• Academic writing
  • Commonly confused words
  • Critical thinking
  • Linking/transition words
  • Paraphrasing
  • Proofreading
  • Terms and definitions
  • What is description, application, analysis and evaluation

Linking/transition words: Things you need to know...

All assignments are written in formal language.   You need to ensure that you demonstrate your knowledge and understanding alongside your ability to answer the question/solve the problem. 

Below are some ideas to help you to develop your structure and flow.

These words and phrases indicate the direction, order and flow of ideas. Significantly, they strengthen the quality and structure of your work.

Linking/Transition Words

Transitions link one main idea to another separated by a semi-colon or full-stop.  When the transition word is at the beginning of the sentence, it should be followed by a comma:

Among other functions, they can signal cause and effect or sequencing (see examples in the table below).

Linking words: conjunctions

Linking words within a sentence  are referred to as coordinating conjunctions.  Do not worry about the term: think about the function.

Conciseness / redundant words

Microsoft Word now has an additional feature within the Edito r - it is called conciseness or wordiness.  

Examples:  try to replace phrases with a single words which mean the same.

Need to know more...

Additional resources to help you to improve your confidence and grades:-

Linking/Transition words - Scribbr  https://www.scribbr.co.uk/syntax/transition-words-examples/ [Accessed 10 February 2023]

There are many books concerning academic writing, look around Dewey number  808

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All sentences in a paragraph need to relate to the main idea in the topic sentence. The reader should be able to see how each sentence flows from the previous one and how each is connected to the topic sentence. Linking words and phrases weave sentences together to create a cohesive paragraph.

Linking words and phrases

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Linking words

Linking words help link sentences to other sentences and paragraphs to other paragraphs. These linking words help to:

Compare the two paragraphs below. Notice how the linking words add flow to the paragraph

Linking words have a number of specific language functions, such as sequencing, summarising and referencing. Linking words enable writers to express their ideas naturally. Linking words can be extremely useful, it is important not to overuse them, your writing may sound too verbose. Not using them enough will make your writing sound simplistic. Be sure that you use a suitable range of linking words. Paragraph with   linking words (bold)

The function of linking words

Sentence to previous sentence, subordinate clause.

To add information

To show cause and effect

To contrast/contradict information

To emphasise and highlight

To equate/show similarity

To refer back

To present alternatives

To provide examples

To show a sequence

To summarise and simplify

To show an idea is limited or uncommon

To show an idea is widespread

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Transition Words & Phrases | List & Examples

Published on May 29, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on March 2, 2023.

Transition words and phrases (also called linking words, connecting words, or transitional words) are used to link together different ideas in your text. They help the reader to follow your arguments by expressing the relationships between different sentences or parts of a sentence.

The proposed solution to the problem did not work. Therefore , we attempted a second solution. However , this solution was also unsuccessful.

For clear writing, it’s essential to understand the meaning of transition words and use them correctly.

Table of contents

When and how to use transition words, types and examples of transition words, common mistakes with transition words.

Transition words commonly appear at the start of a new sentence or clause (followed by a comma ), serving to express how this clause relates to the previous one.

Transition words can also appear in the middle of a clause. It’s important to place them correctly to convey the meaning you intend.

Example text with and without transition words

The text below describes all the events it needs to, but it does not use any transition words to connect them. Because of this, it’s not clear exactly how these different events are related or what point the author is making by telling us about them.

If we add some transition words at appropriate moments, the text reads more smoothly and the relationship among the events described becomes clearer.

Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. Consequently , France and the United Kingdom declared war on Germany. The Soviet Union initially worked with Germany in order to partition Poland. However , Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941.

Don’t overuse transition words

While transition words are essential to clear writing, it’s possible to use too many of them. Consider the following example, in which the overuse of linking words slows down the text and makes it feel repetitive.

In this case the best way to fix the problem is to simplify the text so that fewer linking words are needed.

The key to using transition words effectively is striking the right balance. It is difficult to follow the logic of a text with no transition words, but a text where every sentence begins with a transition word can feel over-explained.

There are four main types of transition word: additive, adversative, causal, and sequential. Within each category, words are divided into several more specific functions.

Remember that transition words with similar meanings are not necessarily interchangeable. It’s important to understand the meaning of all the transition words you use. If unsure, consult a dictionary to find the precise definition.

Additive transition words

Additive transition words introduce new information or examples. They can be used to expand upon, compare with, or clarify the preceding text.

Adversative transition words

Adversative transition words always signal a contrast of some kind. They can be used to introduce information that disagrees or contrasts with the preceding text.

Causal transition words

Causal transition words are used to describe cause and effect. They can be used to express purpose, consequence, and condition.

Sequential transition words

Sequential transition words indicate a sequence, whether it’s the order in which events occurred chronologically or the order you’re presenting them in your text. They can be used for signposting in academic texts.

Check for common mistakes

Use the best grammar checker available to check for common mistakes in your text.

Fix mistakes for free

Transition words are often used incorrectly. Make sure you understand the proper usage of transition words and phrases, and remember that words with similar meanings don’t necessarily work the same way grammatically.

Misused transition words can make your writing unclear or illogical. Your audience will be easily lost if you misrepresent the connections between your sentences and ideas.

Confused use of therefore

“Therefore” and similar cause-and-effect words are used to state that something is the result of, or follows logically from, the previous. Make sure not to use these words in a way that implies illogical connections.

The use of “therefore” in this example is illogical: it suggests that the result of 7.5 follows logically from the question being asked, when in fact many other results were possible. To fix this, we simply remove the word “therefore.”

Starting a sentence with also , and , or so

While the words “also,” “and,” and “so” are used in academic writing, they are considered too informal when used at the start of a sentence.

To fix this issue, we can either move the transition word to a different point in the sentence or use a more formal alternative.

Transition words creating sentence fragments

Words like “although” and “because” are called subordinating conjunctions . This means that they introduce clauses which cannot stand on their own. A clause introduced by one of these words should always follow or be followed by another clause in the same sentence.

The second sentence in this example is a fragment, because it consists only of the “although” clause.

We can fix this in two different ways. One option is to combine the two sentences into one using a comma. The other option is to use a different transition word that does not create this problem, like “however.”

And vs. as well as

Students often use the phrase “ as well as ” in place of “and,” but its usage is slightly different. Using “and” suggests that the things you’re listing are of equal importance, while “as well as” introduces additional information that is less important.

In this example, the analysis is more important than the background information. To fix this mistake, we can use “and,” or we can change the order of the sentence so that the most important information comes first.

Note that in fixed phrases like “both x and y ,” you must use “and,” not “as well as.”

Use of and/or

The combination of transition words “and/or” should generally be avoided in academic writing. It makes your text look messy and is usually unnecessary to your meaning.

First consider whether you really do mean “and/or” and not just “and” or “or.” If you are certain that you need both, it’s best to separate them to make your meaning as clear as possible.

