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Words to Use in an Essay: 300 Essay Words

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Hannah Yang

words to use in an essay

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Words to use in the essay introduction, words to use in the body of the essay, words to use in your essay conclusion, how to improve your essay writing vocabulary.

It’s not easy to write an academic essay .

Many students struggle to word their arguments in a logical and concise way.

To make matters worse, academic essays need to adhere to a certain level of formality, so we can’t always use the same word choices in essay writing that we would use in daily life.

If you’re struggling to choose the right words for your essay, don’t worry—you’ve come to the right place!

In this article, we’ve compiled a list of over 300 words and phrases to use in the introduction, body, and conclusion of your essay.

The introduction is one of the hardest parts of an essay to write.

You have only one chance to make a first impression, and you want to hook your reader. If the introduction isn’t effective, the reader might not even bother to read the rest of the essay.

That’s why it’s important to be thoughtful and deliberate with the words you choose at the beginning of your essay.

Many students use a quote in the introductory paragraph to establish credibility and set the tone for the rest of the essay.

When you’re referencing another author or speaker, try using some of these phrases:

To use the words of X

According to X

As X states

Example: To use the words of Hillary Clinton, “You cannot have maternal health without reproductive health.”

Near the end of the introduction, you should state the thesis to explain the central point of your paper.

If you’re not sure how to introduce your thesis, try using some of these phrases:

In this essay, I will…

The purpose of this essay…

This essay discusses…

In this paper, I put forward the claim that…

There are three main arguments for…

Phrases to introduce a thesis

Example: In this essay, I will explain why dress codes in public schools are detrimental to students.

After you’ve stated your thesis, it’s time to start presenting the arguments you’ll use to back up that central idea.

When you’re introducing the first of a series of arguments, you can use the following words:

First and foremost

First of all

To begin with

Example: First , consider the effects that this new social security policy would have on low-income taxpayers.

All these words and phrases will help you create a more successful introduction and convince your audience to read on.

The body of your essay is where you’ll explain your core arguments and present your evidence.

It’s important to choose words and phrases for the body of your essay that will help the reader understand your position and convince them you’ve done your research.

Let’s look at some different types of words and phrases that you can use in the body of your essay, as well as some examples of what these words look like in a sentence.

Transition Words and Phrases

Transitioning from one argument to another is crucial for a good essay.

It’s important to guide your reader from one idea to the next so they don’t get lost or feel like you’re jumping around at random.

Transition phrases and linking words show your reader you’re about to move from one argument to the next, smoothing out their reading experience. They also make your writing look more professional.

The simplest transition involves moving from one idea to a separate one that supports the same overall argument. Try using these phrases when you want to introduce a second correlating idea:

Additionally

In addition

Furthermore

Another key thing to remember

In the same way

Correspondingly

Example: Additionally , public parks increase property value because home buyers prefer houses that are located close to green, open spaces.

Another type of transition involves restating. It’s often useful to restate complex ideas in simpler terms to help the reader digest them. When you’re restating an idea, you can use the following words:

In other words

To put it another way

That is to say

To put it more simply

Example: “The research showed that 53% of students surveyed expressed a mild or strong preference for more on-campus housing. In other words , over half the students wanted more dormitory options.”

Often, you’ll need to provide examples to illustrate your point more clearly for the reader. When you’re about to give an example of something you just said, you can use the following words:

For instance

To give an illustration of

To exemplify

To demonstrate

As evidence

Example: Humans have long tried to exert control over our natural environment. For instance , engineers reversed the Chicago River in 1900, causing it to permanently flow backward.

Sometimes, you’ll need to explain the impact or consequence of something you’ve just said.

When you’re drawing a conclusion from evidence you’ve presented, try using the following words:

As a result

Accordingly

As you can see

This suggests that

It follows that

It can be seen that

For this reason

For all of those reasons

Consequently

Example: “There wasn’t enough government funding to support the rest of the physics experiment. Thus , the team was forced to shut down their experiment in 1996.”

Phrases to draw conclusions

When introducing an idea that bolsters one you’ve already stated, or adds another important aspect to that same argument, you can use the following words:

What’s more

Not only…but also

Not to mention

To say nothing of

Another key point

Example: The volcanic eruption disrupted hundreds of thousands of people. Moreover , it impacted the local flora and fauna as well, causing nearly a hundred species to go extinct.

Often, you'll want to present two sides of the same argument. When you need to compare and contrast ideas, you can use the following words:

On the one hand / on the other hand

Alternatively

In contrast to

On the contrary

By contrast

In comparison

Example: On the one hand , the Black Death was undoubtedly a tragedy because it killed millions of Europeans. On the other hand , it created better living conditions for the peasants who survived.

Finally, when you’re introducing a new angle that contradicts your previous idea, you can use the following phrases:

Having said that

Differing from

In spite of

With this in mind

Provided that

Nevertheless

Nonetheless

Notwithstanding

Example: Shakespearean plays are classic works of literature that have stood the test of time. Having said that , I would argue that Shakespeare isn’t the most accessible form of literature to teach students in the twenty-first century.

Good essays include multiple types of logic. You can use a combination of the transitions above to create a strong, clear structure throughout the body of your essay.

Strong Verbs for Academic Writing

Verbs are especially important for writing clear essays. Often, you can convey a nuanced meaning simply by choosing the right verb.

You should use strong verbs that are precise and dynamic. Whenever possible, you should use an unambiguous verb, rather than a generic verb.

For example, alter and fluctuate are stronger verbs than change , because they give the reader more descriptive detail.

Here are some useful verbs that will help make your essay shine.

Verbs that show change:

Accommodate

Verbs that relate to causing or impacting something:

Verbs that show increase:

Verbs that show decrease:

Deteriorate

Verbs that relate to parts of a whole:

Comprises of

Is composed of

Constitutes

Encompasses

Incorporates

Verbs that show a negative stance:

Misconstrue

Verbs that show a negative stance

Verbs that show a positive stance:

Substantiate

Verbs that relate to drawing conclusions from evidence:

Corroborate

Demonstrate

Verbs that relate to thinking and analysis:

Contemplate

Hypothesize

Investigate

Verbs that relate to showing information in a visual format:

Useful Adjectives and Adverbs for Academic Essays

You should use adjectives and adverbs more sparingly than verbs when writing essays, since they sometimes add unnecessary fluff to sentences.

However, choosing the right adjectives and adverbs can help add detail and sophistication to your essay.

Sometimes you'll need to use an adjective to show that a finding or argument is useful and should be taken seriously. Here are some adjectives that create positive emphasis:

Significant

Other times, you'll need to use an adjective to show that a finding or argument is harmful or ineffective. Here are some adjectives that create a negative emphasis:

Controversial

Insignificant

Questionable

Unnecessary

Unrealistic

Finally, you might need to use an adverb to lend nuance to a sentence, or to express a specific degree of certainty. Here are some examples of adverbs that are often used in essays:

Comprehensively

Exhaustively

Extensively

Respectively

Surprisingly

Using these words will help you successfully convey the key points you want to express. Once you’ve nailed the body of your essay, it’s time to move on to the conclusion.

The conclusion of your paper is important for synthesizing the arguments you’ve laid out and restating your thesis.

In your concluding paragraph, try using some of these essay words:

In conclusion

To summarize

In a nutshell

Given the above

As described

All things considered

Example: In conclusion , it’s imperative that we take action to address climate change before we lose our coral reefs forever.

In addition to simply summarizing the key points from the body of your essay, you should also add some final takeaways. Give the reader your final opinion and a bit of a food for thought.

To place emphasis on a certain point or a key fact, use these essay words:

Unquestionably

Undoubtedly

Particularly

Importantly

Conclusively

It should be noted

On the whole

Example: Ada Lovelace is unquestionably a powerful role model for young girls around the world, and more of our public school curricula should include her as a historical figure.

These concluding phrases will help you finish writing your essay in a strong, confident way.

There are many useful essay words out there that we didn't include in this article, because they are specific to certain topics.

If you're writing about biology, for example, you will need to use different terminology than if you're writing about literature.

So how do you improve your vocabulary skills?

The vocabulary you use in your academic writing is a toolkit you can build up over time, as long as you take the time to learn new words.

One way to increase your vocabulary is by looking up words you don’t know when you’re reading.

Try reading more books and academic articles in the field you’re writing about and jotting down all the new words you find. You can use these words to bolster your own essays.

You can also consult a dictionary or a thesaurus. When you’re using a word you’re not confident about, researching its meaning and common synonyms can help you make sure it belongs in your essay.

Don't be afraid of using simpler words. Good essay writing boils down to choosing the best word to convey what you need to say, not the fanciest word possible.

Finally, you can use ProWritingAid’s synonym tool or essay checker to find more precise and sophisticated vocabulary. Click on weak words in your essay to find stronger alternatives.

ProWritingAid offering synonyms for great

There you have it: our compilation of the best words and phrases to use in your next essay . Good luck!

good words in essays

Good writing = better grades

ProWritingAid will help you improve the style, strength, and clarity of all your assignments.

Hannah Yang is a speculative fiction writer who writes about all things strange and surreal. Her work has appeared in Analog Science Fiction, Apex Magazine, The Dark, and elsewhere, and two of her stories have been finalists for the Locus Award. Her favorite hobbies include watercolor painting, playing guitar, and rock climbing. You can follow her work on hannahyang.com, or subscribe to her newsletter for publication updates.

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  • 40 Useful Words and Phrases for Top-Notch Essays

good words in essays

To be truly brilliant, an essay needs to utilise the right language. You could make a great point, but if it’s not intelligently articulated, you almost needn’t have bothered.

Developing the language skills to build an argument and to write persuasively is crucial if you’re to write outstanding essays every time. In this article, we’re going to equip you with the words and phrases you need to write a top-notch essay, along with examples of how to utilise them.

It’s by no means an exhaustive list, and there will often be other ways of using the words and phrases we describe that we won’t have room to include, but there should be more than enough below to help you make an instant improvement to your essay-writing skills.

This article is suitable for native English speakers and those who are  learning English at our Oxford Summer School or San Francisco Summer School and are just taking their first steps into essay writing.

General explaining

Let’s start by looking at language for general explanations of complex points.

1. In order to

Usage: “In order to” can be used to introduce an explanation for the purpose of an argument. Example: “In order to understand X, we need first to understand Y.”

2. In other words

Usage: Use “in other words” when you want to express something in a different way (more simply), to make it easier to understand, or to emphasise or expand on a point. Example: “Frogs are amphibians. In other words, they live on the land and in the water.”

3. To put it another way

Usage: This phrase is another way of saying “in other words”, and can be used in particularly complex points, when you feel that an alternative way of wording a problem may help the reader achieve a better understanding of its significance. Example: “Plants rely on photosynthesis. To put it another way, they will die without the sun.”

4. That is to say

Usage: “That is” and “that is to say” can be used to add further detail to your explanation, or to be more precise. Example: “Whales are mammals. That is to say, they must breathe air.”

5. To that end

Usage: Use “to that end” or “to this end” in a similar way to “in order to” or “so”. Example: “Zoologists have long sought to understand how animals communicate with each other. To that end, a new study has been launched that looks at elephant sounds and their possible meanings.”

Adding additional information to support a point

Students often make the mistake of using synonyms of “and” each time they want to add further information in support of a point they’re making, or to build an argument . Here are some cleverer ways of doing this.

6. Moreover

Usage: Employ “moreover” at the start of a sentence to add extra information in support of a point you’re making. Example: “Moreover, the results of a recent piece of research provide compelling evidence in support of…”

7. Furthermore

Usage:This is also generally used at the start of a sentence, to add extra information. Example: “Furthermore, there is evidence to suggest that…”

8. What’s more

Usage: This is used in the same way as “moreover” and “furthermore”. Example: “What’s more, this isn’t the only evidence that supports this hypothesis.”

9. Likewise

Usage: Use “likewise” when you want to talk about something that agrees with what you’ve just mentioned. Example: “Scholar A believes X. Likewise, Scholar B argues compellingly in favour of this point of view.”

10. Similarly

Usage: Use “similarly” in the same way as “likewise”. Example: “Audiences at the time reacted with shock to Beethoven’s new work, because it was very different to what they were used to. Similarly, we have a tendency to react with surprise to the unfamiliar.”

11. Another key thing to remember

Usage: Use the phrase “another key point to remember” or “another key fact to remember” to introduce additional facts without using the word “also”. Example: “As a Romantic, Blake was a proponent of a closer relationship between humans and nature. Another key point to remember is that Blake was writing during the Industrial Revolution, which had a major impact on the world around him.”

12. As well as

Usage: Use “as well as” instead of “also” or “and”. Example: “Scholar A argued that this was due to X, as well as Y.”

13. Not only… but also

Usage: This wording is used to add an extra piece of information, often something that’s in some way more surprising or unexpected than the first piece of information. Example: “Not only did Edmund Hillary have the honour of being the first to reach the summit of Everest, but he was also appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.”

14. Coupled with

Usage: Used when considering two or more arguments at a time. Example: “Coupled with the literary evidence, the statistics paint a compelling view of…”

15. Firstly, secondly, thirdly…

Usage: This can be used to structure an argument, presenting facts clearly one after the other. Example: “There are many points in support of this view. Firstly, X. Secondly, Y. And thirdly, Z.

16. Not to mention/to say nothing of

Usage: “Not to mention” and “to say nothing of” can be used to add extra information with a bit of emphasis. Example: “The war caused unprecedented suffering to millions of people, not to mention its impact on the country’s economy.”

Words and phrases for demonstrating contrast

When you’re developing an argument, you will often need to present contrasting or opposing opinions or evidence – “it could show this, but it could also show this”, or “X says this, but Y disagrees”. This section covers words you can use instead of the “but” in these examples, to make your writing sound more intelligent and interesting.

17. However

Usage: Use “however” to introduce a point that disagrees with what you’ve just said. Example: “Scholar A thinks this. However, Scholar B reached a different conclusion.”

18. On the other hand

Usage: Usage of this phrase includes introducing a contrasting interpretation of the same piece of evidence, a different piece of evidence that suggests something else, or an opposing opinion. Example: “The historical evidence appears to suggest a clear-cut situation. On the other hand, the archaeological evidence presents a somewhat less straightforward picture of what happened that day.”

19. Having said that

Usage: Used in a similar manner to “on the other hand” or “but”. Example: “The historians are unanimous in telling us X, an agreement that suggests that this version of events must be an accurate account. Having said that, the archaeology tells a different story.”

20. By contrast/in comparison

Usage: Use “by contrast” or “in comparison” when you’re comparing and contrasting pieces of evidence. Example: “Scholar A’s opinion, then, is based on insufficient evidence. By contrast, Scholar B’s opinion seems more plausible.”

21. Then again

Usage: Use this to cast doubt on an assertion. Example: “Writer A asserts that this was the reason for what happened. Then again, it’s possible that he was being paid to say this.”

22. That said

Usage: This is used in the same way as “then again”. Example: “The evidence ostensibly appears to point to this conclusion. That said, much of the evidence is unreliable at best.”

Usage: Use this when you want to introduce a contrasting idea. Example: “Much of scholarship has focused on this evidence. Yet not everyone agrees that this is the most important aspect of the situation.”

Adding a proviso or acknowledging reservations

Sometimes, you may need to acknowledge a shortfalling in a piece of evidence, or add a proviso. Here are some ways of doing so.

24. Despite this

Usage: Use “despite this” or “in spite of this” when you want to outline a point that stands regardless of a shortfalling in the evidence. Example: “The sample size was small, but the results were important despite this.”

25. With this in mind

Usage: Use this when you want your reader to consider a point in the knowledge of something else. Example: “We’ve seen that the methods used in the 19th century study did not always live up to the rigorous standards expected in scientific research today, which makes it difficult to draw definite conclusions. With this in mind, let’s look at a more recent study to see how the results compare.”

26. Provided that

Usage: This means “on condition that”. You can also say “providing that” or just “providing” to mean the same thing. Example: “We may use this as evidence to support our argument, provided that we bear in mind the limitations of the methods used to obtain it.”

27. In view of/in light of

Usage: These phrases are used when something has shed light on something else. Example: “In light of the evidence from the 2013 study, we have a better understanding of…”

28. Nonetheless

Usage: This is similar to “despite this”. Example: “The study had its limitations, but it was nonetheless groundbreaking for its day.”

29. Nevertheless

Usage: This is the same as “nonetheless”. Example: “The study was flawed, but it was important nevertheless.”

