Linking Words & Connectors For IELTS Writing Task 2

May 7, 2024 | IELTS Test

Linking Words & Connectors For IELTS Writing Task 2

Linking words are an indispensable tool for crafting a successful IELTS Writing Task 2 essay. Their proper use facilitates coherence, clarity, and cohesion in your writing, essential qualities that can distinguish your work from others. Any IELTS examiner will need to see evidence in your work that you have used a number of linking words correctly for them to award you the highest marks for Coherence and Cohesion (worth 25% of your overall grade in the essay).

It is vital to use linking words effectively when writing any essay (though especially for IELTS Writing Task 2). These words help to make your essay more engaging and add a good amount of stylistic effect to its overall tone. Linking words are there to connect different pieces of information and to present your own opinion.

What Are Linking Words?

Linking words help connect different ideas or thoughts within a sentence or between sentences. They help organise your writing and make it easier for the reader to follow by showing the relationships between different ideas and creating a smoother flow of thought.

Simple linking words can enhance communication in various ways. For instance, if you want to add more information to something you just said, you can use the linking word ‘also’. Similarly, when you want to indicate a contrast between two ideas, you can use ‘however’. Lastly, to provide an example to support your argument, use ‘for instance.’

Using linking words effectively in your writing helps you improve the clarity and organisation of your ideas, making it easier for the reader to understand and follow your argument. These kinds of words also help to demonstrate your ability to use a variety of sentence structures and vocabulary, which is important in communicating effectively, especially when it comes to IELTS Writing Task 2.

Why Are Linking Or Connecting Words Crucial For IELTS Writing?

Using linking words or connecting words is crucial for IELTS Writing as they help to establish coherence and cohesion. 

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Using Connectors In Writing Allows You To:

  • Show the connection between ideas: Linking words and phrases can be used to show how different ideas are related to each other. For example, ‘Moreover’, ‘Furthermore’, and ‘In addition’ can be used to add information to support a previous point.
  • Sequence ideas: Using words like ‘Firstly’, ‘Secondly’, and ‘Lastly’ helps to structure your writing and make it easier for the reader to follow the flow of your ideas.
  • Show cause and effect: Words like ‘Because’, ‘Due to’, ‘As a result’, and ‘Therefore’ can help to show the relationship between cause and effect, which is particularly important in the academic Writing task.
  • Compare and contrast ideas: Words like ‘However’, ‘On the other hand’, and ‘In contrast’ can be used to compare and analyse different ideas or opinions.

List Of Connectors For IELTS Writing

Below, we have put together a table that details the different types of linking words for IELTS Writing, their uses, and some examples that can be used for each category.

Type Of Connecting Words What Their Use Is Linking Word Examples
Level of significance To identify which points are most important Most importantly, essentially, primarily, most significantly, above all
Similarity To reinforce that two points are similar Also, likewise, similarly, simultaneously, equally, moreover
Listing To list points or chronologise your writing Firstly, secondly, thirdly, subsequently, furthermore, additionally, next, after that, finally, in conclusion 
Providing examples To use illustration in a way that backs up your point For example, to cite an example, to illustrate, in other words, namely
Expanding upon information To supply the reader with extra knowledge on a certain point.  In addition, but also, moreover, as well as, what is more, additionally
Giving a reason To clarify your reason for a certain point to the reader Given that, owing to, as a result of, due to, since, because
Making a generalisation To put forward a general or overall opinion All things considered, in general, generally speaking, all in all, broadly speaking, by and large
Emphasis To stress the importance of a point to a reader Absolutely, undoubtedly, certainly, without question, needless to say, beyond any doubt
Contrasting To compare two things or ideas However, instead, despite, alternatively, on the other hand, otherwise, whereas, conversely
Opinion To demonstrate your own point of view I believe, I think, in my opinion, I agree that, I disagree that
Dismissal To reject a certain point of view Anyway, at any rate, moving on, in spite of this
Concentrating To focus or shed light on something Regarding, as far as, when it comes to, in the case of, speaking of 
Conclusion To draw the essay to a close In summary, in conclusion, overall, to summarise, to sum up 

Examples Of Connecting Words For IELTS Writing In Sentences

Now that we have listed some of the different linking words and phrases, let’s look at how to use them in the correct context.

