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Words to Use in an Essay: 300 Essay Words
Speculative Fiction Author
It’s not easy to write an academic essay.
Many students struggle to word their arguments in a logical and concise way.
To make matters worse, academic essays need to adhere to a certain level of formality, so we can’t always use the same word choices in essay writing that we would use in daily life.
If you’re struggling to choose the right words for your essay, don’t worry—you’ve come to the right place!
In this article, we’ve compiled a list of over 300 words and phrases to use in the introduction, body, and conclusion of your essay.
Words to Use in the Essay Introduction
Words to use in the body of the essay, words to use in your essay conclusion, how to improve your essay writing vocabulary.
The introduction is one of the hardest parts of an essay to write.
You have only one chance to make a first impression, and you want to hook your reader. If the introduction isn’t effective, the reader might not even bother to read the rest of the essay.
That’s why it’s important to be thoughtful and deliberate with the words you choose at the beginning of your essay.
Many students use a quote in the introductory paragraph to establish credibility and set the tone for the rest of the essay.
When you’re referencing another author or speaker, try using some of these phrases:
- To use the words of X
- According to X
- As X states
Example: To use the words of Hillary Clinton, “You cannot have maternal health without reproductive health.”
Near the end of the introduction, you should state the thesis to explain the central point of your paper.
If you’re not sure how to introduce your thesis, try using some of these phrases:
- In this essay, I will…
- The purpose of this essay…
- This essay discusses…
- In this paper, I put forward the claim that…
- There are three main arguments for…
Example: In this essay, I will explain why dress codes in public schools are detrimental to students.
After you’ve stated your thesis, it’s time to start presenting the arguments you’ll use to back up that central idea.
When you’re introducing the first of a series of arguments, you can use the following words:
- First and foremost
- First of all
- To begin with
Example: First , consider the effects that this new social security policy would have on low-income taxpayers.
All these words and phrases will help you create a more successful introduction and convince your audience to read on.
The body of your essay is where you’ll explain your core arguments and present your evidence.
It’s important to choose words and phrases for the body of your essay that will help the reader understand your position and convince them you’ve done your research.
Let’s look at some different types of words and phrases that you can use in the body of your essay, as well as some examples of what these words look like in a sentence.
Transition Words and Phrases
Transitioning from one argument to another is crucial for a good essay.
It’s important to guide your reader from one idea to the next so they don’t get lost or feel like you’re jumping around at random.
Transition phrases and linking words show your reader you’re about to move from one argument to the next, smoothing out their reading experience. They also make your writing look more professional.
The simplest transition involves moving from one idea to a separate one that supports the same overall argument. Try using these phrases when you want to introduce a second correlating idea:
- In addition
- Another key thing to remember
- In the same way
Example: Additionally , public parks increase property value because home buyers prefer houses that are located close to green, open spaces.
Another type of transition involves restating. It’s often useful to restate complex ideas in simpler terms to help the reader digest them. When you’re restating an idea, you can use the following words:
- In other words
- To put it another way
- That is to say
- To put it more simply
Example: “The research showed that 53% of students surveyed expressed a mild or strong preference for more on-campus housing. In other words , over half the students wanted more dormitory options.”
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Often, you’ll need to provide examples to illustrate your point more clearly for the reader. When you’re about to give an example of something you just said, you can use the following words:
- For instance
- To give an illustration of
- To exemplify
- To demonstrate
- As evidence
Example: Humans have long tried to exert control over our natural environment. For instance , engineers reversed the Chicago River in 1900, causing it to permanently flow backward.
Sometimes, you’ll need to explain the impact or consequence of something you’ve just said.
When you’re drawing a conclusion from evidence you’ve presented, try using the following words:
- As a result
- As you can see
- This suggests that
- It follows that
- It can be seen that
- For this reason
- For all of those reasons
Example: “There wasn’t enough government funding to support the rest of the physics experiment. Thus , the team was forced to shut down their experiment in 1996.”
When introducing an idea that bolsters one you’ve already stated, or adds another important aspect to that same argument, you can use the following words:
- What’s more
- Not only…but also
- Not to mention
- To say nothing of
- Another key point
Example: The volcanic eruption disrupted hundreds of thousands of people. Moreover , it impacted the local flora and fauna as well, causing nearly a hundred species to go extinct.