30. Notwithstanding

Usage: This is another way of saying “nonetheless”. Example: “Notwithstanding the limitations of the methodology used, it was an important study in the development of how we view the workings of the human mind.”

Giving examples

Good essays always back up points with examples, but it’s going to get boring if you use the expression “for example” every time. Here are a couple of other ways of saying the same thing.

31. For instance

Example: “Some birds migrate to avoid harsher winter climates. Swallows, for instance, leave the UK in early winter and fly south…”

32. To give an illustration

Example: “To give an illustration of what I mean, let’s look at the case of…”

Signifying importance

When you want to demonstrate that a point is particularly important, there are several ways of highlighting it as such.

33. Significantly

Usage: Used to introduce a point that is loaded with meaning that might not be immediately apparent. Example: “Significantly, Tacitus omits to tell us the kind of gossip prevalent in Suetonius’ accounts of the same period.”

34. Notably

Usage: This can be used to mean “significantly” (as above), and it can also be used interchangeably with “in particular” (the example below demonstrates the first of these ways of using it). Example: “Actual figures are notably absent from Scholar A’s analysis.”

35. Importantly

Usage: Use “importantly” interchangeably with “significantly”. Example: “Importantly, Scholar A was being employed by X when he wrote this work, and was presumably therefore under pressure to portray the situation more favourably than he perhaps might otherwise have done.”

Summarising

You’ve almost made it to the end of the essay, but your work isn’t over yet. You need to end by wrapping up everything you’ve talked about, showing that you’ve considered the arguments on both sides and reached the most likely conclusion. Here are some words and phrases to help you.

36. In conclusion

Usage: Typically used to introduce the concluding paragraph or sentence of an essay, summarising what you’ve discussed in a broad overview. Example: “In conclusion, the evidence points almost exclusively to Argument A.”

37. Above all

Usage: Used to signify what you believe to be the most significant point, and the main takeaway from the essay. Example: “Above all, it seems pertinent to remember that…”

38. Persuasive

Usage: This is a useful word to use when summarising which argument you find most convincing. Example: “Scholar A’s point – that Constanze Mozart was motivated by financial gain – seems to me to be the most persuasive argument for her actions following Mozart’s death.”

39. Compelling

Usage: Use in the same way as “persuasive” above. Example: “The most compelling argument is presented by Scholar A.”

40. All things considered

Usage: This means “taking everything into account”. Example: “All things considered, it seems reasonable to assume that…”

How many of these words and phrases will you get into your next essay? And are any of your favourite essay terms missing from our list? Let us know in the comments below, or get in touch here to find out more about courses that can help you with your essays.

At Oxford Royale Academy, we offer a number of  summer school courses for young people who are keen to improve their essay writing skills. Click here to apply for one of our courses today, including law , business , medicine  and engineering .

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ESLBUZZ

100+ Useful Words and Phrases to Write a Great Essay

By: Author Sophia

Posted on Last updated: October 25, 2023

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How to Write a Great Essay in English! This lesson provides 100+ useful words, transition words and expressions used in writing an essay. Let’s take a look!

The secret to a successful essay doesn’t just lie in the clever things you talk about and the way you structure your points.

Useful Words and Phrases to Write a Great Essay

Overview of an essay.

100+ Useful Words and Phrases to Write a Great Essay

Useful Phrases for Proficiency Essays

Developing the argument

  • The first aspect to point out is that…
  • Let us start by considering the facts.
  • The novel portrays, deals with, revolves around…
  • Central to the novel is…
  • The character of xxx embodies/ epitomizes…

The other side of the argument

  • It would also be interesting to see…
  • One should, nevertheless, consider the problem from another angle.
  • Equally relevant to the issue are the questions of…
  • The arguments we have presented… suggest that…/ prove that…/ would indicate that…
  • From these arguments one must…/ could…/ might… conclude that…
  • All of this points to the conclusion that…
  • To conclude…

Ordering elements

  • Firstly,…/ Secondly,…/ Finally,… (note the comma after all these introductory words.)
  • As a final point…
  • On the one hand, …. on the other hand…
  • If on the one hand it can be said that… the same is not true for…
  • The first argument suggests that… whilst the second suggests that…
  • There are at least xxx points to highlight.

Adding elements

  • Furthermore, one should not forget that…
  • In addition to…
  • Moreover…
  • It is important to add that…

Accepting other points of view

  • Nevertheless, one should accept that…
  • However, we also agree that…

Personal opinion

  • We/I personally believe that…
  • Our/My own point of view is that…
  • It is my contention that…
  • I am convinced that…
  • My own opinion is…

Others’ opinions

  • According to some critics… Critics:
  • believe that
  • suggest that
  • are convinced that
  • point out that
  • emphasize that
  • contend that
  • go as far as to say that
  • argue for this

Introducing examples

  • For example…
  • For instance…
  • To illustrate this point…

Introducing facts

  • It is… true that…/ clear that…/ noticeable that…
  • One should note here that…

Saying what you think is true

  • This leads us to believe that…
  • It is very possible that…
  • In view of these facts, it is quite likely that…
  • Doubtless,…
  • One cannot deny that…
  • It is (very) clear from these observations that…
  • All the same, it is possible that…
  • It is difficult to believe that…

Accepting other points to a certain degree

  • One can agree up to a certain point with…
  • Certainly,… However,…
  • It cannot be denied that…

Emphasizing particular points

  • The last example highlights the fact that…
  • Not only… but also…
  • We would even go so far as to say that…

Moderating, agreeing, disagreeing

  • By and large…
  • Perhaps we should also point out the fact that…
  • It would be unfair not to mention the fact that…
  • One must admit that…
  • We cannot ignore the fact that…
  • One cannot possibly accept the fact that…

Consequences

  • From these facts, one may conclude that…
  • That is why, in our opinion, …
  • Which seems to confirm the idea that…
  • Thus,…/ Therefore,…
  • Some critics suggest…, whereas others…
  • Compared to…
  • On the one hand, there is the firm belief that… On the other hand, many people are convinced that…

How to Write a Great Essay | Image 1

100+ Useful Words and Phrases to Write a Great Essay 1

How to Write a Great Essay | Image 2

100+ Useful Words and Phrases to Write a Great Essay 2

Phrases For Balanced Arguments

Introduction

  • It is often said that…
  • It is undeniable that…
  • It is a well-known fact that…
  • One of the most striking features of this text is…
  • The first thing that needs to be said is…
  • First of all, let us try to analyze…
  • One argument in support of…
  • We must distinguish carefully between…
  • The second reason for…
  • An important aspect of the text is…
  • It is worth stating at this point that…
  • On the other hand, we can observe that…
  • The other side of the coin is, however, that…
  • Another way of looking at this question is to…
  • What conclusions can be drawn from all this?
  • The most satisfactory conclusion that we can come to is…
  • To sum up… we are convinced that…/ …we believe that…/ …we have to accept that…

How to Write a Great Essay | Image 3

100+ Useful Words and Phrases to Write a Great Essay 3

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Top 300+ List of Essay Words To Use

Here is our top list of essay words you can add to your writing.

Any student or academic will tell you writing academic papers requires patience, thorough research, and appropriate words to relay ideas effectively. Below, we have prepared a list of essay words for your essay or academic piece’s introduction, body, and conclusion.

What Are Essay Words?

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Closeup image of a woman writing on a blank notebook on the table

Along with a paper’s arguments, format, and structure, essay words are used to adequately explain the subject in a formal but clear manner. Picking the correct phrases and words helps your audience realize your key point and persuade them to follow your thinking.

Plus, applying suitable words to introduce and expound ideas convinces your readers that you’ve done your research correctly. These English essay words are also helpful if you spend time paraphrasing the ideas of other writers and academics. If you need more help, consider using a good essay checker .  Here are essay words you can use:

Essay words list printable

Most academic essays require a formal writing style because using informal writing makes it hard to edit and grade based on a standard the school or university gives. Even personal and narrative essays must stay formal. These are the words to create and enhance your introduction without losing the sense of formality in academic writing.

According to the most recent data, more employees prefer working at home than in the office.

This essay will address the issue of gender inequality in the workforce.

In this essay, we will analyze the various factors that contribute to climate change.

The approach we’ll use in discussing this topic involves a combination of qualitative and quantitative analysis.

Some experts argue that human activities are the major contributors to global warming.

The author asserts that the lack of early education is one of the main drivers of economic inequality.

Let’s assume for a moment that we’ve already optimized all renewable energy sources.

Before we begin analyzing the effects of the problem, we must first know the root of it.

This essay takes a broad look at the implications of global warming on agricultural productivity.

  • Challenging

Drug addiction is the most challenging global problem every government must solve.

Mental illness is a topic with many complex issues.

We will consider both sides of the argument before drawing conclusions.

  • Significance

What is the significance of following rules?

In the context of this discussion, “productivity” refers to the output of a worker per hour.

Mental health is a sensitive topic affecting people of all ages.

There is a debate about the effectiveness of the new tax policy in reducing income disparity.

This essay will detail the causes and effects of deforestation.

Our task is to determine the causes of the rise in mental health issues among college students.

We will discuss the ethical implications of genetic engineering in this essay.

This essay will elaborate on the role of social movements in bringing about societal change.

In the next section, the researchers will enumerate the benefits of adopting a plant-based diet.

We will evaluate the impact of climate change on biodiversity.

This essay will explore the important aspect of artificial intelligence in modern healthcare.

To understand the subject better, we will first discuss its history.

First and foremost , it’s essential to understand that not all politicians are bad.

We can learn a lot from the book “ The Little Prince ,” such as about the fundamental nature of love.

The essay will highlight the importance of community participation in local governance.

This essay will illuminate the effects of screen time on children’s development.

This essay will introduce the concept of sustainable development and its significance.

The main goal of this essay is to discuss the value of justice in our lives.

There’s a myriad of factors that affect a country’s tourism.

The objective of this essay is to spread awareness about the violence women and children face daily. 

An overview of the current state of renewable energy technologies will be provided in this essay.

We will present an argument in favor of implementing more stringent environmental regulations.

Lack of knowledge in managing finances is a prevalent problem today.

A good speaker delivers their speech without referring to notes.

In this essay, we will review studies related to the impact of social media on teenagers.

Let’s shed some light on the impact of fast fashion on the environment in this essay.

The youth’s mental state today has been disturbed by societal pressures, such as the impossible beauty standards they see on social media. 

Research suggests that adolescent mental health can be severely affected by excessive screen time.

  • To that end

To that end , this essay aims to challenge conventional thinking and inspire more inclusive practices in our communities.

This essay will touch on the issue of gender disparity in corporate leadership.

We will unpack the factors contributing to the rapid development of technology.

My essay aims to validate the hypothesis that a healthier diet can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease.

This essay will weigh the pros and cons of genetic modification in agriculture.

We’ll zoom in on the specific impacts of pollution on marine ecosystems in this essay.

Essays need examples to present arguments and illustrate cases. Examples support claims offer evidence, make complex concepts easier for readers, and usually lead to higher grades! Knowing several essay words for giving examples is vital to avoid the repetition of similar words or phrases. 

Akin to the effects of climate change, deforestation also leads to a significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

To analogize, the effect of deforestation on our planet is like removing the lungs from a living organism.

It appears from recent studies that regular exercise can improve mental health.

Our justice system’s flaws are apparent, such as in the case of O.J. Simpson , who was acquitted despite murdering his wife.

To clarify, this essay argues that renewable energy is more sustainable than fossil fuels.

This essay conveys the importance of cultivating empathy in a diverse society.

  • Corroborate

Recent studies corroborate the theory that mindfulness meditation can reduce stress.

  • Demonstrate

Statistics demonstrate a significant correlation between diet and heart disease.

This essay will depict the socio-economic impacts of the ongoing pandemic.

Current research discloses a worrying trend of increasing cyber threats.

The data displays a significant increase in the usage of renewable energy sources.

To elucidate, this essay aims to explore the intricate relationship between mental health and social media use.

The evidence suggests that pollution is a major factor contributing to global warming.

The effects of climate change exemplify the urgent need for environmental preservation.

The graphs below exhibit the significant impact of human activities on climate change.

  • For example

For example, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can significantly lower the risk of heart disease.

  • For instance

For instance, aerobic exercises like running and swimming improve cardiovascular health.

  • I.e. (Id est)

A healthy lifestyle, i.e., a balanced diet and regular exercise, can prevent numerous diseases.

This essay will illustrate how technology has transformed modern education.

Imagine if we could harness all the power from the sun; we would have an unlimited source of clean energy.

  • In other words

In other words, this essay will deconstruct the complexities of artificial intelligence in layman’s terms.

The data indicates a steady decline in the population of bees worldwide.

Like a domino effect, one small change can trigger a series of events in an ecosystem.

This essay will outline the main strategies for maintaining mental wellness amid a pandemic.

This essay seeks to portray the various forms of discrimination prevalent in society.

  • Pretend that

Pretend that each tree cut down is a breath of air taken away; perhaps then we’ll understand the severity of deforestation.

The melting polar ice caps are undeniable proof of global warming.

This essay proposes a holistic approach to dealing with the issue of cyberbullying.

Each data point represents a respondent’s opinion in the survey.

Recent studies reveal a direct correlation between screen time and sleep disorders.

The experts say that practicing mindfulness can help reduce anxiety.

The graphs show a significant increase in the global temperature over the past century.

Similar to how a car needs fuel to run, our bodies need a balanced diet for optimal performance.

The current situation with the global pandemic has underscored the importance of mental health.

  • Substantiate

The studies substantiate the claim that smoking can lead to a multitude of health issues.

In this context, melting ice caps symbolize the urgent need for climate action.

The data tells us that stress levels have spiked during the pandemic.

The increasing global temperatures are a testament to the impact of human activities on climate change.

  • To give an idea

To give an idea, think of the human brain as a super-computer, continuously processing and storing information.

The goal of this essay is to underline the importance of sustainable practices.

The findings verify the hypothesis that meditation can improve mental health.

These words appear throughout the essay but are mainly for the body. You can use these words to effectively show the importance of an argument and emphasize essential paragraphs in your essay.

Above all, it’s essential to maintain a balance between work and personal life for overall well-being.

  • Acknowledge

We must acknowledge the crucial role of teachers in shaping the future of our society.

Environmentalists advocate for sustainable practices to mitigate climate change effects.

The research affirms the beneficial impact of regular exercise on mental health.

The government is taking measures to amplify the reach of digital literacy.

Adding evidence from credible sources can bolster your argument in an essay.

The author cites numerous studies to support his theory of human behavior.

  • Conclusively

Conclusively, the findings suggest a strong correlation between diet and heart health.

The experiments confirm the effectiveness of the vaccine against the virus.

Some experts contend that implementing a carbon tax reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

These new findings contradict the previously held beliefs about the origins of the universe.

The president will declare a state of emergency in a few days.

Exercise can definitely improve your mood and energy levels.

The speaker emphasizes the need for more mental health services.

Many celebrities endorse the idea of adopting a plant-based diet for environmental reasons.

Children, especially, should be taught the value of resilience from an early age.

These viral scandals expose the corruption within the political system.

The law expressly forbids discrimination based on race or gender.

The situation is extremely concerning and requires immediate attention.

The fact is that climate change is a reality we must confront.

We should focus on adopting renewable sources of energy to mitigate climate change.

  • Fundamentally

Fundamentally, equality is a basic human right that everyone deserves.

The data seems to imply a shift in consumer behavior towards sustainable products.

  • Importantly

Importantly, regular check-ups are crucial for early detection of diseases.

  • in light of

In light of recent research, it’s vital to re-examine the previous findings.

Regular exercise, indeed, has been proven to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses.

  • Irrefutable

The damaging effects of plastic pollution on marine life are irrefutable .

We must maintain a commitment to practice sustainability in our daily lives.

  • Make certain of

Before the researchers start any experiments, they must make certain of procedures and goals.

Several factors contribute to climate change, namely deforestation, industrial pollution, and urbanization.

It’s necessary to reduce our carbon footprint to protect the planet.

Notably, the use of renewable energy has been making significant progress in recent years.

Obviously, a balanced diet and regular exercise are key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

  • On the whole

On the whole, implementing green practices can significantly improve our environmental impact.

  • Particularly

Air pollution is a concern, particularly in densely populated cities.

The study points out the beneficial effects of meditation in reducing stress.

The organization is primarily focused on promoting gender equality.