Levels Of Significance 

These words help us to bring attention to the most important points we are making in our essay. By applying an order of relevance to certain passages, we can easily show the examiner or reader the most crucial elements of our argument.

Most Importantly: Most importantly, the success of this project depends on our ability to meet the deadline.”

Above All: “Above all, we must prioritise the needs of our customers to ensure their satisfaction with our products and services.”


Using these connecting words helps discuss how two connecting parts of the text share similarities. This way, you can easily make the essay flow better for the reader.

Likewise: “Likewise, effective communication is essential in the workplace.”

Equally: “Equally important to a healthy work-life balance is the need for regular physical activity. “


Listing words help put different bodies of text in a chronological order or can be used inside paragraphs to help list out the most valuable points.

Firstly: “Firstly, in order to understand the causes and effects of climate change, it is important to have a solid understanding of the basic science behind it, including the greenhouse effect, carbon cycle, and global energy balance.”

Furthermore: “I am impressed by your qualifications and experience. Furthermore, your passion for the industry and innovative ideas make you an ideal candidate for this position.”

Providing Examples

These words help to clarify and expand upon your ideas by providing concrete and specific examples that demonstrate the validity of your point. Using linking words to provide examples allows readers to understand your argument better and visualise it.

For example: “There are many ways to reduce stress levels, such as regular exercise, meditation, spending time in nature, and engaging in creative hobbies. For example, studies have shown that practising yoga or mindfulness meditation can have significant benefits for reducing stress and improving overall well-being.”

To cite an example: “To cite an example, in the field of artificial intelligence, machine learning algorithms are being used to develop more accurate and efficient predictive models, such as those used in natural language processing, computer vision, and autonomous systems.”

Expanding Upon Information

Just as giving examples helps to reinforce your point to the reader, using connecting phrases that allow you to provide more information on a topic will help establish the strength of your argument in your writing.

In Addition: “In addition to ethical concerns, there is also evidence to suggest that capital punishment does not serve as an effective deterrent to crime and that there is a risk of executing innocent people, making the case for its abolition.”

Moreover: “Moreover, the study of history provides valuable insight into past societal, cultural, and political norms and their impact on the present, and helps to inform and shape our future decisions and actions.”

Giving A Reason

These connecting and linking words help to explain why you are making a certain point to the reader; however, unlike opinion-connecting words, these do not explicitly state your opinion on the topic.

Given that: “Given that tourism is a big part of many economies, it’s important to find a balance between economic growth and responsible tourism that doesn’t harm the environment or local communities.”

Because: “Businesses can operate worldwide because of technology and transportation advancements, leading to more international trade, cultural exchange, and connections between nations.”

Making A Generalisation

Sometimes, the point we want to make or explain in our writing is less specific and concerns a group of people or an overall presumption rather than a specific opinion. This means using connecting words that explain to the reader that the next passage is a generalisation.

In General: “In general, video games are enjoyed by many people around the world as a form of entertainment and leisure activity.”

Broadly Speaking: “Broadly speaking, the job market can be divided into different sectors such as healthcare, technology, finance, and manufacturing, each with their own unique opportunities and challenges.” 


In the same way that we spoke about levels of significance being important, emphatic connecting words and phrases in the right context are also important. These terms help to drive home to the reader the extent to which we agree or disagree with a statement – something we are asked to do in certain questions. 

Undoubtedly: “Crime is a complex issue that needs a multifaceted approach to address the root causes. These include poverty, inequality, and lack of education. Individuals also need to be held accountable through a fair and just criminal justice system. Undoubtedly, this is a challenging task.”

Beyond any doubt: “It is Beyond any doubt that fashion plays a significant role in our society, influencing the way we express ourselves as well as helping us to communicate our identities.”


Using linking words to compare and contrast different opinions or viewpoints in your essay is crucial, especially on the academic test in Writing Task 2. In this version of the test, you might be asked to provide conflicting points of view on a topic while also stating your own opinion. Therefore, it is of vital importance that you can use connecting words to contrast correctly.

Alternatively: “We could prevent global warming by reducing our energy needs, or alternatively, we could use more renewable energy.”

On the other hand: “On the one hand, public transport is an affordable and environmentally friendly way to get around cities, reducing traffic congestion and air pollution. On the other hand, it can also be unreliable and inconvenient, with limited routes and schedules that may not meet the needs of all commuters.”


