Return Back

Good Words And Phrases To Use In An Essay

Transition words and phrases are imperative when expressing ideas and their relationship. Especially in the case of an essay, opening the topic well with the right vocabulary is the core of your work.

But transition words do more than just explain something. These unique expressions indicate a path and guide the reader through your thought process. Moreover, they help with the navigation from one point of view to another, depending on their usage.

So, transition words and phrases require experience to employ them correctly. Nonetheless, as you continue writing, you can learn the words to use in an essay.

We compiled a guide using tips from tutors, UK essay writers, and teachers to ensure you have all the tools to become a better writer.

Words To Use in Introduction, Body and Conclusion

Firstly, you might ask, “What are the words to use in an essay for the introduction?” Here, the transition words have to introduce the topic and the thesis and create the first stepping stone for your paper. So, you might use words that present an idea:

  • Firstly, secondly, thirdly. If you want to list the issues and arguments in the introduction, these are words to use in an essay. They link each idea to a number, helping the reader gain the problem’s structure.
  • According to, referring to, stated by. These phrases introduce a fact or opinion expressed by someone. It can be something from a book that you reference.
  • Considering, in light of, referencing, in view of. These phrases introduce more sources that you deem worthy to mention.

The beginning of this section is an excellent example of how to use some transition words to start your paragraph. Meanwhile, the body of your essay is more complex.

In the body, you dive deep into the arguments and ideas. So, there are plenty of transition words available to use. However, it depends on the type of essay you’re writing. Therefore, you might need to understand the tone and aim of your paper. Then, you can look up the following paragraphs that focus more on the words to use in an essay in the function of the type.

Read More: How To Write an Essay

Lastly, you might write a conclusion with these transition words to use in an essay:

  • In conclusion
  • In the final analysis
  • To conclude
  • To close the analysis
  • To summarize

Words to Use in Different Types of Essays

As previously mentioned, the words to use in an essay’s body depend on the type. If you’re writing an argumentative one, you’ll use words that help you assert your position. On the other hand, an informative essay might require a much less persuasive or dominant tone.

Nevertheless, there are a few words that apply to most essays. These are the best words to use in an essay as you add facts and explain them:

  • Moreover
  • What’s more is (…)
  • Furthermore
  • Also
  • In addition
  • In other words
  • To simplify
  • In order to
  • To that/this end
  • For/To (purpose)
  • Similarly
  • Likewise
  • As well as

Transition Words To Use for Argumentative Essay

In an argumentative essay, you might assert your position on something. Eventually, you might try to convince the reader to side with you. To that end, you can be more or less persuasive using some of these expressions:

  • No doubt, the solution is
  • As you can see, this is the right way/thing
  • In fact the result is
  • Because of that, we believe
  • For this/that reasons, it’s right/fair
  • According to what we said

The key to an argumentative essay is to know your position and bring solid facts to support it. At the same time, you might try to appeal to the reader’s values, morals, logic, and emotions.

Transition Words for Compare and Contrast Essays

The compare and contrast essay is in between the argumentative and informative essay. It’s similar to the argumentative because there’s a comparison between various elements. On the other hand, it’s similar to the informative one because it’s objective.

This previous paragraph is a perfect example of a compare and contrast essay. It’s not asserting any particular position but comparing two elements. Here are the words to use in an essay that compares arguments:

  • However/Nonetheless/Nevertheless/But
  • On the other hand/Contrasting/Alternatively/ On the contrary
  • Meanwhile/Whereas
  • By contrast/To compare
  • That said/Then again/Yet
  • Despite this
  • Another key point/Important to note

Transition Words for Cause and Effect Essays

The cause and effect essay is precisely what it sounds like: a paper that links causes to effects. For instance, the title might be “The effects of climate change.” Then, the paper might start listing the consequences of climate change while creating logical links with facts.

Here are some words to use in an essay that aims to establish cause-effect relationships between ideas:

  • To start/begin with
  • Initially/Finally
  • Firstly/Secondly/Thirdly
  • Afterwards/Previously
  • To continue
  • As a result/Therefore causing
  • The outcome of that is/As a consequence
  • Due to/Since/Because
  • Otherwise/However/Regardless

Transition Words for Informative Essays

The informative essay is the easiest essay to write. There’s no bias, opinion, or contrast. You’re just presenting facts about a specific topic.

When writing an informative essay, your tone should be formal and your view as objective as possible. So, try to avoid the persuasive, comparing transition words that we mentioned for the specific types.

You can use more general words instead:

  • Firstly/Secondly/Thirdly
  • Because/For/To
  • For example/instance
  • Also/Moreover/In addition
  • Lastly/Finally

Transition Words for Expository Essays

The ideal words to use in an essay that describes things or presents a method are:

  • To begin/Firstly
  • Lastly/In the end
  • Because/For/To
  • Otherwise/ On the other hand
  • Also/In addition/Moreover
  • In other words/ Simply put

Transition Words for Synthesis Essays

In a synthesis essay, you might combine different ideas to create a new one or a solution. So, you might use some words like:

  • According to this source
  • This proves good/useful
  • Therefore/So/Thus/Hence
  • Contrary/ On the other hand
  • We can argue/agree/disagree that

Transition Words for Analysis Essays

The quintessential words to use in an essay that analyses something are similar to the contrast and compare ones:

  • To start/begin with
  • Initially/Finally
  • Firstly/Secondly/Thirdly
  • Afterwards/Previously
  • To continue
  • Due to/Since/Because
  • Otherwise/However/Regardless
  • We can conclude that

Do’s and Don’ts of Using Transition Words and Expressions for Essays

Using transition words isn’t always a piece of cake. You need to pick the best expression to fit your idea. Working in a group or with many sources might complicate your work because you need to stitch many parts together.

Nonetheless, here are a few things to do when picking the words to use in an essay:

  • Understand the transition words. Do you know the difference between “Hence” and “However?” If not, you might need to read more examples and understand when it’s appropriate to use these expressions.
  • Use logic. The transition words clear the path towards ideas, but you need to use your logic and make sure the links between ideas make sense.
  • Understand the different types of essays. The words to use in an essay depend on its purpose, so try to learn the difference between essays.

On the other hand, try to avoid these mistakes:

  • Using the wrong transition words. It sounds like an obvious mistake, but if you’re not sure what to use, think about the purpose of your idea. Ask yourself, “What am I trying to emphasize about my idea?” If you need to connect an effect to a cause, there are specific words for that.
  • Overusing the same expression again and again.
  • Using too many transition words.


What words can I use to make my essay longer?

If you want to write a good essay, the word count should be the last thing you care about. Nonetheless, you might have a word count objective. So, you can use descriptions to lengthen your text. Also, you can add side topics that take up a total of 50-100 words. But don’t stray from the main subject too much.

What are the good vocabulary words to use in an essay?

The universal words to use in an essay include:

  • Firstly/Secondly/Thirdly
  • Because/For/To
  • For example/instance
  • Also/Moreover/In addition
  • Lastly/Finally

What expressions can I use in an essay to sound smart?

Transition words are great for sounding smart, especially when you use them correctly. So, practice using them more often.


Using transition words can truly transform your essay. If used correctly, your reader will understand your point of view. Nonetheless, you need to know when and which to use.

The argumentative, contrast, synthesis and cause and effect ones have specific words to use. Meanwhile, informative, expository, and analysis ones tend towards more general expressions.