One of the criteria for assessing your IELTS essay is cohesion and coherence.
Coherence refers to the linking of ideas in a logical sequence or order. Cohesion refers to the organization of sentences and ideas in your essay working together as a whole within their paragraphs. They hold together by cohesive devices (transitional words and expressions). This makes it very easy for the reader to follow your presentation of information in the essay. They don’t get lost or confused. Did you write in clear paragraphs that are organized around central ideas? It’s like listening to a story that’s smooth and easy to follow.
Here are some useful transitional/linking words and phrases to use to show the different relationships between your ideas and sentences:
- also, again, in addition, additionally, furthermore, further, moreover, as well as, what’s more, besides this/that,
CONTRAST (show two things are different):
- on the other hand, however, despite this, conversely, in contrast, on the contrary, although, while, though, compared with, in comparison with, rather, whereas, but, instead of, in spite of, still, nevertheless, regardless, otherwise
COMPARE (show two things are similar/alike):
- likewise, similarly, also, in the same way, in comparison to
- first, second (etc.), to begin with, initially, at first, then, next, from there, and then, following this, finally, lastly
- for example, for instance, a good example of this is, such as, to illustrate, in particular, particularly, namely, specifically
- therefore, as a result, thus, so, consequently, admittedly, so that, depending on
- indeed, certainly, in fact, of course, undoubtedly, plainly, obviously
- if. . . then, unless, whether, provided that,
- in summary, in conclusion, overall, in short, in brief, to sum up, in other words, all in all, to put it differently, to summarize, on the whole,
- because, since, as, so, due to, owing to, the reason why
CONCESSION (accepting/acknowledging something is true):
- granted, naturally, of course
This is not a complete list and of course, many words can link ideas in different ways depending on how they are used.
*NOTE: It’s important to not overuse so many linking words in your essays because it makes it even more difficult to read, rather than making it smooth and easy to read. So choose a few carefully when you write and make sure you don’t overuse these phrases.
Want to get your essay writing checked? Here’s how: Essay Correction & Feedback