The success stories reinforce the importance of perseverance and hard work.

I would like to reiterate the need for consistent efforts in maintaining mental health.

  • Significantly

Regular physical activity can significantly decrease the risk of heart disease.

The project was singularly successful due to the dedicated efforts of the team.

  • Specifically

The legislation specifically targets unfair practices in the industry.

Ultimately, the decision rests on the collective agreement of the team.

Alice in Wonderland syndrome, or AIWS , is undeniably one of the rarest diseases.

  • Undoubtedly

Undoubtedly, regular reading considerably enhances vocabulary and comprehension skills.

  • Unquestionably

Unquestionably, education plays a pivotal role in societal development.

These words show the order of events or progress in an essay. They are used to give examples to further expound on a point or introduce another concept. However, be careful that each paragraph should only focus on one idea.

After completing the coursework, the students began preparing for the final exams.

The team celebrated their victory, afterwards, they began to prepare for the next season.

He accepted the job, albeit with some reservations.

As soon as the rain stopped, we left for our hike.

Before the introduction of modern technology, tasks were manually done.

  • Concurrently

The two events were happening concurrently, no wonder there was a scheduling conflict.

  • Consecutively

She was late for work three days consecutively .

  • Consequently

He forgot his wallet, consequently, he couldn’t pay for lunch.

  • Continually

The organization is continually striving to improve its services.

She loves the beach. Conversely, he prefers the mountains.

The team is currently working on the new project.

During the conference, several new initiatives were announced.

Earlier in the day, we had discussed the pros and cons.

Eventually, she managed to finish her book.

Firstly, we need to identify the root of the problem.

Following the events yesterday, we decided to meet up today.

He was tired, hence he went to bed early.

Henceforth, all meetings will be held in the new conference room.

Hereafter, we must ensure that all protocols are strictly followed.

  • Immediately

He left immediately after the meeting.

  • In the interim

In the interim, we’ll continue with our current strategies.

  • In the meantime

In the meantime, let’s clean up the workspace.

  • Incidentally

Incidentally, I came across this book while cleaning my attic.

With the constant disagreements, the project inevitably failed.

She invariably arrives late for meetings.

We decided to postpone the discussion for later .

Latterly, there has been a surge in the use of online learning platforms.

He will cook dinner. Meanwhile, I will set the table.

  • Momentarily

He was momentarily distracted by the noise.

Next, we need to review the project plan.

  • Periodically

The software updates periodically to ensure optimal performance.

She is presently attending a conference in New York.

Previously, we discussed the risks involved in the project.

Prior to the event, we need to finalize all arrangements.

  • Sequentially

The tasks must be completed sequentially .

  • Simultaneously

We cannot handle multiple tasks simultaneously .

She will arrive soon .

  • Subsequently

He completed his degree and subsequently found a job in the field.

The power suddenly went out.

He got promoted and thereafter received a substantial raise in salary.

Thereupon, he decided to retire and write a book.

Thus, we conclude our discussion.

Keep stirring until the sugar dissolves.

We will begin when everyone arrives.

Call me whenever you need help.

While she cooked the meal, he set the table.

No matter what type of essay you write, it should remain informative. Words used to add information create flow, expand arguments, and incorporate details that support your points.

She’s asking him about that project the boss wants them to do.

The results were not as bad as anticipated; actually, they were quite good.

This is a great product; in addition, it’s very affordable.

  • Additionally

The car is economical; additionally, it’s environmentally friendly.

She tried again after failing the first time.

He worked alongside his colleagues to complete the project.

We will also need to consider the budget.

  • Alternatively

If the plan fails, we could alternatively try a different approach.

She likes to read books and watch movies.

He is open to another perspective on the matter.

She will attend the meeting as well .

The project will assuredly be completed on time.

Besides the main dish, we also have a variety of desserts.

She will certainly appreciate the gesture.

The rules were clearly explained to everyone.

This is a problem commonly encountered in this field.

  • Complementary

The two studies are complementary, providing a comprehensive understanding of the issue.

  • Correspondingly

The workload increased, and correspondingly, the need for more staff became apparent.

The increased workload, coupled with tight deadlines, created a stressful atmosphere.

The team members contributed equally to the project.

The cake was delicious, and the icing made it even more enjoyable.

  • Furthermore

He is qualified for the job; furthermore, he has relevant experience.

  • In addition

She is a great leader; in addition, she is an excellent communicator.

  • In contrast

He is outgoing; in contrast, his brother is quite shy.

She did not like the book; in fact, she found it boring.

  • In particular

She loves flowers, roses in particular .

It appears simple; in reality, it’s quite complex.

  • In the same way

He treats all his employees fairly, in the same way he would like to be treated.

He enjoys reading; likewise, his sister loves books.

  • More importantly

She passed the exam; more importantly, she scored highest in the class.

The house is beautiful; moreover, it’s located in a great neighborhood.

  • Not only… but also

He is not only a talented musician, but also a great teacher.

  • On the one hand

On the one hand, he enjoys his current job; on the other, he aspires for a higher position.

  • On top of that

The food was delicious; on top of that, the service was excellent.

She has impressive qualifications; plus, she has a lot of experience.

He was disheartened after failing the exam; similarly, she was upset after losing the match.

He woke up late, and then rushed to work.

He is a skilled programmer; to add, he has an exceptional understanding of user experience design.

  • Together with

He completed the project together with his team.

She is tired, and she is hungry too .

  • With this in mind

With this in mind, we should proceed cautiously.

These are words used to include information that confirms or disagrees with a point in your essay. Words that compare and contrast ideas are common in argumentative essays. It’s because this type demands a counterargument to fairly present other experts’ take on the issue.

He went to work although he was feeling unwell.

  • Analogous to

The structure of an atom is analogous to our solar system.

  • As opposed to

She prefers tea as opposed to coffee.

  • By the same token

He is a great teacher; by the same token, he is a superb mentor.

  • Comparatively

My new laptop works comparatively faster than the old one.

Upon comparison, his work proved far superior.

  • Contrariwise

The day was hot; contrariwise, the night was chilly.

Contrary to his usual behavior, he arrived on time.

Her efforts are directly correlated to her success.

His words were counter to his actions.

Despite the rain, they continued the game.

  • Different from

His opinion is different from mine.

Their views on the subject are disparate .

  • Dissimilar to

His style of writing is dissimilar to that of his peers.

  • Distinct from

Her dress is distinct from the others.

  • Divergent from

His findings are divergent from the initial hypothesis.

  • Equivalent to

His happiness was equivalent to that of a child.

He failed the test; however, he didn’t stop trying.

  • In comparison

In comparison, his work is of a higher standard.

He gave a donation in lieu of flowers.

  • In like manner

She dresses in like manner to her sister.

  • In opposition to

He voted in opposition to the proposed bill.

  • In spite of

In spite of the challenges, she never gave up.

  • In the same vein

In the same vein, he continued his argument.

He chose to walk instead of taking the bus.

Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, success doesn’t come overnight.

Much as I appreciate your help, I must do this on my own.

  • Nevertheless

He was tired; nevertheless, he continued to work.

  • Notwithstanding

Notwithstanding the difficulties, he completed the task on time.

  • On the contrary

He is not lazy; on the contrary, he is a hard worker.

  • Opposite of

Joy is the opposite of sorrow.

His life parallels that of his father.

  • Rather than

She chose to laugh rather than cry.

  • Regardless of

Regardless of the consequences, he went ahead with his plan.

His answer is the same as mine.

  • Set side by side

When set side by side, the differences are clear.

Though he was late, he still got the job.

Unlike his brother, he is very outgoing.

It was a match of experience versus youth.

He is tall, whereas his brother is short.

He is rich, yet very humble.

The conclusion is an essential part of the essay. The concluding paragraph or section reiterates important points, leaves the readers with something to think about, and wraps up the essay nicely so it doesn’t end abruptly. 

  • Accordingly

He performed well on the job; accordingly, he was promoted.

  • After all is said and done

After all is said and done, it’s the kindness that counts.

All in all, the concert was a great success.

  • All things considered

All things considered, I think we made the best decision.

The event, altogether, was a memorable one.

  • As a final observation

As a final observation, her dedication to the project was commendable.

  • As a final point

As a final point, the successes outweighed the failures.

  • As a result

He worked hard; as a result, he achieved his goals.

His actions were inappropriate; as such, he was reprimanded.

  • By and large

By and large, the feedback has been positive.

The event was, chiefly, a success.

In close, I must say the performance was extraordinary.

The evidence was compelling and led to his conviction.

  • Effectively

The team effectively handled the project.

  • Everything considered

Everything considered, the trip was beneficial.

Evidently, he was not involved in the crime.

Finally, she announced her decision.

  • In a nutshell

In a nutshell, the plan was not effective.

  • In conclusion

In conclusion, we need to strive for better communication.

  • In drawing things to a close

In drawing things to a close, I’d like to thank everyone for their contributions.

In essence, we need to focus on quality, not quantity.

  • In retrospect

In retrospect, our methodology was correct.

In summary, the event was a success.

In the end, hard work always pays off.

  • In the final analysis

In the final analysis, the project was a success.

  • Last but not the least

Last but not the least, we need to thank our sponsors.

Lastly, don’t forget to enjoy the process.

On balance, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.

Overall, it was a productive meeting.

Summarily, we need to focus on our key strengths.

The report summarizes the main findings of the study.

Summing up, we made significant progress this year.

  • Taking everything into account

Taking everything into account, it was a successful campaign.

He was ill; therefore, he couldn’t attend the meeting.

  • To cap it all off

To cap it all off, we had a great time at the party.

To close, we need your continued support.

  • To conclude

To conclude, let’s aim for higher targets next year.

To finish, remember that success comes to those who dare.

To sum up, we achieved our objectives.

  • Without a doubt

Without a doubt, it was an unforgettable experience.

To wrap, it was a journey worth taking.

Learning how to use the right essay words is just one of the many writing skills students and those writing in academia must develop. Others include a good knowledge of grammar and an ability to write an essay that’s readable and accurate. It just takes practice. Check out our guide packed full of transition words for essays .

Some words that could be used to describe different kinds of essays include argumentative, persuasive, expository, narrative, descriptive, analytical, compare and contrast, cause and effect, reflective, and personal.

When writing an essay, it’s important to choose appropriate and effective words to express your ideas clearly and concisely. Here are some words you can use to enhance your essay writing: 1. First, secondly, third 2. Moreover, furthermore, additionally 3. In addition, also, likewise 4. However, nevertheless, yet 5. Although, despite, regardless

Here are some other words that can be used as alternatives for “you” in an essay: yourself, oneself, one, someone, somebody, anyone, everybody, people, individuals, persons, others, them, they, yourselves, thou, thee.

1. Narrative essays 2. Descriptive essays 3. Expository essays 4. Persuasive essays 5. Argumentative essay

good words in essays

Maria Caballero is a freelance writer who has been writing since high school. She believes that to be a writer doesn't only refer to excellent syntax and semantics but also knowing how to weave words together to communicate to any reader effectively.

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Powerful words and Phrases to use in Essays

words and phrases to spice up an essay

Although many might consider essay writing an easy task, it is not always the case with most students. Writing academic papers (essays, term papers, research papers, dissertations, theses, proposals, reports, and other assignments) requires students to hone and practice continuously. Thus, mastering writing at the academic level takes time and much practice, after which most students begin to be confident writing essays. For some, this confidence comes towards the end of the undergraduate course, while some master the art a few months or a week into their undergrad level studies.

This might sound like you, and you do not have to feel sorry about it. We have a list of academic writing power words that you can use when writing academic assignments. These words and phrases to use in your essay and other papers will help you avoid the dead words that probably deny you the top grade. Together with our team of experts in best essay writing, we have listed essential academic words that you can use in your introduction, body, and conclusion for all your essays and research papers .

Although you might have arguments and ideas that might attract the best grade, using the words we have listed could help you articulate, expound, and present the ideas effectively. Consequently, you will end up with a standard academic paper that any professional can grade, or that attracts your reader's attention and keeps them glued to the end.

After all, academic writing is a formal practice that disdains cliches or dead words such as colloquial expressions, controversial phrases, or casual words/slang. This means that the words you use when texting your friends, such as LOL, OMG, TIA, and the rest, should only end in the messages and not on the PDF or Word document you are typing your essay. As we have mentioned, formal academic writing is very delicate; it requires in-depth skills.

We hope that as you plan, write, and polish your essay, you will consider using the words we have listed here for inspiration and to hone your professional writing skills.

Words to Spice up your Introduction

Crafting a perfect introduction is arguably the most challenging part of academic writing. Whether you write the introduction first or last, it is always the invitation point for your readers to enjoy what is in the body. So, naturally, with adequate planning and structuring, you need to ensure that the introduction counts.

To begin an essay, you need to mind that your reader is uninformed about your arguments and topic, which means that the very first sentence has to summarize the central argument and the topic.

Although there is no preserved set of words to use in your essay introduction, you use the following words and phrases to explain what your essay is discussing (its scope) without losing the formality of your academic writing.

  • For decades
  • Over the years
  • Challenging
  • Significance
  • Complex problem
  • To begin with
  • As far as is proven in the literature
  • From the statistics presented by studies
  • The main objective
  • This topic resonates

This list of phrases is not complete; you can use the other phrases and words we will cover in the following sections of this guide. As long as you have a good reason to use a phrase, do not feel limited : use it for the glory of excellent grades.

General Explanations

When providing general explanations, both in the body, introduction, and conclusion of your essays, either for complex or easy points, you can use these phrases:

  • In order to
  • In other words
  • To that end
  • In another way
  • That is to say

We will see (in the course of this guideline) how else you can use the exact phrases in your essay.

Giving Examples in your essay

Any standard piece of academic writing must include examples. For instance, when presenting an argument in an argumentative or persuasive essay, you must illustrate your essay with examples to make the arguments stand out. Examples help clarify explanations, which makes it easy for the reader to connect the dots. Besides, they create an ideal picture in the mind of the reader. Instead of repeating for example when introducing illustrations in your essay, here are other phrases, transitions, and words that you can use in their place.

  • To illustrate
  • As evidence
  • To elucidate
  • To exemplify
  • On this occasion
  • As in the case of
  • Take the case of
  • In this sense
  • In this situation
  • In another case
  • In this case
  • As a demonstration
  • As a testament
  • To demonstrate
  • As an example,
  • For instance
  • For example
  • To give an illustration

Academic essays that receive top scores always have well-kit paragraphs that entail the topic sentence, arguments, examples (illustration), and closing sentences with the relevant transition words. These academic phrases are helpful when introducing examples. You can ideally use them in any academic piece, including theses, proposals, and dissertations. They help you avoid repeating similar phrases, which facilities readability and smooth flow in your essays.

Showing importance of arguments in an essay

When writing academic essays, it is vital to demonstrate that a given argument or point is fundamental. You can highlight this in your essay writing by using the following phrases:

  • In particular
  • Specifically
  • Importantly
  • Significantly
  • Fundamentally

These words can comfortably be used interchangeably when demonstrating significant ideas that are critical to understanding a topic.

Arguing based on facts from other authors

You can use phrases that acknowledge what others have said concerning a topic at the beginning of your essay. When you begin your essay with such phrases, you are posing your argument based on the authors' findings or a general interest/concern in your area of research. You can use such phrases when the evidence supports or refutes your arguments. Here are the essay phrases to use when acknowledging authors:

  • Considering
  • In light of
  • Taking into consideration
  • On account of
  • All things considered
  • On the whole
  • Insomuch as
  • Inasmuch as
  • Forasmuch as

Introducing the views of an author who is an authority in your area of interest or topic is critical in academic essay writing. For example, when you include a quote but do not want to use parenthetical citation or the exact words, you can use academic phrases such as:

  • According to X
  • X contends that
  • Referring to the views of
  • Drawing from X
  • As argued by Y
  • Findings by Y
  • As hypothesized by X
  • As proposed/shown/demonstrated/suggested by X
  • Studies by X
  • A recent study by X

Although you are referencing a quote here, it is not always advisable to use direct quotes at the start of your essay unless directed by your instructor. This means that using the above phrases can help spice up your essay introduction.

Laying Emphasis

When writing an essay, whether it be an English class essay or any essay, you must emphasize the main argument. The idea behind this is to create coherence within your essay. You can use the transition words below to emphasize your paragraphs. This list of academic essay words can be used in the introduction, body, and even conclusion.

