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
Words to Use in the Essay Introduction
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.
Words to Use in the Body of the Essay
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
- Due to
- 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
- As well as
- Along with
- 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
- That said
- Even so
- Then again
- 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.
Words to Use in Your Essay 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
- To sum up
- In summary
- In a nutshell
- In brief
- In short
- In essence
- All in all
- 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
- Above all
- 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.
How to Improve Your Essay Writing Vocabulary
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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- Firstly, secondly, thirdly. ...
- In view of; in light of; considering. ...
- According to X; X stated that; referring to the views of X. ...
- Moreover; furthermore; in addition; what's more. ...
- In order to; to that end; to this end.
300 words is about 1.5-3 paragraphs for essays or 3-6 for easier reading (to allow skimming). A paragraph length typically has 100-200 words and 5-6 sentences.How do you write a good 300-word essay? ›
- Choose your essay topic carefully. If you were provided with a topic, take the time to research on the topic and pick a focus that is doable and interests you. ...
- Conduct some more research. ...
- Formulate your outline. ...
- Write the essay. ...
- Edit the essay.
- Moreover. Usage: Employ “moreover” at the start of a sentence to add extra information in support of a point you're making. ...
- Furthermore. ...
- What's more. ...
- Likewise. ...
- Similarly. ...
- Another key thing to remember. ...
- As well as. ...
- Not only… but also.
- Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis (45 letters) ...
- Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia (36 letters) ...
- Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (34 letters) ...
- Pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism (30 letters) ...
- Floccinaucinihilipilification (29 letters)
The body. It is a 300 word essay therefore, you cannot write the body in more than 2 to 3 paragraphs. Your body of the essay should be completed within 200 words. Each of your paragraphs should range from 75 to 100 words.How should I start my essay? ›
- Share a shocking or amusing fact.
- Ask a question.
- Dramatize a scene.
- Kick it off with a quote.
- State your thesis directly.
- Pick the right tone for your essay.
- When you're stuck, work backwards.
How Long Does 300 Words Take To Write? Assuming you already have the content ready to go, it should take you about one hour to write a 300-word essay.What 300 words looks like? ›
How many pages is 300 words? The answer is close to two-thirds of a page single spaced, and around one and one-third of a page double spaced. Depending on your settings this may vary, but typically with a 12 point font-size, Times New Roman or Arial font and regular page margins your results should be similar.Is 300 words too long for a paragraph essay? ›
Length of a paragraph
Academic paragraphs are usually between 200 and 300 words long (they vary more than this but it is a useful guide). The important thing is that they should be long enough to contain all the above material. Only move onto a new paragraph if you are making a new point.
So according to me there are 75-80 sentences that conducts 300 words.How do I shorten my essay a lot? ›
- Delete "The" You can often omit the word “the” from your text without losing any meaning. ...
- Erase “That” ...
- Remove Adverbs and Adjectives. ...
- Use Shorter Words. ...
- Trim Wordy Phrases. ...
- Choose Active Voice. ...
- Revise Needless Transitions. ...
- Eliminate Conjunctions.
- Add lots of details. One effective way to add fluff to your essay is to include details. ...
- Repeat points. ...
- Use descriptive phrases. ...
- Use flowery language. ...
- Add more clarifications. ...
- Include several examples. ...
- Add different perspectives. ...
- Use words of emphasis.
The longest word in any of the major English language dictionaries is pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis, a word that refers to a lung disease contracted from the inhalation of very fine silica particles, specifically from a volcano; medically, it is the same as silicosis.Which is the shortest word? ›
The shortest word is a. Some might wonder about the word I since it consists of one letter, too. In sound, a is shorter because it is a monophthong (consists of one vowel), while I is a diphthong. Both do consist of one letter in the English writing system, and in most fonts I is the narrowest letter.What is the 2 longest word in English? ›
- 1 Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis (forty-five letters): ...
- 2 Pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism (thirty letters): ...
- 3 Floccinaucinihilipilification (twenty-nine letters): ...
