. , Smith (2014) examined the effects of … such as, like, particularly, including, as an illustration, for example, for instance, in particular, to illustrate, especially, notably
Reference The solution showed a high degree of absorption. , it is reasonable to conclude that … considering , regarding , in regard to , as for , concerning , the fact that , on the subject of
Similarity It was not possible to establish a correlation between these variables. , the connection between and remains unclear … similarly, in the same way, by the same token, in like manner, equally, likewise
Clarification The patient suffered several side effects, increased appetite, decreased libido, and disordered sleep. that is (to say), namely, specifically, more precisely, in other words

Adversative transition words

Adversative transition words always signal a contrast of some kind. They can be used to introduce information that disagrees or contrasts with the preceding text.

Function Example sentence Transition words and phrases
Conflict The novel does deal with the theme of family. , its central theme is more broadly political … but, however, although, though, equally, by way of contrast, while, on the other hand, (and) yet, whereas, in contrast, (when) in fact, conversely, whereas
Concession Jones (2011) argues that the novel reflects Russian politics of the time. this is correct, other aspects of the text must also be considered. even so, nonetheless, nevertheless, even though, on the other hand, admittedly, despite , notwithstanding , (and) still, although, , regardless (of ), (and) yet, though, granted
Dismissal It remains unclear which of these hypotheses is correct. , it can be inferred that … regardless, either way, whatever the case, in any/either event, in any/either case, at any rate, all the same
Emphasis The chemical is generally thought to have corrosive properties. , several studies have supported this hypothesis. above all, indeed, more/most importantly
Replacement The character of Godfrey is often viewed as selfish, self-absorbed. (or) at least, (or) rather, instead, or (perhaps) even, if not

Causal transition words

Causal transition words are used to describe cause and effect. They can be used to express purpose, consequence, and condition.

Function Example sentence Transition words and phrases
Consequence Hitler failed to respond to the British ultimatum, France and the UK declared war on Germany. therefore, because (of ), as a result (of ), for this reason, in view of , as, owing to x, due to (the fact that), since, consequently, in consequence, as a consequence, hence, thus, so (that), accordingly, so much (so) that, under the/such circumstances, if so
Condition We qualified survey responses as positive the participant selected “agree” or “strongly agree.” , results were recorded as negative. (even/only) if/when, on (the) condition that, in the case that, granted (that), provided/providing that, in case, in the event that, as/so long as, unless, given that, being that, inasmuch/insofar as, in that case, in (all) other cases, if so/not, otherwise
Purpose We used accurate recording equipment our results would be as precise as possible. to, in order to/that, for the purpose of, in the hope that, so that, to the end that, lest, with this in mind, so as to, so that, to ensure (that)

Sequential transition words

Sequential transition words indicate a sequence, whether it’s the order in which events occurred chronologically or the order you’re presenting them in your text. They can be used for signposting in academic texts.

Function Example sentence Transition words and phrases
Enumeration This has historically had several consequences: , the conflict is not given the weight of other conflicts in historical narratives. , its causes are inadequately understood. , … first, second, third…
Initiation , I want to consider the role played by women in this period. in the first place, initially, first of all, to begin with, at first
Continuation , I discuss the way in which the country’s various ethnic minorities were affected by the conflict. subsequently, previously, eventually, next, before , afterwards, after , then
Conclusion , I consider these two themes in combination. to conclude (with), as a final point, eventually, at last, last but not least, finally, lastly
Resumption my main argument, it is clear that … to return/returning to , to resume, at any rate
Summation Patel (2015) comes to a similar conclusion. , the four studies considered here suggest a consensus that the solution is effective. as previously stated/mentioned, in summary, as I have argued, overall, as has been mentioned, to summarize, briefly, given these points, in view of , as has been noted, in conclusion, in sum, altogether, in short

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Transition words are often used incorrectly. Make sure you understand the proper usage of transition words and phrases, and remember that words with similar meanings don’t necessarily work the same way grammatically.