Archaic transition words

Words like “hereby,” “therewith,” and most others formed by the combination of “here,” “there,” or “where” with a preposition are typically avoided in modern academic writing. Using them makes your writing feel old-fashioned and strained and can sometimes obscure your meaning.

These words should usually be replaced with a more explicit phrasing expressing how the current statement relates to the preceding one.

Cite this Scribbr article

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Caulfield, J. (2023, March 02). Transition Words & Phrases | List & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved March 15, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/academic-writing/transition-words/

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Formal Linking Words / Cohesive Devices

Linking words can also be referred to as connectors, conjunctions, and cohesive devices. This webpage includes a useful lesson on helping improve students’ knowledge of these linking words. It includes a lesson plan using a kinaesthetic matching activity and worksheet.

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Lesson: matching activity.

Cut these up and students match

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Linking Words Reference Sheet

Print off and give this to students as a helpful reference guide. 

paraphrase linking words

Linking: Co hesion  & Coherence Worksheet – AEUK

This worksheet helps to consolidate what is ‘cohesion’ with a focus on pronouns, word forms and summary nouns. It also includes a coherence sheet on key connections and two practice activities. Example   Level: ** * ** [B2/C1]   / Webpage Link / TEACHER MEMBERSHIP  / INSTITUTIONAL MEMBERSHIP

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Linking Words for IELTS Writing

What are linking words and phrases.

Linking words and phrases are words connecting ideas together in a text. It shows that two things are related in some way, or that the point you are making has supporting information. Linking words can be found at the start of paragraphs, but also in the middle of sentences to connect two ideas together too.

25% of the IELTS writing score is for coherence and cohesion, in other words, writing clearly. Linking words to join two ideas together are a big part of cohesion to make sure that your writing ‘flows’ well and every sentence makes sense.

Here are some examples of common prepositions, conjunctions and adverbs used in academic writing.

Prepositions/ prepositional phrases ( come before noun phrases )

Conjunctions ( join two clauses in one sentence )

Adverbs/Adverbial phrases ( join two sentences )

Cause/effect because of, due to, because, as a result, therefore

Opposition despite, in spite of, but, although, even though, however

Contrast  but, whereas, on the other hand,

Addition  and furthermore, in addition, moreover

Example such as, for example

Useful Linking Words and Phrases to Use in Your Essays - ESLBuzz Learning English

Why is it important to get linking words right?

It’s very common for students to use long words they don’t understand very well in their essays because they have a certain idea of what academic writing should be. Many students believe that academic writing is wordy and convoluted, and uses a lot of jargon. This leads many students to fall into a trap of imagining that the longer the word, the more impressive and intelligent their writing will seem.

We often see long sentences and multisyllabic words where shorter sentences and simpler words would do. Some students even use Microsoft Word’s thesaurus function to replace a common word with a more complicated word. This is a risky move, because unless you’re very careful, the new word may not carry quite the same meaning as the original, even if it’s similar. In short, NEVER try to paraphrase a fixed expression, and many linking phrases are fixed expressions!

The result can range from quite entertaining to confusing, which defeats the purpose of academic writing: to be as clear and concise as possible, using just the right words to convey your argument. Using uncommon words, instead of making your paper seem smarter, generally detracts from your ideas.

To avoid this, using linking or transition words that signpost your arguments can help to clarify your views and show the reader what to expect from certain paragraphs or sentences. These words give structure to the whole, helping you to organise your ideas and assist the reader in understanding them.

Let’s look at an example – Giving a Result

Use : To provide the result of what has been stated or has occurred

Example linking words for giving a result :

As a result


For this reason

What words will make my writing sound good in IELTS?

Describing similarities


Not only… but also

In the same way

Showing cause and effect

Hence (never ‘hence why’)

Since (try to avoid ‘as’ when showing cause and effect)


This suggests that

It follows that

Comparing and contrasting


On the other hand

On the contrary

Showing limitation or contradiction

Despite/in spite of

While (not whilst!)



To illustrate

Further (not ‘furthermore’)

First, second and third (not firstly, secondly and thirdly)

For instance

In addition

Concluding (use these phrases at the beginning of your conclusion paragraph)

To summarise

It can be concluded that

As can be seen

Given the above

As described

How to use linking words with examples

Linking words to add more information.

These words simply add additional information to your sentence or paragraph to show that two ideas are connected. Here are some examples:

Linking Words to Contrast a Point

Sometimes you need to link two ideas together that are actually opposites in terms of what you are trying to say. Here are some words that will help you do that:

Linking Words to Support a Point

If you’re trying to prove something or say something happened as a result of something else, then you will need words like the following:

There are many, many options for linking words but remember, the key to success in IELTS is to only use words and phrases you are confident with. It’s better to use ten linking words accurately and appropriately in your essays than twenty that are incorrect.

IELTS Preparation with Liz: Free IELTS Tips and Lessons, 2023

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Linking Words for IELTS Writing Task 2

The linking words list below is essential for IELTS writing task 2 for high score. The examiner needs to see a range of linking words in your essay to award you a high score for the criterion of Coherence and Cohesion which is 25% of your marks. You will be checked on your range, accuracy and your flexibility of linking words in IELTS writing task 2. These connecting words are suitable for all types of essay writing as well as GT IELTS writing task 2

IELTS Writing Linking Words

Download PDF:  Linking Words for IELTS Writing Task 2

This is often used to either put your paragraphs in order or used inside the paragraph to list your supporting points.

Adding Information

You will need to support your main points in your IELTS essay. These linkers inform the reader that extra information is about to be presented.

Giving Examples

It is often useful to give examples to support your ideas in IELTS writing task 2. Make sure you use this range of linking words to do so.

To learn how to put examples in sentences for essay writing, please follow this link: How to Add Examples to Essays .

Results and Consequences

These linking devices can be used for solution essays or any essay when you need to explain the consequences of something.

Highlighting and Stressing

It is important to be clear about what you mean in your essay. These linking words help you stress particular points.

Concessions and Contrasts

You often need to give opposite ideas, particularly for discussion essays so the linking words below will help you show the reader when you want to introduce an opposite point. Also you might want to give exceptions to a rule for a concession.

Reasons and Causes

These connecting words will help you explain reasons and causes for something which is very common in IELTS writing task 2, especially for cause / solution essays.

Giving your Opinion

Don’t make a mistake with the way you express your opinion. Watch this video for useful tips on giving your opinion and how to avoid mistakes: IELTS: Presenting your Opinion

Concluding Linkers

To get more tips and advice on linking words to start your IELTS conclusion, please watch this video lesson: IELTS Conclusion Linkers

Practice with Linking Words

Improve your use of linking words by fill in the gaps below with linking words from the above list.

Click below to reveal the answers:

IELTS Speaking Linking Words

Linking words for IELTS speaking . Both word list and tips.


