To be truly brilliant, an essay needs to use the right language. You could make a big point, but unless it's cleverly articulated, you almost shouldn't have bothered.
Developing the language skills to build arguments and write persuasively is crucial if you want to write great essays every time. In this article, we'll equip you with the words and phrases you need to write a top-notch essay, along with examples of how to use them.
It's by no means an exhaustive list, and there will often be other ways to use the words and phrases we've described that we won't have the space for, but there should be more than enough below to help you improve your writing skills to improve immediately.
This article is appropriate for native English speakers and those who areto learn EnglishNORoyal Academy Oxfordand are just taking the first steps in writing.
Let's start by looking at the language for general explanations of complex points.
Usage: "Um" can be used to introduce an explanation of the purpose of an argument.
Example: "To understand X, we must first understand Y."
2. In other words
Usage: Use “in other words” when you want to say something differently (simpler), to make it easier to understand, or to emphasize or expand on a point.
Example: “Frogs are amphibians. In other words, they live on land and in the water.”
3. In other words
Usage: This phrase is another way of saying "in other words" and can be used in particularly complex places when you think an alternative formulation of a problem might help the reader better understand your meaning.
Example: “Plants rely on photosynthesis. In other words, they will die without the sun.”
4. I mean
Usage: "This is" and "means" can be used to add more detail or be more specific to your statement.
Example: “Whales are mammals. That means they have to breathe air.”
5. For this purpose
Usage: Use "for this purpose" or "for this purpose" similar to "to" or "therefore".
Example: “Zoologists have long tried to understand how animals communicate with each other. To this end, a new study has been launched analyzing elephant noises and their potential meanings.”
Students often make the mistake of using synonyms for “and” when they want to add more information to support a point they are making or pointing outbuild argument. Here are some smarter ways to do it.
Usage: Use "also" at the beginning of a sentence to add additional information that supports your point of view.
Example: "Additionally, recent research provides compelling evidence for..."
Usage: This is also often used at the beginning of a sentence to add additional information.
Example: "Furthermore, there is evidence that..."
8. What else
Usage: It is used in the same way as "additional" and "additional".
Example: "Furthermore, this is not the only evidence to support this hypothesis."
Usage: Use "in the same way" when you want to talk about something consistent with what you just mentioned.
Example: "Scholar A believes X. Likewise, scholar B argues convincingly for this view."
Usage: Use "similar" the same as "likewise".
Example: “The public at the time reacted with shock to Beethoven's new work because it was so different from what they were used to. We also tend to react with surprise to the unknown.”
11. Another important thing to remember
Usage: Use the phrase "another important point to remember" or "another important fact to remember" to introduce additional facts without using the word "also".
Example: “As a Romantic, Blake advocated a closer relationship between humans and nature. Another important point to remember is that Blake was writing during the Industrial Revolution, which had a tremendous impact on the world around him.”
12. As well
Usage: Use "as well" instead of "also" or "and".
Example: "Student A argued that this was due to both X and Y."
13. Not only... but also
Usage: This text is used to add additional information, often something that is somehow more surprising or unexpected than the first piece of information.
Example: "Edmund Hillary not only had the honor of being the first to reach the summit of Everest, he was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire."
14. Along with
Usage: Used when two or more arguments are considered at the same time.
Example: "Together with the literary evidence, the statistics paint a compelling picture of..."
15. First, second, third...
Usage: Can be used to structure an argument by clearly presenting facts one after the other.
Example: “There are many points that support this view. First X. Second Y. And third Z.
16. Don't mention/say nothing
Usage: "not to mention" and "not to say" can be used to add additional information with some emphasis.
Example: "The war caused unprecedented suffering to millions of people, not to mention the impact it had on the country's economy."
When developing an argument, you often have to present opposing or conflicting opinions or evidence - "it might show this, but it might show that" or "X says so, but Y disagrees". This section covers words you can use in place of "but" in these examples to make your writing smarter and more interesting.
Usage: Use "but" to introduce a point that doesn't match what you just said.
Example: “Student A thinks so. Scholar B, however, came to a different conclusion.”
18. On the other hand
Usage: Usage of this phrase involves introducing an opposing interpretation of the same evidence, different evidence suggesting otherwise, or an opposing opinion.
Example: “Historical evidence seems to point to a clear situation. On the other hand, the archaeological evidence paints a slightly less clear picture of what happened that day.”
19. After I said that
Usage: Used similarly to "on the other side" or "but".
Example: “Historians agree to tell us X, an agreement that this version of events must be an accurate account. However, archeology tells a different story.”
20. In contrast/in comparison
Usage: Use opposite or compared when comparing and contrasting evidence.
Example: “So the opinion of scholar A is based on insufficient evidence. In contrast, Scholar B's opinion seems more plausible."
21. So again
Usage: Use this to cast doubt on a statement.
Example: “Author A claims that this was the reason for what happened. On the other hand, it's possible he was paid to say that."
22. Apart from that
Usage: This is used the same way as "then again".
Example: “The evidence appears to point to this conclusion. However, much of the evidence is unreliable at best.”
Usage: Use it when you want to introduce a contrasting idea.
Example: “A large proportion of the studies have focused on this evidence. However, not everyone agrees that this is the most important aspect of the situation.”
Sometimes you may need to acknowledge a lack of evidence or add a condition. Here are some ways to do that.
Usage: Use "nevertheless" or "nevertheless" when you want to emphasize a point that will stand regardless of a lack of evidence.
Example: "The sample size was small, but the results were still important."
25. In that sense
Usage: Use when you want your reader to consider a knowledge point about something else.
Example: “We have seen that the methods used in the 19th century did not always meet the rigorous standards expected in current scientific research, making it difficult to draw definitive conclusions. With that in mind, let's look at a more recent study to see how the results compare."
Usage: It means "on condition that". You can also say "provide that" or just "provide" to mean the same thing.
Example: "We can use this as evidence to support our argument as long as we consider the limitations of the methods used to obtain it."
27. In view of/in light of
Usage: These phrases are used when something sheds light on something else.
Example: "Given the findings from the 2013 study, we better understand..."
Usage: This is similar to "nevertheless".
Example: "The study had its limitations, but was still innovative for its time."
Usage: It is the same as "but".
Example: "The study was flawed, but important nonetheless."
Usage: This is a different way of saying "however".
Example: "Despite the limitations of the methodology used, it was an important study in developing how we view the workings of the human mind."
Good essays always back up points with examples, but it gets boring if you use the phrase "for example" every time. Here are some other ways to say the same thing.
31. For example
Example: “Some birds migrate to avoid harsher winter conditions. Swallows, for example, leave Britain at the beginning of winter and fly south..."
32. To give an illustration
Example: "To illustrate what I mean, let's look at the case of...."
If you want to show that a point is particularly important, there are several ways to emphasize it as such.
Usage: Used to introduce a meaningful point that may not be immediately apparent.
Example: "Significantly, Tacitus omits to tell us the sort of gossip that prevails in Suetonius' accounts of the same period."
34. Above all
Usage: This can be used to mean "substantially" (as above) and can also be used interchangeably with "particularly" (the example below shows the first of these usages).
Example: "Scholar A's analysis lacks real numbers."
Usage: Use "important" interchangeably with "significant".
Example: "It is important to note that scholar A was employed by X when he wrote this paper and was probably under pressure to present the situation more favorably than he might otherwise have done."
You've almost reached the end of the essay, but your work isn't over yet. You must conclude by closing everything you said to show that you considered arguments on both sides and came to the most likely conclusion. Here are some words and phrases that can help you.
Usage: Usually used to introduce the last paragraph or sentence of an essay, summarizing what you have discussed into a broad overview.
Example: "In conclusion, the evidence points almost exclusively to argument A."
37. Above all
Usage: Used to denote what you think is the main point and conclusion of the essay.
Example: "First of all, it seems fitting to remember that..."
Usage: This is a useful word to summarize which argument you find the most compelling.
Example: "Scholar A's position - that Constanze Mozart was motivated by financial gain - seems to me to be the most convincing argument for her actions after Mozart's death."
Usage: Use in the same way as “persuasive” above.
Example: "The most convincing argument is presented by scholar A."
40. All in all
Usage: Means “take everything into account”. Example: "All things considered, it seems reasonable to assume that..."
How many of these words and phrases will you use in your next essay? And are your favorite writing terms missing from our list? Let us know in the comments below,orContact here to learn more about courses that can help you with your essays.
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