Often, you'll want to present two sides of the same argument. When you need to compare and contrast ideas, you can use the following words:
- On the one hand / on the other hand
- In contrast to
- On the contrary
- By contrast
- In comparison
Example: On the one hand , the Black Death was undoubtedly a tragedy because it killed millions of Europeans. On the other hand , it created better living conditions for the peasants who survived.
Finally, when you’re introducing a new angle that contradicts your previous idea, you can use the following phrases:
- Having said that
- Differing from
- In spite of
- With this in mind
- Provided that
Example: Shakespearean plays are classic works of literature that have stood the test of time. Having said that , I would argue that Shakespeare isn’t the most accessible form of literature to teach students in the twenty-first century.
Good essays include multiple types of logic. You can use a combination of the transitions above to create a strong, clear structure throughout the body of your essay.
Strong Verbs for Academic Writing
Verbs are especially important for writing clear essays. Often, you can convey a nuanced meaning simply by choosing the right verb.
You should use strong verbs that are precise and dynamic. Whenever possible, you should use an unambiguous verb, rather than a generic verb.
For example, alter and fluctuate are stronger verbs than change , because they give the reader more descriptive detail.
Here are some useful verbs that will help make your essay shine.
Verbs that show change:
Verbs that relate to causing or impacting something:
Verbs that show increase:
Verbs that show decrease:
Verbs that relate to parts of a whole:
- Comprises of
- Is composed of
Verbs that show a negative stance:
Verbs that show a positive stance:
Verbs that relate to drawing conclusions from evidence:
Verbs that relate to thinking and analysis:
Verbs that relate to showing information in a visual format:
Useful Adjectives and Adverbs for Academic Essays
You should use adjectives and adverbs more sparingly than verbs when writing essays, since they sometimes add unnecessary fluff to sentences.
However, choosing the right adjectives and adverbs can help add detail and sophistication to your essay.
Sometimes you'll need to use an adjective to show that a finding or argument is useful and should be taken seriously. Here are some adjectives that create positive emphasis:
Other times, you'll need to use an adjective to show that a finding or argument is harmful or ineffective. Here are some adjectives that create a negative emphasis:
Finally, you might need to use an adverb to lend nuance to a sentence, or to express a specific degree of certainty. Here are some examples of adverbs that are often used in essays:
Using these words will help you successfully convey the key points you want to express. Once you’ve nailed the body of your essay, it’s time to move on to the conclusion.
The conclusion of your paper is important for synthesizing the arguments you’ve laid out and restating your thesis.
In your concluding paragraph, try using some of these essay words:
- In conclusion
- To summarize
- In a nutshell
- Given the above
- As described
- All things considered
Example: In conclusion , it’s imperative that we take action to address climate change before we lose our coral reefs forever.
In addition to simply summarizing the key points from the body of your essay, you should also add some final takeaways. Give the reader your final opinion and a bit of a food for thought.
To place emphasis on a certain point or a key fact, use these essay words:
- It should be noted
- On the whole
Example: Ada Lovelace is unquestionably a powerful role model for young girls around the world, and more of our public school curricula should include her as a historical figure.
These concluding phrases will help you finish writing your essay in a strong, confident way.
There are many useful essay words out there that we didn't include in this article, because they are specific to certain topics.
If you're writing about biology, for example, you will need to use different terminology than if you're writing about literature.
So how do you improve your vocabulary skills?
The vocabulary you use in your academic writing is a toolkit you can build up over time, as long as you take the time to learn new words.
One way to increase your vocabulary is by looking up words you don’t know when you’re reading.
Try reading more books and academic articles in the field you’re writing about and jotting down all the new words you find. You can use these words to bolster your own essays.
You can also consult a dictionary or a thesaurus. When you’re using a word you’re not confident about, researching its meaning and common synonyms can help you make sure it belongs in your essay.
Don't be afraid of using simpler words. Good essay writing boils down to choosing the best word to convey what you need to say, not the fanciest word possible.
Finally, you can use ProWritingAid’s synonym tool or essay checker to find more precise and sophisticated vocabulary. Click on weak words in your essay to find stronger alternatives.
There you have it: our compilation of the best words and phrases to use in your next essay . Good luck!
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Whether you are writing a novel, essay, article, or email, good writing is an essential part of communicating your ideas., this guide contains the 20 most important writing tips and techniques from a wide range of professional writers..