Main IELTS Pages Develop your IELTS skills with tips, model answers, lessons, free videos and more. IELTS Listening IELTS Reading IELTS Writing Task 1 IELTS Writing Task 2 IELTS Speaking Vocabulary for IELTS IELTS Test Information (FAQ) Home Page: IELTS Liz

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It is a misfortune that IELTS mandates the use of linking words for high scores. Especially at the beginning of sentences, linking words quickly tire the reader being pushed around.

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If linking words tire the reader, they are not being used properly. You are being tested on using them flexibly in a way that supports the reader.

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Hi Liz, Can you allocate me some of the pre-ready templates which can be used as a topic statement in starting of the paragraph.

I do not provide them because they are the worst thing to do for your IELTS essay. IELTS does not accept memorised language and the higher band scores are all about flexibility, not templates. Writing task 1 is more formulaic than task 2 because task 1 is a report and most reports are pretty standard. But writing task 2 is all about creating unique sentences connected directly to the topic. This website is about learning and preparing for IELTS the right way.

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very clear explanation Liz, Thanks !

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Could i use the word “To recapitulate” in position of “To Conclude”? However l really impressed a lot to see your tremendous efforts for students. THANK YOU SOO MUCH MAM. may God bless you. Love from india 🇮🇳

Yes, you can use it but it won’t increase your score.

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Teacher Liz, this is just a general question. Will points be deducted if literary words/phrases are used in IELTS Writing (or Speaking). Is literary factor considered informal? Thank you very much! Looking forward to hearing from your

I’m not exactly sure what you mean as you’ve provided no examples. However, to help understand: The writing test is formal. So, this means all informal language will cause you to lose marks. The only exception is the informal letter in GT writing task 1. The speaking test is informal and you can use all types of language and be as casual as you want in chatting to the examiner. But language should be used naturally, not poetically or in an overemphasized manner. You should talk as though you were talking to a friend.

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I love you mam your are such a great teacher i appreciate your work 👍

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Hey liz, I wanted to ask that for conclusion using “all in all” and “to wrap it up” are correct to use or not ?

They are informal and Writing Task 2 is formal.

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Hi, Liz! You said in one of your videos that “to sum up” is rather informal for IELTS writing task 2. Why is it in the concluding linkers list then? Can I use it or not?

It is an option but some examiners think it is too informal. There are no rules in IELTS which have word lists that lower your score. It is examiner interpretation. I do not teach this linking word for a conclusion, but other teachers do. This is why it is in the list. My recommendations are recommendations, not rules.

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Hi Liz, all your videos are very helpful to have a quick look on the respective modules. Thank you so much for sharing them.

You’re welcome.

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Thanks for response

Hello Liz 👋, is it true that reading books or newspapers will improve our writing skills. If yes, what books or newspapers can you suggest to read.

They will certainly help you develop your writing, but they won’t help you develop your writing for IELTS.

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I wonder if I am allowed to use specialized words in writing task 2 (as long as they are related to the task rubrics and the usage and the collocation is contextually appropriate). For instance, if the topic of the essay is “imprisonment”, am I allowed to use words like “criminals set free might resort to recidivism”? what happens if the examiner doesn’t know that term? I already know that IELTS guidelines demand that the underlying assumption in the writing exam be the candidate is writing for an academic “non-specialist” reader. Is this fact in contradiction with using technical terms?

With regards, Reza

It is not a case of being allowed or not allowed. It is about how you use language. If you are pushing high level words into your essay for effect, the language in the essay will become unnatural and will be marked down. So, never aim to impress. However, your example is completely fine. The word “recidivism” is an appropriate word to use for that sentence. Certainly not many candidates will know this word, but it is 100% accurate and appropriate. So, my advice is to use language naturally with the right intent and appropriacy based on your level of English. The examiner will not be specialised in law or other fields – bear that in mind. Your aim here is to hit band score 8 or 9, not to showcase specialised vocabulary. This is a basic English language test, not a test of legal language for example. Pay attention to the context of the essay – it isn’t an essay for a university degree in law. You don’t need to use specialised language to achieve your aim in IELTS. I would not recommend using such specialised language that a layperson would not understand. That isn’t an IELTS rule, it is just logical – use such language as is appropriate for the audience and the context.

Many thanks for the exhaustive response. You’re simply the best in the field, bar none!

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I wonder if it is appropriate to use some linking words like ‘Moreover, Furthermore, Further’ to start a new paragraph? or they should be used to link ideas in between the sentence?

Thank you, Micaela

There are no rules about this. Linking is about being logical. I personally use these linking words for within the paragraph to add more information. When starting a new body paragraph I tend to use something more flexible, such as “Another point to consider is ..” – basically indicating the start of a brand new point rather than additional information to an existing point.

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Can we use listing linkers (firstly, secondly etc) for inside the paragraphs? Or is it better to use linkers for organising paragraphs?

I believe we should use the additonal information linkers to support our main idea or present extended ideas.

Any thoughts?

Best using them within paragraphs. To each paragraph, try: Firstly, Another point, Finally. But to be honest, you can’t learn formulas like this for task 2. It all depends what your ideas are as to what linking words to use. You need to learn flexibility if you want a high score. Yes, you should use a good range of linking words in your essay.

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Hlo madam , tomorrow will be my ILETS exam

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Hi Liz, Do we need to use comm a after these linking word . If yes then in what circumstances. For instance if we use these linking words at the start of sentence what will the case. Also what will be case if we use these linking words in middle of sentence ?

This is an aspect of grammar that you need to study in depth. In a few weeks, I’ll be releasing a Grammar E-book. It will explain all of that and much much more.

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Can I use ‘For one’ instead of ‘Firstly’? Can I continue using ‘Secondly’ and ‘Finally’ with ‘For one’ or it’s not correct usage?

“For one”, is informal and not suitable for IELTS essays. Be flexible with your use of linking devices but stick with formal ones.

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Hi Liz, Thanks for the article. Is it safe to use comma (,) after every linking word?

Thanks Sirdhar

It depends which linking word and how the sentence is constructed.

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”Poor sanitary conditions lead to wide range of bacterial and viral diseases as well as become a dangerous spot for the growth of dengue leading to dengue fever which is fatal.In order to avoid such consequences, my endeavour would be to construct underground pipes which prove to be effective giving a sensation of cleanliness.” Ma’am this is my answer to a direct question,” If you could change your hometown to make it a better place what changes would you make? ” Plz tell me the mistakes in structure or anything.

That question usually comes from speaking part 1. In part 1, they are relatively short answers – not deep discussions. The examiner would interrupt this answer. Just be direct and then add a bit more for part 1: “I’d change the sanitary conditions because … ” – then add one of two more sentences. Be chatty, not formal. You really need to start paying attention to what each part of the speaking test is like. There’s no point developing answers that aren’t appropriate to the section of the test. Your answer would be possible in part 3.

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being a teacher, I feel that you the best.