Misused transition words can make your writing unclear or illogical. Your audience will be easily lost if you misrepresent the connections between your sentences and ideas.

Confused use of therefore

“Therefore” and similar cause-and-effect words are used to state that something is the result of, or follows logically from, the previous. Make sure not to use these words in a way that implies illogical connections.

The use of “therefore” in this example is illogical: it suggests that the result of 7.5 follows logically from the question being asked, when in fact many other results were possible. To fix this, we simply remove the word “therefore.”

Starting a sentence with also , and , or so

While the words “also,” “and,” and “so” are used in academic writing, they are considered too informal when used at the start of a sentence.

To fix this issue, we can either move the transition word to a different point in the sentence or use a more formal alternative.

Transition words creating sentence fragments

Words like “although” and “because” are called subordinating conjunctions . This means that they introduce clauses which cannot stand on their own. A clause introduced by one of these words should always follow or be followed by another clause in the same sentence.

The second sentence in this example is a fragment, because it consists only of the “although” clause.

We can fix this in two different ways. One option is to combine the two sentences into one using a comma. The other option is to use a different transition word that does not create this problem, like “however.”

And vs. as well as

Students often use the phrase “ as well as ” in place of “and,” but its usage is slightly different. Using “and” suggests that the things you’re listing are of equal importance, while “as well as” introduces additional information that is less important.

In this example, the analysis is more important than the background information. To fix this mistake, we can use “and,” or we can change the order of the sentence so that the most important information comes first. Note that we add a comma before “as well as” but not before “and.”

Note that in fixed phrases like “both x and y ,” you must use “and,” not “as well as.”

Use of and/or

The combination of transition words “and/or” should generally be avoided in academic writing. It makes your text look messy and is usually unnecessary to your meaning.

First consider whether you really do mean “and/or” and not just “and” or “or.” If you are certain that you need both, it’s best to separate them to make your meaning as clear as possible.

Archaic transition words

Words like “hereby,” “therewith,” and most others formed by the combination of “here,” “there,” or “where” with a preposition are typically avoided in modern academic writing. Using them makes your writing feel old-fashioned and strained and can sometimes obscure your meaning.

These words should usually be replaced with a more explicit phrasing expressing how the current statement relates to the preceding one.

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Caulfield, J. (2023, March 15). Transition Words & Phrases | List & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved April 29, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/academic-writing/transition-words/

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Linking Words – Full List, Examples & Worksheet

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| Candace Osmond

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

Worried that your essay lacks structure and coherence? Perhaps you should use linking words, transition words, or connectors to give it a boost.

Linking words join separate sentences to improve writing flow. You can also find them mid-sentence to connect clauses.

Read on as I show you the definition and types of linking words in English. I also list examples of linking words under every category, and I whipped up a helpful worksheet to test your skills.

What Are Linking Words?

Grammarist Article Graphic V4 77

Linking words, transition words, or connecting words in the English language help connect ideas and sentences when speaking or writing.

Linking words and phrases are connectors or transitional phrases. They are also part of formal language, so you’ll find them in academic writing, opinion writing, critical essays, dialectic essays , journalism, and business documents.

Some linking verbs link clauses within a sentence, such as although, in case, and whatever. That means you can find them in the middle of sentences from time to time. Others link two complete sentences, such as besides, as a result, and however.

List of Transition Words

Now that you know the meaning of transition words, let’s look at the usage of transition words in sentences and clauses. Don’t worry, I’ll break it all down for you!

Below, I’ve got a list of linking words and phrases to serve as alternative choices for connecting ideas in writing. Note that there are several types of transition words which we will discuss later.


Linking words may help the reader understand additional comments or ideas in a statement. They may also express agreement or similarities. These words are also called additive transition words, commonly found in expository essays and narrative essays.

Here are some examples of additive linking words in a sentence.

Negative Ideas

Some linking words come in pairs to join negative ideas.

Here are sentence examples of linking words showing negative ideas.