Hannah is a speculative fiction writer who loves all things strange and surreal. She holds a BA from Yale University and lives in Colorado. When she’s not busy writing, you can find her painting watercolors, playing her ukulele, or hiking in the Rockies. Follow her work on hannahyang.com or on Twitter at @hannahxyang.
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100+ Useful Words and Phrases to Write a Great Essay
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How to Write a Great Essay in English! This lesson provides 100+ useful words, transition word s and expressions used in writing an essay. Let’s take a look!
The secret to a successful essay doesn’t just lie in the clever things you talk about and the way you structure your points.
Useful Words and Phrases to Write a Great Essay
Overview of an essay.
Useful Phrases for Proficiency Essays
Developing the argument
- The first aspect to point out is that…
- Let us start by considering the facts.
- The novel portrays, deals with, revolves around…
- Central to the novel is…
- The character of xxx embodies/ epitomizes…
The other side of the argument
- It would also be interesting to see…
- One should, nevertheless, consider the problem from another angle.
- Equally relevant to the issue are the questions of…
- The arguments we have presented… suggest that…/ prove that…/ would indicate that…
- From these arguments one must…/ could…/ might… conclude that…
- All of this points to the conclusion that…
- To conclude…
- 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.
- Furthermore, one should not forget that…
- In addition to…
- It is important to add that…
Accepting other points of view
- Nevertheless, one should accept that…
- However, we also agree that…
- We/I personally believe that…
- Our/My own point of view is that…
- It is my contention that…
- I am convinced that…
- My own opinion is…
- According to some critics… Critics:
- believe that
- suggest that
- are convinced that
- point out that
- emphasize that
- contend that
- go as far as to say that
- argue for this
- For example…
- For instance…
- To illustrate this point…
- It is… true that…/ clear that…/ noticeable that…
- One should note here that…
Saying what you think is true
- This leads us to believe that…
- It is very possible that…
- In view of these facts, it is quite likely that…
- One cannot deny that…
- It is (very) clear from these observations that…
- All the same, it is possible that…
- It is difficult to believe that…
Accepting other points to a certain degree
- One can agree up to a certain point with…
- Certainly,… However,…
- It cannot be denied that…
Emphasizing particular points
- The last example highlights the fact that…
- Not only… but also…
- We would even go so far as to say that…
Moderating, agreeing, disagreeing
- By and large…
- Perhaps we should also point out the fact that…
- It would be unfair not to mention the fact that…
- One must admit that…
- We cannot ignore the fact that…
- One cannot possibly accept the fact that…
- From these facts, one may conclude that…
- That is why, in our opinion, …
- Which seems to confirm the idea that…
- Thus,…/ Therefore,…
- 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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Phrases For Balanced Arguments
- It is often said that…
- It is undeniable that…
- It is a well-known fact that…
- One of the most striking features of this text is…
- The first thing that needs to be said is…
- First of all, let us try to analyze…
- One argument in support of…
- We must distinguish carefully between…
- The second reason for…
- An important aspect of the text is…
- It is worth stating at this point that…
- On the other hand, we can observe that…
- The other side of the coin is, however, that…
- Another way of looking at this question is to…
- What conclusions can be drawn from all this?
- The most satisfactory conclusion that we can come to is…
- To sum up… we are convinced that…/ …we believe that…/ …we have to accept that…
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Use These Sentence Starter Tips to Strengthen Your Writing
In general, a sentence starter is a quick word or phrase at the beginning of a sentence to help the reader transition, such as the phrase “in general.” Without them, writing can be disorganized, disconnected, and therefore hard to read. But knowing which ones to add—and when —is not always obvious.
In this article, we discuss sentence starters quite similar to “in this article.” We explain a bit about when and how to use them, and then give specific examples of sentence starters you can use in your writing, divided into categories for quick reference like “topic sentence starters for essays” or “good sentence starters for emphasis.”
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What is a sentence starter?
Sentence starters are the words or phrases that introduce the rest of the sentence, typically set apart by commas. The words that start a sentence are some of the most important in writing: They introduce what the sentence is about so the reader knows what to expect.
In longer academic writing texts, sentence starters are essential for unifying the entire work. Because each sentence essentially has its own individual topic, these writings frequently jump from point to point, sometimes abruptly. Sentence starters help ease the process for the reader by smoothing over jarring transitions and preparing the reader for the next topic.
