Linking Words in Essays

Mastering the art of using linking words in essays

Linking words and phrases play a crucial role in academic writing by enhancing clarity, coherence, and overall quality. Let’s explore how they benefit students:

Structuring Ideas:

  • Linking words connect and logically organize ideas within sentences and paragraphs.
  • They create a flow, making it easier for readers to follow your arguments and understand the presented concepts.

Clear Relationships:

  • Transition words express relationships between different sentences or parts of a sentence.
  • They help readers understand how ideas relate to each other, whether it’s cause and effect, comparison, contrast, or addition.

Improving Readability:

  • Proper use of linking words ensures smooth transitions between sentences.
  • Without them, writing may feel disjointed or confusing, hindering comprehension.

Avoiding Repetition:

  • By using linking words, you can avoid repetitive phrases or sentence structures.
  • They allow you to convey complex ideas succinctly and efficiently.

Enhancing Coherence:

  • Linking words create a cohesive narrative, guiding readers through your essay or paper.
  • They signal shifts in focus, emphasize key points, and maintain a logical flow.

Mastering the art of using linking words empowers students to express their ideas effectively and engage readers in academic writing.

Let’s explore the difference between “is” and “are” in grammar:


  • Singular form: Used with third person singular subjects (he, she, it).
  • Example: The cat is eating all of his food.


  • Plural form: Used with second person singular (you) and all plural subjects.
  • Example: Gorillas are intelligent animals.

So, the subject of a sentence determines whether “is” or “are” should be used. If the noun is singular, use “is”; if it is plural or there are multiple nouns, use “are”.

Let’s explore the usage of “is” and “are” in essay writing:


  • Use “is” when referring to a singular subject.
  • Example: “The cat is sleeping.”
  • In essay writing, “is” is appropriate for individual subjects or singular nouns.


  • Use “are” when referring to multiple subjects or plural nouns.
  • Example: “The cats are playing in the garden.”
  • In essays, “are” is suitable for emphasizing the collective components of a group.

These basic rules to ensure clarity and coherence in your writing!

What about other linking words in essays?

In addition to “is” and “are”, linking words play a crucial role in essay writing. They help connect ideas, improve coherence, and guide the reader through your arguments. Here are some useful linking words for different purposes:


  • These words express agreement or similarities:
  • Moreover, essay examinations show higher levels of learning.
  • The resort has tennis courts. Furthermore, it has an Olympic pool.

Negative Ideas:

  • Some linking words join negative ideas:
  • I haven’t seen Lory, nor have I talked to her friend.
  • I neither drink nor smoke.


  • These transition phrases express contrasting ideas:
  • Although this may be true, there are other factors to consider.
  • However, we must acknowledge the limitations of our study.

Choose appropriate linking words to enhance the clarity and flow of your essay.

Examples of linking words for cause and effect

When writing about cause and effect, using appropriate linking words can enhance the clarity and coherence of your essay. Here are some common linking words for cause and effect:

  • Conjunctions:

Because, as, and since introduce a cause:

Example: “I stayed at home because it was raining.”
Example (reversed order): “Because it was raining, I stayed at home.”

So introduces an effect:

Example: “It was raining, so I stayed at home.”

  • Transitions:

Therefore, consequently, and as a result introduce an effect:

Example: “It was raining; therefore, I stayed home.”
Example: “It was raining. Consequently, I stayed at home.”

  • Prepositions:

Due to and because of introduce a cause in the form of a noun phrase:

Example: “I stayed at home due to the rain.”
Example: “Because of the rain, I stayed at home.”

What about linking words for sequencing events?

When writing about cause and effect, using appropriate linking words can enhance the clarity and coherence of your essay. Here are some common linking words for sequencing events:

Beginning Sequence Words: these words signal the start of something:

  • In the beginning, the story unfolds.
  • To begin with, let’s explore the background.
  • Once upon a time, there was a magical forest.

Middle Sequence Words: these words indicate events in the middle or progression:

  • Soon, the hero embarks on a quest.
  • Next, the plot thickens.
  • Meanwhile, the villain hatches a plan.

Ending Sequence Words: these words mark the conclusion or final events:

  • Finally, the mystery is solved.
  • At last, the lovers reunite.
  • In conclusion, the journey ends.

Use these linking words strategically to guide your reader through the sequence of events in your essay.

Examples of linking words for comparison

When writing essays or academic papers, linking words play a crucial role in expressing comparisons. Here are some useful linking words for comparison:


  • Indicates a similarity between two ideas or concepts.
  • Example: “Both novels explore themes of identity. Similarly, they delve into the complexities of human relationships.”