As with the above example of contrasting opinions, the academic version of Writing Task 2 may require you to demonstrate and argue your opinion on a topic. This means that you need to be able to effectively use linking words that allow you to make clear you are referencing your own thoughts and beliefs.

In my opinion: In my opinion, choosing to follow a vegetarian diet can be a positive step towards promoting sustainable and ethical food practices as well as reducing the environmental impact of meat production.”

I disagree that: “I disagree that childhood obesity is solely the result of poor individual choices, as there are often broader societal and environmental factors that contribute to this issue, such as lack of access to healthy foods, sedentary lifestyles, and marketing of unhealthy foods to children.”


Dismissive connective phrases can help create a more engaging and persuasive argument by allowing the writer to present their own perspective in a clear and assertive way. They are also a good way to demonstrate your own opinion to the reader by critiquing a point of view that you believe to be wrong.

In spite of this: “Many people enjoy the convenience and variety of options that come with online shopping. In spite of this, it is important to recognise the negative impacts that online shopping can have on local businesses, the environment, and even personal finances.”


In a similar way to using linking phrases for emphasis when writing an essay, you will also need to be able shed light on the connections between different ideas and arguments you are putting forward. Through linking phrases, you can signal to the reader how different parts of the essay are related and why they are important. This helps the reader follow your essay’s logic and understand how the different pieces of evidence contribute to the overall thesis or argument.

Regarding: “Working from home has become increasingly common in recent years, with many companies offering flexible work arrangements to their employees. Regarding this trend, it is important to consider the benefits and challenges of remote work for both employers and employees.”

When it comes to: “When it comes to recycling, it is important to understand the environmental benefits of reusing materials and reducing waste, as well as the practical challenges of implementing recycling programs in different communities.”


Just like listing keywords, using linking words to conclude your essay is vital for guiding the reader through your writing. Employing phrases that signal the end of your essay and prepare the reader for the summary helps maintain clarity and unity in your writing.

In Summary: In summary, the tourism industry plays a significant role in many countries economies, but it also poses a number of environmental and social challenges that need to be addressed”

In Conclusion: “In conclusion, while the internet has revolutionised the way we communicate, learn, and conduct business, it also presents a number of challenges, such as privacy concerns, cybersecurity threats, and online harassment.”

What Is The Right Amount Of Linking Words To Use In IELTS Writing?

Whether taking the general or the academic versions of the IELTS test, the general rule of thumb should be to use these linking words sparingly and only when their use is necessary to help connect ideas or to clarify relationships between different parts of the essay. Many test candidates overuse connectives.

As well as this, you should also focus on using a range of different connecting words for IELTS, rather than relying on a handful of more common phrases. By doing so, you can signal to the examiner that you have a higher level of vocabulary and understand how to use many linking words in their correct contexts, rather than having just memorised a select few.

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Still Struggling With Using Linking Words For IELTS Writing?

If you’ve read through all of the information we have above, and still feel that you’re no closer to mastering the use of connectors for IELTS, then we have a huge range of resources available to you which can help improve your IELTS Writing ability and at the same time your band score.

Learning Linking Words With Our IELTS Writing Corrections

One of the most effective ways we can help candidates struggling with using linking words in their IELTS Writing is through our Writing Corrections service. 

By identifying mistakes, explaining the errors we have identified and providing you with examples of how to use connecting words and phrases correctly – our personalised feedback helps you better know where you are going wrong and then allows you to revise which words you can use to make sure you hit the band score you need. 

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Tailored IELTS Lessons For Using Connectors In Writing Correctly

As online IELTS tutors, we can also put together tailored lesson packages that focus on building your knowledge of the different linking words and phrases and how to use them correctly. As tutors, we have seen many people fall short of their band score due to poor cohesion and coherence, and examiners have marked them down due to over- or under-using keywords or using them incorrectly. 

By providing instructions in one-to-one lessons on how to use different types of connectors, we can help you understand the different functions of connectors and how to use them effectively. We can also provide practice exercises for you to apply the knowledge gained in our sessions, helping you learn the correct uses of connecting words through guided repetition. Finally, our lessons provide model essays that demonstrate effective use of connectors in writing, helping you to learn by example and develop your writing skills from these.

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