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Hello Liz. I just wanted to confirm that can I start the arguments in general by saying, “On the other hand, it is argued by some that …”. Can I use this to introduce people’s opinion? Please reply ASAP, I have my IELTS test in 2 days.

“On the other hand” is used to introduce an opposing view. “it is argued by some that” is used to express other people’s views.

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Hi, Liz! I love your website! I have a question, though. Would it be helpful if I used paragraph links instead of standard transitional devices? Say, instead of starting a paragraph with a word such as “Secondly” or “On the other hand”, I could use either a word-link or idea-link. I don’t want my writing to look so mechanical. Will it affect my score if I try making my transitions “smoother”?

It is not necessary to start a paragraph with a linking word. You are right. It needs to be less mechanical. You can actually start your body paragraph with any word you want. Just make sure it is coherent and cohesive.

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Hello Liz, are the following phrases ok? 1- tethered to this idea is its conjugate (in discussion essays where i am mentioning opposing views) ex: on the other hand, tethered to the previous idea is its conjugate. where some people believe that …… 2- a few bad apples spoil the batch (is it informal?) 3- X issue is not black and white.

Do not use descriptive language in a formal IELTS essay.

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Hey! Lizz what about your ebook is it going to be published soon or not?

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I just want to say how much I appreciate your hard work and love for putting these lessons together!

I am also so happy that you have offered us 50 discount! I am so happy! <3 Thank you very much!

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Hello liz…. I have a confusion some of the Ielts trainers say that ‘Firstly’ isn’t exist in English language means it’s not a word…. We can’t use it…. I want to ask to you is this true???

I need to get a good dictionary (English – English). You shouldn’t be preparing for an English language test without one: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/firstly

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Hi.. I just want to ask that is it necessary to use linkers in writing as firsty, secondly, etc. while writing reasons or advantages. And on the other hand etc for starting new paragraph in opinion essay

The choice of linking words is not fixed. You use them flexibly, not in an automated way. There are many linking words you can use and also different methods of linking.

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Hye Liz…your way of teaching is so clear..When I attend your lessons through videos, I feel your devotion to your work and really seems that you want to do your best for our best…may Allah bless you more and more.

I’m really pleased that my lessons are useful 🙂

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Hello Liz pls can you discover an e book for the students which contains ideas, linking words and ….

I will be releasing an Ideas for IELTS Essay Topics E-book this month or early next month. I am also writing a Grammar for IELTS Writing Task 2 E-book which will be ready at the end of the year.

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Your lessons are wonderful. Thanks.

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Hello Liz, Have you released ideas book for IELTS writing Task-2 or not yet? Regards

Yes, you can find it here: https://elizabethferguson.podia.com/

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I am really worried for Reading section it’s too much difficult to handle within short time. kindly let me know appropriate techniques as I have very short time, please.

Regards Khan

Click on “Reading” on the RED BAR at the top of the website – you will find the main page with tips, lessons etc to help you.

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I need to say Liz, I have so much fun reading your answers, you are the best sincere person I have ever known. Continue like this please! Pietra

Thanks 🙂 Funny 🙂

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Thank Liz for your help my question is that I want to know if I there is any number of times for the linking words to appear in my easy Wishing you successfull ending love your lecture

Linking words should not be repeated. You are being marked on your ability to use a range. However, words such as “and” or “but” are naturally going to be used a few times. Words such as “for example” can be paraphrased as “such as” or “namely” or “for instance”.

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What it is meant by ‘the linking words shouldn’t be mechanical’?

This means to use them like a machine. For example, always putting them at the start of a sentence or starting every sentence with a linking word. Be flexible.

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To use some less common linking words, Could you advise whether its appropriate to write ‘on the whole’ rather than ‘in conclusion’?

Also, in some model answers written by examiners in official ielts books, they start their last paragraph with “in my opinion”, and they dont say anything like “to conclude”. Is this risky to do?

Linking words are linking words – they do not need to be less common. Do not confuse vocabulary with linking words – they are part of different marking criterion.

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Hello Liz. I am learning a lot from your tips. Thank you! Can you please elaborate more the linking phrases ‘moreover’ and ‘furthermore’. Thank you!

I’m not sure what else I can say. They are used when you want to add information to an existing point.

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In one of articles relating to capital letters (link below) you mentioned that you should never start with – “But/ Because/ And”. In essays which require us to share multiple contrasting views, sometimes we may start a sentence with “But”. What are your views on that ?

No writing task 2 essay should have a sentence that starts with “But/And/Because”. You can use “However” instead of But.

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Hi Liz. Which is the best book to practice for IELTS. Please suggest. I have been struggling to find a suitable book.

The reason I wrote over 300 pages of free lessons and tips is because didn’t like the IELTS books on offer. Have you completed the 300 pages of free lessons?

I didn’t find 300 pages of free lessons.

Because you didn’t read the HOME PAGE properly. The HOME page explains that you access the main pages through the RED BAR at the top of the site. The main pages contain over 300 pages of tips, lessons etc. Did you use the RED BAR?

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I am convinced that you are best tutor ,I have best wishes for you ,thank you so much from your excellent site

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Thank you so much for the useful information!

I have a question about the linking phrase “on the other hand”. Is it possible to use it independently, without mentioning ”on the one hand’? Or would it be a mistake?

Thank you in advance!

Yes. You can use “On the other hand” without “on the one hand”.

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Hi Liz In one comment you’ve mentioned that you’ll publish a book discussing required grammars for writing task-2. Has it been published? Thanks. Mostafa

No, it is being written at this moment. I don’t know how long it will take to finish, but it will be this year.

Thank You for the reply. Mostafa

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Why is apparently not there in the above list? Is it frequently used word, hence ommited deliberately Liz?

It’s fine to use that word.

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This lecture is helpful.your god gifted voice is sweat ,crystal and clear. I respect it.may your voice always reply to untold question of liseners who are similar to me.

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HI LIZ, thank you for your helpful information i need to ask whether words like ( IT , AS , IF, SO , THE )are counted as words to reach 150 words in letter writing ?

All words are counted – small, big – all words.

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Thanks a lot Kiz for doing this great job

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btw, does linking-word need to be followed by a comma? (,)

Depends on the linking words and how it’s used.

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You are really doing a wonderful job, what baffles me your ability to reply these long comments , you are really awesome. However, I want to ask you about linking words such as , firstly, secondly, thirdly. I read it somewhere that they are old fashioned, is that true???

It isn’t about being old fashioned at all. It’s about flexibility which is what the examiner is looking for. It’s fine to use them inside one paragraph to show support points. It isn’t flexible to use them at the start of each body paragraph – that is called being “mechanical”, which means using them like a machine – that is a characteristic of band 6 in Coherence and Cohesion.

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Hi Liz , Somewhere in your topics you have mentioned that one should not use ” last but not the least” as a linking word

But here it is written under heading of linking words.. Kindly guide on this

The linking word is : last but not least – no “the”. Also it depends HOW it is used. It’s about using them effectively. It shouldn’t be used a conclusion linking words. See this page for all tips: https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-writing-task-2/

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hi liz HOW TO ADD EXAMPLE IN AN ESSAYon this page is not opening. can you please share the link?