  • Used to express agreement or similarity.
  • Example: “The economic policies of both countries have led to growth. Likewise, their social welfare programs have improved.”


  • Suggests that two things are equal in importance or significance.
  • Example: “Both theories have merits. Equally, they have limitations.”


  • Indicates that two items can be compared.
  • Example: “The impact of climate change on coastal regions is comparable to its effects on island nations.”

“In the same way”:

  • Highlights a parallel between two situations.
  • Example: “Just as technology has transformed communication, in the same way, it has revolutionized education.”

Use these linking words judiciously to enhance the coherence and clarity of your writing.

What about linking words for contrast?

When expressing contrast in your writing, linking words play a crucial role in connecting contrasting ideas. Here are some common linking words for contrast:


  • Used to introduce a contrasting idea.
  • Example: “Although the weather is bad, I love London.”


  • Shows a contrast between two separate sentences.
  • Place it at the start of the second sentence, at the end, or after the subject.
  • Example: “I love this city. However, the roads are too narrow.”

“Despite” / “In spite of”:

  • Used before a noun or a gerund.
  • Can go in the middle or at the beginning of a sentence.
  • Example: “I love London despite the bad weather.”
  • Example: “In spite of the bad weather, I love London.”


  • More informal than “however.”
  • Connects two independent clauses.
  • Example: “I love this city. But the roads are too narrow.”


  • Found between two phrases.
  • Means “despite this” or “but.”
  • Example: “I feel down today. I’m still attending the event, though.”


  • Expresses a surprising idea that contradicts what was mentioned earlier.
  • Example: “I helped her, yet she betrayed me.”

Choose the appropriate linking words to convey contrast effectively in your writing.

Using ‘nevertheless’ in academic writing

“Nevertheless” is a useful word in academic writing. Here’s how to use it effectively:

Meaning and Purpose:

  • “Nevertheless” is a discourse marker that introduces a contrasting idea or result.
  • It emphasizes a point despite previous information or expectations.
  • Use it to acknowledge opposing viewpoints, highlight exceptions, or present surprising conclusions.


  • “Nevertheless” can follow “but”:

Example: “Competition was tough last year, but nevertheless, our sales increased.”

  • It can also begin a new sentence or follow a semicolon:

Example: “Competition was tough last year. Nevertheless, our sales increased.”
Example: “Competition was tough last year; nevertheless, our sales increased.”

Usage Tips:

  • Avoid using “nevertheless” to introduce a completely new idea.
  • Use it judiciously to maintain coherence and avoid overuse.
  • Remember that it adds nuance and sophistication to your writing.

In summary, “nevertheless” is a powerful tool for expressing contrast and maintaining logical flow in academic essays.

Linking words for emphasis

When emphasizing points in your writing, linking words play a crucial role in creating coherence and highlighting key ideas. Here are some useful linking words for emphasis:

Above all:

  • Used to introduce the most important point.
  • Example: “Above all, we must prioritize environmental conservation.”


  • Indicates strong agreement or certainty.
  • Example: “The evidence is absolutely compelling.”


  • Highlights clarity or obviousness.
  • Example: “The data clearly supports our hypothesis.”


  • Expresses strong affirmation.
  • Example: “This policy change is definitely necessary.”


  • Emphasizes a specific aspect.
  • Example: “The endangered species need protection, especially the rare orchids.”

In fact:

  • Introduces a surprising or contrary fact.
  • Example: “Many believed it was impossible; in fact, it was achievable.”

Use these linking words strategically to enhance the impact of your writing.

Using ‘certainly’ in writing

The word “certainly” is a powerful adverb that signifies a high degree of confidence or assurance. Let’s explore its usage:

Affirmation and Confirmation:

  • “Certainly” is often used to affirm or confirm something that is true or valid.
  • Example: “Certainly, I agree with your assessment of the situation.”
  • It emphasizes the speaker’s unwavering belief in the truth or validity of the statement.

Expressing Confidence and Assurance:

  • Use “certainly” to convey confidence in a particular outcome or situation.
  • Example: “The evidence presented certainly supports your argument.”
  • It adds certainty and conviction to the statement.

Versatility and Adaptability:

  • While the fundamental meaning of “certainly” remains consistent, its usage can vary depending on context.
  • Whether you’re a seasoned writer or a learner, understanding how to use “certainly” effectively enhances communication abilities.
  • “Сertainly” can be a one-word response of agreement or a modifier that adds emphasis and certainty to your writing.