  • In any case
  • Some other words include unquestionably, without a doubt, certainly, undeniably, without reservation, naturally, surprisingly, always, forever, perennially, eternally, never, emphatically,

Showing some sequence

When describing ideas or presenting arguments in sequence within an essay, here are the proven phrases and words that can earn you the best grades in school.

  • First, second, third
  • First, secondly, thirdly
  • Following this
  • At this point
  • Before this
  • Consequently
  • Subsequently
  • At this time

It would help if you were extra careful when introducing ideas because each paragraph only has one idea. They are also ideal when giving a list of examples.

You can also show the order of events using the phrases below:

  • Furthermore
  • In the meantime
  • Simultaneously
  • In the first place
  • First of all
  • For the time being
  • With this in mind

These phrases come in handy when writing about a linear event or a sequential occurrence of facts. They further help to maintain a good flow, clarity, and coherence.

Creating Flow and providing further information

Essays, even the short ones, should be as informative as possible. Knowing how to present arguments, points, and facts concisely and helps you avoid bluff in the essay. As the flow of your essay matters to the reader and for your grades, we recommend that you use these phrases or words that denote more information or flow. These words will help you to chronologically and structurally present your arguments and ideas

  • In addition
  • What's more
  • Additionally

These are academic phrases that help you expand your argument; add a point you have made without interrupting the flow of your essay. You can also use them when beginning new paragraphs.

The next set of essay words are a great choice when you want to add a piece of information that corroborates the argument or point you just mentioned. When writing academic essays and papers, it is critical to concur with your arguments. Doing so not only helps you to keep your readers glued but also helps you to contextualize your research.  They also help you avoid repeating also many times. Repetitions are a sure way to score poor grades in your essay : they make your writing predictive and boring. Here are some words to save you grades and embracement.

  • Another key thing to remember
  • Not only but also ( use this when establishing similarity in your arguments- it makes the argument stand out)
  • Coupled with
  • Firstly, secondly, thirdly

You can also use the essay phrases below when stating your claim or introducing your claim. When your essay requires you to prove how you will achieve a goal- as is with a problem-solution essay or proposal argument essay , you can use these sentences to expand your points.

  • To this end

You can also use the academic phrases below to improve continuity in your essay write-up. These essay phrases explain a point that you already made but differently. Avoid repetition when elaborating specific points or arguments in your essay by using the phrases below

  • To put it in another way
  • To put it more simply

The phrases above can also be used when rounding up a point that came before the sentence that you begin.

An Example: He was already abusive to both the mother and the kids. In other words, it was a long-term domestic violence case.

Comparing and Contrasting Points

In academic essays, there are instances when you are required to include information that proves or refutes a point. For instance, when writing an argumentative essay, you have to include a counterargument. To show the views of the researchers that disagree with your main argument or point of view, you can use these words to introduce alternative arguments:

  • Nevertheless
  • On the contrary
  • On the other hand
  • Even though

These phrases are a seamless way to include an alternative perspective.

An Example: While 35% of the population appears to be living below the poverty line, the remaining 65% seem to be doing well.

You can also use phrases that show contrast, present uncertainty, and compare facts associated with your significant arguments. Here are some of the phrases:

  • By contrast
  • In comparison

The phrases above demonstrate expertise in your topic, authority in writing and help you convince your readers.

When you intend to demonstrate a positive aspect of your subject matter, you can use these phrases in your academic piece:

  • Despite this
  • Provided that
  • Nonetheless

Example : Provided that there is a red flag in a relationship, it is only safe that the victim acts or seeks help.

To add contrast, you can also highlight the relevance of an opinion, argument, point, or fact as regards your research. Here are some academic words that can help you introduce paragraphs or sentences that have big ideas in your essay:

  • Another key point

Perfect words to conclude your essay

An essay conclusion carries as much weight as the introduction. Therefore, you must ensure that you have concluding words for your essay good enough to wrap up your arguments. In addition, considering that your conclusion should have a summary of the main ideas, your final statement and road plan to the conclusion must be evident. Here is a list of categorized phrases to use to conclude an essay effectively:

  • In conclusion
  • To summarize
  • In the final analysis
  • On close analysis
  • As can be seen from the argument above
  • The most compelling finding
  • The outstanding idea
  • The most persuasive point
  • This suggests that
  • It can be seen that
  • The consequence is
  • Subsequent to
  • Most significantly
  • It should be noted
  • It is worth noting

These are essay phrases that you use when articulating your reasons in the essay. Some of them summarize the relevant ideas or arguments, while others emphasize the relevant arguments.

Parting Shot

We have explored the list of useful phrases for writing great essays. When coupled with the correct vocabulary words, an essay easily scores the top grade in a rubric. When you use the words above, you automatically sound smart.

Whether you are writing a narrative, argumentative, or descriptive essay, these are words that you can use to convince your readers. They help you maintain a good flow, play around with other vocabularies, present authors' views, and finalize your essay in a bang.

We hope that these words will transform your essays from better to best. So, stay confident while articulating points, arguments, and ideas in your essays.

If writing an essay is not your thing, and these academic words and phrases sound Greek to you, you can hire an essay writer. Sourcing essay writing help from Gradecrest guarantees you a sample academic essay that is well-formatted. In addition, we have writers who specialize in writing different essays and can deliver within the shortest turnaround time.

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Gradecrest is a professional writing service that provides original model papers. We offer personalized services along with research materials for assistance purposes only. All the materials from our website should be used with proper references. See our Terms of Use Page for proper details.

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Transitional Words and Phrases

One of your primary goals as a writer is to present ideas in a clear and understandable way. To help readers move through your complex ideas, you want to be intentional about how you structure your paper as a whole as well as how you form the individual paragraphs that comprise it. In order to think through the challenges of presenting your ideas articulately, logically, and in ways that seem natural to your readers, check out some of these resources: Developing a Thesis Statement , Paragraphing , and Developing Strategic Transitions: Writing that Establishes Relationships and Connections Between Ideas.

While clear writing is mostly achieved through the deliberate sequencing of your ideas across your entire paper, you can guide readers through the connections you’re making by using transitional words in individual sentences. Transitional words and phrases can create powerful links between your ideas and can help your reader understand your paper’s logic.

In what follows, we’ve included a list of frequently used transitional words and phrases that can help you establish how your various ideas relate to each other. We’ve divided these words and phrases into categories based on the common kinds of relationships writers establish between ideas.

Two recommendations: Use these transitions strategically by making sure that the word or phrase you’re choosing matches the logic of the relationship you’re emphasizing or the connection you’re making. All of these words and phrases have different meanings, nuances, and connotations, so before using a particular transitional word in your paper, be sure you understand its meaning and usage completely, and be sure that it’s the right match for your paper’s logic. Use these transitional words and phrases sparingly because if you use too many of them, your readers might feel like you are overexplaining connections that are already clear.

Categories of Transition Words and Phrases

Causation Chronology Combinations Contrast Example

Importance Location Similarity Clarification Concession

Conclusion Intensification Purpose Summary

Transitions to help establish some of the most common kinds of relationships

Causation– Connecting instigator(s) to consequence(s).

accordingly as a result and so because

consequently for that reason hence on account of

since therefore thus

Chronology– Connecting what issues in regard to when they occur.

after afterwards always at length during earlier following immediately in the meantime

later never next now once simultaneously so far sometimes

soon subsequently then this time until now when whenever while

Combinations Lists– Connecting numerous events. Part/Whole– Connecting numerous elements that make up something bigger.

additionally again also and, or, not as a result besides even more

finally first, firstly further furthermore in addition in the first place in the second place

last, lastly moreover next second, secondly, etc. too

Contrast– Connecting two things by focusing on their differences.

after all although and yet at the same time but

despite however in contrast nevertheless nonetheless notwithstanding

on the contrary on the other hand otherwise though yet

Example– Connecting a general idea to a particular instance of this idea.

as an illustration e.g., (from a Latin abbreviation for “for example”)

for example for instance specifically that is

to demonstrate to illustrate

Importance– Connecting what is critical to what is more inconsequential.

chiefly critically

foundationally most importantly

of less importance primarily

Location– Connecting elements according to where they are placed in relationship to each other.

above adjacent to below beyond

centrally here nearby neighboring on

opposite to peripherally there wherever

Similarity– Connecting to things by suggesting that they are in some way alike.

by the same token in like manner

in similar fashion here in the same way

likewise wherever

Other kinds of transitional words and phrases Clarification

i.e., (from a Latin abbreviation for “that is”) in other words

that is that is to say to clarify to explain

to put it another way to rephrase it

granted it is true

naturally of course

finally lastly

in conclusion in the end

to conclude

Intensification

in fact indeed no

of course surely to repeat

undoubtedly without doubt yes

for this purpose in order that

so that to that end

to this end

in brief in sum

in summary in short

to sum up to summarize

good words in essays

Improving Your Writing Style

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Clear, Concise Sentences

Use the active voice

Put the action in the verb

Tidy up wordy phrases

Reduce wordy verbs

Reduce prepositional phrases

Reduce expletive constructions

Avoid using vague nouns

Avoid unneccessarily inflated words

Avoid noun strings

Connecting Ideas Through Transitions

Using Transitional Words and Phrases

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5 Examples of Concluding Words for Essays

5 Examples of Concluding Words for Essays

4-minute read

  • 19th September 2022

If you’re a student writing an essay or research paper, it’s important to make sure your points flow together well. You’ll want to use connecting words (known formally as transition signals) to do this. Transition signals like thus , also , and furthermore link different ideas, and when you get to the end of your work, you need to use these to mark your conclusion. Read on to learn more about transition signals and how to use them to conclude your essays.

Transition Signals

Transition signals link sentences together cohesively, enabling easy reading and comprehension. They are usually placed at the beginning of a sentence and separated from the remaining words with a comma. There are several types of transition signals, including those to:

●  show the order of a sequence of events (e.g., first, then, next)

●  introduce an example (e.g., specifically, for instance)

●  indicate a contrasting idea (e.g., but, however, although)

●  present an additional idea (e.g., also, in addition, plus)

●  indicate time (e.g., beforehand, meanwhile, later)

●  compare (e.g., likewise, similarly)

●  show cause and effect (e.g., thus, as a result)

●  mark the conclusion – which we’ll focus on in this guide.

When you reach the end of an essay, you should start the concluding paragraph with a transition signal that acts as a bridge to the summary of your key points. Check out some concluding transition signals below and learn how you can use them in your writing.

To Conclude…

This is a particularly versatile closing statement that can be used for almost any kind of essay, including both formal and informal academic writing. It signals to the reader that you will briefly restate the main idea. As an alternative, you can begin the summary with “to close” or “in conclusion.” In an argumentative piece, you can use this phrase to indicate a call to action or opinion:

To conclude, Abraham Lincoln was the best president because he abolished slavery.

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As Has Been Demonstrated…

To describe how the evidence presented in your essay supports your argument or main idea, begin the concluding paragraph with “as has been demonstrated.” This phrase is best used for research papers or articles with heavy empirical or statistical evidence.

As has been demonstrated by the study presented above, human activities are negatively altering the climate system.

The Above Points Illustrate…

As another transitional phrase for formal or academic work, “the above points illustrate” indicates that you are reiterating your argument and that the conclusion will include an assessment of the evidence you’ve presented.

The above points illustrate that children prefer chocolate over broccoli.

In a Nutshell…

A simple and informal metaphor to begin a conclusion, “in a nutshell” prepares the reader for a summary of your paper. It can work in narratives and speeches but should be avoided in formal situations.

In a nutshell, the Beatles had an impact on musicians for generations to come.

Overall, It Can Be Said…

To recap an idea at the end of a critical or descriptive essay, you can use this phrase at the beginning of the concluding paragraph. “Overall” means “taking everything into account,” and it sums up your essay in a formal way. You can use “overall” on its own as a transition signal, or you can use it as part of a phrase.

Overall, it can be said that art has had a positive impact on humanity.

Proofreading and Editing

Transition signals are crucial to crafting a well-written and cohesive essay. For your next writing assignment, make sure you include plenty of transition signals, and check out this post for more tips on how to improve your writing. And before you turn in your paper, don’t forget to have someone proofread your work. Our expert editors will make sure your essay includes all the transition signals necessary for your writing to flow seamlessly. Send in a free 500-word sample today!

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190 Good Transition Words for Essays

August 23, 2023

good transitions words for essays, college

Essay writing consists of two primary procedures: coming up with the content we want to include and structuring that content. These procedures might take place in either order or they could occur simultaneously. When writing an essay it is important to think about the ways that content and structure complement one another. The best essays join these two elements in thoughtful ways. Transition words for essays (including for college essays) are some of our most primary tools when it comes to structuring a piece of writing.

When beginning an essay it is often recommended to begin with a messy first draft. The purpose of this draft is to get everything out on the page. You should put down as many ideas and trajectories as you can without worrying too much about phrasing or whether they will make it into the final draft. The key here is to be loose—to get ahead of our self-editors and expel everything we can from our minds.

List of Good Transition Words for Essays (Continued)

While this is a good strategy for beginning an essay it will likely leave you unsure how everything fits together. This is where transition words come in. As you will see in this list (which is necessarily incomplete) the range of transition words for essays is vast. Each transition word implies a different relation, often in subtle ways. After accumulating content, the next step is to figure out how the elements fit together towards an overall goal (this could be but is not necessarily an “argument”). Consulting this list of transition words for essays can provide a shortcut for determining how one piece might lead into another. Along with transition words, rhetorical devices and literary devices are other tools to consider during this stage of essay writing.

Transition Words for College Essays

While this list will be a useful tool for all types of essay writing it will be particularly helpful when it comes to finding the right transition words for college essays . The goal of a college essay is to give a strong overall sense of its author in the tight space of 650 words. As you might imagine, it’s not easy to encompass a life or convey a complex personality in such a space. When writing a college essay you are working with a huge amount of potential content. Students often want to squeeze in as much as they can. To this end, transition words for college essays are essential tools to have at our disposal.

Here is our list of transition words for college essays and other essays. It is organized by the different types of transition words/phrases and their functions. While this organization should be convenient, keep in mind that there’s plenty of overlap. Many of these words can function in multiple ways.

1) Additive Transitions

These words function in an additive manner, accumulating content to build upon what has already been stated. They can be used to construct an argument or establish a scene through the accumulation of details.

  • Additionally
  • In addition to
  • Furthermore
  • Not to mention
  • In all honesty
  • To tell the truth
  • Not only…but also
  • As a matter of fact
  • To say nothing of
  • What’s more
  • Alternatively
  • To go a step further

 2) Comparative Transitions (Similarity)

  These transition words draw a parallel or bring out a similarity between images or ideas. They can be used not only in a straightforward sense but also to establish relations of similarity between objects or ideas that might appear to be dissonant.

  • In the same way
  • In a similar vein
  • Along the lines of
  • In the key of

 3) Comparative Transitions (Difference)

  While also functioning comparatively, the following words demonstrate difference between ideas or images. These transition words are useful when it comes to establishing contrasting points of view, an important component of any argument.

  • On the other hand
  • On the contrary
  • In contrast to
  • In contradiction
  • Nevertheless
  • Nonetheless
  • In any event
  • In any case
  • In either event

4) Sequential Transitions

  The following are particularly effective transition words for college essays. They will allow you to order ideas chronologically or in a sequence, providing a sense of continuity over time. This is particularly useful when an essay leans into something more creative or involves telling a story.

  • Subsequently
  • At the same time
  • Concurrently
  • In the beginning
  • At the start
  • At the outset
  • Off the bat

5) Spatial Transitions

Rather than organizing ideas or images in regards to sequence, these transitions indicate spatial relationships. They are particularly useful when it comes to painting a scene and/or describing objects, but they can also be used metaphorically. Consider, for example, how you might use the transition, “standing in […’s] shadow.”

  • Standing in […’s] shadow
  • In front of
  • In the middle
  • In the center
  • To the left
  • To the right
  • On the side
  • Adjacent to
  • Around the bend
  • On the outskirts
  • In the distance
  • On the horizon
  • In the foreground
  • In the background
  • Underground
  • Through the grapevine

 6) Causal Transitions

These transition words for essays indicate cause and effect relationships between ideas. They will be particularly useful when you are structuring a logical argument, i.e. using logos as a mode of persuasion . Causal transitions are an important element of academic, legal and scientific writing.