The link opened for me – it might be a problem with your internet Try it again: https://ieltsliz.com/how-to-put-examples-in-your-essay/

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Honestly, you are the best tutor ever in this IELTS course, how I wish I knew you before, I could use only materials to help me pass well. My Test is after tomorrow and I have just landed your very impressing training work. Thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful knowledge with us. Am sure I will pass with a band 9.0 God bless you Liz

You can learn a lot in one day – focus on the areas you most wish to understand and improve. Good luck tomorrow! Keep your eye on the clock for reading and writing!

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dear Liz I have met your page by yesterday,many thanks for such a great page,

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Hi Liz, I hope, you are doing good. Actually, I appeared for ielts exam today but due to poor time management, I was not able to complete task 2 of writing. I wasted a lot of time on Task 1. I know, because of this, I would not be able to score 6 or more than that, as the task 2 holds more weightage. So, I have applied for the exam again. I have some concerns regarding writing section, I don’t know about the proper use of punctuation, especially commas. Also, sometime I write out of the context in essay writing. Please could you provide me some help with this. I would be really thankful.

The use of commas is simple. Just them to divide appropriate clauses. Punctuation is marked, but not at a high level. The main point is that commas are used in clauses, correctly and that full stops are used at the end of a sentence. Also that sentences are not too long. A very long sentence shows lack of punctuation because the person isn’t controlling the length of sentences. For ideas, it’s all about planning properly. See my advanced lessons: https://elizabethferguson.podia.com/ . You also need to prepare ideas for topics – you do this by googling ideas on line.

Thank you so much for the response 🙂 So, is it okay, if we use short sentences instead of long? Using them won’t be a reason to deduct marks? And, what about the complex sentences? Would it be advisable to attempt task 2 first and then task 1, as it carries more weightage, because I always face the issue of time management but I am working on it.

A complex sentence does not need to be very long. It just needs to be a sentence which is not simple – this is a way the sentences are categorised for IELTS examiners, not for grammar books. Having short, simple sentences is not a good idea if you are aiming for a higher band score. You need to show control and a good range of sentence structures. I am currently writing an e-book which is a Grammar List for IELTS Writing Task 2 – I’ll post a notice when it’s finished and ready to buy.

I’ll keep these points in my mind. Yes, please let me know, whenever you have completed E-book. Thankyou Liz 🙂

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Hello teacher! I have a query about other words that can be used, besides the word “overall”, for the overview part. Can I use ” as a whole” or “in general” instead of that? Are those words considered as formal writing in IELTS?

Please enlighten me! Also, thank you so much for giving out this linking words. 🙂

It is possible to use those words, but the word “Overall”is the most logical to use and the most appropriate.

Thank you so much for the reply! 🙂

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Under the Adding Information section, I have a doubt on below sentence

These linkers inform the reader or read?

Thanks, Kishore

Thanks – a typo 🙂

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You are the best teacher ever and I hope you are doing fine.

I wanted to ask you whether it is okay use “i.e.” in my IELTS writing exam ?

You are being assessed on your use of linking words, “ie” is not a word. Don’t use it. Use “for instance” or “for example” – the list is given on the page above.

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I like your teaching.and I appreciate it.

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Thank you soo much mam..That was really really helpful..

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to conclude to sum up these are very short pharse i want write a long pharse for example Before putting my pen down i would like to deduce tha ….

This page is about linking words and signposting. It is fine to learn linking words which are part of coherence and cohesion. It is NOT good to memorise phrases for IELTS. See all tips on this page: https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-writing-task-2/

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Hello Liz, How to use the linking phrase ” last but not least” ? Should it comes at the last body paragraph or the conclusion paragraph?

It indicates the final main point – it does not indicate a conclusion.

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hello liz , I am not form any English specking country, i’m thinking that i’m good at specking.But my main problem is at spellings, how can i decline my spelling mistakes

See this page: https://ieltsliz.com/useful-websites-and-resources-for-ielts/

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Hi,Liz How are you? Thank you for your suggestion,it’s so useful

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Hi Liz, love your blog, would like to know if there is a direct link to all your pdf’s. It would be very helpful.

I don’t have my pdf files ready yet.

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Hi Liz, Can we use “Because of that” in blank 6???

The word “because” can’t be put at the beginning of a sentence in formal essay writing for IELTS.

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Thank you liz i wasn’t aware

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Thank you, again and again…

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Hi Liz, Can I conclude the essay by writing, ‘Hammering the last nail, I reckon that..’ or ‘I pen down by saying that..’?

No, you can’t. I am very confused. This whole page offers all the best linking words for a high score – even up to band 9. Use them, learn them. Stop trying to improve them. Do you want band 10? Just relax and start using appropriate language and linking words.

Thanks a lot mam!

Thanks a lot mam for your guidance. I have scored overall score of 8.50 with L-9.0, R-8.5, W-7.5 and S-8.5 as individual scores. I followed you religiously and I just can’t thank you enough! 🙂

Brilliant !! Very well done 🙂 Thanks for letting me know 🙂

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I really appreciate the way you have described the small errors we all students keep on doing in daily essay writing. I have few questions in my mind, but without wasting your time I will put only one basic question that I am facing daily with the essay writing. If the topic of the essay mention ” to what extend do you agree”. So, in such essay do we have to write only paragraph in the notion of the topic. As my aim is to score band 7.5 and this confusion. IELTS have a feeling of schadenfreude when they see my low score in writing only.

I don’t understand your question. When you give your opinion, the whole essay will explain it. You will give an opinion based on the issue or issues given to you in the question.

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hi mam I’m very bad in speaking part I have no Idea how to improve and how imagine more idea

See this page: https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-speaking-free-lessons-essential-tips/

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Hello Liz, My handwriting is poor and somewhat clumsy …. To improve legibility may I write in alternate lines on ielts answer sheet… Do you recommend it?… In case, if i need extra sheet, do they provide?…

I don’t recommend doing as you are planning. It makes it difficult to identify paragraphs and can be confusing for the reader. Just try to keep your handwriting as clear as possible so that the examiner can read it. Practice, practice and do more practice. Yes, you can ask for extra paper. Usually you just put your hand up and then explain you need more paper. But I have heard from one student that they wasted precious minutes waiting for the extra paper.

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Hi Liz, thank you for precious advices, in your opinion is the use of Latin expression, such as “e.g.” or “i.e” useful in writing tasks for the academic module?

Avoiding using them. Instead such linking words: for example, such as …

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I was told overuse of linking words could lead scoring less.is that true?

