Critical Essay Linking Words

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

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

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

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

A contrary explanation is that, …

Although, …

As a consequence, …

As a result, …

As we have seen, …

At the same time, …

Accordingly, …

An equally significant aspect of…

Another, significant factor in…

Before considering X it is important to note Y

By the same token, …

But we should also consider, …

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

Certainly, there is no shortage of disagreement within…

Consequently, …

Correspondingly, …

Conversely, …

Chaytor, … in particular, has focused on the

Despite this, …

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

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

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

Evidently,

For this reason, …

For these reasons, …

Furthermore, …

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

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

However, …

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

Hence, …

In addition to, …

In contrast, …

In this way, …

In this manner, …

In the final analysis, …

In short, …

Indeed, …

It can be seen from the above analysis that, …

It could also be said that, …

It is however, important to note the limitations of…

It is important to note however, that …

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

It is important however not to overemphasis the strengths of …

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

Moreover, …

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

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

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

Nevertheless, …remains a growing problem.

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

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

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

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

Proponents of…, have also suggested that…

Subsequently, …

Similarly, …

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

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

This approach is similar to the, …. position

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

This point is also sustained by the work of, …

Thirdly, …

This counter argument is supported by evidence from, …

The use of the term, …

Therefore, …

There appears then to be an acceleration in the growth of

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

These technological developments have greatly increased the growth in, …

Thus, …

To be able to understand, …

Undoubtedly, …

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

Whilst the discussion in the preceding paragraph, …

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

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

Use these examples to arouse your creativity.

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

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

Best wishes.
S J Tonge.

Using linking words

Linking words or phrases help you to build a logical argument in your assignment by linking one statement to another. An assignment without linking words reads like a series of unrelated statements with no flow.

Linking words can be used to

  • link the flow of ideas in your writing
  • guide your reader towards the next stage of your argument
  • link paragraphs together.

Which words link these sentences?

Find out how good you are at linking sentences and paragraphs together in this 'linking words' activity. You will need your OU computer username and password to access the activity. (Activity adapted from Coe, N., Ernest, P. and Rycroft, R (1983) Writing Skills. A Problem-Solving Approach, Cambridge University Press.)

Some linking words and phrases

To add a point

  • Also…
  • In addition, …
  • Similarly, …
  • Not only did …, but … also
  • Moreover, …
  • Furthermore, …

To contrast two points

  • However, …
  • Although …
  • On the other hand …
  • Yet, …
  • Nevertheless, …
  • In contrast, …

To illustrate, or to give an example

  • For example, …
  • Clearly, …
  • That is, …
  • …, namely,

To move on to the next point

  • Then, …
  • After this / that …
  • Subsequently, …

To note consequences

  • So, …
  • Therefore, …
  • As a result, …
  • Consequently, …
  • Despite …
  • Since …

To summarise or conclude

  • Finally, …
  • In conclusion, …
  • To conclude, …
  • To summarise, …

To introduce a list of ideas

  • Firstly, … (or 'The first point to note is …')
  • Secondly, … (or 'The second point to note is …')
  • Finally, … (or 'The next point to note is …')
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