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Developing your argument

using proper

linking words and expressions

Linking expressions are used when joining different parts of a sentence, when linking sentences
and paragraphs, their role being to give structure to the argument presented.

It is very important for students to be aware of the necessity of using a large variety of linking
words and expressions in order to give coherence and cohesion to their piece of writing, be it an
essay, formal/informal letter, story, article, review, etc. These expressions help the natural flow
of ideas, and, when it comes to assessment, the assessor will find it easier to understand the
points outlined in the students’ writing. They will make it very clear for the assessor to see where
the candidate adds another idea, argument or example to the same topic, when he/she brings
arguments to contradict a topic discussed, or when he/she comes to a conclusion and/or brings
his/her own opinion.

It is also essential to remember that usually these linking words make up about 25% of the grade
given in a writing exam, so using them correctly – and by correctly I mean keeping in mind their
meaning, their proper place within a sentence and not forgetting punctuation, which is also
crucial - can definitely be an advantage. Below will be a presentation of useful linking words
divided into categories for easy use and understanding.

Listing points on a topic / Adding more points to the topic

 Firstly, we need to tackle the pressing matter of high unemployment rates before we can
start changing the work schedule.
 First of all, media has the role of keeping the public informed.
 To begin with, it is an advantage to get higher education, as it will ensure a better-paid
job in the future.
 In the first place/ First and foremost, let us analyze the issue of public transport and its
role in developing tourism in our country.
 Secondly/ Next, we should keep a close eye on genetically modified plants as they will
definitely impact our future lifestyle.
 What is more, people tend to believe everything they see or hear in the media.
 Mary and Lucy are on their way to meeting some friends. Both John and Terry are
accompanying them. Their mothers-in-law, as well as their cousins, might be coming to
the not-so-secret birthday party. Along with them will probably go Terry’s grandmother,
 The internet is a great source of information in all fields of activity. Furthermore, it
provides a wide range of possibilities for entertainment. Apart from that/ In addition to
that, it is the easiest way to keep in touch with friends or family.
 Not only is the product inefficient, but it also costs a lot of money to manufacture.
 This information is not entirely true, not to mention the fact that/ to say nothing of the
fact that it comes from an unreliable source.
 Equally important is the people’s sense of security and trust in their governor.
 People not only need secure employment, but some incentives as well, to keep them
motivated in their job.
 Another argument/ point/ idea is that music develops children’s creativity and relieves
 The service was awful during the ceremony. On top of that, a waiter spilled champagne
over my new very expensive dress, causing me to spend a lot of money at the dry-
 Finally/ Lastly/ Last but not least, let us not forget that doing regular exercise should
come hand in hand with a healthy diet, plenty of sleep and avoidance of stress.

Comparing and contrasting

 I was brought up to be always punctual and keep my promises. Similarly, I have tried to
instill this sense of responsibility in my children.
 Our neighbors were always copying our every move. We put up a wooden fence, they did
 While the first argument goes in favor of the media as one of the most important and
readily available sources of information, the second dwells on its lack of objectivity.
 Ageing is usually perceived as being accompanied by poor health and difficulty in
moving. In contrast/ By way of contrast/ Conversely, youth is commonly associated
with vitality and quick thinking.
 The terrorists’ demands were met in the end. All the same, they killed the hostages and
burnt down the bank.
 Many people believe that money is the best incentive to do a good job. Yet/ Still/
However/ Nevertheless/ Nonetheless, there can be other ways to reward employees for
their efforts, without making it all about financial gain.
 They spent days and nights drafting their proposal for the senate, and brought arguments
and testimonies to support them. Even so, they came up against strong opposition from
the minorities.
 Although/ Though the camp was supposed to provide tourists with electricity and toilets,
it failed to do so.
 It might sound like a good idea. I really doubt it will ever be put into practice, though.
 Even if/ Even though the seating situation was far from ideal, we stayed until the end, as
the concert was well-worth the nuisance.
 Despite/ In spite of (+ pronoun/noun) her obvious fear/ (+ vb.-ing) being afraid/ the fact
that (+ clause, i.e. SB + PR) she was afraid to testify against the corrupt cop, she
contacted the FBI and is now in their witness protection program.
 On the one hand it is a good idea to use technology in your job, on the other hand it
can make you lazier and more careless, which could lead to inadequacies and fatal errors.
 The people in the first picture seem to be enjoying their upscale vacation, whereas in the
second image they seem completely dissatisfied with the conditions offered by the hotel.
 Regardless of the fact that he has made a great contribution to this company, Tom’s
disloyalty is unpardonable.
 Some say we should step up the pressure on him to resign. On the contrary, I believe he
should be encouraged, as he has great potential.
 Instead of complicating your work, why not look for better sources of information and
check your references?
 You keep trying to meet him face to face, which is close to impossible. Instead, you
might want to talk his secretary into squeezing you in one of his many breaks from work.
 Unlike my colleagues, I completely trust her to carry out the job.
 People rely too much on fuels such as gas. Alternatively, they should look into other
sources of renewable energy.
 As opposed to/ Contrary to/ Counter to the general view that all youngsters are rude, I
would say that there are many examples of well-behaved and highly civilized youths.
 A clear/ striking difference can be noticed when it comes to people’s opinions on
starting a war with a communist regime.
 A strong distinction should be made between reality and fiction when it comes to
 Balanced against/ (Up) against the people’s obvious preference for gadgets is their need
for socializing face to face more.
 An opposing view favors the use of alternative medicine to cure some diseases.
Cause, effect, purpose, reason, manner