That principle also applies to paragraphs , which jump from topic to topic. Paragraph starters fulfill that same role, typically providing an organizational signpost via introduction sentence starters to bridge the gap between the previous and current topics.
Although they’re common in fiction, sentence starters are most useful for nonfiction, in particular essay writing . While fiction unifies the writing through the narrative, nonfiction often incorporates a variety of facts, which sentence starters coalesce for the reader. In other words, if you think nonfiction is dry, imagine if it were merely a list of facts!
When to use sentence starters
Sentence starters are not necessary for every sentence. In fact, using them too much can distract your reader. Here are some situations where a sentence starter works best:
- It’s unclear how one sentence is connected to others.
- You’re introducing a new idea, such as at the beginning of an essay or of a paragraph
- You’re presenting a conclusion or summary, for instance at the end of an essay.
- You want to add emphasis to a particular sentence or point.
- You want to write a hook to captivate readers.
- The sentence requires certain context, such as background information.
There’s no hard rule for when to use sentence starters and when to avoid them. If you’re having trouble deciding, try rereading your last few lines and see how they sound. If your sentences flow together nicely, you don’t need sentence starters. If something seems off, jarring, or missing, try adding one to see if it helps.
Below you’ll find examples of sentence starters relevant to specific contexts.
Topic sentence starters for essays
Topic sentences are like the sentence starters of an entire essay—they introduce what the paragraph or entire text is about so the readers know what to expect.
- This paper discusses . . .
- In this paper . . .
- Here, we discuss . . .
- Below, you will find . . .
Conclusion sentence starters for essays
Conclusions and summaries always act a little differently than other sentences and paragraphs because they don’t present new information. When you’re writing a conclusion , remember that sentence starters can cue the reader that you’re about to “wrap things up” so they don’t expect any new points or evidence.
- In summary . . .
- To summarize . . .
- Putting it all together . . .
- In conclusion . . .
- To wrap things up . . .
- To review . . .
- In short . . .
- All in all . . .
- All things considered . . .
- By and large . . .
- Overall . . .
- On the whole . . .
Good sentence starters for sequences or lists
Sentence starters are quite useful for lists of instructions or explaining a series of events. These items aren’t always related in obvious ways, but sentence starters link them together, and in the right order, so that your reader can organize them properly in their head.
- First . . ., Second . . ., Third . . ., etc.
- Subsequently . . .
- After that . . .
- Afterwards . . .
- Eventually . . .
- Later . . .
- Moving on . . .
Good sentence starters for comparisons
Use sentence starters to show that two things are related or alike. Although the topics may be similar to yours, your reader may not yet understand the connection.
- Similarly . . .
- In the same way . . .
- Along those lines . . .
- Likewise . . .
- Again . . .
Good sentence starters for elaboration or adding new points
For times when one sentence isn’t enough to fully explain your point, adding sentence starters to the subsequent sentences can tie them all together.
- Additionally . . .
- Moreover . . .
- Furthermore . . .
- Even more important . . .
- Just as important . . .
Good sentence starters for introducing examples
Especially for essays, you want to use evidence to support your claims. Sentence starters ease the transition from explaining the big picture to showing those same ideas at work in the real world.
- For example . . .
- For instance . . .
- To illustrate . . .
- Specifically . . .
- We can see this in . . .
- This is evidenced by . . .
- Consider the [case/example] of . . .
Good sentence starters for contrasts and abrupt transitions
Sentence starters work best at times when you must change topics abruptly. Without them, the text becomes jarring and scattered, so use them to keep your reader on the right path, especially when contrasting topics.
- However . . .
- Although . . .
- Otherwise . . .
- On the other hand . . .
- On the contrary . . .
- Nevertheless . . .
- Then again . . .
- Conversely . . .
- Notwithstanding . . .
- In contrast . . .
- Despite that . . .
- Rather . . .
- Still . . .
- Instead . . .
Good sentence starters to establish cause and effect
It’s common to use two different sentences to discuss a cause-and-effect relationship, as in something making something else happen. Sentence starters can make this relationship clear and show which sentence is the cause and which is the effect.
- As a result . . .
- Accordingly . . .
- Consequently . . .
- Due to . . .
- For this reason . . .
- Hence . . .
- Therefore . . .
- This means that . . .
- That is why . . .