- 4 Antidisestablishmentarianism (twenty-eight letters):
What are the twelve powerful words? Trace, Analyze, Infer, Evaluate, Formulate, Describe, Support, Explain, Summarize, Compare, Contrast, Predict. Why use the twelve powerful words? These are the words that always give students more trouble than others on standardized tests.What are 5 interesting words? ›
- Anachronism. An anachronism is something (or someone) that is out of place in terms of time or chronology. ...
- Accismus. A form of irony in which someone feigns indifference to something he or she desires. ...
- Cacophony. ...
- Draconian. ...
- Limerence. ...
- Pareidolia. ...
- Riposte. ...
|1. the||21. at||41. there|
|2. of||22. be||42. use|
|3. and||23. this||43. an|
|4. a||24. have||44. each|
|5. to||25. from||45. which|
- Write it short, but clear. You know that your essay should contain no more than 250 words, so it is obligatory to mention all the important points first. ...
- Answer the main question only. ...
- Create an outline of the essay. ...
- Spend more time to make corrections.
350-Word Essay Structure
The easiest way to organize a 350-word essay is to use a standard 5-paragraph structure. The paper should start with an introduction: a hook, some background data, and a thesis statement. Then come three body paragraphs, each focused on one argument.
3 paragraphs is 300 – 600 words for essays, 150 – 300 words for easy writing. 4 paragraphs is 400 – 800 words for essays, 200 – 400 words for easy writing. 5 paragraphs is 500 – 1,000 words for essays, 250 – 500 words for easy writing.What is a good hook for a college essay? ›
Start with Quotations
You can use two types of quotes here: literary citations and inspirational quotes from famous people or influencers in the field. A literary quote would be a perfect hook for your application essay, while quoting influencers helps to support an argument you represent in your paper.
1 paragraph is 100 – 200 words for essays, 50 – 100 words for easy writing. 2 paragraphs is 200 – 400 words for essays, 100 – 200 words for easy writing. 3 paragraphs is 300 – 600 words for essays, 150 – 300 words for easy writing. 4 paragraphs is 400 – 800 words for essays, 200 – 400 words for easy writing.How many characters is 300 words? ›
How Many Words in Any Number of Characters.
|Characters with Spaces||Word Count (With Spaces)||Word Count (Without Spaces)|
|300 CHARACTERS||40-80 WORDS||50-100 WORDS|
How long does it take to write a 2,000 word essay? It takes about 6 hours and 40 minutes to write a 2,000 word essay. How long does it take to write a 2,500 word essay? It takes about 8 hours and 20 minutes to write a 2,500 word essay.How many pages is a 300 word essay? ›
The answer is 0.6 pages single-spaced and 1.2 pages double-spaced. Basically, the documents such as essays, news articles, and short blog posts will be written of around 300 words.How do you write 300 in word form? ›
300 in words is three hundred.How do you write 300? ›
300 in words is written as Three Hundred.How many words in 1 paragraph? ›
A paragraph usually deals with a single idea. In general, you'll have an introductory sentence expressing that idea, and several supporting sentences to round it off. Paragraphs are usually about 100 – 200 words long, but there are more exceptions to this rule-of-thumb than you'd expect.
No rule says an essay needs to have a certain number of paragraphs, but an essay must be at least three paragraphs. Many people say an essay should be five paragraphs, but it's an extremely limiting rule, and unless you've been instructed to write a five-paragraph essay, there's no reason to stick to it.How many paragraphs is 5 pages? ›
So, how many paragraphs are enough, and how many are too many? For historical writing, there should be between four and six paragraphs in a two-page paper, or six and twelve in a five-page essay.Is usually in one paragraph of 300 words? ›
An abstract summarizes, usually in one paragraph of 300 words or less, the major aspects of the entire paper in a prescribed sequence that includes: 1) the overall purpose of the study and the research problem(s) you investigated; 2) the basic design of the study; 3) major findings or trends found as a result of your ...How many paragraphs is 250 to 300 words? ›
In 250 words, you will most likely have 3-4 paragraphs in total, each with 50-100 words. This will allow for 3-5 concise but detailed sentences per paragraph.How long should it take to say 300 words? ›
There are 300 words per minute in a 2 minute speech. 2 minutes isn't a long time so when you speak, you could endure the average speaking rate. How many words are there in a 3 minute speech? On average there are 450 words in a 3 minute speech.How can I improve my writing style? ›
- Be direct in your writing. Good writing is clear and concise. ...