  • Accordingly
  • Resultingly
  • As a result
  • Consequently
  • In consequence
  • As a consequence
  • For this reason
  • So much that
  • Granting that
  • That being the case
  • Under those circumstances
  • With this in mind
  • For the purpose of
  • For all intents and purposes
  • In the event that
  • In the event of
  • In light of
  • On the condition that
  • To the extent that

7) Examples/Illustration/Supporting Transition

  These transition words for college essays can be used to introduce supporting evidence, emphasis, examples, and clarification. There is some overlap here with additive transitions and causal transitions. These transitions are also useful when it comes to building an argument. At the same time, they can signal a shift into a different linguistic register.

  • For example
  • For instance
  • In other words
  • As an illustration
  • To illustrate
  • To put it differently
  • To put it another way
  • That is to say
  • As the evidence illustrates
  • It’s important to realize
  • It’s important to understand
  • It must be remembered
  • To demonstrate
  • For clarity’s sake
  • To emphasize
  • To put it plainly
  • To enumerate
  • To speak metaphorically

8) Conclusory Transitions

These transition words for essays serve to bring an idea or story to a close. They offer a clear way of signaling the conclusion of a particular train of thought. They might be followed by a summary or a restatement of an essay’s argument. In this way they also provide emphasis, setting the reader up for what is about to come.

  • In conclusion
  • To summarize
  • To put it succinctly
  • To this end
  • At the end of the day
  • In the final analysis
  • By and large
  • On second thought
  • On first glance
  • That’s all to say
  • On the whole
  • All things considered
  • Generally speaking

List of Good Transition Words for Essays (Final Thoughts)

Even when elements appear to be disparate on first glance, transition words are a great tool for giving your essay a smooth flow. They can also create surprising juxtapositions, relationships, and equivalences. The way a reader will understand a transition word depends on the context in which they encounter it.

Individual words and phrases can be used in a wide variety of ways, ranging from the literal to the figurative to the colloquial or idiomatic. “Through the grapevine” is an example of the colloquial or idiomatic. When we encounter this phrase we don’t interpret it literally (as hearing something “through” a grapevine) but rather as hearing news secondhand. There are, of course, a vast number of idioms that are not included in this list but can also function as transitional phrases.

This list of transition words for college essays (and really any form of writing you might be working on) is a resource that you can return to again and again in your life as a writer. Over years of writing we tend to fall into patterns when it comes to the transition words we use. Mixing things up can be exciting both as a writer and for your readers. Even if you don’t choose to stray from your trusted transitions, considering the alternatives (and why they don’t work for you) can offer a deeper understanding of what you are trying to say.

List of Good Transition Words for Essays (An Exercise)

As an exercise in self-understanding, you may want to try highlighting all of the transition words in a piece of your own writing. You can then compare this to the transition words in a piece of writing that you admire. Are they using similar transitions or others? Are they using them more or less often? What do you like or dislike about them? We all use transition words differently, creating different tonal effects. Keeping an eye out for them, not only as a writer but also as a reader, will help you develop your own aesthetic.

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Emmett Lewis

Emmett holds a BA in Philosophy from Vassar College and is currently completing an MFA in Writing at Columbia University. Previously, he served as a writing instructor within the Columbia Artists/Teachers community as well as a Creative Writing Teaching Fellow at Columbia, where he taught poetry workshops. In addition, Emmett is a member of the Poetry Board at the Columbia Journal , and his work has been published in HAD , Otoliths , and Some Kind of Opening , among others.

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Transitions help your readers move between ideas within a paragraph, between paragraphs, or between sections of your argument. When you are deciding how to transition from one idea to the next, your goal should be to help readers see how your ideas are connected—and how those ideas connect to the big picture.

One useful way to do this is to start with old information and then introduce new information. When you begin a sentence or a paragraph with information that is familiar to your readers, you help your readers make connections between your ideas. For example, consider the difference between these two pairs of sentences below:  

Sentence pair #1: Ineffective Transition

Some experts argue that focusing on individual actions to combat climate change takes the focus away from the collective action required to keep carbon levels from rising. Change will not be effected, say some others, unless individual actions raise the necessary awareness.

While a reader can see the connection between the sentences above, it’s not immediately clear that the second sentence is providing a counterargument to the first. In the example below, key “old information” is repeated in the second sentence to help readers quickly see the connection. This makes the sequence of ideas easier to follow.  

Sentence pair #2: Effective Transition

Some experts argue that focusing on individual actions to combat climate change takes the focus away from the collective action required to keep carbon levels from rising. Other experts argue that individual actions are key to raising the awareness necessary to effect change.

You can use this same technique to create clear transitions between paragraphs. Here’s an example:

Some experts argue that focusing on individual actions to combat climate change takes the focus away from the collective action required to keep carbon levels from rising. Other experts argue that individual actions are key to raising the awareness necessary to effect change. According to Annie Lowery, individual actions are important to making social change because when individuals take action, they can change values, which can lead to more people becoming invested in fighting climate change. She writes, “Researchers believe that these kinds of household-led trends can help avert climate catastrophe, even if government and corporate actions are far more important” (Lowery).

So, what’s an individual household supposed to do?

The repetition of the word “household” in the new paragraph helps readers see the connection between what has come before (a discussion of whether household actions matter) and what is about to come (a proposal for what types of actions households can take to combat climate change).

Sometimes, transitional words can help readers see how ideas are connected. But it’s not enough to just include a “therefore,” “moreover,” “also,” or “in addition.” You should choose these words carefully to show your readers what kind of connection you are making between your ideas.

To decide which transitional word to use, start by identifying the relationship between your ideas. For example, you might be

  • making a comparison or showing a contrast Transitional words that compare and contrast include also, in the same way, similarly, in contrast, yet, on the one hand, on the other hand. But before you signal comparison, ask these questions: Do your readers need another example of the same thing? Is there a new nuance in this next point that distinguishes it from the previous example? For those relationships between ideas, you might try this type of transition: While x may appear the same, it actually raises a new question in a slightly different way. 
  • expressing agreement or disagreement When you are making an argument, you need to signal to readers where you stand in relation to other scholars and critics. You may agree with another person’s claim, you may want to concede some part of the argument even if you don’t agree with everything, or you may disagree. Transitional words that signal agreement, concession, and disagreement include however, nevertheless, actually, still, despite, admittedly, still, on the contrary, nonetheless .
  • showing cause and effect Transitional phrases that show cause and effect include therefore, hence, consequently, thus, so. Before you choose one of these words, make sure that what you are about to illustrate is really a causal link. Novice writers tend to add therefore and hence when they aren’t sure how to transition; you should reserve these words for when they accurately signal the progression of your ideas.
  • explaining or elaborating Transitions can signal to readers that you are going to expand on a point that you have just made or explain something further. Transitional words that signal explanation or elaboration include in other words, for example, for instance, in particular, that is, to illustrate, moreover .
  • drawing conclusions You can use transitions to signal to readers that you are moving from the body of your argument to your conclusions. Before you use transitional words to signal conclusions, consider whether you can write a stronger conclusion by creating a transition that shows the relationship between your ideas rather than by flagging the paragraph simply as a conclusion. Transitional words that signal a conclusion include in conclusion , as a result, ultimately, overall— but strong conclusions do not necessarily have to include those phrases.

If you’re not sure which transitional words to use—or whether to use one at all—see if you can explain the connection between your paragraphs or sentence either out loud or in the margins of your draft.

For example, if you write a paragraph in which you summarize physician Atul Gawande’s argument about the value of incremental care, and then you move on to a paragraph that challenges those ideas, you might write down something like this next to the first paragraph: “In this paragraph I summarize Gawande’s main claim.” Then, next to the second paragraph, you might write, “In this paragraph I present a challenge to Gawande’s main claim.” Now that you have identified the relationship between those two paragraphs, you can choose the most effective transition between them. Since the second paragraph in this example challenges the ideas in the first, you might begin with something like “but,” or “however,” to signal that shift for your readers.  

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Essay Writing Guide

Transition Words For Essays

Last updated on: Dec 19, 2023

220 Best Transition Words for Essays

By: Nova A.

15 min read

Reviewed By: Jacklyn H.

Published on: Jul 9, 2019

Transition Words for Essays

Writing essays can be hard, and making sure your transitions are smooth is even harder. 

You've probably heard that good essays need good transitions, but what are they? How do you use them in your writing? Also, your essays are assessed according to particular criteria and it is your responsibility to ensure that it is being met.

But don't worry, we are here to help. This blog will give you transition words for essays, including how to choose the right ones and where to place them for maximum impact. Essay writing is a technical process that requires much more effort than simply pouring your thoughts on paper.

If you are new to the concept of transition words and phrases, deep dive into this article in order to find out the secret to improving your essays.

Transition Words for Essays

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What Are Transition Words 

Transition words are essential elements in essay writing that create smooth transitions between ideas. 

Think of a transition as a conjunction or a joining word. It helps create strong relationships between ideas, paragraphs, or sentences and assists the readers to understand the word phrases and sentences easily.

As writers, our goal is to communicate our thoughts and ideas in the most clear and logical manner. Especially when presenting complex ideas, we must ensure that they are being conveyed in the most understandable way.

To ensure that your paper is easy to understand, you can work on the sequencing of ideas. Break down your ideas into different sentences and paragraphs then use a transition word or phrase to guide them through these ideas.

Why Should You Use Transitions

The purpose of transition words goes beyond just connectivity. They create a cohesive narrative , allowing your ideas to flow seamlessly from one point to another. These words and phrases act as signposts and indicate relationships. 

These relations could include:

  • Cause and Effect
  • Comparison and Contrast
  • Addition and Emphasis
  • Sequence and Order
  • Illustration and Example
  • Concession and Contradiction
  • Summary and Conclusion

They form a bridge and tie sentences together, creating a logical connection. In addition to tying the entire paper together, they help demonstrate the writer’s agreement, disagreement, conclusion, or contrast.

However, keep in mind that just using or including transitional words isn’t enough to highlight relationships between ideas. The content of your paragraphs must support the relationship as well. So, you should avoid overusing them in a paper.

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Types of Transitions

Transitions in essays can be classified into different types based on the relationships they indicate between ideas. Each type serves a specific purpose in guiding readers through your arguments. 

Let's explore some common types of transitions and their examples:

Additive Transitions 

These transitions are used to add information or ideas. They help you expand on your points or provide additional supporting evidence. Examples:

  • In addition
  • Furthermore
  • Additionally
  • Not only... but also
  • Coupled with

Adversative Transitions

Adversative transitions show contrast or contradiction between ideas. They are used to present opposing viewpoints or highlight differences. Examples:

  • Nevertheless
  • On the other hand
  • In contrast

Causal Transitions

Causal transitions explain cause-and-effect relationships. They help you establish the reasons behind certain outcomes or actions. Examples:

  • As a result
  • Consequently
  • Resulting in
  • For this reason

Sequential Transitions

Sequential transitions indicate the order or sequence of events or ideas. They help you present your thoughts in a logical and organized manner. Examples: 

  • Subsequently
  • In the meantime
  • Simultaneously

Comparative Transitions

Comparative transitions highlight similarities or comparisons between ideas. They help you draw connections and illustrate relationships. Here are some transition words for essays examples: 

  • In the same way
  • Compared to
  • In comparison
  • Correspondingly
  • By the same token
  • Equally important
  • Analogous to

Getting started on your essay? Check out this insightful read on essay writing to make sure you ace it!

List of Good Transition Words for Essays

As mentioned above, there are different categories of transitions that serve a unique purpose. Understanding these different types will help you pick the most suitable word or phrase to communicate your message.

Here we have categorized the best transition words for essays so you can use them appropriately!

Transition Words for Argumentative Essays

In argumentative essays , the effective use of transition words is essential for presenting a well-structured and coherent argument. 

Transition Words for Compare and Contrast Essays

In compare and contrast essays , transition words play a crucial role in highlighting the similarities and differences between the subjects being compared. 

Here are a few transition words that are particularly useful in compare and contrast essays:

Transition Words for Cause and Effect Essays

In cause and effect essays , transition words help illustrate the relationships between causes and their corresponding effects. 

Here are a few transition words that are particularly useful in cause-and-effect essays:

Transition Words for Different Parts of Essays

Transition words are valuable tools that can be used throughout different parts of an essay to create a smooth and coherent flow. By understanding the appropriate transition words for each section, you can logically connect your ideas. 

Introduction Transition Words for Essays

Introductions are one of the most impactful parts of the essay. It's important that it connects logically with the rest of the essay. To do this, you can utilize different transition words for essays to start. Here are some starting transition words for essays:

Transition Words for Essays Body Paragraph

In an essay, body paragraphs play a crucial role in presenting and developing your ideas. To ensure a logical flow within each body paragraph, the strategic use of transition words is essential.

Here are lists of transitions for essays for different body paragraphs:

Transition Words for Essays for First Body Paragraph

Here is a list of transition words that you can use for the first body paragraph of an essay:

Transition Words for Essays Second Body Paragraph

Here is a list of transition words for the second body paragraph of an essay:

Transition Words for Essays Third Body Paragraph

Transition words for essays last body paragraph, transition words for essays conclusion .

Here is a list of ending transition words for essays:

Do’s and Don’ts of Using Essay Transitions

When it comes to using transitions in your essay, there are certain do's and don'ts that can help you effectively enhance the flow of your writing. Here are some key guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Add transitions only when introducing new ideas.
  • Go through the paper to make sure they make sense.
  • Start by creating an outline, so you know what ideas to share and how.
  • Use different transitions for each idea.
  • Don’t overuse them.
  • Don’t keep adding transitions in the same paragraph.
  • Don’t completely rely on transitions to signal relationships.
  • Don’t incorporate it into your content without understanding its usage.

By now, you have probably understood how transition words can save you from disjointed and directionless paragraphs. They are the missing piece that indicates how ideas are related to one another. You can also generate more essays with our AI powered essay writer to learn the art of transitioning smoothly from one paragraph to another. 

If you are still unable to distinguish transitions to open or conclude your essays, don’t be upset - these things require time and practice.

If you are looking for the perfect essay-writing service, get in touch with the expert writers at 5StarEssays.com. We will include the right transitions according to the type of paper, ensuring a coherent flow of ideas.

Just say ‘ write my essay ’ now and let our essay writer create quality content at the most pocket-friendly rates available.

Nova A.

As a Digital Content Strategist, Nova Allison has eight years of experience in writing both technical and scientific content. With a focus on developing online content plans that engage audiences, Nova strives to write pieces that are not only informative but captivating as well.

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Transition Sentences | Tips & Examples for Clear Writing

Published on June 9, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.

Clear transitions are crucial to clear writing: They show the reader how different parts of your essay, paper, or thesis are connected. Transition sentences can be used to structure your text and link together paragraphs or sections.

… In this case, the researchers concluded that the method was unreliable.

However , evidence from a more recent study points to a different conclusion . …

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Table of contents

Transitioning between paragraphs, transitioning to a new section, transitions within a paragraph, other interesting articles.

When you start a new paragraph , the first sentence should clearly express:

  • What this paragraph will discuss
  • How it relates to the previous paragraph

The examples below show some examples of transition sentences between paragraphs and what they express.

Placement of transition sentences

The beginning of a new paragraph is generally the right place for a transition sentence. Each paragraph should focus on one topic, so avoid spending time at the end of a paragraph explaining the theme of the next one.

The first dissenter to consider is …

However, several scholars dissent from this consensus. The first one to consider is …

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While transitions between paragraphs are generally a single sentence, when you start a new section in a longer text, you may need an entire transition paragraph. Transitioning to a new section involves summarizing the content of the previous section and expressing how the new one will build upon or depart from it.

For example, the following sentences might be an effective transition for a new section in a literary analysis essay.

Having established that the subjective experience of time is one of Mann’s key concerns in The Magic Mountain , it is now possible to explore how this theme facilitates the novel’s connection with World War I. The war itself is not narrated in the book, but rather hinted at as something awaiting Castorp beyond the final pages. In this way, Mann links his protagonist’s subjective experience of time to more than just his illness; it is also used to explore the period leading up to the outbreak of war.

As in academic writing generally, aim to be as concise as you can while maintaining clarity: If you can transition to a new section clearly with a single sentence, do so, but use more when necessary.

It’s also important to use effective transitions within each paragraph you write, leading the reader through your arguments efficiently and avoiding ambiguity.

The known-new contract

The order of information within each of your sentences is important to the cohesion of your text. The known-new contract , a useful writing concept, states that a new sentence should generally begin with some reference to information from the previous sentence, and then go on to connect it to new information.