Good sentence starters for emphasis
In some situations, sentence starters aren’t necessary, but they help make a point stand out. Save these for the sentences you really want your readers to remember above all else.
- Above all . . .
- As usual . . .
- Certainly . . .
- Indeed . . .
- Undoubtedly . . .
- Of course . . .
- Obviously . . .
- Namely . . .
- Generally speaking . . .
Good sentence starters for references
If you’re citing an idea other than your own, like in research papers, it saves space to put the attribution in the words to start a sentence. Use these sentence starters before a quote or concept from another work.
- According to . . .
- Based on the findings of . . .
- As seen by . . .
- As explained by . . .
- With regards to . . .
Good sentence starters for historical or generally accepted concepts
Some sentences don’t make sense without context. This could be a popular, mainstream idea that the reader is unaware of, or some historical background that is not common knowledge. In these instances, sentence starters can provide that context without becoming a tangent.
- Traditionally . . .
- Historically . . .
- Customarily . . .
- In the past . . .
- Conventionally . . .
- Initially . . .
- Recently . . .
- Until now . . .
Good sentence starters to show uncertainty or doubt
If you’re writing about facts, your reader will assume everything you write is a fact. In situations where something is unproven or uncertain, it helps to mention that there’s room for doubt so as not to misinform the reader.
- Perhaps . . .
- Although not proven . . .
- It’s possible that . . .
- It may be that . . .
- Arguably . . .
- While debatable . . .
Ensure your sentences flow
In addition to using strong sentence starters, you want your entire essay to read smoothly and coherently. Grammarly can help. Our writing suggestions flag confusing sentences and provide feedback on how to make your writing clearer, helping you put your best ideas forward.
Top 85 List of Essay Words To Use
Here is our top list of essay words you can add to your writing. Read our guide.
Writing academic papers requires patience, thorough research, and appropriate words to relay ideas effectively. Below, we have prepared a list of essay words for your piece’s introduction, body, and conclusion.
What Are Essay Words?
Essay words for the introduction, essay words for giving examples, essay words for highlighting arguments, essay words for showing sequence, essay words for adding information, essay words for comparing and contrasting ideas, essay words for the conclusion.
Along with a paper’s arguments, format, and structure, essay words are used to adequately explain the subject in a formal but clear manner. Picking the correct phrases and words helps your audience realize your position and persuade them to follow your thinking. Plus, applying suitable words to introduce and expound ideas convinces your readers that you’ve done your research correctly. Here are essay words you can use:
Most academic essays require a formal writing style because using informal writing makes it hard to edit and grade based on a standard the school or university gives. Even personal and narrative essays must stay formal. These are the words to create and enhance your introduction without losing the sense of formality in academic writing.
According to the most recent data, more employees prefer working at home than in the office.
Before we begin analyzing the effects of the problem, we must first know the root of it.
Drug addiction is the most challenging global problem every government must solve.
Mental illness is a topic with many complex issues.
To understand the subject better, we will first discuss its history.
First and foremost , it’s essential to understand that not all politicians are bad.
We can learn a lot from the book “The Little Prince,” such as about the fundamental nature of love.
The main goal of this essay is to discuss the value of justice in our lives.
There’s a myriad of factors that affect a country’s tourism.
The objective of this essay is to spread awareness about the violence women and children face daily.
Lack of knowledge in managing finances is a prevalent problem today.
A good speaker delivers their speech without referring to notes.
What is the significance of following rules?
The youth’s mental state today has been disturbed by societal pressures, such as the impossible beauty standards they see on social media.
Mental health is a sensitive topic affecting people of all ages.
Essays need examples to present arguments and illustrate cases. Examples support claims and offer evidence, and make complex concepts easier for readers. Knowing several essay words for giving examples is vital to avoid the repetition of similar words or phrases.
Our justice system’s flaws are apparent, such as in the case of O.J. Simpson , who was acquitted despite murdering his wife.
To clarify, not all police officers use the law to their advantage.
The researchers’ findings demonstrate people’s willingness to work as long as the minimum wage increase.
To elucidate the unjust treatment they endure, the employees talked about reaching the company’s sales goal in the hopes of receiving a bonus.
Low morale and decreased participation are only some evidence showing the employees’ dismay at the company’s policies.
Her work notes exemplify her dedication to the company.
To illustrate their points, the researchers added a line graph in their reports.
You can give him anything, a set of his favorite comic series, for instance .