Whereas some linking words show an extra idea, these transition phrases and words express contrasting ideas in writing.

Here are some sentences with linking words of opposition.

Some linking words show relationships between ideas by accepting an idea with reservation instead of showing complete opposition. Here are some examples.

Here are some sentence examples.


You may also use linking words in your writing piece to show conditions and purpose for a logical flow of ideas. Words like reason get the reader ready to understand why. These words are commonly found in hypothesis essays.


You can also use transition words in your piece of writing that show examples or support of an idea.


Grammarist Article Graphic V4 78

You might also spot transitional devices for essays that show consequences, results, and effects.

Consider the examples below.


These words and phrases show transitions between sentences to show conclusions. You’ll find these words in essay conclusions of different essay types.

Note that in lay terms and in explanation are formal alternative choices to “ in a nutshell.”

Here are some examples.


Linking words’ other role in writing is to show sequence or chronology. Under the time category, these phrases add a meaning of time. You can find these words in an essay introduction when the writer explains how the paper is structured.


The following transition words are famous adverbial expressions that limit or modify space. Some of these words and phrases are also transition words of time.

Below are sentence examples using transition words of space.

Common Mistakes With Transition Words

Transition words help you create a flow of arguments for readers to understand what you’re saying. But misused transition words and phrases will make your writing unclear. Avoid these mistakes to give your readers a better experience.

Starting a Sentence With So, And, and Also

Both so and and are coordinating conjunctions, which means they can start independent clauses that stand on their own. But it’s not recommended to use these words and also as sentence starters in formal writing. For example:

Combination of Transition Words And/Or

When writing an essay, avoid English transition words and/or because it makes your paper look messy. Instead, consider whether you need both connectors or only one of them. If you need them both, try this alternative.

Using As Well As as Alternative to And

As well as has a different meaning from the transition word and. And means you’re listing something of equal importance. Meanwhile, as well as is for additional, less essential information. Here’s an example.

Archaic Words

Your writing may not make any sense to readers if you overuse archaic transition words like therewith .

For example, hereby means as a result. We can replace it with more modern and explicit phrasing expressing how the current statement is connected to the previous statement.

Linking Words Summary

A linking word is a term that connects different ideas in your text, whether they are contrasting, supporting, or adding. They can improve your writing and help it flow better, I promise!

Regardless of the style of writing, every piece of writing contains linking words to show perfect transitions. I hope my guide on the definition and list of transitions helps you use these words and phrases correctly. Memorize each category, and don’t overuse them in essays.


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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.

These words and phrases indicate the direction, order and flow of ideas. Significantly, they strengthen the quality and structure of your work.

Linking/Transition Words

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).

Additional comments or ideas additionally; also; moreover; furthermore; again; further; then; besides; too; similarly; correspondingly; indeed; regarding.

whereas; conversely; in comparison; by contrast; another view is…;

alternatively; although; otherwise; instead.

Analysing results

therefore; accordingly; as a result of; the result is/results are; the consequence is; resulting from; consequently; it can be seen; evidence illustrates that; because of this; thus; hence; for this reason; owing to x; this suggests that; it follows that; otherwise; in that case; that implies;

Author (year) suggests that;

Cause / Reason as a result of; because ( )
Compare compared with; in the same way; likewise
Contrast by contrast; although; compared with; conversely; despite; however, nevertheless; yet
Effect / Result As a result; therefore; thus
Emphasising earlier statements

however; nonetheless; furthermore; in the final analysis; despite x; notwithstanding x; in spite of x; while x may be true, nonetheless

although; though; after all; at the same time; even if x is true; count

Introducing examples for example; for instance; namely; such as; as follows; as exemplified by; such as; including; especially; particularly; in particular; notably; mainly;
Re-phrasing in other terms; rather; or; better; in view of this; in contrast
Sequencing first (ly); second (ly); third (ly); another; additionally; finally moreover; also; subsequently; eventually; next; then
Summary or Conclusion in conclusion; therefore; to conclude; on the whole; hence; thus to summarise; altogether; overall; …following the research of…after analysis

Linking words: conjunctions

Linking words within a sentence  are referred to as coordinating conjunctions.  Do not worry about the term: think about the function.

for connects a reason to a result
and connects equal and similar ideas
nor connects two negative ideas
but connects equal but different ideas
or connects two equal choices
yet connects equal and contrasting ideas
so connects a result to a reason

Conciseness / redundant words

Microsoft Word now has an additional feature within the Edito r - it is called conciseness or wordiness.  