Yes. There is a criterion for marking which states that if you overuse linking words or if you use them mechanically (this means without flexibility), your score will not go higher in that marking criterion. This related to Coherence and Cohesion which is 25% of your marks for writing task 2. See my advanced lessons if you need training: http://subscriptions.viddler.com/IELTSLizStore

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What about an expression “all in all”?Can it be used in a conclusion paragraph?

I have known students use this. But I would stay with linking words most suitable for a conclusion = In conclusion

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Thank you Liz for this useful lesson The answer is for instance , still , because , especially , consequently , therefore

Check the answers on the page above.

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Thank you for your great lessons. It really helps a lot. I have a question about a linking word ‘and’. Would it be okay to start a sentence with ‘and’?

For example, this is mainly because of lack of physical activity and the poor quality of food. People are too busy. And in spite of economic growth, the quality of food has diminished.

Not in IELTS writing task 2. Never use “and, but, because” at the start of a sentence in writing task 2.

Thank you for your answer. I highly appreciate your great lessons and help.!

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I am not clear why a sentence can not be started using “because”. Since we have mentioned both: subordinating clause and main clause, there should not be any issue to the examiner.

The words “because, and, but” should not be placed at the start of a sentence in formal writing. They come between clauses in formal writing.

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Please guide me, how i can get good score in writing, Is it good to use idioms, Phrasal verbs in writing task 2

On this page: https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-writing-task-2/ you will find advice about idioms

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Hi Liz Can I expree my opinion by using this sentence (in my own point of view) or it’s informal Thanks

No, it’s not right to use that. See this page: https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-writing-task-2-expressing-your-opinion/

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Hello Liz I have question . If I use idioms or slangs to essay , could they help me to get higher score

They might help you get a lower score. See this page: https://ieltsliz.com/using-quotes-or-idioms-in-your-ielts-essay/

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Hi Liz I have a problem with writing task, I can’t have enough time for task 2, I’m constantly thinking about what to write next. can you give me some suggestion? Thanks Abdullah

See this page: https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-writing-task-2-essay-planning-tips/

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hi madam if we are confused or not sure about answer can we can we write both the answer by using // in the middle

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Hi Liz Can we use the phrase “my personal sentiments” to give opinion in task 2 instead of I believe or I think

thanks alot

No. It is informal and not suitable for writing task 2. See this page: https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-writing-task-2-expressing-your-opinion/ and then check all writing task 2 tips: https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-writing-task-2/

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Hi mam, Thanks for your kind initiatives for the IELTS students like us. It is really fortune for me to have an online teacher like you. Please keep continuing.

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Hi mam.. What is the procedure? to send u ielts writing for checking …..

Plz plz tell me…

There is a teacher who can help you on this page: https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-essay-correction/

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HI! I’m one of your avid fan. I just want to say thank you. I recently got the score I needed for Writing after 2 takes. I used all your guidelines in making it coherent and scoring higher using your tips on having a balance essay for every kind of questions. I also did task2 first to make me more calm and relax in writing the ardous part. THANKS FOR EVERYTHING!

That’s really great news!! Well done!! Thanks for letting me know 🙂

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thanks Liz ,was very efficiently significant

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I had written my IELTS test twice before coming across your website. Both the times I scored 6.5 in Writing which scoring above 7 in all the other 3 sections. I needed 7 in writing and hence I enrolled for the third time. I came across your website 3 weeks before my test and went through all the study material in your web pages. I got my scores last week and was ecstatic to see that I managed 7 in my writing section.

I am thankful to you and your website for helping me achieve my goal. You are doing such a commendable work. Keep it up.

That’s really good news! I’m so pleased for you. It can be hard to hit that elusive band 7 in writing. Well done 🙂

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Hi Liz, are you available to correct my essay? If not, could you suggest another teacher? Thanks.

You can find a teacher called Tony to help you on this page: https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-essay-correction/

My God! You are doing a beautiful job. More I’m studying from your website more I’m impressed! I can’t explain how much I feel grateful. Thanks a lot.

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Hi liz, Is the writing matters for writing task 1 and 2? If so then whether we need to write in cursive or just clear.. I mean is any writing method acceptable?

You just need clear writing. As long as the examiner can read it, you are fine. It doesn’t matter what style of handwriting you choose.

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hi mam, Task 2 which you provided is for BC or IDP.Because i am taking idp exam,pls give me reply

The tests are the same in IDP and BC – they are both owners of IELTS.

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Hi Liz thank you a lot for giving us all this informative lectures and publishes. But why different teachers give different IELTS writing rules. Example you teach us hooking in your introduction is not important, but other teachers demonstrate that it is very important. And if we add hook to our writing could it reduce our marks?

Some teachers have completed the IELTS examiner training and others have not.

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Hi Liz, beautifully you have explained variety of expression, i am preparing for ielts and having many issues while putting pencil on paper to write answer for Writing task 2, would you please suggest how to get it done within stipulated time frame such as in month so that i can fulfill my dream to study abroad…..

Firstly try to develop as many ideas for writing task 2 topics as you can. You can do this by taking ideas from model essays and other sites online. See this page for common topics: https://ieltsliz.com/100-ielts-essay-questions/ . For techniques, see my advanced lessons: http://subscriptions.viddler.com/IELTSLizStore

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First, I would like to say to you thank you for very nice lessons. I was wondering to ask if you correct essay task 2 ?


thank you very much.

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hlo mam, i just wanted to say that you are the best teacher.

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Hi mam i need your help how to write task 2 to get 8 band can you give 9band samples writing answer pls

You can find model answers on the main writing task 2 page of this blog.

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hi liz, i will give my ielts test after three month please help me in all. modules plss

There are 300 free pages of help on this blog. If you need more help with writing task 2, see my advanced lessons: http://subscriptions.viddler.com/IELTSLizStore

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Hope you are fine.

My name is Gagandeep. I have IELTS test on 16th July and I feel I am not able to structure my ideas in writing task 1 and task 2 both. Please let me know how can I bulid my ideas perfectly to get band 8.

Regards Gagandeep

At present, I can only suggest you get my advanced writing task 2 lessons: http://subscriptions.viddler.com/IELTSLizStore

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Thank you so much for being replying to people i have recently got the IELTS date which is on 16th of jun its my second time i am giving ielts the first time i got 5 bands and i need at lest 6.5 so how can i improve my grammar and vocabulary i have just 20 days remaining..

please do reply me soon.

It is normally best to take the test when you repeatedly get the score you want in practice tests. To improve English in just 20 days is a challenge. I can only suggest you decide what your main grammar problems are and deal with them one at a time. For vocabulary, review common topics for speaking ad writing – you can find word lists on google.

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this is my first query from you. please clarify.

how to use furthermore,morever,in addition in an essay please clarify.

Excessive use of computers has many detrimental effects on childrens health.Firstly, frequent joint pain and fatigue are most likely to be experienced by young individuals and these issue seems to be prevaile till the death.Morever(do we use morever here to introduce new idea such effect of exceissive computer usage and academic grades or do we have to discuss another health related issue)(moreover will be used to introduce new idea such as school performance or anyother health related issue?

thank you very much

Sorry I don’t comment on writing.