The manager must learn from a previous situation where employees under her quit because she refused to hear their complaints.
The continuous decline in the number of young people willing to work is a testament to the country’s bad economy.
These words appear throughout the essay but are mainly for the body. You can use these words to effectively show the importance of an argument and emphasize essential paragraphs in your essay.
Money and power are absolutely the cause of corruption.
We definitely need to associate with successful people to motivate ourselves.
Some of the prisoners we interviewed are considered extremely dangerous.
The rule was expressly created to stop people like her.
In fact , his familiarity with the subject was minimal.
The students’ approach to the problem is fundamentally wrong.
It’s cheap, user-friendly, and, most importantly , durable.
The new company’s product indeed sold faster than any other merchandise offered in the first quarter.
There’s no instance when anyone can say it’s necessary to hurt a child.
Robert Downey Jr. is a notably successful actor of his generation.
Obviously , technology has both advantages and disadvantages.
He doesn’t want to be particularly called out for his behavior, but we did it anyway.
The donations have dropped significantly due to the pandemic.
Our school specifically prohibits bullying of any kind.
Alice in Wonderland syndrome, or AIWS, is undeniably one of the rarest diseases.
These words show the order of events or progress in an essay. They are used to give examples to further expound on a point or introduce another concept. However, be careful that each paragraph should only focus on one idea.
All of us went home after the incident.
My mother always checks if every door is locked before we leave the house.
Gigi is an intelligent and eager student; consequently , she excels at school.
Our team is currently developing new ways to approach the problem.
My mom told me she was awake during her whole leg operation.
She eventually returned home, so the search was called off.
I won’t buy that e-bike because, firstly , it’s expensive, and secondly, it operates too slowly.
Following the death of the Queen, her son Charles took over and became the United Kingdom’s King.
Rio fell off his bike yesterday, hence the bruises all over his body.
She mourned her grandfather’s death. Meanwhile , her husband was busy with his mistress.
I wonder what will happen next if I tell Janice about your lies.
This data was previously unavailable to the public due to the subject’s sensitivity.
To write an excellent paper, you need to have prior knowledge of the topic you choose.
The new president said the country’s economy must be fixed as soon as possible.
The lesson of the book is to enjoy life while you can.
No matter what type of essay you write, it should remain informative. Words used to add information create flow, expand arguments, and incorporate details that support your points.
I work at a great company that encourages work-life balance in addition to my salary.
Unsettled political issues make citizens worry and also affect investors’ earnings.
Another top piece of advice to live by is to be prepared for anything.
Besides being the family’s breadwinner, Jia also does all the house chores.
Overproduction coupled with low sales leads to enormous company losses.
Furthermore , I don’t have time to do that.
My mom argued going on an extravagant vacation despite our little savings was a bad idea. I thought likewise .
We chose this place because the rent is cheap and the security is tight. Moreover , the location is close to our workplace.
Cindy and James are a married couple who are similarly successful in their chosen careers.
To break the silence in the room, she began to sing, then others joined in.
These are words used to include information that confirms or disagrees with a point in your essay. Words that compare and contrast ideas are common in argumentative essays. It’s because this type demands a counterargument to fairly present other experts’ take on the issue.
Although many researchers think environmental factors cause the disease, some also believe it’s inherited.
However, the sample size she used was too small in comparison to the big labs’ experiments.
Contrary to the storm forecast, we had a beautiful day for my birthday party.
Studies show that giving words of encouragement can make workers end up with subpar results. Conversely , praising employees can motivate them to work harder.
The principal decided to expel the students despite the many indications that they were not at fault.
Sheila says she loves her boyfriend very much; however , she didn’t think twice about cheating on him.
Her classmates bully her because her mother is a cleaner; nevertheless , she doesn’t let the hurtful words affect her.
The article is a long read; nonetheless , it was very entertaining.
The old system in our company was complicated whereas the new system is straightforward.
Cindy looks delicate, yet her tongue is sharp and often hurts others’ feelings.
The conclusion is an essential part of the essay. It reiterates important points, leaves the readers with something to think about, and wraps up the essay nicely so it doesn’t end abruptly.
After realizing her self-destructive tendencies, Ella decided to make drastic changes and behaved accordingly .
She dropped out of her accounting classes, chiefly because she couldn’t see herself as an accountant.
To close, my essay focused on the advantages and disadvantages of increasing the minimum wage.
