50 Essays Editor

It’s very common for students to use long words they don’t understand very well in their essays and theses because they have a certain idea of what academic writing should be. Many students believe that academic writing is wordy and convoluted, and uses a lot of jargon. This leads many students to fall into a trap of imagining that the longer the word, the more impressive and intelligent their writing will seem.

We often see long sentences and multisyllabic words where shorter sentences and simpler words would do. Some students even use Microsoft Word’s thesaurus function to replace a common word with a more complicated word. This is a risky move, because unless you’re very careful, the new word may not carry quite the same meaning as the original, even if it’s similar.

The result can range from funny to confusing, which defeats the purpose of academic writing: to be as clear and concise as possible, using just the right words to convey your argument. Using uncommon words, instead of making your paper seem smarter, generally detracts from your ideas.

To avoid this, using linking or transition words that signpost your arguments can help to clarify your views and show the reader what to expect from certain paragraphs or sentences. These words give structure to the whole, helping you to organise your ideas and assist the reader in understanding them.

We have prepared some flashcards containing linking words you can use in academic writing.

CLICK HERE to download these FREE flashcards

Below is a handy list of words that are both useful and appropriate to academic language.

Describing similarities

Likewise

Correspondingly

Equally

Not only… but also

In the same way

Similarly

Showing cause and effect

Consequently

As a result

Thus

Hence (never ‘hence why’)

Since (try to avoid ‘as’ when showing cause and effect)

Because

Therefore

Accordingly

This suggests that

It follows that

For this reason

Comparing and contrasting

Alternatively

However

Conversely

On the other hand

Instead

Yet

On the contrary

Showing limitation or contradiction

Despite/in spite of

While (not whilst!)

Even so

On the contrary

Nevertheless

Nonetheless

Although

Admittedly

Emphasis, addition or examples

To illustrate

To clarify

Further (not ‘furthermore’)

First, second and third (not firstly, secondly and thirdly)

For instance

Moreover

Typically

Especially

In fact

Namely

In addition

Concluding

To summarise

It can be concluded that

As can be seen

Ultimately

Given the above

As described

Finally

 

We have prepared some flashcards containing linking words you can use in academic writing.

CLICK HERE to download these FREE flashcards

 

Pro tip

The best way to get better at writing academic language is to read academic writing. You’ll pick up all sorts of useful tips from published papers in your area of study.

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