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IELTS Exam Tips Links Task 1 Task 2 Writing

Linking in the IELTS Exam

Linking in the IELTS Exam – how to use sequencing language to improve fluency, cohesion and coherence.

Linking words and phrases (also referred to as transitions or cohesive devices) are those which connect ideas, sentences and paragraphs together. These words and phrases signal that something is to be added, listed, compared, contrasted, emphasized, concluded, or provided with an example or result. For task 2 writing, try and avoid using the more idiomatic expressions, such as “oddly enough”. Here are the main groups:

Contrast (describing differences between people or things)

however, in contrast, on the contrary, on the other hand, to put it into perspective, from a different angle, nonetheless, nevertheless, but, yet, a catch to this is, sadly enough, as a hindrance, oddly enough, instead, in direct opposition, still, rather

Result (something that is caused directly by something else)

as a result, as a consequence, consequently, thus, therefore, hence, thereby, resulting in, ultimately, in the end, finally, in the overall analysis, in hindsight, in retrospect, retrospectively, the long-term effect, as a short-term result, significantly, as a major effect, effectively, hereafter, thereafter, in short, generally, over all, concluding

Adding Information

also, in addition, further, furthermore, moreover, additionally, to add to that, next, in accordance with, accordingly, in agreement, finally

Giving Examples

for instance, for example, in fact, factually speaking, in terms of, and so forth, in coordination with, along those lines, collectively speaking, generally speaking, indeed, undoubtedly, obviously, clearly

The most common (and less formal) discourse markers can also be used in your speaking test, since they will make your conversation livelier, more personal and involved. They will also help to reduce pauses and hesitation. Try and avoid over-using the more formal linking words, such as “moreover” – remember that native speakers are more likely to use conjunctions such as “and, but, because, so, also”.

In the reading test, transitions give more information, and will often connect to keywords in the passage. In the listening test (especially part 3), transitions are often ‘signal words’ which precede the answer you are looking for.

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