In the end, there’s no compelling reason to believe the suspect, so the jury found him guilty.
To conclude , many economic aspects rely on capitalism and what investors are willing to do to stabilize the market.
Finally , we must learn how to forgive and move on to have a happy life.
This paper summarizes all the essential information you need to know about writing.
Therefore , if you want love, you must give it in return.
Thus , the question of whether the chicken or egg came first is finally answered.
To wrap up everything, I believe that the only way to persuade workers to be dedicated to their work is by giving them the appropriate remuneration.Check out our guide packed full of transition words for essays .
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Maria Caballero is a freelance writer who has been writing since high school. She believes that to be a writer doesn't only refer to excellent syntax and semantics but also knowing how to weave words together to communicate to any reader effectively.
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How to Write a Formal Essay: Format, Rules, & Example
If you’re a student, you’ve heard about a formal essay: a factual, research-based paper written in 3rd person. Most students have to produce dozens of them during their educational career.
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Writing a formal essay may not be the easiest task. But fear not: our custom-writing team is here to guide you through the process. This article will:
- explain what a formal essay is;
- show how to write it step by step;
- provide you with an essay sample.
👔 Formal Essay Definition
- ✅ How to Write
- ✍️ Writing Rules
- 🖥️ Essay Format
- 📑 Sample Paper
A formal essay is a well-structured piece of writing with a clear introduction, body, and conclusion. This type of essay often includes cited research, uses an academic tone, and is written in 3rd person. While writing a formal essay, it’s necessary to back up your arguments with factual evidence.
What Is an Informal Essay vs. Formal Essay?
Essays come in two formats: formal and informal (also known as personal .) They differ in terms of style and context. You can choose one of the formats depending on the situation and the type of paper you need to write.
Don’t know how to tell the difference between them? Well, here are some key characteristics of these essay types:
As you can see, these types of writing are almost total opposites. Informal essays are only reserved for creative assignments, which means that most of the papers you write need to be formal.
Our article on creative essays can help you write an informal paper. But how do you craft a perfect formal essay? Keep reading to find out.
✅ How to Write a Formal Essay
Traditionally, a formal essay it’s composed of 3 sections: an introduction, 3 or more body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Let’s examine each part in detail.
Formal Essay Introduction
The introduction is what your essay starts with. Its primary goal is to catch the reader’s attention with a hook, briefly introduce the topic, and lead toward the thesis statement located at the end of the first paragraph.
Here is what you might want to keep in mind while writing the introduction:
If you want some more inspiration for your introduction, check out our article on hooks in writing .
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Now on to the thesis statement : the key idea of your essay. When working on it, keep in mind that it should answer the central question in your topic and reflect your essay’s overall structure. your essay’s overall structure.
Suppose your topic is related to the teaching methods involving poetry. In that case, the thesis statement can be like this:
Teaching methods that involve reading and writing poetry in elementary school are beneficial for children as they enhance their capacity for empathy, develop creativity, and help with self-realization.
Formal Essay Body
The next part of an essay is the main body paragraphs. They support the thesis statement with well-developed arguments and explore the topic in-depth. Each body paragraph starts with a topic sentence stating its main point. The length of a paragraph can vary, but the best option is to have between 4 and 7 sentences.
To make the text flow easily, you may use transitional words. Here are some examples:
- after all,
- for instance,
- on the one/other hand,
- as a result.
How to Write a Formal Essay Conclusion
Lastly, every essay needs closure. A good conclusion summarizes the essay’s main ideas, includes a paraphrased thesis, and encourages the readers to think more about the topic.
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The structure of a conclusion may change slightly depending on the subject. For instance, it can suggest some solutions to a problem, express an opinion, or give a recommendation. It’s important to remember that the conclusion is a part that emphasizes your essay’s most important points and doesn’t introduce new information.
If you’re curious about writing each essay part, check out our article on 5-paragraph essays .
✍️ Formal Writing Rules
Just like choosing the proper attire to wear to a formal event, we need to use the right words while writing a formal essay. Here are some suggestions that can help you maintain a formal tone in your paper:
Dos of formal writing
- Pay attention to your vocabulary. The words you will use in a formal essay will likely have a nuanced meaning. Make sure you know exactly what the terms mean, and do your best to sound precise.
