Linking Words In Essays

18 Categories of Linking Words to Use in Your Essays

by Owen Fourie

When you write an essay or a speech, aim to have a logical flow in your ideas. This is essential. Your thoughts must hold together as a logically ordered and related whole.

The tools that help you to do this are linking or transitional words and phrases. They are used to join sentence parts to each other, to connect sentences to sentences, and to bridge paragraphs to paragraphs.

The purpose of this article is simply to list, in eighteen categories, the linking words and phrases that are used to accomplish the required flow. Commas are used here to separate the different words and phrases.

Please use this list as a guide and a reference point, but know that it is by no means exhaustive. More categories and linking words and phrases could be added.

How to choose the right linking or transition word

Simply because a word is listed here as a linking or transition word does not mean that it is the right word for you to use in a particular context; therefore, when you are looking for a transition word, it is important to take the following steps:

  1. Decide what function your transition word must fulfill by asking the kind of question that you’ll see in the section about categories below.
  2. Choose a word from the category that fits the function you require.
  3. Consult your dictionary to be sure that the word you have chosen bears a meaning that fits precisely what you intend as you move from one thought to another. To verify a phrase, this link could be useful, but it can also be frustrating: http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/
  4. Guard your writing against overused transition and linking words that could be regarded as clichés.

About the categories

The following categories appear as nouns in boldface. Some linking words appear in several categories because they cannot be confined to only one class.

Ask yourself: What do I need to do at this point in my essay?

  • Do I need to provide reinforcement? Look under Addition;
  • Do I need to clarify something? Look under Clarification;
  • Do I need to demonstrate similarity? Look under Comparison;
  • Do I need to concede a point? Look under Concession, and so on.

If you have in mind a particular category that seems to be unlisted here, look again to see if its associated words and phrases appear under another label. For instance, the words for Cause may be found under Reason, those for Condition under Contingency, and those for Purpose under Suggestion.

Transition or linking words in 18 categories

Addition (reinforcing preceding material)

additionally, again, along with, also, and, another, another key point, apart from, as well as, besides, coupled with, equally important, for example, for instance, further, furthermore, however, in addition, in addition to, incidentally, in fact, in the same way, likewise, moreover, not only … but also, not to mention, otherwise, similarly, therefore, thus, together with, too, to say nothing of, with this in mind

Clarification (making the preceding material clearer)

for example, for instance, in other words, put another way, that is, that is to say, to clarify, to explain, to put it another way, to put it differently

Comparison (showing how various points of the subject matter are similar)

by the same token, comparatively, correspondingly, in comparison, in like manner, in the same manner, in the same way, like, likewise, similarly

Concession (giving place to opposing views)

although, at any rate, at least, despite, despite the fact that, even so, even though, granted that, however, in any case, in spite of, nevertheless, of course, while it may be true, yet

Conclusion (summarizing and restating preceding material)

accordingly, after all, all in all, all things considered, as a result, as can be seen, as has been noted, as shown above, briefly, consequently, finally, given these points, hence, in a word, in brief, in conclusion, in essence, in short, in summary, in the long run, on the whole, overall, therefore, thus, to conclude, to summarize, to sum up

Consequence (showing results and effects of completed or proposed action)

accordingly, as a consequence, as a result, consequently, due to this, for this reason, hence, in that case, so, therefore, thereupon, this means that, thus, under those circumstances, with the result that

Contingency (allowing for and preparing for possibilities)

as long as, contingent on, contingent upon, dependent on, dependent upon, in case of, in the event of, in the event that, on condition that, provided that

Contrast (showing how various points of the subject matter are different, or expressing reservations about them)

albeit, although, although this may be true, but, by the same token, contrarily, conversely, despite, however, in any event, in contrast, in spite of, instead, in theory … in practice, nevertheless, nonetheless, notwithstanding, on the contrary, on the one hand … on the other hand, otherwise, rather, regardless of, unlike, whereas, while, while this is true, while this may be true, yet

Detail (expanding on any point in the material)

especially, including, in detail, in particular, namely, specifically, to enumerate, to explain, to list

Digression (introducing, briefly, a related and interesting but non-essential point)

by the way, incidentally

Direction (showing how parts of the subject matter are related in space)

above, across, adjacent to, against, along, alongside, along the edge, amid, among, around, at the back, at the bottom, at the front, at the left, at the rear, at the right, at the side, at the top, away from, before, behind, below, beneath, beside, between, beyond, by, down, here, in front of, inside, in the background, in the center, in the distance, in the forefront, in the foreground, in the front, into, near, nearby, nearer, nearly, next to, off, on this side, on top, opposite, out of sight, outside, over, straight ahead, surrounding, there, throughout, to the left, to the right, under, wherever, within sight

Emphasis (reinforcing preceding material)

above all, actually, after all, again, also, as a matter of fact, besides, by all means, certainly, chiefly, especially, for this reason, furthermore, in addition, indeed, in fact, in reality, in truth, markedly, most importantly, obviously, of course, particularly, really, significantly, singularly, surely, to emphasize, to point out, to repeat, truly, undoubtedly, with attention to

Example (supporting preceding material)

as an example, as an illustration, chiefly, especially, for example, for instance, for one thing, including, in other words, in particular, like, markedly, namely, notably, particularly, specifically, such as, thus, to demonstrate, to illustrate

Exception (noting exclusion, objection, criticism, variance)

apart from, aside from, barring, besides, be that as it may, but, except, excepting, except that, excluding, exclusive of, other than, save, unless

Generalization (giving an overall perspective)

as a rule, as usual, by and large, for the most part, generally, generally speaking, in general, on the whole, ordinarily, overall, usually