In the following example, the second sentence doesn’t follow very clearly from the first. The connection only becomes clear when we reach the end.

By reordering the information in the second sentence so that it begins with a reference to the first, we can help the reader follow our argument more smoothly.

Note that the known-new contract is just a general guideline. Not every sentence needs to be structured this way, but it’s a useful technique if you’re struggling to make your sentences cohere.

Transition words and phrases

Using appropriate transition words helps show your reader connections within and between sentences. Transition words and phrases come in four main types:

  • Additive transitions, which introduce new information or examples
  • Adversative transitions, which signal a contrast or departure from the previous text
  • Causal transitions, which are used to describe cause and effect
  • Sequential transitions, which indicate a sequence

The table below gives a few examples for each type:

Grouping similar information

While transition words and phrases are essential, and every essay will contain at least some of them, it’s also important to avoid overusing them. One way to do this is by grouping similar information together so that fewer transitions are needed.

For example, the following text uses three transition words and jumps back and forth between ideas. This makes it repetitive and difficult to follow.

Rewriting it to group similar information allows us to use just one transition, making the text more concise and readable.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Transitions

What this handout is about.

In this crazy, mixed-up world of ours, transitions glue our ideas and our essays together. This handout will introduce you to some useful transitional expressions and help you employ them effectively.

The function and importance of transitions

In both academic writing and professional writing, your goal is to convey information clearly and concisely, if not to convert the reader to your way of thinking. Transitions help you to achieve these goals by establishing logical connections between sentences, paragraphs, and sections of your papers. In other words, transitions tell readers what to do with the information you present to them. Whether single words, quick phrases, or full sentences, they function as signs that tell readers how to think about, organize, and react to old and new ideas as they read through what you have written.

Transitions signal relationships between ideas—relationships such as: “Another example coming up—stay alert!” or “Here’s an exception to my previous statement” or “Although this idea appears to be true, here’s the real story.” Basically, transitions provide the reader with directions for how to piece together your ideas into a logically coherent argument. Transitions are not just verbal decorations that embellish your paper by making it sound or read better. They are words with particular meanings that tell the reader to think and react in a particular way to your ideas. In providing the reader with these important cues, transitions help readers understand the logic of how your ideas fit together.

Signs that you might need to work on your transitions

How can you tell whether you need to work on your transitions? Here are some possible clues:

  • Your instructor has written comments like “choppy,” “jumpy,” “abrupt,” “flow,” “need signposts,” or “how is this related?” on your papers.
  • Your readers (instructors, friends, or classmates) tell you that they had trouble following your organization or train of thought.
  • You tend to write the way you think—and your brain often jumps from one idea to another pretty quickly.
  • You wrote your paper in several discrete “chunks” and then pasted them together.
  • You are working on a group paper; the draft you are working on was created by pasting pieces of several people’s writing together.

Organization

Since the clarity and effectiveness of your transitions will depend greatly on how well you have organized your paper, you may want to evaluate your paper’s organization before you work on transitions. In the margins of your draft, summarize in a word or short phrase what each paragraph is about or how it fits into your analysis as a whole. This exercise should help you to see the order of and connection between your ideas more clearly.

If after doing this exercise you find that you still have difficulty linking your ideas together in a coherent fashion, your problem may not be with transitions but with organization. For help in this area (and a more thorough explanation of the “reverse outlining” technique described in the previous paragraph), please see the Writing Center’s handout on organization .

How transitions work

The organization of your written work includes two elements: (1) the order in which you have chosen to present the different parts of your discussion or argument, and (2) the relationships you construct between these parts. Transitions cannot substitute for good organization, but they can make your organization clearer and easier to follow. Take a look at the following example:

El Pais , a Latin American country, has a new democratic government after having been a dictatorship for many years. Assume that you want to argue that El Pais is not as democratic as the conventional view would have us believe.

One way to effectively organize your argument would be to present the conventional view and then to provide the reader with your critical response to this view. So, in Paragraph A you would enumerate all the reasons that someone might consider El Pais highly democratic, while in Paragraph B you would refute these points. The transition that would establish the logical connection between these two key elements of your argument would indicate to the reader that the information in paragraph B contradicts the information in paragraph A. As a result, you might organize your argument, including the transition that links paragraph A with paragraph B, in the following manner:

Paragraph A: points that support the view that El Pais’s new government is very democratic.

Transition: Despite the previous arguments, there are many reasons to think that El Pais’s new government is not as democratic as typically believed.

Paragraph B: points that contradict the view that El Pais’s new government is very democratic.

In this case, the transition words “Despite the previous arguments,” suggest that the reader should not believe paragraph A and instead should consider the writer’s reasons for viewing El Pais’s democracy as suspect.

As the example suggests, transitions can help reinforce the underlying logic of your paper’s organization by providing the reader with essential information regarding the relationship between your ideas. In this way, transitions act as the glue that binds the components of your argument or discussion into a unified, coherent, and persuasive whole.

Types of transitions

Now that you have a general idea of how to go about developing effective transitions in your writing, let us briefly discuss the types of transitions your writing will use.

The types of transitions available to you are as diverse as the circumstances in which you need to use them. A transition can be a single word, a phrase, a sentence, or an entire paragraph. In each case, it functions the same way: First, the transition either directly summarizes the content of a preceding sentence, paragraph, or section or implies such a summary (by reminding the reader of what has come before). Then, it helps the reader anticipate or comprehend the new information that you wish to present.

  • Transitions between sections: Particularly in longer works, it may be necessary to include transitional paragraphs that summarize for the reader the information just covered and specify the relevance of this information to the discussion in the following section.
  • Transitions between paragraphs: If you have done a good job of arranging paragraphs so that the content of one leads logically to the next, the transition will highlight a relationship that already exists by summarizing the previous paragraph and suggesting something of the content of the paragraph that follows. A transition between paragraphs can be a word or two (however, for example, similarly), a phrase, or a sentence. Transitions can be at the end of the first paragraph, at the beginning of the second paragraph, or in both places.
  • Transitions within paragraphs: As with transitions between sections and paragraphs, transitions within paragraphs act as cues by helping readers to anticipate what is coming before they read it. Within paragraphs, transitions tend to be single words or short phrases.

Transitional expressions

Effectively constructing each transition often depends upon your ability to identify words or phrases that will indicate for the reader the kind of logical relationships you want to convey. The table below should make it easier for you to find these words or phrases. Whenever you have trouble finding a word, phrase, or sentence to serve as an effective transition, refer to the information in the table for assistance. Look in the left column of the table for the kind of logical relationship you are trying to express. Then look in the right column of the table for examples of words or phrases that express this logical relationship.

Keep in mind that each of these words or phrases may have a slightly different meaning. Consult a dictionary or writer’s handbook if you are unsure of the exact meaning of a word or phrase.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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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.

Agreement/Addition/Similarity

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.

  • In the first place
  • As a matter of fact
  • In like manner
  • In addition
  • Not only, but also
  • Coupled with
  • In the same way
  • In the same manner
  • First, second, third
  • Not to mention
  • In the light of
  • By the same token
  • Additionally
  • Correspondingly
  • Furthermore
  • Comparatively
  • At the same time
  • Together with
  • Identically

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

  • The group found that a constructivist approach leads to higher test scores. Moreover, essay examinations show higher levels of learning.
  • The resort has tennis courts. Furthermore, it has an Olympic pool.

Negative Ideas

Some linking words come in pairs to join negative ideas.

  • Not, neither
  • Neither, nor

Here are sentence examples of linking words showing negative ideas.

  • I haven’t seen Lory, neither have I talked to her friend.
  • I neither drink nor smoke.

Opposition/Limitation/Contradiction

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

  • Although this may be true
  • In contrast
  • (and) still
  • Notwithstanding
  • Different from
  • Of course…, but
  • On the other hand
  • On the contrary
  • Be that as it may
  • Nonetheless
  • Even so/though
  • Nevertheless
  • In spite of

Here are some sentences with linking words of opposition.

  • The short story can be analyzed using a functionalist lens. However, its historical theme is better understood with a critical perspective.
  • As much as I want to go, I must take care of my sister.

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

  • All the same
  • Regardless of this
  • Up to a point

Here are some sentence examples.

  • Many citizens opposed this unfair policy, which the president nevertheless enacted.
  • I like him even if we have different views in life.

Cause/Condition/Purpose

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.

  • In the event that
  • Granted (that)
  • Provided that
  • On (the) condition (that)
  • For the purpose of
  • With this intention
  • With this in mind
  • In the hope that
  • Inasmuch as
  • To the end that
  • For fear that
  • In order to
  • Seeing/being that
  • The researchers used this method so that the results would be valid, reliable, and aligned with the objectives.
  • I will not be attending the seminar due to a high fever.

Examples/Support/Emphasis

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

  • In other words
  • To put it differently
  • For one thing
  • In particular
  • As an illustration
  • In this case
  • For example
  • For instance
  • For this reason
  • To put it another way
  • To demonstrate
  • That is to say
  • With attention to
  • By all means
  • To emphasize
  • To enumerate
  • Particularly
  • Significantly
  • Specifically
  • Surprisingly
  • Important to realize
  • Another key point
  • On the negative side
  • First thing to remember
  • Must be remembered
  • To point out
  • Point often overlooked
  • She visited several cities, namely Portland, Jacksonville, Charleston, and Hartford.
  • Transition words improve writing flow. For instance, we use further to add extra ideas related to the previous statement.

Effect/Consequence/Result

Grammarist Article Graphic V4 78

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

  • As a result
  • In that case
  • Under those circumstances
  • Accordingly
  • Consequently

Consider the examples below.

  • We watered the plant for seven days. In effect, it grew three inches taller.
  • Because she didn’t study for the test, Anna failed and had to retake it.

Conclusion/Summary/Restatement

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

  • In simple language
  • In explanation
  • In lay terms
  • In a nutshell
  • As can be seen
  • In simple terms
  • Generally speaking
  • All things considered
  • As shown above
  • In the final analysis
  • In the long run
  • In either case
  • Given these points
  • As has been noted
  • In any event
  • On the whole
  • By and large
  • For the most part
  • In conclusion
  • To summarize

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

Here are some examples.

  • Matter is a material that occupies space and has mass. In simple language, it is any physical substance.
  • I don’t want to climb the corporate ladder. After all, money isn’t everything.

Time/Chronology/Sequence

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.

  • In due time
  • From time to time
  • At the present time
  • Sooner or later
  • Up to the present time
  • To begin with
  • Straightaway
  • In the meantime
  • In a moment
  • Without delay
  • All of a sudden
  • At this instant
  • First, second
  • By the time
  • Immediately
  • Occasionally
  • I watched the movie on television. Eventually, I fell asleep.
  • First, fill the pan with water. Then, bring it to a boil.

Space/Location/Place

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.

  • In the middle of
  • To the left/right
  • In front of
  • On this side
  • In the distance
  • In the foreground
  • In the background
  • In the center of
  • Adjacent to
  • Opposite to

Below are sentence examples using transition words of space.

  • My house is located behind the building.
  • To the left of the supermarket is a flower shop.

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:

  • Incorrect: Also, there are unauthorized charges on my credit card account.
  • Correct: Furthermore, there are unauthorized charges on my credit card account.

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.

  • Incorrect: boat and/or plane.
  • Correct: boat, plane, or both.

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.

  • Incorrect: In this paper, I discuss my movie analysis as well as provide recommendations for improvement.
  • Correct: In this paper, I discuss my movie analysis and provide recommendations for improvement.

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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Guest Essay

I’m a Neuroscientist. We’re Thinking About Biden’s Memory and Age in the Wrong Way.

President Biden seated in a chair holding a stack of what looks like index cards.

By Charan Ranganath

Dr. Ranganath is a professor of psychology and neuroscience and the director of the Dynamic Memory Lab at the University of California, Davis, and the author of the forthcoming book “Why We Remember: Unlocking Memory’s Power to Hold On to What Matters.”

The special counsel Robert K. Hur’s report, in which he declined to prosecute President Biden for his handling of classified documents, also included a much-debated assessment of Mr. Biden’s cognitive abilities.

“Mr. Biden would likely present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview with him, as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”

As an expert on memory, I can assure you that everyone forgets. In fact, most of the details of our lives — the people we meet, the things we do and the places we go — will inevitably be reduced to memories that capture only a small fraction of those experiences.

It is normal to be more forgetful as you get older. Generally, memory functions begin to decline in our 30s and continue to fade into old age. However, age in and of itself doesn’t indicate the presence of memory deficits that would affect an individual’s ability to perform in a demanding leadership role. And an apparent memory lapse may or may not be consequential, depending on the reasons it occurred.

There is forgetting, and there is Forgetting. If you’re over the age of 40, you’ve most likely experienced the frustration of trying to grasp that slippery word on the tip of your tongue. Colloquially, this might be described as forgetting, but most memory scientists would call this retrieval failure, meaning that the memory is there but we just can’t pull it up when we need it. On the other hand, Forgetting (with a capital F) is when a memory is seemingly lost or gone altogether. Inattentively conflating the names of the leaders of two countries would fall in the first category, whereas being unable to remember that you had ever met the president of Egypt would fall into the second.

Over the course of typical aging, we see changes in the functioning of the prefrontal cortex, a brain area that plays a starring role in many of our day-to-day memory successes and failures. These changes mean that as we get older, we tend to be more distractible and often struggle to pull up words or names we’re looking for. Remembering events takes longer, and it requires more effort, and we can’t catch errors as quickly as we used to. This translates to a lot more forgetting and a little more Forgetting.

Many of the special counsel’s observations about Mr. Biden’s memory seem to fall in the category of forgetting, meaning that they are more indicative of a problem with finding the right information from memory than Forgetting. Calling up the date that an event occurred, like the last year of Mr. Biden’s vice presidency or the year of his son’s death, is a complex measure of memory. Remembering that an event took place is different from being able to put a date on when it happened, which is more challenging with increased age. The president very likely has many memories, even though he could not immediately pull up dates in the stressful (and more immediately pressing) context of the Oct. 7 attack on Israel.

Other “memory” issues highlighted in the media are not so much cases of forgetting as they are of difficulties in the articulation of facts and knowledge. For instance, in July 2023, Mr. Biden mistakenly stated in a speech that “we have over 100 people dead,” when he should have said, “over one million.” He has struggled with a stutter since childhood, and research suggests that managing a stutter demands prefrontal resources that would normally enable people to find the right word or at least quickly correct errors after the fact.

Americans are understandably concerned about the advanced age of the two top contenders in the coming presidential election (Mr. Biden is 81, and Donald Trump is 77), although some of these concerns are rooted in cultural stereotypes and fears around aging. The fact is that there is a huge degree of variability in cognitive aging. Age is, on average, associated with decreased memory, but studies that follow up the same person over several years have shown that although some older adults show precipitous declines over time, other super-agers remain as sharp as ever.

Mr. Biden is the same age as Harrison Ford, Paul McCartney and Martin Scorsese. He’s also a bit younger than Jane Fonda (86) and a lot younger than the Berkshire Hathaway C.E.O., Warren Buffett (93). All these individuals are considered to be at the top of their professions, and yet I would not be surprised if they are more forgetful and absent-minded than when they were younger. In other words, an individual’s age does not say anything definitive about the person’s cognitive status or where it will head in the near future.

I can’t speak to the cognitive status of any of the presidential candidates, but I can say that, rather than focus on candidates’ ages per se, we should consider whether they have the capabilities to do the job. Public perception of a person’s cognitive state is often determined by superficial factors, such as physical presence, confidence and verbal fluency, but these aren’t necessarily relevant to one’s capacity to make consequential decisions about the fate of this country. Memory is surely relevant, but other characteristics, such as knowledge of the relevant facts and emotion regulation — both of which are relatively preserved and might even improve with age — are likely to be of equal or greater importance.

Ultimately, we are due for a national conversation about what we should expect in terms of the cognitive and emotional health of our leaders.

And that should be informed by science, not politics.

Charan Ranganath is a professor of psychology and neuroscience and the director of the Dynamic Memory Lab at the University of California, Davis, and the author of “ Why We Remember: Unlocking Memory’s Power to Hold On to What Matters .”

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips . And here’s our email: [email protected] .

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33 Transition Words and Phrases

Transitional terms give writers the opportunity to prepare readers for a new idea, connecting the previous sentence to the next one.