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Thank you for all the tips on how to write a meaningful essay. However could you please help out on how to paraphrase the question as that part is posing a lot more difficulty for me at the moment.


Thank you so much for the tips on how to write a meaningful essay. However could you please help out with how to paraphrase the question, which is posing as the most difficult part for me right now.

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Hi liz i am going to take my test in 3days , i am not perfect at task2 i can”t able to know how many word are of mandetatory can i write more than 250 words , can you please give me any suggestion how to get good score in task2 any key words etc

You can find information and tips for writing task 2 on this page: https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-writing-task-2/ and you can find advanced training on this page: http://subscriptions.viddler.com/IELTSLizStore

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thank you very much. I’m going to take IELTS on 16th April)

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hey liz i am learn many things related to ielts but my writing skill is not development and is it important strength of the sentence suggest me about this


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A.A mam my problem is vocabulary. Plz help me by giving tips and vocab words. I need 7 in ielts.

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Hi Liz. My general english is good. I can cope up with more complex sentence structures too. But when it comes to writing task 2 , my brain just stops working. My main problem is I cant brainstorm on the topic. How can I improve my brainstorming for different topics. Thanks.

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Hello Mam,can you assess my writing task if i mail it to you please? Further I do not have good command on spelling. how can i improve it within one month effectivly.

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I can found some problems in writing task2 and i can not used rich vocabulary and some time i can’t get good points.so how can i improve???

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Hi Liz, I know that native english speakers rarely use ” moreover”. Is it safe to use it in IELTS Essay?

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Thank you for your useful lessons. I have a question that worries me lately. Would the assessor count repetitive words? For example if I used the word “students” 9 times in the whole essay? Or another example, if in writing task 1, I used countries’ names all the time (besides making it nationality: Britain = British).

Each word is counted. It is the same as using word count on a word document. Liz

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Hi Liz Are the following answers appropriate for the respective questions? 1. because 2. obviously Thank you for the help Lahari

No, both answers can’t be used. Liz

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Hi Liz, I appreciate your help on this question: can we use FIRST AND FOREMOST and LAST BUT NOT LEAST in Academic Writing? Thank you. Trang

Yes, but they are over used. Liz

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Dear Liz, This question is not about the linking words, its about grammar. In the 2nd question, why you have not use ” ……. problems ARE on the rise.” instead of ” …… problems IS on the rise”?

Well spotted!

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Hello liz thanks for your good websites. how can i submit my writing for checking? thanks in advance baazoft

Unfortunately, I don’t offer essay marking and I don’t have any teachers to recommend. All the best Liz

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i wanna ask that sometimes like ….to…. like question are there in listening task what is the right way to answer this. it is 4to5 or it is4,5

Just “4 5”. You don’t need punctuation. Just make sure the numbers are easily read and separate. If you write “4 to 5” is would be marked wrong. Liz

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Mam I weak in writing I Write only simple sentence then I lose band score…… What I use to get high score

You need to improve your English. This is a language test – make sure your English is good. Get a teacher and start learning from English language websites. Do this before you do IELTS.

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can i say, “as a result” in place of “for this reason / therefore “

Yes, you can use that. Liz

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We shouldn’t use these terms in the speaking part, should we? – The first thing i should mention is… – And i shouldn’t forget to mention – There’s a mixed variety of things but i guess the most popular one is… I think that i had better answer directly and spend time on expressing my ideas rather than using these phrases, but my teacher told me that i should use these to help organize my answer

You can use those phrases if they help you explain your ideas but they won’t necessarily give you a higher score. In part 1, you must answer quickly and directly so don’t use them. In part 3, you might use them to explain your ideas. The most important thing is to speak naturally. All the best Liz

Thank you for your help. 🙂

I just want to ask about the appropriate answers for a listening practice test 🙂 The questions are about ticket prices: $30 (1)…, or (2)… return According to what i heard, (1) is “one(-)way”. So is this written with or without a hyphen? For the second blank i heard “$45 in return” . so should i write down “$45 in” into the blank or just “$45” ? Thank you for your help.

One-way has a hyphen. For your second question, always look at the example they gave you. If the first one is “$30 one-way” then the second one must be “$45 return”. Always check the grammar. For note, form or table completion, grammar is rarely involved. All the best Liz

Thanks a lot. May all the best things come to you, teacher.

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Can I answer questions 1 and 2 in a different way ? 1- .However, 2- still

It can’t be “However” because there is no full stop. Always check grammar. For the second question, “still” is possible. All the best Liz

Thank you so much.I really appreciate your reply.

Would my answer be correct if I used a full stop (.However, ) ?

I am asking because I could not see any grammatical difference in this sentence between using (even though ) or ( . However, ) .

That’s right. You need the full stop. Liz

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Is not it possible to write the word this way: “…a way of communicating; however, it is…”?

You would need to write the full sentence for me to check. Liz

I meant the first sentence you gave to practice. You answered Ahmad that is not right to use “However” there, and decided to ask if it can be “1st sentence ;however, 2nd sentence”. Julia

Avoid using “;” in IELTS writing. Just use full stops or commas. Liz

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You are great …God bless you.

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Hi mam.i want to study with you online, if you have time please teach me.

At present the only lessons I offer are on my video course which I have only just started making. At present there is one lesson available for writing task 2 and tomorrow I hope to put my second lesson up: http://subscriptions.viddler.com/IELTSLizStore All the best Liz

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Hello mam, Today while searching some helpful tips for ielts exam i went through your videos and i found it vry easy and helpful ways to improve our writing skills. Hope it will work during my exam too. Thank you mam for such a wonderful tips and guidance.

You’re welcome 🙂

How i can improve my vocabulary please give me suggestion.my vocabulary is so poor.

Start reading. That is the surest way to develop vocabulary and understanding. Liz

Thank you so much

Thank you so much for your wonderful tips

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Hello mam. I am Sandeep. Please help me. How i will get 6.5 band in writing task.

Take a look at the band scores to learn: https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-writing-task-2-band-scores-5-to-8/ Liz

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Dear Ms.Liz,

I have just received my Ielts result. Thanks to your help, I have got an overall band score of 7.5, 8.0 for the listening and reading test, 6.5 for the writing section and 7.0 for the speaking part. I am really delighted with this result because this is my first time ever studying on my own by using the materials on the Internet. Thank you so much for all of your lessons, I really appreciate what you have been doing and your dedication to teaching. May all the best thing come to you and your family.

Your Vietnamese student, Hanh Tran 😀

Hi Hanh Tran,

I’m really pleased to hear your result. 7.5 is a really good score, particular for your first try. In Vietnam the average is around band 6. So, band 7.5 puts you much higher than most students in your country. I hope you celebrated your result !