 When he was told to redo the whole plan, he realized he had to act accordingly.
 They didn’t allow the president to sign the freedom act. Consequently/ As a
consequence/ As a result, the prison director carried out the death sentence.
 He refuses to give in to the demands of the hijackers by reason of/ on the grounds that
their country does not negotiate with terrorists. Hence/ That led to/ created/ caused a lot
of friction between the police and the crowd gathered to pray for the people on the plane.
 Following that/ Due to the fact that/ Owing to the fact that/ On account of the fact
that/ Because he openly declared his political affiliation, they denied him permanent
 More and more people have become prisoners in their own homes. One reason for this
is excessive use of technology.
 As/ Since they were outcasts, they were always on the run, which made it difficult for
their children to make friends.
 He works as a circus manager, but in fact he behaves like an almighty king, as if/ as
though he had rights of life and death over the people and animals working for him.
 In view of setting up a new business, he asked for a loan from the bank.
 Seeing that/ Now that you have finished your homework earlier, you are allowed to
watch a movie of your choice on TV. Therefore/ So, you are free for the next two hours.
 To (+ vb. inf.) earn more money, you need to put more effort into your work, so that
(+clause) the supervisor might recommend you for promotion.
 Tom bought a whole new outfit so as (+ vb. inf.) to be seen as someone from the upper

Giving examples, referring

 There is a lot that can be done to improve education in our country. For example/
instance, we could provide underprivileged children with stationery and a free lunch.
 People must absolutely take action. This includes monitoring what their children watch
on TV.
 When it comes to health, regular exercise and healthy food should be a top priority for
 To exemplify, let us consider the issue of conventional fuels which are the main cause of
 With respect to/ With regards to/ With reference to/ In connection with/ Regarding/
In relation to the topic of protecting the environment, we should address the matter of
deforestation, which leads to landslides and destruction of natural habitats of both
animals and birds, not to mention insects.
 There are plenty of incentives employers could make use of to award their most hard-
working employees. To take one example, they might want to offer better health
insurance for them and their families.
 Students could resort to professional help, such as a psychologist, to talk about their
personal problems.
 In the case of unemployment rates, government policies are the ones that can prevent a
steady worrying increase.
 Dangers to our children’s emotional state, as revealed by/ illustrated by recent studies,
should be a matter of concern for parents.
 As far as education is concerned, there is still a long way to go before we have a
performant system that tackles all the problems and prepares children for the outside

Expressing general statements/ Generalizing

 In general, people are reluctant to changing their workplace very often.

 On the whole, it can be said we are all slaves of our small vices.
 As a rule, teachers frown upon any act of bullying in and outside of class.
 Generally speaking, people tend to slow down when seeing a police car on the road.
 Some people think/ believe/ feel that banning commercials aimed at children is a
necessary action to take to protect them.
 It is generally/ widely/ popularly believed that education is the key to a highly
developed society.
 It can also be argued that/ it is often alleged that technology alienates people rather
than brings them together.
 It is undeniable/ clear that/ It is a fact that music has a positive impact on people
of all ages.
 People talk about/ often claim that an increase in the stress levels at schools
because of too much homework.
 There is evidence to suggest that art in school has improved children’s learning
skills and encouraged communication.
 Contrary to popular belief, treating yourself with herbs you’ve read about on the
internet is not better than consulting a doctor.
 While it is true to say that financial gain is the main motivation when it comes to
choosing a career, there are definitely people who prefer to do what they like for a
 The fact that more and more young people find it hard to get employed these days
contradicts the general belief that only by pursuing tertiary education can someone
have a successful career.