Many transitional words are nearly synonymous: words that broadly indicate that “this follows logically from the preceding” include accordingly, therefore, and consequently . Words that mean “in addition to” include moreover, besides, and further . Words that mean “contrary to what was just stated” include however, nevertheless , and nonetheless .

as a result : THEREFORE : CONSEQUENTLY

The executive’s flight was delayed and they accordingly arrived late.

in or by way of addition : FURTHERMORE

The mountain has many marked hiking trails; additionally, there are several unmarked trails that lead to the summit.

at a later or succeeding time : SUBSEQUENTLY, THEREAFTER

Afterward, she got a promotion.

even though : ALTHOUGH

She appeared as a guest star on the show, albeit briefly.

in spite of the fact that : even though —used when making a statement that differs from or contrasts with a statement you have just made

They are good friends, although they don't see each other very often.

in addition to what has been said : MOREOVER, FURTHERMORE

I can't go, and besides, I wouldn't go if I could.

as a result : in view of the foregoing : ACCORDINGLY

The words are often confused and are consequently misused.

in a contrasting or opposite way —used to introduce a statement that contrasts with a previous statement or presents a differing interpretation or possibility

Large objects appear to be closer. Conversely, small objects seem farther away.

used to introduce a statement that is somehow different from what has just been said

These problems are not as bad as they were. Even so, there is much more work to be done.

used as a stronger way to say "though" or "although"

I'm planning to go even though it may rain.

in addition : MOREOVER

I had some money to invest, and, further, I realized that the risk was small.

in addition to what precedes : BESIDES —used to introduce a statement that supports or adds to a previous statement

These findings seem plausible. Furthermore, several studies have confirmed them.

because of a preceding fact or premise : for this reason : THEREFORE

He was a newcomer and hence had no close friends here.

from this point on : starting now

She announced that henceforth she would be running the company.

in spite of that : on the other hand —used when you are saying something that is different from or contrasts with a previous statement

I'd like to go; however, I'd better not.

as something more : BESIDES —used for adding information to a statement

The city has the largest population in the country and in addition is a major shipping port.

all things considered : as a matter of fact —used when making a statement that adds to or strengthens a previous statement

He likes to have things his own way; indeed, he can be very stubborn.

for fear that —often used after an expression denoting fear or apprehension

He was concerned lest anyone think that he was guilty.

in addition : ALSO —often used to introduce a statement that adds to and is related to a previous statement

She is an acclaimed painter who is likewise a sculptor.

at or during the same time : in the meantime

You can set the table. Meanwhile, I'll start making dinner.

BESIDES, FURTHER : in addition to what has been said —used to introduce a statement that supports or adds to a previous statement

It probably wouldn't work. Moreover, it would be very expensive to try it.

in spite of that : HOWEVER

It was a predictable, but nevertheless funny, story.

in spite of what has just been said : NEVERTHELESS

The hike was difficult, but fun nonetheless.

without being prevented by (something) : despite—used to say that something happens or is true even though there is something that might prevent it from happening or being true

Notwithstanding their youth and inexperience, the team won the championship.

if not : or else

Finish your dinner. Otherwise, you won't get any dessert.

more correctly speaking —used to introduce a statement that corrects what you have just said

We can take the car, or rather, the van.

in spite of that —used to say that something happens or is true even though there is something that might prevent it from happening or being true

I tried again and still I failed.

by that : by that means

He signed the contract, thereby forfeiting his right to the property.

for that reason : because of that

This tablet is thin and light and therefore very convenient to carry around.

immediately after that

The committee reviewed the documents and thereupon decided to accept the proposal.

because of this or that : HENCE, CONSEQUENTLY

This detergent is highly concentrated and thus you will need to dilute it.

while on the contrary —used to make a statement that describes how two people, groups, etc., are different

Some of these species have flourished, whereas others have struggled.

NEVERTHELESS, HOWEVER —used to introduce a statement that adds something to a previous statement and usually contrasts with it in some way

It was pouring rain out, yet his clothes didn’t seem very wet.

Word of the Day

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Chris Hoffman

By Chris Hoffman , Computerworld |

Tech journalist Chris Hoffman has learned a few things during his 30 years using Windows. Follow along as he shares tips, tricks, and in-the-know insights into the Windows ecosystem.

Microsoft Copilot Pro review: Office joins the genAI revolution

Microsoft’s copilot pro brings the generative ai chatbot to office for everyone. but is it worth the monthly subscription fee.

Microsoft Copilot Pro

Microsoft’s $20-per-month Copilot Pro subscription gives you access to Microsoft’s Copilot AI assistant in Office. That means Copilot can help you write Word documents, work with Excel spreadsheets, create PowerPoint presentations, put together Outlook emails, lay out notes in OneNote, and answer questions about whatever file you have open.

That’s the hallmark feature of Copilot Pro: AI built into Office, finally available to anyone  — not just businesses. But Copilot Pro offers a lot more, and Microsoft will soon be pushing it to everyone via ads: The company is already experimenting with Copilot Pro ads in Windows 11’s Settings app.

So what exactly can Copilot Pro do, how good is it — and should you subscribe?

Looking for the ultimate Windows PC newsletter? My free Windows Intelligence newsletter delivers all the best Windows tips straight to your inbox. Plus, you’ll get free copies of Paul Thurrott’s Windows 11 and Windows 10 Field Guides (a $10 value) just for subscribing!

Copilot vs. Copilot Pro vs. Copilot for Microsoft 365

Copilot is the name of Microsoft’s genrative AI-based chatbot. Think of it like Microsoft’s ChatGPT — it uses the same underlying technology as ChatGPT. (Microsoft originally launched it as Bing Chat in 2023, but the company later renamed it “Copilot,” minimizing that Bing branding.)

There are three different Copilots to be aware of:

  • Copilot : The standard Microsoft Copilot is free. It’s built into Windows 11, and Microsoft is in the process of adding it to Windows 10. You can access Copilot on the web and via the Copilot apps for Android and iPhone .
  • Copilot Pro : This adds extra features to Copilot, including the ability to use Copilot in Microsoft Office apps like Word — something users of the free version of Copilot can’t do. It’s a paid subscription, and it’s intended for consumers or individual professionals — not businesses.
  • Copilot for Microsoft 365 : This is the version of Copilot intended for businesses . It’s more expensive than Copilot Pro, and it’s not just integrated into Office apps — with Microsoft Graph, it can tap into all of a business’s data so you can have it write a Word document based on the contents of an email, for example, or ask it for insights that might involve looking up information in a variety of documents.

Microsoft Designer generated this image when I asked it to create “a surrealist painting of a boost in an AI art generation application.”

Copilot Pro: Price and availability

Microsoft charges $20 per month for Copilot Pro. That gets you an individual subscription. Since Microsoft doesn’t offer a free trial, you’ll have to commit to at least one month to try it.

To use the Copilot Pro features in apps like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, you’ll need a Microsoft 365 subscription ($100 per year for a family of up to six people or $70 per year for an individual) on top of the Copilot Pro price.

That $20 per month cost matches the monthly price of ChatGPT Plus. In a lot of ways, Copilot Pro is Microsoft’s answer to ChatGPT Plus — and the most compelling aspect is integration in Office apps.

Microsoft charges businesses $30 per user per month for access to Copilot for Microsoft 365, so Copilot Pro sits in the middle, between Microsoft’s free consumer Copilot and its more expensive Copilot for Microsoft 365 product.

Like Copilot itself, Copilot Pro isn’t yet available worldwide. As of now, Microsoft says it’s “available in Austria, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, France, United Kingdom, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, and the United States.” Microsoft plans to launch Copilot Pro in more countries soon.

Copilot Pro: Features

Microsoft advertises the following features as part of Copilot Pro:

  • Copilot in Microsoft 365 apps : You’ll get access to Copilot integration in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote. This isn’t just a chat sidebar — you can ask Copilot to create a document for you, or you can request it make changes to the current document.
  • Priority access : Microsoft says you’ll get priority access to the GPT-4 and GPT-4 Turbo large language models (LLMs) during peak times. If you already use Copilot, this priority access will ensure you spend less time waiting for a response and more time getting things done.
  • AI image creation boosts : Microsoft Designer lets you generate AI images with OpenAI’s DALL-E 3 image generation model. You can create and edit images even faster with 100 “boosts” per day for Designer.

Microsoft also announced Copilot Pro will include a “ Copilot GPT Builder ” that will let you “build your own Copilot GPT — a customized Copilot tailored to a specific topic.” It sounds similar to ChatGPT’s upcoming memory feature . However, this feature isn’t available at launch.

These features are all cross-platform: You also get priority access to Copilot in the Copilot mobile apps and on the Copilot website, for example — not just in Copilot in Windows. Copilot features are also available in Microsoft 365 apps for Windows, Mac, and iPad.

The value proposition here is straightforward. Faster access to Copilot’s normal chat experience and speedier AI image creation are nice, and you’ll know whether you want them based on how much you use the features — and how often you find yourself waiting.

So, how well does the Copilot integration work in Office apps? That’s the trillion-dollar question .

I asked Copilot write from the perspective of an AI assistant proud of its Word skills. Here’s the document it created from that short prompt.

How Copilot Pro works in Microsoft 365 (a.k.a. Office) apps

Copilot is well integrated into Office — it’s much better than the Copilot integration in Windows! For example, here’s how it works in Word:

  • When you start a new document, you’ll see a “Draft with Copilot” box asking you what you want to create.
  • On each new line of text, you’ll see a Copilot icon you can click to have Copilot start writing for you.
  • The ribbon bar has a “Copilot” button right next to the “Editor” button, letting you open a Copilot sidebar that lets you work with the current document. You can ask it to write for you, summarize the current document, or change things — perhaps you want to quickly change the formatting or style of the document.
  • You can right-click some text and select Copilot > Rewrite with Copilot in the context menu to rewrite text.

While the Copilot sidebar built into Windows 11 is limited in how much it can integrate with Windows — it can’t do much beyond change a few settings — Copilot is much better at working with Office documents. It can put together PowerPoint presentations and even generate AI images for them via Microsoft Designer. It can write and format documents. It can reach into an existing document and change the style or formatting however you like.

Copilot Pro will jump in ready to help whenever you create a new document.

How useful is Copilot Pro in Office?

Copilot Pro is the same fundamentally strange chatbot you might be familiar with: It’s gone by the name Bing Chat, and it’s the same underlying model as ChatGPT. It’s the Copilot you already know — but integrated into Office. And the Office integration is well done!

But how useful will that be? As a journalist, I write as a human for humans — I’m not going to hand over my writing to Copilot anytime soon. Believe me, if Copilot were writing this review, you’d notice it not being up to the same quality!

Still, I've found Copilot Pro useful at times. I had to go through a fairly long, dense Word document recently, for instance. I was able to ask Copilot questions in the sidebar about what the document said, and it was faster than using Ctrl+F to search and try to guess where things were buried in it. Likewise, I’ve used Copilot to change formatting quickly, eliminating some tedium.

The Copilot sidebar gives you a convenient way to find information and gather insights from the current document.

In the past, I’ve had a great experience using AI tools like this for more standard formal writing. Do you need to write a standard complaint letter, inquiry, or something similar with all the formal boilerplate? Copilot would be great for that.

You can have Copilot Pro make a PowerPoint presentation for you, too — but should you? Copilot Pro will do better when you give it more detailed instructions, going back and forth, asking for changes, and having it work on small tedious things that would take time. Its work probably won’t be up to snuff if you give it a one-sentence prompt and expect it to create a business-ready document or email.

Microsoft Copilot created this presentation to show off its PowerPoint skills, complete with AI-generated art. Once again, this was created from a single short prompt.

Copilot Pro is, however, very “disconnected” compared to the way Microsoft has shown off Copilot for Microsoft 365 in the past. You’re working with your current Office document. You can’t have it gather information from multiple documents and emails, as you can with the business-focused Copilot for Microsoft 365.

Free alternatives to Copilot Pro

It’s worth noting that you can do a lot of what Copilot offers for free, if you like:

  • The Copilot chat experience is free for everyone. You  access Copilot in the built-in Copilot sidebar in Windows, online and via mobile apps, as noted earlier.
  • Microsoft Designer offers free AI image generation for everyone with a Microsoft account.
  • You can ask questions about a PDF by opening it in Microsoft Edge. Use the Copilot sidebar in Edge to ask questions about the open PDF document — or the current web page you have open.
  • Microsoft Edge’s Copilot sidebar also has a convenient “Compose” pane that will help you draft emails, paragraphs, idea lists, and entire blog posts. You can use this tool for free and paste the content into an Outlook email or Office document.

You can do a lot with the free version of Copilot. The benefit of Copilot Pro is in speeding everything up, with priority access to the chatbot and faster image generation, along with integration into the Office apps you use.

The Copilot sidebar in Microsoft Edge has some convenient text-writing tools anyone can access for free.

Is Copilot Pro worth it?

At $20 per month, Copilot Pro is the same price as ChatGPT Plus. It uses the same underlying technology. You get AI image generation tools with the DALL-E 3 model in both. The Microsoft Office integration will be a killer feature for many people, who should seriously consider switching from ChatGPT Plus to Copilot Pro.

Whether it’s worth it for you is for you to decide. How much do you use AI chatbots? Would you benefit from an AI chatbot integrated into Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote? If you’re not sure, you can find out for $20 for the first month.

If you spend a lot of time performing repetitive tasks, digging for data in Office documents, or putting together boilerplate documents, Copilot Pro could be a huge productivity boost and time-saver.

But Copilot Pro isn’t going to write the next great American novel — or my next Windows Intelligence newsletter. Still, it shines when integrated with Office — this is the most useful I’ve ever seen it. If the Windows team at Microsoft takes pointers from the Office team, the AI integration in a future version of Windows will be impressive.

Get even more Windows insights, tips, and tricks with my Windows Intelligence newsletter — three things to try every Friday. Plus, get free copies of Paul Thurrott’s Windows 11 and Windows 10 Field Guides (a $10 value) for signing up.

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'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

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When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form .

How to use Copilot Pro to write, edit, and analyze your Word documents

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Microsoft's Copilot Pro AI offers a few benefits for $20 per month. But the most helpful one is the AI-powered integration with the different Microsoft 365 apps. For those of you who use Microsoft Word, for instance, Copilot Pro can help you write and revise your text, provide summaries of your documents, and answer questions about any document.

First, you'll need a subscription to either Microsoft 365 Personal or Family . Priced at $70 per year, the Personal edition is geared for one individual signed into as many as five devices. At $100 per year, the Family edition is aimed at up to six people on as many as five devices. The core apps in the suite include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote.

Also: Microsoft Copilot vs. Copilot Pro: Is the subscription fee worth it?

Second, you'll need the subscription to Copilot Pro if you don't already have one. To sign up, head to the Copilot Pro website . Click the Get Copilot Pro button. Confirm the subscription and the payment. The next time you use Copilot on the website, in Windows, or with the mobile apps, the Pro version will be in effect.

How to use Copilot Pro in Word

1. open word.

Launch Microsoft Word and open a blank document. Let's say you need help writing a particular type of document and want Copilot to create a draft. 

Also: Microsoft Copilot Pro vs. OpenAI's ChatGPT Plus: Which is worth your $20 a month?

A small "Draft with Copilot" window appears on the screen. If you don't see it, click the tiny "Draft with Copilot icon in the left margin."

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2. Submit your request

At the text field in the window, type a description of the text you need and click the "Generate" button.

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Submit your request.

3. Review the response and your options

Copilot generates and displays its response. After reading the response, you're presented with a few different options.

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Review the response and your options.

4. Keep, regenerate, or remove the draft

If you like the draft, click "Keep it." The draft is then inserted into your document where you can work with it. If you don't like the draft, click the "Regenerate" button, and a new draft is created. 

Also: What is Copilot (formerly Bing Chat)? Here's everything you need to know

If you'd prefer to throw out the entire draft and start from scratch, click the trash can icon.

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Keep, regenerate, or remove the draft.

5. Alter the draft

Alternatively, you can try to modify the draft by typing a specific request in the text field, such as "Make it more formal," "Make it shorter," or "Make it more casual."

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Alter the draft.

6. Review the different versions

If you opt to regenerate the draft, you can switch between the different versions by clicking the left or right arrow next to the number. You can then choose to keep the draft you prefer.

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7. Revise existing text

Copilot will also help you fine-tune existing text. Select the text you want to revise. Click the Copilot icon in the left margin and select "Rewrite with Copilot."

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Revise existing text.