Good luck with your future plans 🙂 Liz

Thank you, teacher 😀

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Hi liz I have my ielts exam on Thursday. I just wanna ask you that in writing task 2 general ielts training test ” in my opinion….” Should write in introduction or conclusion? I am little confused with that. And suggestions like “they should do that ……” That will come in conclusion or in body paragraphs? Where are they appropriate ? Looking forward for your reply thanks

You put your opinion in the introduction, if the instructions ask for your opinion or for you to answer a direct question. If the instructions don’t ask for your opinion, don’t give it. Please see my model essays to see how and where I put my opinion. There is also a separate lesson about giving your opinion on the writing task 2 page. Liz

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Hi Liz, Is it advisable to use the listing words such as firstly, secondly, thirdly and finally at the last paragraph before the conclusion or I could use it also at my initial paragraph after the introduction? Thank you!

You use them as you want. They can order your paragraphs (although that is slightly mechanical) or you can use them to order supporting points in any paragraph you wish. Liz

Thank you for your response liz 🙂

Hello mam, i need your help how to complete reading task in one hour. There is some technic to do task as soon as possible because read full paragarh then find out ans. Is take so much time. Also how i improve my listening skills mam please help me.

Please read my tips about comprehension and strategy on the reading page. Thanks Liz

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Hi Liz; I want to ask you about linking that are related to giving opinion. May I use them “I take the view that…” and “I subscribe to the theory that…” in writing Task 2 or just in Speaking.

Regards, Sherzod

Just be direct and don’t try to learn phrases – the examiner isn’t impressed by students who purposely learn phrases to boost their score and will not award points for it. You can use “In my opinion” or “I think” or “I agree” for task 2. You can also find a lesson on my task 2 page about how to give your opinion. For speaking, it is informal so you can use a range “I suppose”, ” I guess” or “I reckon” or “I think” etc. All the best Liz

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Hi Liz, My ILETS exam was on the 4th of July and today I got my results’ message (listening 6, reading 6, writing 5.5, speaking 6.5). I am really shocked by my speaking and listening results. Do you you think I will get any new result if I reject and apply for remarking?

Listening rarely changes with a remark because it is marked by right or wrong answers and mistakes almost never happen. For speaking, band score 6.5 means you make more than a few mistakes in your grammar and vocabulary or possibly that your fluency is strong enough to be able to talk at length without effort. It is possible to get a remark for speaking but looking at your writing, it is even lower. So, it doesn’t give confidence that your score will go up with a remark. However, you must judge for yourself. All the best Liz

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Dear Liz I have recently found out about your videos and website and I deeply appreciate your effort. I am preparing for an Academic module in a limited time so I found your lessons and instructions very useful to manage my studies. Although I am still struggling with Reading skill.

The key to reading is to spend time understanding the language in the questions and thinking about paraphrasing before you try and find the answers. The more time you spend with the questions, the quicker it is to find answers. You should also be writing down a list of paraphrases from all reading exercises you do. Lastly, spend time planning a strategy for each question type and learning which questions have answers that come in order. You can find a page about question types in the reading section of this blog. All the best Liz

Really this is a stategy

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Dear Liz, Thank you for such a useful note, but it seems you missed contrast/opposite connection words.

Regards, Amir

You will find contrasting linking words in the concessions and contrast section. All the best Liz

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Hello teacher,

I’m confused using between these two words. Is the same ” as a result ” and ” therefore”.?

Could you explain it to me, please? Thank you very much

They have the same meaning and you can alternate using them. All the best Liz

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This is such a big help Ms. Liz. Thank you for always updating your site! Love you! 🙂

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Please give me a common sentences of task 2 i can write in all type of essay

Sorry but that is not the right way to approach IELTS. The examiner is trained to spot learned sentences and you will lose marks. The sentences you should aim for are based on grammar structures or tenses: clauses, conditionals, prefect tenses, gerunds etc. Just review your grammar structures. All the best Liz

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Hi Liz; Thanks to publish this useful words for writing task. I need 7 in that task while I was got 5.5 in my first attempt after that I had knew about your site and I register myself in it and from that day onwards I regularly follow your tips hope i will improve in my writing. Thanks again

Make sure you check your level of English to get band 7. In the message above, your first 9 words contain 2 mistakes and the second sentence contains 5 mistakes. You will need to reduce your errors to get band 7. Good luck Liz

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50 linking words to use in academic writing

It’s very common for students to use long words they don’t understand very well in their essays and theses because they have a certain idea of what academic writing should be. Many students believe that academic writing is wordy and convoluted, and uses a lot of jargon. This leads many students to fall into a trap of imagining that the longer the word, the more impressive and intelligent their writing will seem.

We often see long sentences and multisyllabic words where shorter sentences and simpler words would do. Some students even use Microsoft Word’s thesaurus function to replace a common word with a more complicated word. This is a risky move, because unless you’re very careful, the new word may not carry quite the same meaning as the original, even if it’s similar.

The result can range from funny to confusing, which defeats the purpose of academic writing: to be as clear and concise as possible, using just the right words to convey your argument. Using uncommon words, instead of making your paper seem smarter, generally detracts from your ideas.

To avoid this, using linking or transition words that signpost your arguments can help to clarify your views and show the reader what to expect from certain paragraphs or sentences. These words give structure to the whole, helping you to organise your ideas and assist the reader in understanding them.

We have prepared some flashcards containing linking words you can use in academic writing.

CLICK HERE to download these FREE flashcards

Below is a handy list of words that are both useful and appropriate to academic language.

Describing similarities


Not only… but also

In the same way

Showing cause and effect


As a result

Hence (never ‘hence why’)

Since (try to avoid ‘as’ when showing cause and effect)


This suggests that

It follows that

For this reason

Comparing and contrasting


On the other hand

On the contrary

Showing limitation or contradiction

Despite/in spite of

While (not whilst!)



50 linking words to use in academic writing

Emphasis, addition or examples

To illustrate

Further (not ‘furthermore’)

First, second and third (not firstly, secondly and thirdly)

For instance

In addition

To summarise

It can be concluded that

As can be seen

Given the above

As described

The best way to get better at writing academic language is to read academic writing. You’ll pick up all sorts of useful tips from published papers in your area of study.

paraphrase linking words

Updated 31 January 2023 Ellen McRae, PhD, AE (IPEd), MNZSTI Senior Managing Editor

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Cohesion: Linking Ideas

Transitions are words, phrases or sentences that make your writing easier to follow. They help by making clear the connections between sentences and paragraphs and indicate the flow of your ideas. They also signal to the reader how to approach the information that follows. Examples of common transition words include: furthermore, moreover, besides, however, although, consequently, similarly, nonetheless, thus, despite

When to use transitions:

Avoid unnecessary words and long complicated sentences. Transition words are a great way to keep your sentences well-structured and ensure your expression flows.

paraphrase linking words

Making your ideas flow using transitions

paraphrase linking words


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    To avoid this, using linking or transition words that signpost your arguments can help to clarify your views and show the reader what to

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