Examples:  try to replace phrases with a single words which mean the same.

Instead of ... Use ...
employed the use of  used
basic fundamentals fundamentals
alternative choices alternatives
in as few words as possible concisely
look into investigate
put on gained
turned down rejected
got better improved
hit and miss erratic
in spite of although

Need to know more...

Additional resources to help you to improve your confidence and grades:-

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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Linking words for essays – full list with pdf

Linking words for essays serves an important function in academic writing, and can also improve the overall readability of your work.

In almost all essays, you’ll need to use linking words to connect your ideas and thoughts. It shows the flow of logic in your essay and makes it easier for your reader to understand. However, choosing the right linking word can be tricky — especially if you are a beginner.

Transitional expressions help the reader follow along with your story. They provide context for the reader and help them follow the order of events. Linking words can also help your writing flow more smoothly.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common transitional words and phrases for essays used in academic essays and assignments, how they work, and when they should be used.

Linking words for essays – full list PDF Download

linking words for essays list with pdf

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75 linking words for academic writing (+examples)

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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.

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.

4. Subsequently

Example: Study participants underwent several experiments and were subsequently examined.

5. Afterwards

Example: The event increased public awareness of this issue. Afterwards, politicians debated it more openly.

6. Eventually

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…

8. Previously

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.

10. Furthermore

Example: Furthermore, the data illustrates the number of chemicals that can be found in drinking water.

11. Additionally

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.

13. Besides

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.

15. Moreover

Example: Moreover, interviewees were asked to describe their own experiences.

You may also like: How to paraphrase a quote: 4 simple strategies

16. Because

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.

20. Therefore

Example: Many researchers have conducted this experiment with similar results. Therefore, this theory can be debunked.

21. Consequently

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.

23. Nevertheless

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…

25. Although

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.

27. Whereas

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…

30. Similarly

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.

31. Equally

Example: E qually important, however, is the role of personal beliefs in decision-making processes.

32. Likewise

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.

35. Particularly

Example: Particularly relevant for this study is the molecular orbital theory.

36. Especially

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.

38. Clearly

Example: Clearly, these scholars were not aware of recent advances in medical sciences.

39. Definitely

Example: This was definitely the most important event of the year.

40. Importantly

Example: More importantly, the findings underscore the importance of conflict resolution.

41. Undoubtedly

Example: Undoubtedly, all stakeholders had good intentions.

42. Obviously

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.

44. Surprisingly

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.

55. Altogether

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.

65. Commonly

Example: Commonly, this criterion is used for categorising plants.

66. Overall

Example: Overall the data confirmed the hypothesis.

67. Typically

Example: Typically emotions run high in such situations.

68. Generally

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.

74. Admittedly

Example: Admittedly, the validity of this study should be increased.

75. Nonetheless

Example: Nonetheless, this study can be seen as a valuable contribution to the international literature.

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IELTS Writing Task 1 and Task 2 – Linking Words (with PDF)

IELTS linking words PDF - image by Magoosh

Just how important are linkers for IELTS? When it comes to Writing Task 1 and Writing Task 2, connecting words for IELTS are incredibly important. Overall, they’ll have a significant impact on your band descriptor—in other words, on your IELTS scores. So how do you use IELTS writing linking words well? I’ll show you how in this IELTS linking words PDF!

IELTS Linking Words PDF

Magoosh IELTS Linking Words - Get the PDF

Once you’ve downloaded the IELTS linking words PDF , come back to this post to read on. In this post, we’ll look at linkers for IELTS and how you can use connecting words for IELTS tasks to boost your score.

Table of Contents

How to use linking words for ielts writing task 1, how to use linking words for ielts writing task 2, connecting words for both ielts tasks.

Practice with Linking Words for Writing Task 2

Using the ielts linking words pdf, the function of linking words in ielts writing.

The IELTS Writing exam is marked on four criteria : grammar and sentence structure; vocabulary usage; answering the task response; and coherence and cohesion. Each makes up 25% of the overall score. Often, when I read an essay by an ESL student, I’m impressed by their range of vocabulary and their expert grammar use, but disappointed about how incoherently one sentence flows to the next.

In other words? They need more connecting words for IELTS’s higher band descriptors!

To develop coherence and cohesion, we need to use a variety of phrases to link one idea to the next, so that the reader can follow your thinking. How you’ll do this should vary according to the task type that you’re approaching. Take a look at IELTS band descriptors 1 and 2 , then see how to use linkers for IELTS below!

On IELTS Task 1 , you’ll write a report based on two visuals (think: charts and graphs ). You’ll need connecting words for IELTS Task 1 to:

For IELTS Task 2 , you’ll write an extended response to a prompt. In this case, you’ll need linkers for IELTS Task 2 to:

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Even though the two IELTS Writing tasks are very different, you’ll still need to structure your responses with an introduction in either case. And a conclusion could potentially be used in both tasks as well, although conclusions are optional in IELTS Academic Writing Task 1. (See our article on Writing Task 1 Academic paragraph structure for details.) Because of this, IELTS Writing linking words that will help you on both tasks are those that:

Categories of Linkers for IELTS Writing

With all of that in mind, let’s take a look at several series of linking words to help you on test day! You can also download these in the IELTS linking words PDF to return to for reinforcement.

While most of these words can be used in either task, I’ve put asterisks (*) by different words that are particularly good for Task 1 or Task 2. Here’s the key:

* Especially good linking words for IELTS Writing Task 1 (Academic) ** Especially good IELTS Writing Task 2 linking words (Note, however, that any of these phrase categories can be pretty useful in either essay!)






Ready to put your knowledge from the IELTS linking words PDF to the test? Here are some exercises you can use to practice using linkers for IELTS!

Practice with IELTS Linking Words for Writing Task 1

You can find the prompt for this question here !

These graphics highlight several key trends. (1) ________, in general terms, slightly more than half the population owned computers in 2002. (2) ________, that number rose to roughly 75% over the next eight years. (3)________, these numbers varied by group. (4)________, postgraduates were always ahead of the general population: roughly three-quarters of postgraduates owned computers in 2002, that figure rose to nearly 95% by 2010. (5)________, those who had not finished high school began with only a 15% computer ownership rate, which increased to about 45% after eight years.

(1) Firstly/First of all/To start with

(2) However/But/Nevertheless

(3) On the other hand/However/But/Nevertheless

(4) Any example linking word would work here except “such as,” because this is the beginning of a sentence.

linking words for essays pdf

(1)________, young people need freedom to make choices, especially when it comes to their careers. Deep down, some parents may want their children to choose prestigious careers, or jobs that will impact society in some way. These wishes are normal and not necessarily harmful. (2)________, it can be problematic if these desires turn into firm expectations. (3)________, offering a child freedom does not imply that parents should be absent. Parents should strive to foster open communication about career decisions. (4)_______, if Tim’s aspirations do not line up with his parents’ wishes, he may, (5) _______ fear that approaching them could lead to judgement and confrontation.

(1) Any opinion linking word or phrase would work here except for “I concur that” or “I agree that,” because this is the first idea introduced in the essay.

(2) Admittedly,

(3) However,/But/On the other hand,/Nevertheless,

The best way to improve your use of IELTS Writing linking words is to practice repeatedly, checking your work thoroughly each time. With the IELTS Linking Words PDF, we’ve made this easy for you!