Expressing personal opinion

 In my opinion/view/ To my mind/ To my way of thinking, banning fast food

restaurants in schools would be of benefit to children.
 I am convinced that we could all make a difference when it comes to keeping our
cities clean and safe,
 It strikes me that we all want the best for our community but we want it done by
others, without actually doing something ourselves.
 It is my firm belief that no law can forbid people from thinking freely.
 It seems to me that the more we complain the less gets done.
 As far as I’m concerned, it is our duty to protect nature, in order to protect
 I truly believe a world without wars is a better world for our children.
 From my point of view, public works of art embellish cities and remind us of our
 As for me, I would definitely choose/ go in for a society that is stress-free.

Expressing reality, clarifying, emphasizing

 Indeed/ Naturally/ Clearly/ Of course/ Above all/ Needless to say, we need more
educated citizens if are to rise our standards of living.
 In effect/ In fact/ As a matter of fact, we seem to use less than half the capacity of our
 The fact of the matter is that you must get your license renewed if you want to avoid
getting fined.
 Actually, there is always a solution if you ponder the situation calmly.
 In practice, it is a whole lot harder to keep your head up when you’re in a tough spot.
 The time is now. In other words/ That is to say, we have to act, and we have to act fast.
 To put it another way/ To put it simply, it is your duty to keep your workplace nice and
 A lot of people, especially/ particularly men, believe women make terrible drivers.
 Some people, politicians and wealthy businessmen in particular, tend to believe
themselves untouchable by the law.
 Progress would be significantly/ notably higher if we were to be more involved in our
 To emphasize, it is time to make people aware of the consequences of their choices.
 With this in mind, it is imperative that we all do our best to protect life in its all forms.

Reaching a conclusion

 Finally/ Lastly, assessment of a person’s abilities based on exam results is not exactly
 All in all/ Overall/ On the whole, there are opposing views regarding the need for sport
in the school curriculum.
 Taking everything into account/ All things considered/ Considering all of the above,
it is only natural to affirm that interest in sports other than football has negatively been
impacted on by money.
 In conclusion/ In summary/ To conclude/ To summarize/ To sum up, social problems
are the result of poor education, as well as low living standard.
 For the above mentioned reasons it is safe to state that mathematics can be considered
 By and large, industrialization might turn out to be an awful blessing.
 In brief/short, the internet has brought about both benefits and drawbacks.

Relative pronouns
 Mary, whose children were wondering the forest yesterday morning, is one of our
 The past, which is something we definitely cannot run from, is about to repeat itself.
 Someone who stands up to their rights will never be defeated.
 That’s the place where questions remained unanswered and prayers are just dust in the
wind. You’ll never know when darkness strikes from behind.
 This is the man who/ whom/ that I think should be held accountable for the bankruptcy.

Indicating time order

 When he saw his daughter, he couldn’t believe how grown up she was.
 As soon as/ The moment he stepped into the room, it felt like he lit up the whole place.
While I was watching petrified as he elbowed his way through the dancing crowd, the
music suddenly stopped.
 During the time he spent in Iraq, his wife gave birth to a wonderful baby girl.
 She entered the classroom quietly. Meanwhile/ In the meantime, I was trying to distract
the teacher.
 Earlier/ prior to this, she phoned her mother for help.
 Tom had previously/ formerly worked as an administrator for the oil company.
 Now that he knew the truth, he was convinced the police wouldn’t be able to help his
 In retrospect, it was the best thing to do to keep his company afloat.
 Following/ After the inspector’s check-up, the construction stopped.
 Not long ago/ before, lions used to roam the jungle, at present/ currently there are very
few that have escaped poachers.
 Afterwards/ Later/ After a long time/ After a while, he decided to start fresh and look
for a new job in another town.
 Not long after/ Soon after/ Right after the council left the debate room, silence
descended upon everyone present.
 Eventually, the criminal was caught and put in jail.
 Next, he tied the horse to the railing and entered the bar, hands on his pistols, ready for
 Finally, she came to her senses and admitted framing her cousin for murder.
 There will be a long time till/ until/ before she recovers.
 Whenever he saw her, he felt like his heart stopped, that’s how much he loved her smile,
her eyes and her long wavy blond hair.