- Choose your words wisely. ...
- Short sentences are more powerful than long sentences. ...
- Write short paragraphs. ...
- Always use the active voice. ...
- Review and edit your work. ...
- Use a natural, conversational tone. ...
- Read famous authors.
- Use simple terminology. Stop thinking the use of big words will make you appear smart. ...
- Don't over-articulate. Connect the words within phrases together.
- Relax & Breathe. Being relaxed always improves your performance; exhale your voice right out of your lungs. ...
- Use a varied intonation pattern.
Tables, diagrams (including associated legends), appendices, references, footnotes and endnotes, the bibliography and any bound published material are excluded from the word count.How long is too long for an essay? ›
In general, an essay is a shorter piece of writing than a research paper or thesis. In most cases, your assignment will include clear guidelines on the number of words or pages you are expected to write. Often this will be a range rather than an exact number (for example, 2500–3000 words, or 10–12 pages).Can you write an essay in 40 minutes? ›
At high school, you're expected to be able to write a 500-word essay in 40 minutes. Don't worry, it's possible and many of you might have done this before! In most jurisdictions, secondary-level students are expected to be able to write a good, critical essay of approximately 500 words in 40 minutes.
Each body paragraph should develop one main idea that supports your argument. To learn how to structure a paragraph, look at the page developing clarity and focus in academic writing or do the Canvas module building good paragraphs. Your conclusion should not offer any new material.What should you never do in an essay? ›
- Fail to address the question's topic in your introduction. ...
- Stray from the focus of the question (especially in the conclusion) ...
- Insert quotes without introducing them or relating them back to the topic. ...
- Fail to provide references. ...
- Use informal language, colloquialisms, or overuse rhetorical questions.
More than three quarters respondents believed that using big words or a complex vocabulary makes someone seem smarter. The top five words most likely to make someone sound smarter are “articulate,” “accolade,” “brevity,” “adulation,” and “anomaly.”How can I make my essay more attractive? ›
- Choose active voice and vivid verbs. Passive voice, or leaving the subject out of the sentence, makes it look like you are trying to avoid responsibility. ...
- Choose precise words. ...
- Choose concise phrasing. ...
- Choose simple words. ...
- Choose appropriate words.
- 1 Use active voice. To sound more professional, be concise and to the point. ...
- 2 Focus on formal language. ...
- 4 Revise for spelling, grammar, and punctuation. ...
- 5 Eliminate excessive words and awkward phrasing. ...
- 6 Ensure content strikes the intended tone.
- Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis. ...
- Floccinaucinihilipilification. ...
- Incomprehensibility. ...
- Trichotillomania. ...
- Xenotransplantation. ...
- Tergiversation. ...
- Uncopyrightable. ...
If you're not writing quickly, your expectations could be too high. You could be setting your expectations too high if you are: Trying to make your writing perfect the first time. Trying to come up with an original thought for every piece of writing.Why am I struggling to write an essay? ›
Here are a few reasons why essay writing is hard:
You'd rather be scrolling through Facebook. You're trying to write something your teacher or professor will like. You're trying to get an A instead of writing something that's actually good. You want to do the least amount of work possible.
- Make sure the connections your essay makes are non-obvious and specific. Boring essays provide obvious and vague insights. ...
- Be vulnerable. Boring essays are rarely vulnerable. ...
- Change the order of events in your story.
Your essay's conclusion should contain:
- A rephrased version of your overall thesis.
- A brief review of the key points you made in the main body.
- An indication of why your argument matters.
- An Answer To The Main Question. The first thing a good essay should have is an answer to the main question or a clear understanding of the topic right in the introductory paragraph. ...
- A Conclusive Conclusion. ...
- Formal Language. ...
- Relevant Examples and Quotes.