How to start an essay phrases

How to start an essay phrases

Useful Phrases for Proficiency Essays

Introducing the phenomenon to be discussed

More and more families are choosing to have only one child.

The trend nowadays is towards having smaller families.

Over the past ten years or so the media have frequently carried reports of.

Recent research indicates that the number of teenagers who smoke is increasing.

Hardly a week goes by without another report of. appearing in the media.

This raises the issue of whether.

Although most people would generally agree that. few would deny that.

Stating your opinion

It seems to me that. I would also say that.

I am convinced that.

I am inclined to believe that.

There is no doubt in my mind that.

One of the drawbacks of. is.

However, one of the benefits is that.

Changing topic

As regards the causes for this, .

Concerning the causes for this, .

As for the causes, .

Presenting arguments

One justification often given for. is that.

Advocates/Proponents would claim that.

Those who object to. often argue that.

Another objection is that.

However, it should not be forgotten that.

. are opposed to. on the grounds that.

From the point of view of.

Describing causes

One factor which has led to. is.

One of the factors which has brought this about is.

The problem often stems from.

The situation has been exacerbated by.

. has only made the situation worse.

One consequence of. is.

Proposing steps and measures

As regards the most appropriate response to this situation, one suggestion would be to.

The first step to be taken would be to.

To alleviate the situation people should.

In addition they ought to.

To begin to tackle this situation society/individuals/the government need/s to.

. would certainly ameliorate the situation.

This can only be dealt with if.

To overcome this problem, .

Were the government to. the situation would doubtless improve.

Individuals can do a great deal to.

The burden of responsiblity lies in the hands of.

It is vitally important that.

Legislation should be introduced to control.

It would be a grave error if we.


All in all it seems to me that.

The obvious conclusion to be drawn is that.

All things considered, .

On balance, I tend to believe that.

The world would surely be a better place to live in if.

If people stopped. ing, we would have/ we could look forward to a.

The prospects for the future will be bleak/grim unless.

You should have a few pages safe somewhere where you can keep a record of other useful essay phrases that you come across in your reading. Note them down and practise using them in your own writing.

Look out for more advanced expressions that you can use in place of phrases that weren’t even impressive at the B2 level — phrases like «solve the problem». Here are a few alternative problem and solution phrases to get you going.:

A Crisis in education which must be Addressed

Something that must Be tackled / Be dealt with

A Challenge which must Be met

Something must be done To restore law and order in the inner cities

Send queries, comments and gentle reminders about spelling mistakes to:

Transition Words

As a «part of speech» Transition words are used to link words, phrases or sentences. They help the reader to progress from one idea (expressed by the author) to the next idea. Thus, they help to build up coherent relationships within the text.

Transitional Words

This structured list of commonly used English Transition words — approximately 200, can be considered as quasi complete. It can be used (by students and teachers alike) to find the right expression. English transition words are essential, since they not only connect ideas, but also can introduce a certain shift, contrast or opposition, emphasis or agreement, purpose, result or conclusion, etc. in the line of argument.
The transition words and phrases have been assigned only once to somewhat artificial categories, although some words belong to more than one category.

There is some overlapping with prepositions and postpositions, but for the purpose of usage and completeness of this concise guide, I did not differentiate.

Agreement / Addition / Similarity

The transition words like Also, in addition, and, likewise, Add information, Reinforce ideas, and Express agreement with preceding material.

How to begin a new paragraph. Useful linking words and phrases.

It is a good idea to occasionally use linking words and phrases at the start of a new paragraph. They can help to link what you have said in the previous paragraph to what you are about to say in your new paragraph.

These link words and phrases are often referred to as signposts. This is because they help to indicate to the reader when one point ends and other begins, as well as the relationship between each point.

Used with care, they can help to guide examiners and tutors through your essay. As well as bolster the impression of a coherent, flowing and logical piece of work.

Useful linking words and phrases that can be used at the start of new paragraphs:

A contrary explanation is that, …

As a consequence, …

As we have seen, …

At the same time, …

An equally significant aspect of…

Another, significant factor in…

Before considering X it is important to note Y

By the same token, …

But we should also consider, …

Despite these criticisms, …it’s popularity remains high.

Certainly, there is no shortage of disagreement within…

Chaytor, … in particular, has focused on the

Despite these criticisms, … the popularity of X remains largely undiminished.

Each of these theoretical positions make an important contribution to our understanding of, …

Evidence for in support of this position, can be found in…,

For this reason, …

For these reasons, …

Given, the current high profile debate with regard to, …it is quite surprising that …

Given, the advantages of … outlined in the previous paragraph, …it is quite predictable that …

Having considered X, it is also reasonable to look at …

In the final analysis, …

It can be seen from the above analysis that, …

It could also be said that, …

It is however, important to note the limitations of…

It is important to note however, that …

It is important however not to assume the applicability of, …in all cases.

It is important however not to overemphasis the strengths of …

In the face of such criticism, proponents of, …have responded in a number of ways.

Notwithstanding such criticism, ….it’s popularity remains largely undiminished.

Notwithstanding these limitations, ….it worth remains in a number of situations.

Noting the compelling nature of this new evidence, …has suggested that.

Nevertheless, …remains a growing problem.

Nonetheless, the number of, …has continued to expand at an exponential rate.

Despite these criticisms, …it’s popularity remains high.

On the other hand, critics of, …point to its blindness, with respect to.

Of central concern therefore to, …sociologists is explaining how societal processes and institutions…

Proponents of…, have also suggested that…

The sentiment expressed in the quotation, embodies the view that, …

This interpretation of, … has not been without it’s detractors however.

This approach is similar to the, …. position

This critique, unfortunately, implies a singular cause of, …

This point is also sustained by the work of, …

This counter argument is supported by evidence from, …

The use of the term, …

There appears then to be an acceleration in the growth of

There is also, however, a further point to be considered.

These technological developments have greatly increased the growth in, …

To be able to understand, …

While such failures must not be discounted, … there were in comparison small, when compared

Whilst the discussion in the preceding paragraph, …

Whether crime rates were actually lower at this time continues to be a matter of debate. Evidence from…

There are an almost limitless number of linking phrases and words one can use. What is important is that they complement the style of your writing.

Use these examples to arouse your creativity.

Remember that you don’t have to use them all the time. Using words like, ‘therefore’ ‘subsequently’ ‘moreover’ etc. for every new paragraph would probably become repetitive and detract from the key component of most academic work – critical analysis.

Finally, remember to succinctly, identify the key paragraphs and/or sections of your essay during your introductory paragraph. Then restate them along side an unambiguous position in your concluding paragraph. Again this will help to communicate a clear and understandable progression and structure, to those who read or mark your essay.