Reason (supporting the points of the material with valid arguments)

as, because, because of, by reason of, due to the fact that, for the reason that, given that, granted that, inasmuch as, in order to, in view of, on account of, owing to the fact that, seeing that, since

Sequence (giving order to the material)

after, after a few hours, afterward, afterwards, all of a sudden, another, as soon as, at, at first, at last, at length, at once, at the present time, at the same time, before, concurrently, currently, during, earlier, eventually, finally, first, second, third, etc., first of all, following, formerly, for now, for the time being, forthwith, frequently, henceforth, immediately, in conclusion, in due time, instantly, in the first place, in the future, in the meantime, in time, in turn, last, lastly, later, later on, meanwhile, next, next week, now, occasionally, once, presently, previously, prior to, quickly, shortly, simultaneously, since, soon, soon after, straightaway, subsequently, suddenly, the first point is, the following, the former … the latter, then, the next step, thereafter, till, to begin with, today, etc., until, until now, up to the present time, when, whenever, while, without delay

Suggestion (proposing purposeful action for the benefit of all concerned)

for the purpose of, for this purpose, in order to, in the hope that, therefore, to the end that, to this end, with this in mind, with this intention, with this purpose in mind

Punctuation

If any of these words and phrases are used to begin a sentence, they are normally followed by a comma. When transitional words are used to join independent clauses, a preceding semicolon and a following comma are required.

Examples of punctuation for transitional words and phrases are given in a separate article: 7 Punctuation Guidelines to Follow When You Use Transition Words.

—–

Are there other categories and words that you think should be included here? Your comments, observations, and questions are welcome.

Here are more articles to help you with English words, grammar, and essay writing.

Copyright © 2012 by English Essay Writing Tips www.englishessaywritingtips.com


It is a good idea to occasionally use linking words and phrases at the start of a new paragraph. They can help to link what you have said in the previous paragraph to what you are about to say in your new paragraph.

These link words and phrases are often referred to as signposts. This is because they help to indicate to the reader when one point ends and other begins, as well as the relationship between each point.

Used with care, they can help to guide examiners and tutors through your essay. As well as bolster the impression of a coherent, flowing and logical piece of work.

Useful linking words and phrases that can be used at the start of new paragraphs:

A contrary explanation is that, …

Although, …

As a consequence, …

As a result, …

As we have seen, …

At the same time, …

Accordingly, …

An equally significant aspect of…

Another, significant factor in…

Before considering X it is important to note Y

By the same token, …

But we should also consider, …

Despite these criticisms, …it’s popularity remains high.

Certainly, there is no shortage of disagreement within…

Consequently, …

Correspondingly, …

Conversely, …

Chaytor, … in particular, has focused on the

Despite this, …

Despite these criticisms, … the popularity of X remains largely undiminished.

Each of these theoretical positions make an important contribution to our understanding of, …

Evidence for in support of this position, can be found in…,

Evidently,

For this reason, …

For these reasons, …

Furthermore, …

Given, the current high profile debate with regard to, …it is quite surprising that …

Given, the advantages of … outlined in the previous paragraph, …it is quite predictable that …

However, …

Having considered X, it is also reasonable to look at …

Hence, …

In addition to, …

In contrast, …

In this way, …

In this manner, …

In the final analysis, …

In short, …

Indeed, …

It can be seen from the above analysis that, …

It could also be said that, …

It is however, important to note the limitations of…

It is important to note however, that …

It is important however not to assume the applicability of, …in all cases.

It is important however not to overemphasis the strengths of …

In the face of such criticism, proponents of, …have responded in a number of ways.

Moreover, …

Notwithstanding such criticism, ….it’s popularity remains largely undiminished.

Notwithstanding these limitations, ….it worth remains in a number of situations.

Noting the compelling nature of this new evidence, …has suggested that.

Nevertheless, …remains a growing problem.

Nonetheless, the number of, …has continued to expand at an exponential rate.

Despite these criticisms, …it’s popularity remains high.

On the other hand, critics of, …point to its blindness, with respect to.

Of central concern therefore to, …sociologists is explaining how societal processes and institutions…

Proponents of…, have also suggested that…

Subsequently, …

Similarly, …

The sentiment expressed in the quotation, embodies the view that, …

This interpretation of, … has not been without it’s detractors however.

This approach is similar to the, …. position

This critique, unfortunately, implies a singular cause of, …

This point is also sustained by the work of, …

Thirdly, …

This counter argument is supported by evidence from, …

The use of the term, …

Therefore, …

There appears then to be an acceleration in the growth of

There is also, however, a further point to be considered.

These technological developments have greatly increased the growth in, …

Thus, …

To be able to understand, …

Undoubtedly, …

While such failures must not be discounted, … there were in comparison small, when compared

Whilst the discussion in the preceding paragraph, …

Whether crime rates were actually lower at this time continues to be a matter of debate. Evidence from…

There are an almost limitless number of linking phrases and words one can use. What is important is that they complement the style of your writing.

Use these examples to arouse your creativity.

Remember that you don’t have to use them all the time. Using words like, ‘therefore’ ‘subsequently’ ‘moreover’ etc. for every new paragraph would probably become repetitive and detract from the key component of most academic work – critical analysis.

Finally, remember to succinctly, identify the key paragraphs and/or sections of your essay during your introductory paragraph. Then restate them along side an unambiguous position in your concluding paragraph. Again this will help to communicate a clear and understandable progression and structure, to those who read or mark your essay.

Best wishes.
S J Tonge.

Categories: 1

0 Replies to “Linking Words In Essays”

Leave a comment

L'indirizzo email non verrà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *