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Words To Use In An Essay (Best Transition Words Included)

If you want to write a top-notch assignment you need to focus on impressive words to use in an essay that will clearly express your thoughts without causing any confusion. Vocabulary words for essay writing are just the thing every student needs to stay at the top of his or her class. The following provides some advice and direction for good vocabulary words to use in an essay. If you start incorporating them into your written assignments, you should see a vast improvement to the grades you receive no matter what the discipline may be.

Words to Start an Essay

There is no hard and fast rule for writing an opening paragraph to an essay. Generally speaking, you want to start your essay with a strong hook, but there are a variety of techniques to use (e.g., an anecdote, a quote, a fact, etc.) that will open up a lot of good options for introduction words for essay. Three are some phrases words to start a paragraph in an essay ideal for an academic assignment. The best ones we’ve seen are:

  • “One of the most discussed topics in the field of…”
  • “The field of … has made tremendous strides in recent years…”
  • “A commonly used method of research in our area is….”

Each of the above examples uses terms like “field,” “topics,” and “areas” and are great words to use in an essay to suggest that the paper is academic and immediately points to what the main subject will be. Next, you should provide definition essay words to identify and explain difficult or uncommon terms related to your subject that a reader should now. This provides context and allows the reader to learn essential words – not fancy words to use in an essay – that will be used throughout.

Transition Words for Essay

Essay transition words are important for communicating information to a reader as concisely and clearly as possible. This means eliminating extraneous or “filler” words, using words that are easy to understand, and using words that efficiently take the reader from one idea to another.

Transition words to start a body paragraph do this in both academic and professional writing and we’ve put together some examples to help with three types of assignments:

Argumentative Essay Transition Words

As one of the most common types of writing assignments, it’s a good idea to learn some of the most effective words to use in an argumentative (persuasive) essay. Here’s a list of words that will bring you success:

  • “First, second, third…”
  • “Also, likewise, in a similar way…”
  • “To illustrate, for example, for instance…”

Transition Words for Compare and Contrast Essay

Compare and contrast essays are closely related to argumentative essays but you are showing a relationship between 2 or more items or ideas. These words achieve the transition between them flawlessly:

  • “But, in contrast, notwithstanding”
  • “Despite, on the other hand, however”
  • “None the less, never the less, still yet”

Narrative Essay Transition Words

Finally, in a narrative or autobiographical essay piece that usually deals with personal or creative writing, the key is to use transition words that allow the picture you’ve painted for the reader to keep from falling apart. Narrative writing pieces usually deal with events that happen in real-time and the following words help keep things in order:

  • “Before, currently, afterward”
  • “Earlier, during, subsequently”
  • “Later, immediately, recently”

Words to Conclude an Essay

Using transition words for persuasive essay writing is a great way to inform the reader that your argument is coming to a close and that you are about to move into a summary of the major discussion points made throughout the body of the assignment.

The most common essay words to use are “in conclusion” or “to summarize” but variations of these words can add a little spice to your essay and help you stand apart from your classmates. Consider using words like “briefly,” “finally,” or “to sum it up.” These words are just as effective as the formal ones we mentioned in this paragraph, but they are slightly more recognizable and hint at informality which can help you make one last connection with the reader to leave a lasting impression.

Other words we like to use to start the final paragraph of an assignment are “in a word,” “in the end” or “on the whole.” Again, your goal should be to drive home your main point and show the reader precisely why the points you made validate your position.

Words Not to Use in an Essay

Some persuasive essay transition words should be avoided at the higher levels (e.g., college or graduate levels) because they imply a sort of laziness in a student’s pursuit to craft the best assignment possible. So what are the top words to avoid in an essay?

  • Idioms – these kinds of phrases are good for blogs, letters, or stories. But they have no place in academic writing and should be left out completely.
  • Clichés – phrases like “we can all agree” or “it is what it is” are overused and are far from clever. If you’ve heard it in conversation or on the television, it’s best to stay away.
  • Contractions – We know we’ve used contractions throughout this article (e.g., in this sentence) but this is allowed when a piece is meant to be conversational.

A lot of these are students’ favorite words to use in an essay to sound smart. But often they misuse the words and wind up sounding the opposite: stupid. Do not fall into this trap. It is okay to use a dictionary and a thesaurus when you write, but you need to be certain you understand the actual meaning of the word. One piece of advice we can give you is to never use a word with a lot of syllables. Trying to impress a reader with a $3.00 word is a waste if a shorter $0.50 word would have been just as effective.

Words to Use Instead of the Most Common

Even in academic writing, the words you use should be interesting to the reader. And some words simply don’t cut it. They are either too boring or too unoriginal. For instance, in an assignment where you are asked to write about yourself, starting every sentence with the pronoun “I” is repetitive and will quickly for the reader to lose interest. If you are writing a piece that requires the first person, you can’t avoid using “I” but you can consider placing it in other parts of the sentence and staring with something livelier. Here are some words to use instead of “I” in an essay:

  • “As a former athlete, I understand where this young star is coming from.”
  • “Having spent several years in graduate school as a young mother, I get how stressful one feels.”

Both of these are good examples of adding variety into your writing by changing the order of words in a simple and effective technique. Now, here are words to use in an essay instead of “you”:

  • “One does not simply walk into a federal building without going through security.”
  • “People should not cross the railway yard when it is dark.”

In each of the above examples, the use of the second-person is eliminated by broadening the audience, making for stronger sentences. And finally, we come to other words for “says” in an essay:

  • “He suggests that there are no real winners in a divorce.”
  • “She guesses that irony is the best medicine for a boring story.”

The above situations come from story-telling techniques (e.g., fiction) but can easily be applied to an academic assignment just as well. Build on your vocabulary and you’ll find that your writing will be much more compelling.

Essay words don’t come easy. The patterns of regular speech combined with our habits to communicate in a truncated fashion means that we have to work twice as hard to come up with words that impact a reader. So what are good essay words? Just about any word that can express your ideas concisely and clearly will make an impact on anything you write. More good words to use in an essay can be found in a dictionary or thesaurus. And they don’t have to be long and academic-sounding. Just make sure your ideas can be expressed precisely as you want them and your grades will soar. Ask our essay writers for help, if you’re not sure you can handly all this alone.

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