8. Review the different versions

Copilot creates a few different versions of the text. Click the arrow keys to view each version.

 width=

Review the different versions.

9. Replace or Insert

If you find one you like, click "Replace" to replace the text you selected. 

Also: ChatGPT vs. Microsoft Copilot vs. Gemini: Which is the best AI chatbot?

Click "Insert below" to insert the new draft below the existing words so you can compare the two.

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Replace or Insert.

10. Adjust the tone

Click "Regenerate" to ask Copilot to try again. Click the "Adjust Tone" button and select a different tone to generate another draft.

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Adjust the tone.

11. Turn text into a table

Sometimes you have text that would look and work better as a table. Copilot can help. Select the text you wish to turn into a table. Click the Copilot icon and select "Visualize as a Table."

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Turn text into a table.

12. Respond to the table

In response, click "Keep it" to retain the table. Click "Regenerate" to try again. Click the trash can icon to delete it. Otherwise, type a request in the text field, such as "remove the second row" or "make the last column wider."

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Respond to the table.

13. Summarize a document

Copilot Pro can provide a summary of a document with its key points. To try this, open the document you want to summarize and then click the Copilot icon on the Ribbon. 

Also: The best AI chatbots

The right sidebar displays several prompts you can use to start your question. Click the one for "Summarize this doc."

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Summarize a document.

14. Review the summary

View the generated summary in the sidebar. If you like it as is, click the "Copy" button to copy the summary and paste it elsewhere.

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Review the summary.

15. Revise the summary

Otherwise, choose one of the suggested questions or ask your own question to revise the summary. For example, you could tell Copilot to make the summary longer, shorter, more formal, or less formal. 

Also: The best AI image generators

You could also ask it to expand on one of the points in the summary or provide more details on a certain point. A specific response is then generated based on your request.

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Revise the summary.

16. Ask questions about a document

Next, you can ask specific questions about any of the content in a document. Again, click the Copilot icon to display the sidebar. In the prompt area, type and submit your question. Copilot displays the response in the sidebar. You can then ask follow-up questions as needed.

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Ask questions about a document.

More how-tos

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I've tried Vision Pro and other top XR headsets and here's the one most people should buy

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The best AI image generators to try right now

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The best TVs of 2024: Expert tested

For Hank Phillippi Ryan, serendipity is a power for good, in writing and life

The award-winning mystery writer believes in the power of randomness..

Hank Phillippi Ryan, author of "One Wrong Word."

As the old saying goes, there are two types of novelists: plotters — who meticulously detail — and pantsers, who fly by the seat of their pants.

Hank Phillippi Ryan is a pantser — in more ways than one.

“My husband and I don’t celebrate the anniversary of the day we met — we celebrate the anniversary of the day before we met,” Ryan says in a recent phone interview from her West Newton home.” We call that ‘You-Never-Know Day.’ Because you never know what’s around the next corner. That’s how my whole life has been.”

The 37-time Emmy-winning Boston investigative reporter and multiple award-winning mystery writer didn’t start writing mysteries until she was 55, she says — and all because of one random spam email. (More on that below.) And she doesn’t plot any of her twists or turns. (More on that, too.)

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Her 15th novel, “ One Wrong Word ” hit shelves recently. Like many of Ryan’s books, it’s a thriller set in Boston — this one involving Boston crisis management expert Arden Ward, who, about to lose her job, has one last chance to protect her future by helping a real-estate mogul accused of killing a skateboarder while driving drunk. But is she also protecting a killer?

We spoke to Ryan about her non-plotting, how she’s like a magpie with a Rubik’s Cube, mixing up Boston geography — and why you just might find your name in one of her books.

So what sparked this story?

I’m fascinated by people who make their living convincing other people what to think: public relations people, crisis management experts, spinners and fixers. I’ve worked with them for years as a reporter. Some are honorable and wise and helpful, and others are not.

Another thing fascinating to me is, when there’s a notorious trial, how often the court of public opinion doesn’t really believe they didn’t do it. When a powerful person is acquitted of a crime, the skepticism level of the public goes into the red-zone. I was trying to come up with a situation where a powerful person felt they were going to be vindicated by a not-guilty verdict, but it didn’t matter.

How do you typically plot your books?

I do not plot. I type the words, “Chapter One,” and think: “Let’s see what happens now.” All the reveals and twists surprise me, too. That’s what gets me to the computer every day — I can’t wait to figure out what happened. It’s a tightrope. Every time I write a novel, I’m out in search of the story.

Have you ever reported a news story and thought: That could fit into a book one day?

Every one of my novels stems from an experience I’ve had in real life as a reporter, but they’re not [actual reported] stories made into fiction. I’m like a magpie. I take a little bit from this story, a little bit from that story, a little bit from my own personal experience, and twist and tweak like a Rubik’s Cube until it turns into a completely different picture.

You’re about to tour for this book, but you said you already turned in your next?

Book 16 is called “All This Could Be Yours.” It comes out next year. It’s about an author on a book tour who realizes she has a destructive and manipulative stalker who is trying to not only derail her career, but destroy her family back home. So I’ll be trying not to think about that.

In the acknowledgments to “One Wrong Word,”, you write: “Do you see your name in this book? Some very generous souls allowed their names to be used in return for an auction donation to charity. To retain the magic, I will let you find yourselves.”

Sometimes for charity auctions, I auction off a character name. The money goes to charity and the person gets to see their name in the book.

Have you always done this?

Since my first book. It’s hilarious, because, remember: I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t know who’s good, who’s bad, who’s guilty. I’ll never make an auction-name the victim. I try to make them good guys. One auction-name in this book turned out to be not the best person. I had to email them: My edit deadline is approaching, and your character turned out to be someone that you personally might not want to be. They were thrilled. They said: Leave it.

You also write in the acknowledgments that you “tweaked Massachusetts geography a bit.”

When something bad happens, I don’t give a specific address because I don’t want there to be murder in a place we recognize. So I’ll add a hotel or a street number that doesn’t exist on Beacon Street to make it feel real, but not someplace that you can go track down.

So what sparked you to write your first novel at 55?

I was at Channel 7 and opened a spam email by mistake. It said: A new refinancing deal for you. But the body of the email looked like lines from a Shakespearean play. I thought: Why would someone put lines from a Shakespearean-era play in a spam email about refinancing? And my writer brain said: What if it’s a secret message? I thought, “Secret messages in computer spam! That is a great idea for a novel.

I went home and said to my husband, “Sweetheart, I’m going to write a book!” And — I can’t really explain the level of skepticism on his face — he said “Great, honey. Do you know how to write a book?”

Did that first book, “Prime Time ,” come easily?

It did initially, although I had no idea what I was doing. The first draft was 723 pages. But it turned out fine. It’s still in print. All because of one random moment on one random day when one random thing happened. That’s how my books are written. Toss a pebble in the pond, and the ripples flow out.

Hank Phillippi Ryan will be in conversation with Joseph Finder at Newtonville Books on Thursday, Feb. 15, and speaking at the virtual International Thriller Writers Town Hall on Sunday, March 3. More information at hankphillippiryan.com .

Lauren Daley can be reached at [email protected] . Follow her @laurendaley1 .

To revisit this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories .

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David Nield

17 Tips to Take Your ChatGPT Prompts to the Next Level

5 blue balls riding on 5 randomly arranged curved black tubes against a bright green backdrop

ChatGPT, Google Gemini, and other tools like them are making artificial intelligence available to the masses. We can now get all sorts of responses back on almost any topic imaginable. These chatbots can compose sonnets, write code, get philosophical, and automate tasks.

However, while you can just type anything you like into ChatGPT and get it to understand you. There are ways of getting more interesting and useful results out of the bot. This "prompt engineering" is becoming a specialized skill of its own.

Sometimes all it takes is the addition of a few more words or an extra line of instruction and you can get ChatGPT responses that are a level above what everyone else is seeing—and we've included several examples below.

While there's lots you can do with the free version of ChatGPT, a few of these prompts require a paid ChatGPT Plus subscription —where that's the case, we've noted it in the tip.

ChatGPT can give you responses in the form of a table if you ask. This is particularly helpful for getting information or creative ideas. For example, you could tabulate meal ideas and ingredients, or game ideas and equipment, or the days of the week and how they're said in a few different languages.

Using follow-up prompts and natural language, you can have ChatGPT make changes to the tables it has drawn and even produce the tables in a standard format that can be understood by another program (such as Microsoft Excel).

If you provide ChatGPT with a typed list of information, it can respond in a variety of ways. Maybe you want it to create anagrams from a list of names, or sort a list of products into alphabetical order, or turn all the items in a list into upper case. If needed, you can then click the copy icon (the small clipboard) at the end of an answer to have the processed text sent to the system clipboard.

Screenshot of ChatGPT

Get ChatGPT to respond as your favorite author.

With some careful prompting, you can get ChatGPT out of its rather dull, matter-of-fact, default tone and into something much more interesting—such as the style of your favorite author, perhaps.

You could go for the searing simplicity of an Ernest Hemingway or Raymond Carver story, the lyrical rhythm of a Shakespearean play, or the density of a Dickens novel. The resulting prose won't come close to the genius of the actual authors themselves, but it's another way of getting more creative with the output you generate.

ChatGPT can really impress when it's given restrictions to work within, so don't be shy when it comes to telling the bot to limit its responses to a certain number of words or a certain number of paragraphs.

It could be everything from condensing the information in four paragraphs down into one, or even asking for answers with words of seven characters or fewer (just to keep it simple). If ChatGPT doesn't follow your responses properly, you can correct it, and it'll try again.

Another way of tweaking the way ChatGPT responds is to tell it who the intended audience is for its output. You might have seen WIRED's videos in which complex subjects are explained to people with different levels of understanding. This works in a similar way.

For example, you can tell ChatGPT that you are speaking to a bunch of 10-year-olds or to an audience of business entrepreneurs and it will respond accordingly. It works well for generating multiple outputs along the same theme.

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Screenshot of ChatGPT

Tell ChatGPT the audience it's writing for.

ChatGPT is a very capable prompt engineer itself. If you ask it to come up with creative and effective inputs for artificial intelligence engines such as Dall-E and Midjourney , you'll get text you can then input into other AI tools you're playing around with. You're even able to ask for tips with prompts for ChatGPT itself.

When it comes to generating prompts, the more detailed and specific you are about what you're looking for the better: You can get the chatbot to extend and add more detail to your sentences, you can get it to role-play as a prompt generator for a specific AI tool, and you can tell it to refine its answers as you add more and more information.

While ChatGPT is based around text, you can get it to produce pictures of a sort by asking for ASCII art. That's the art made up of characters and symbols rather than colors. The results won't win you any prizes, but it's pretty fun to play around with.

The usual ChatGPT rules apply, in that the more specific you are in your prompt the better, and you can get the bot to add new elements and take elements away as you go. Remember the limitations of the ASCII art format though—this isn't a full-blown image editor.

Screenshot of ChatGPT

A ChatGPT Plus subscription comes with image generation.

If you use ChatGPT Plus , it's got the DALL-E image generator right inside it, so you can ask for any kind of photo, drawing, or illustration you like. As with text, try to be as explicit as possible about what it is you want to see, and how it's shown; do you want something that looks like a watercolor painting, or like it was taken by a DSLR camera? You can have some real fun with this: Put Columbo in a cyberpunk setting, or see how Jurassic Park would look in the Victorian era. The possibilities are almost endless.

You don't have to do all the typing yourself when it comes to ChatGPT. Copy and paste is your friend, and there's no problem with pasting in text from other sources. While the input limit tops out at around 4,000 words, you can easily split the text you're sending the bot into several sections and get it to remember what you've previously sent.

Perhaps one of the best ways of using this approach is to get ChatGPT to simplify text that you don't understand—the explanation of a difficult scientific concept, for instance. You can also get it to translate text into different languages, write it in a more engaging or fluid style, and so on.

If you want to go exploring, ask ChatGPT to create a text-based choose-your-own adventure game. You can specify the theme and the setting of the adventure, as well as any other ground rules to put in place. When we tried this out, we found ourselves wandering through a spooky castle, with something sinister apparently hiding in the shadows.

Screenshot of ChatGPT

ChatGPT is able to create text-based games for you to play.

Another way to improve the responses you get from ChatGPT is to give it some data to work with before you ask your question. For instance, you could give it a list of book summaries together with their genre, then ask it to apply the correct genre label to a new summary. Another option would be to tell ChatGPT about activities you enjoy and then get a new suggestion.

There's no magic combination of words you have to use here. Just use natural language as always, and ChatGPT will understand what you're getting at. Specify that you're providing examples at the start of your prompt, then tell the bot that you want a response with those examples in mind.

You can ask ChatGPT for feedback on any of your own writing, from the emails you're sending to friends, to the short story you're submitting to a competition, to the prompts you're typing into the AI bot. Ask for pointers on spelling, grammar, tone, readability, or anything else you want to scrutinize.

ChatGPT cleared the above paragraph as being clear and effective, but said it could use a call to action at the end. Try this prompt today!

Screenshot of ChatGPT

Get ChatGPT to give you feedback on your own writing.

In the same way that ChatGPT can mimic the style of certain authors that it knows about, it can also play a role: a frustrated salesman, an excitable teenager (you'll most likely get a lot of emoji and abbreviations back), or the iconic western film star John Wayne.

There are countless roles you can play around with. These prompts might not score highly in terms of practical applications, but they're definitely a useful insight into the potential of these AI chatbots.

You can type queries into ChatGPT that you might otherwise type into Google, looking for answers: Think "how much should I budget for a day of sightseeing in London?" or "what are the best ways to prepare for a job interview?" for example. Almost anything will get a response of some sort—though as always, don't take AI responses as being 100 percent accurate 100 percent of the time.

If you're using the paid ChatGPT Plus tool, it will actually search the web (with Bing) and provide link references for the answers it gives. If you're using the free version of ChatGPT, it'll mine the data its been trained on for answers, so they might be a little out of date or less reliable.

Your answers can be seriously improved if you give ChatGPT some ingredients to work with before asking for a response. They could be literal ingredients—suggest a dish from what's left in the fridge—or they could be anything else.

So don't just ask for a murder mystery scenario. Also list out the characters who are going to appear. Don't just ask for ideas of where to go in a city; specify the city you're going to, the types of places you want to see, and the people you'll have with you.

Your prompts don't always have to get ChatGPT to generate something from scratch: You can start it off with something, and then let the AI finish it off. The model will take clues from what you've already written and build on it.

This can come in handy for everything from coding a website to composing a poem—and you can then get ChatGPT to go back and refine its answer as well.

You've no doubt noticed how online arguments have tended toward the binary in recent years, so get ChatGPT to help add some gray between the black and the white. It's able to argue both sides of an argument if you ask it to, including both pros and cons.

From politics and philosophy to sports and the arts, ChatGPT is able to sit on the fence quite impressively—not in a vague way, but in a way that can help you understand tricky issues from multiple perspectives.

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    According to X As X states Example: To use the words of Hillary Clinton, "You cannot have maternal health without reproductive health." Near the end of the introduction, you should state the thesis to explain the central point of your paper. If you're not sure how to introduce your thesis, try using some of these phrases: In this essay, I will…

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    44 Comments Sharing is caring! How to Write a Great Essay in English! This lesson provides 100+ useful words, transition words and expressions used in writing an essay. Let's take a look! The secret to a successful essay doesn't just lie in the clever things you talk about and the way you structure your points. Contents

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    Writing Advice Top 300+ List of Essay Words To Use Top 300+ List of Essay Words To Use February 11, 2024 / 21 minutes of reading Here is our top list of essay words you can add to your writing. Any student or academic will tell you writing academic papers requires patience, thorough research, and appropriate words to relay ideas effectively.

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    We explain a bit about when and how to use them, and then give specific examples of sentence starters you can use in your writing, divided into categories for quick reference like "topic sentence starters for essays" or "good sentence starters for emphasis." Here's a tip: Want to make sure your writing shines?

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    To recap an idea at the end of a critical or descriptive essay, you can use this phrase at the beginning of the concluding paragraph. "Overall" means "taking everything into account," and it sums up your essay in a formal way. You can use "overall" on its own as a transition signal, or you can use it as part of a phrase.

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    explaining or elaborating. Transitions can signal to readers that you are going to expand on a point that you have just made or explain something further. Transitional words that signal explanation or elaboration include in other words, for example, for instance, in particular, that is, to illustrate, moreover. drawing conclusions.

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