In the IELTS linking words PDF, you’ll find the key information from this post. This includes the lists of linking words, which task(s) each word is best for, and practice using linking words using the exercises below!

Incorporating IELTS Writing linking words into your practice by using the PDF regularly will help you achieve greater fluency for test day–and help you boost your band score. Make it a regular part of your practice! And be sure to read up on the whole IELTS Writing section, so you can study for the test effectively. Magoosh has a complete guide to IELTS Writing that can help.

By the way, improve your IELTS score with Magoosh!

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Eliot Friesen

Eliot Friesen-Meyers is the Senior Curriculum Manager for Magoosh IELTS and TOEFL. He attended Goshen College (B.A.), New York University (M.A.), and Harvard University (M.T.S.), gaining experience and skills in curriculum development, ESOL instruction, online teaching and learning, and IELTS and TOEFL test prep education. Eliot's teaching career started with Literacy Americorps in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and later, taught ESL programs at Northeastern University, University of California-Irvine, and Harold Washington College. Eliot was also a speaker at the 2019 TESOL International Conference . With over 10 years of experience, he understands the challenges students face and loves helping them overcome those challenges. Come join Eliot on Youtube , Facebook , and Instagram . Recent blog posts Complete Guide to IELTS Writing Task 1 Complete Guide to IELTS Writing Task 2

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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.

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:

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:

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.

in the first place



in like manner


of course

in the same fashion/way



not to mention


just as… so too

apart from this


not only … but also


as well as

in addition



first, second, third



to say nothing of


along with



as a matter of fact


together with

coupled with



in the light of




by the same token


coupled with

not to mention

Linking words for contrast is your instrument to show how things are different and provide counterarguments. They work best in  persuasive  and  critical  essays.




in contrast/in comparison




differing from

even so

although this may be true




be that as it may


although / even though


on the other hand

on the contrary


in opposition



different from

at the same time

even though

then again




despite / in spite of

as opposed to


contrary to




of course …, but


above all

in reality

after all

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.




compare(d) to / with

not only…but also



in a similar manner

in common

still another

although this may be true


on the condition that

only if


all the same

even though




just as

just like

as with


by the same token

in like manner

in the same way

because of

even if

given that





and still

and yet



similar to

same as





most important



granted that


in that case




be that as it may

even if

even so

up to a point

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.

I mean

in explanation

in lay terms

to clearly define

to explain

in other words

in simple terms

simply put

to put it clearly

to put it in another way

simply stated

that is to say

to break it down

to simplify

to make plain

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.


in case

granted (that) … then

for the purpose of


so that

in the hope that


due to

in view of




provided that

as/so long as


with this intention


so as to

to the end that

for fear that

because of


as a result

as a consequence (of)

for this reason


given that

on (the) condition (that)

only/even if

with this in mind


owing to

inasmuch as

in order to

as seeing / being that






These words are for putting forward your point more forcefully, providing examples.




for instance

that is (i.e.)

such as




it should be noted



to repeat

on the negative side


on the positives side

to enumerate

another key point

first thing to remember

to emphasize

to put it another way




in fact








of course

particularly / in particular


with this in mind

point often overlooked


to explain

by all means


in this case

to demonstrate

for this reason

particularly / in particular


for example

to illustrate

above all


in detail

in truth




to clarify

with attention

without a doubt


most compelling evidence


that is to say

with attention to


for one thing

as an illustration

to be sure

Perfect transition words for hypothesis essays , generalization lexical items serve to make a general statement you’ll then specify and prove in detail.

as a rule

broadly speaking





for the most part

generally speaking

in general/ generally




in most cases


more often than not

on the whole


These words and phrases are for you to provide examples in essays.

as an example of

for example/ for instance

for one thing



on this occasion

illustrated by

in another case

in the case of

proof of this


such as

in this case

in this situation


to demonstrate

to clarify

to simplify

Use these words to provide order and reference or clarify spatial relationships between your points or ideas.

