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Keywords Used In Essay Writing

IELTS Writing -
Key Words & Expressions

By learning to use common phrases and set expressions, you can add variety and interest to your writing. You will also be able to write more quickly and effectively during exams, when time is limited.

Of course, you won't need to use all of the expressions on the IELTS. Ideally, you should be comfortable using at least three or four expressions from each group below, so they come to mind easily during the IELTS. It is also helpful to have someone call them out so you can test your spelling. Unfortunately, students sometimes make spelling errors even in these commonly occurring expressions. Practice sufficiently so you don't lose points unnecessarily on something that's within your control.

KEY WORDS for IELTS WRITING

Stating Your Opinion

In my opinion,

According to me,

In my view,

To me,

From my point of view,

I think

It seems to me that

I believe

From my perspective

To my way of thinking

It appears that

I suppose

I realize

I understand

I imagine

I feel

 

Giving Examples

For example,

For instance,

such as

In other words,

as

like

that is

namely

To illustrate

To paraphrase

 

Comparing

Similar to

As...as

in common

also

Either...or

In the same way,

Neither...nor

At the same time

Just as

resemble

 

Contrasting

However,

But

On the contrary,

On the other hand,

Differ from

Nevertheless

Although

Though

Otherwise

Instead

Alternatively,

Even though

Generalizing

Generally,

Generally speaking,

Overall,

On the whole,

In general,

By and large,

It seems to me that

I believe

All in all,

Basically,

Essentially,

As a rule,

All things considered

For the most part

 

Expressing Certainty

Certainly,

Undoubtedly,

Doubtless,

No doubt,

Definitely,

Of course,

 

Expressing Partial Agreement

More or less,

To some extent,

Up to a point,

Almost,

In a way,

So to speak,

 

Showing cause

Due to

Because

Because of

Owing to

 

Showing effect

Therefore,

As a result,

Consequently,

For this reason,

Thus,

So,

thereby

Eventually,

Hence,

The reason why

 

Marking time

First,

Last

Second,

Lastly,

Third,

Then,

Firstly,

First of all,

Secondly,

Before

Thirdly,

After

During

While

To begin with

At the same time

Simultaneously

After this / that

Since

Meanwhile

Afterwards

Following this

When

As soon as

 

Adding Information

Furthermore

In addition

Also

And

Moreover

Similarly

Likewise

As well as

Besides

Too

Even

What’s more

 

Expressing condition

If

Whether

In case

Unless

Provided that

So that

 

Concluding

To summarize

In conclusion

Lastly,

Finally,

To conclude with,

In short,

The IELTS writing exam is marked on four criteria – grammar and sentence structure; vocabulary usage; answering the task response; and coherence and cohesion.  Each make up 25% of the overall score.  Often when I read an essay by an ESL student, I’m impressed by their range of vocabulary and their expert grammar use, but disappointed about how incoherently one sentence flows to the next.

To develop coherence and cohesion, we need to use a variety of phrases to link one idea to the next, so that the reader can follow your thinking.Today, I’m going to give you some of the most useful IELTS phrases to incorporate into your writing to keep that flow going and for your writing to be extremely coherent.Let’s get started!

Useful IELTS Phrases and Words

Below are some common words and phrases you know, but which you often forget to use when linking your writing.Try to incorporate some of these, where appropriate, into your writing.

Some Final Tips

  • Revision tip:On a blank sheet of paper write Result/Example/Condition/Addition/Comparison at the top of the page and then list the words that you remember.Check against the list in this blog.
  • While practicing for the exam, try to use these expressions.
  • Before you write and before the exam, read through the expressions again.
  • Finally, whilst these are great words and phrases to use in your writing, don’t overuse them.Not every sentence needs to start with a linking phrase!

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