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Useful Phrases for Writing Essays

This list is not exhaustive, but has been designed to give you the
basic phrases that you can use to structure your essays coherently.
Do not overuse these phrases, and make sure that your essays have
plenty of interesting and relevant content.
Developing the Argument
The first aspect to point out is that...
The novel portrays, deals with, revolves around…
The character of xxx embodies/ epitomizes…

Ordering Elements
Firstly,.../ Secondly,.../ Finally,... (note the comma after all these
introductory words.)
As a final point, …
(On the one hand), …. on the other hand, …
If on the one hand it can be said that... the same is not true for...
The first argument suggests that... whilst the second suggests that...
There are at least xxx points to highlight.
Adding Elements
Furthermore, one should not forget that...
In addition to...
Moreover...
It is important to add that…
Accepting Other Points of View
Nevertheless, one should accept that...
However,...
Others' Opinions
According to some critics...
Critics believe that
say that
suggest that
are convinced that
point out that
emphasise that
highlight that
contend that
argue that
Introducing Examples
For example, …
For instance, …
To illustrate this point...
Emphasising Particular Points
The last example highlights that fact that...
Not only... but also...
Consequences
From these facts, one may conclude that...
This seems to confirm the idea that...
Thus,.../ Therefore,...
Comparison
Some critics suggest..., whereas others...
Compared to...
(On the one hand) there is the firm belief that... On the other hand,
many people are convinced that...

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Conclusion
The arguments we have presented... suggest that.../ prove that.../
would indicate that...
From these arguments one could.../ might conclude that...
All of this points to the conclusion that...
To conclude, …
To sum up...

Remarks
Verbs
• English is a language rich in verbs, so try to use the appropriate
verb instead of vague verbs or long verb phrases.
For instance, “takes a look at” ⇒ “examines,” “talks about sth
in detail” ⇒ “analyses.”
• Weak action verbs (such as do, get, have, go, make, say, etc.)
can often be replaced by stronger ones.
For instance, “has” ⇒ “displays,” “exemplifies,”
“demonstrates.”
• Weak action verbs followed by an adverb or a noun can be
treated in the same way.
For instance, “make an argument” ⇒ “argue,” “give an
explanation” ⇒ “explain.”
• And as much as possible, make sure your verbs are in the active
voice. Passive voice is heavier and less direct.
Sentence Variety
Make sure there is some variety in the length and types of your
sentences.
• Try to occasionally open a sentence with something other than
the subject.
• Avoid endless sentences.
• Avoid long strings of short, simple sentences. This makes the
ideas sound simpleminded. Combine some of them into longer
and more complex sentences.