in the middle



on this side



in the foreground





adjacent to



to the left/right



in the distance



in the background




opposite to



at the rear

in front of



here and there



in the center of






on top/on bottom


These transitional words will help you demonstrate relationships between ideas and provide reasons for what and why has started or occurred.

because of

for the purpose of

given that

seeing that

so that

with this in mind

as applied to

as far as


the fact that

granted that

in fact

in order to

with this intention

with this purpose



in connection to

in terms

with regards to

in view of

owing to

provided that





speaking about/of

with respect to

examples of these might be:

Use these words in your essay when you need to indicate the time and order of what you say.

at the present time



at the same time



in due time


first, second

as long as


in the meantime

by the time

in the first place





from time to time



up to the present time



until now


in time


straight away

in a moment


all of a sudden





sooner or later



to begin with



as soon as


prior to


without delay


at this instant

now that





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.

as can be seen

after all


all things considered

in conclusion

by and large

given these points

in essence

in any event

for the most part


as noted


generally speaking

in fact


as shown above

in short

to sum up

as has been noted

to summarize

in either case

in the end

as you can see

to conclude

in the final analysis

in summary


in the long run

in brief

on the whole

in a word

on balance

all in all

in the final analysis


given these points


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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Develop cohesion

Linking words are an important way of developing a logical flow of ideas. They act as signposts for the reader so they can follow the way the writer has organised their ideas.

In the text below, notice how the writer uses linking words to develop the flow of their argument.

Do teams in organisations need leaders?

How and why the leader was selected also appears to affect the leader’s effectiveness. For example , Maxwell (2011) asserts that teams work better if they elect their own leader. However , Smith’s research (2010) shows that team leaders are mainly selected on a hierarchical basis. Furthermore , in most cases when leaders were not elected democratically, team members reported a lack of confidence in their leaders’ competence and knowledge.

How and why the leader was selected also appears to affect the leader’s effectiveness. [linking word: For example], Maxwell (2011) asserts that teams work better if they elect their own leader. [linking word: However], Smith’s research (2010) shows that team leaders are mainly selected on a hierarchical basis. [linkin word: Furthermore], in most cases when leaders were not elected democratically, team members reported a lack of confidence in their leaders’ competence and knowledge.

Show connections between the ideas

Linking words enable the writer to show the connections between ideas. In the next example, notice how the use of linking words emphasises the writer’s analysis of their research.

One factor within the team that seems to be important is the notion of team cohesiveness. Significantly , team cohesiveness enables a diverse group of individuals to work towards common goals. Maxwell (2011, p.107) argues that highly cohesive teams ‘have clear goals and successful outcomes’. For example , cohesive teams are more likely to work well together, have enthusiasm for their work (Brown 2009) and so achieve a high rate of success (Zheng & Hui 2008). Therefore , team cohesiveness has been shown to enhance team effectiveness.

One factor within the team that seems to be important is the notion of team cohesiveness. [linking word: Significantly], team cohesiveness enables a diverse group of individuals to work towards common goals. Maxwell (2011, p.107) argues that highly cohesive teams ‘have clear goals and successful outcomes’. [linking word: For example], cohesive teams are more likely to work well together, have enthusiasm for their work (Brown 2009) and so achieve a high rate of success (Zheng & Hui 2008). [linking word: Therefore], team cohesiveness has been shown to enhance team effectiveness.

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Linking Words To Use In An Essay

Linking Words List

Table of Contents

Linking words are those words that showcase a connection between sentences. Linking words help in forming the uniformity in the essay. These words are also known as transition words and used to show a relation among paragraphs or different sections in an essay. As the name suggests, Linking words bridge the gap between the ideas or concepts written in the essays. Your text seems to be more cohesive with the usage of linking words. Use proper linking words to reduce the reading efforts of the readers. Readers don’t want to take mental stress in understanding your essay. Therefore, it is necessary to make things easy for them.

