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Useful IELTS Phrases To Link Your Writing

The IELTS writing exam is marked on four criteria – grammar and sentence structure; vocabulary usage; answering the task response; and coherence and cohesion.  Each make up 25% of the overall score.  Often when I read an essay by an ESL student, I’m impressed by their range of vocabulary and their expert grammar use, but disappointed about how incoherently one sentence flows to the next.

To develop coherence and cohesion, we need to use a variety of phrases to link one idea to the next, so that the reader can follow your thinking.  Today, I’m going to give you some of the most useful IELTS phrases to incorporate into your writing to keep that flow going and for your writing to be extremely coherent.  Let’s get started!

Useful IELTS Phrases and Words

Below are some common words and phrases you know, but which you often forget to use when linking your writing.  Try to incorporate some of these, where appropriate, into your writing.

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Opinion Linking Words and Phrases

Addition Linking Words and Phrases

Comparison Linking Words and Phrases

Condition Linking Words and Phrases

Example Words and Phrases

Result Words and Phrases

Some Final Tips

  • Revision tip:  On a blank sheet of paper write Result/Example/Condition/Addition/Comparison at the top of the page and then list the words that you remember.  Check against the list in this blog.
  • While practicing for the exam, try to use these expressions.
  • Before you write and before the exam, read through the expressions again.
  • Finally, whilst these are great words and phrases to use in your writing, don’t overuse them.  Not every sentence needs to start with a linking phrase!

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