- Use punctuation correctly. Here are some of the things to watch out for: Avoid exclamation marks; Use dashes for insertions; Use colons with enumerations; If you’re unsure of whether to use a punctuation mark or not, rewrite the sentence in a way that doesn’t require it.
- Use varied sentence structure. In formal writing, there is always a danger of sounding monotonous. Avoid repeating sentence structures to make your essay more readable.
- Provide references. It’s essential to cite every idea that you borrow. Try to paraphrase quotations from your sources: it will help you avoid plagiarism.
Don’ts of formal writing
- Avoid using pronouns. With words such as “I,” “me,” “we,” or “us,” an essay becomes wordy. It also makes the author seem less sure of their ideas. If you want to use personal pronouns, try substituting them with words like “the reader,” “viewers,” or “one.”
- Avoid using slang expressions and nonstandard diction. Slang words in a formal essay will make it less appealing to the readers. If you want to be taken seriously, it’s best to avoid those expressions and use proper Standard English.
- Avoid informal tone. When you write a formal essay, incorporate the language and the expressions you would use while delivering a speech, not the words you use when you casually talk to friends. A formal tone suggests that the author is serious about the topic and respects the audience.
- Avoid passive voice. Passive verbs are hard to read, and they are wordy. Use active voice to sound more straightforward and concise.
Contractions in Formal Writing
A contraction is usually a combination of two words into one, such as “don’t,” “isn’t,” “can’t,” and “wouldn’t.” When you work on a formal essay, it’s essential to be careful about contractions. It’s inappropriate to use them in academic writing, so it’s best to stick to the full variant.
However, there are exceptions to this rule. For instance, when working with direct quotations, it’s essential to reproduce words exactly as they are used in the original. To learn more about it, be sure to check out the University of North Florida’s article on in-text citations .
What to Use Instead of “You” in an Essay
Another common mistake students make is using the “you” and “yours” pronouns to address the readers. This mistake can make the essay overly informal and lead to misinterpretations of the text.
How do you fix it? Our advice is to replace 2nd-person pronouns with the following words:
You can find more formal writing tips in this informative video from Smrt English:
🖥️ Formal Essay Format
Now that we’ve discussed formal essay writing in detail, it’s time to look at the formatting. A formal essay is usually written in MLA or APA formats. If you’re asked to write a paper in one of these formats, you may find the guidelines below helpful:
📑 Formal Essay Example
Here is an excellent sample of a formal essay that uses all the guidelines mentioned in this article. It will help you to produce a perfect paper of your own:
For more information, check out Purdue OWL’s resources on various formatting styles .
Thanks for reading through this guide! We hope that you found it helpful and now have a better idea of how to write an excellent formal essay. Don’t hesitate to share our article with a friend who may need it. Good luck!
- How to Write a Critical Thinking Essay: Examples & Outline
- What Is a Discourse Analysis Essay: Example & Guide
- How to Write a Narrative Essay Outline: Template & Examples
- How to Write a Précis: Definition, Guide, & Examples
❓ Formal Essay FAQs
It’s best not to use pronouns such as “I,” “my,” “we,” “our,” etc., in a formal essay since it give the paper an informal tone and the text becomes wordy. It also makes the writer seem less sure about their ideas.
It’s better to avoid using parentheses and dashes in formal academic writing. If the information you want to include in the essay is important enough, it should be a part of the sentence. Otherwise, you can simply omit it.
The formal and informal essays differ in style and context. While a formal essay is a piece of well-structured writing that tries to convince the reader by providing arguments, an informal essay has no set structure. It reflects the author’s personal thoughts or opinions.
Starting your sentence with “because” in formal writing is not the best idea. The word “because” is a subordinate conjunction, which means it’s used to join the main clause to a subordinate clause, not to start a sentence.
It’s best to avoid using 1st- and 2nd-person pronouns, slang expressions, nonstandard diction, and contractions in a formal essay. They are primarily used in daily speech and are considered inappropriate in academic writing.
- Point of View in Academic Writing: St. Louis Community College
- Components of a Good Essay: University of Evansville
- Introductions & Conclusions: University of Arizona Global Campus
- How to Improve Your Academic Writing: University of York
- Nine Basic Ways to Improve Your Style in Academic Writing: University of California, Berkeley
- Academic Writing Style: Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper: University of Southern California
- Formal and Informal Style: Northern Illinois University
- Formal Writing: Davenport University: LibGuides
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