Different types of linking words in an essay

It is not an easy task to compose a compelling essay. If you want to make your essay more appealing and expressive, then focus on three things, first is research, presentation and persuasion. If you don’t have a knack for writing, then you will fail miserably in forming a cohesive essay with judicial use of linking words.

Linking words play an important role in any type of essay. Without linking words, the information presented in an essay is just a dump of words. If you don’t want your essay to be clunky and disjointed one, use linking words and phrases correctly.

There are various categories of linking words one can use while writing an essay. Today in this blog, you will read 8 main categories and linking words list to be used while framing an essay. So here are 8 types of linking words to be used in an essay:

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Linking words list for order and sequence


Flow is necessary for any type of essay. If there is an absence of flow of ideas, thoughts or logic in your essay, it will lose its glory. Here is a linking words list that helps by showing a sequence order in the essay.

Linking words list to show a comparison


In various types of essays such as argumentative essay writing, compare and contrast essay writing, you might need to show comparison. Read different comparative essay examples to understand the role of these words in making a comparison. Therefore, you can follow the following words to make the comparison more clear. Here is a linking words list to show comparison:

Linking words list for contrasting

Just like the way you need linking words to show comparison, there are words that are used to show the contrast as well. Here is a of linking words list to show contrast:

Illustrating an example linking words list

Almost all types of essays require evidence or some examples to prove a specific point of view. But just telling an example may sound blunt. That is why we use linking words to show examples in a beautified manner. Have a look at the linking words list:

Linking words list for additions


If you want to add some more information you can use addition linking words to convey the right meaning. Using “also” or “and” everywhere in the essay can take the charm away. So here is a linking words list you can use to while adding new information.

Cause and effect linking words list

In any essay, if you want to draw a rational conclusion, you need to use cause and effect words. This makes a good connection of the whole essay with a conclusion. Use these linking words in an essay to show the cause and effect relationship.

Linking words list to Conclude

A good essay is one that is having a good conclusion. While most of the students use almost the same words to conclude their essays, here you have the chance to conclude the essay with some good words. Look at the linking words list for an excellent conclusion:

As you can see there are 8 main types of linking word categories that can be used while writing an essay. For more understanding visit smartwords.org .

But just using these words is not enough. You need to adjust and position them correctly or else, they will fail to tempt the readers.

In the next paragraph, I will be showing how to use these words in the sentences.

How to position linking or transition words in an essay

Using linking words correctly in an essay is not rocket science. You can learn it easily, all you need is the focus while writing an essay. There are three ways or I should say positions where you can fit your connecting words or linking words. 

The first position is: At the beginning of the sentence

You can start a sentence with a linking word that provides a reference to the previous point. Have a look at some examples to understand more clearly.

The second position is: In the middle of the sentence

In an essay, you can use linkings words in the middle of the sentences as well. Usually, we write it after the subject. Learn how to use through the following examples.

The third position is: At the end of the sentence

At times you can use the connection or linking words at the end of the essay. It makes sense, you can see that in the following sentences.

I hope the above-mentioned information will help you to understand the correct use of linking words in an essay. For more help, you can visit Englishathome.com and learn more about the words to use in essays.

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Common Linking Words For Essays

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SEQUENCE First of all, firstly, secondly, second, thirdly, next, last. In conclusion, to sum up One…., Another…. On one hand, on the other hand

ADDITION In addition (to this), Also, furthermore, as well as moreover, besides

CAUSE For this reason, since, because of this, as, because

EFFECT So, hence, thus, due to Therefore, consequently, as a result

EMPHASIS Undoubtedly, Obviously, Clearly, Particularly, Generally Indeed, In fact, Especially, Admittedly

COMPARISON Similarly, Likewise Also, too, just as, like, the same as not only...but also, to compare with.

CONTRAST However, Although, Even though, though Nevertheless, Despite, In spite of On the other hand But

EXAMPLE For example, for instance Such as Namely, That is Including Writing part2

20 points Content: 5 Communicative achievement: 5 Language: 5 Organisation: 5

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