Essay Writing Skills Linking Words

Using linking words

Linking words or phrases help you to build a logical argument in your assignment by linking one statement to another. An assignment without linking words reads like a series of unrelated statements with no flow.

Linking words can be used to

  • link the flow of ideas in your writing
  • guide your reader towards the next stage of your argument
  • link paragraphs together.

Which words link these sentences?

Find out how good you are at linking sentences and paragraphs together in this 'linking words' activity. You will need your OU computer username and password to access the activity. (Activity adapted from Coe, N., Ernest, P. and Rycroft, R (1983) Writing Skills. A Problem-Solving Approach, Cambridge University Press.)

Some linking words and phrases

To add a point

  • Also…
  • In addition, …
  • Similarly, …
  • Not only did …, but … also
  • Moreover, …
  • Furthermore, …

To contrast two points

  • However, …
  • Although …
  • On the other hand …
  • Yet, …
  • Nevertheless, …
  • In contrast, …

To illustrate, or to give an example

  • For example, …
  • Clearly, …
  • That is, …
  • …, namely,

To move on to the next point

  • Then, …
  • After this / that …
  • Subsequently, …

To note consequences

  • So, …
  • Therefore, …
  • As a result, …
  • Consequently, …
  • Despite …
  • Since …

To summarise or conclude

  • Finally, …
  • In conclusion, …
  • To conclude, …
  • To summarise, …

To introduce a list of ideas

  • Firstly, … (or 'The first point to note is …')
  • Secondly, … (or 'The second point to note is …')
  • Finally, … (or 'The next point to note is …')

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

Download PDF: Linking Words for IELTS Writing Task 2

Listing

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

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

Adding Information

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

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

Giving Examples

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

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

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

Results and Consequences

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

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

Highlighting and Stressing

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

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

Concessions and Contrasts

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

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

Reasons and Causes

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

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

Giving your Opinion

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

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

Concluding Linkers

  • in conclusion
  • to conclude
  • to sum up

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

Practice with Linking Words

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

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

Answers

Click below to reveal the answers:

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

 

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