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Words to Use in an Essay: 300 Essay Words

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Hannah Yang

words to use in an essay

Table of Contents

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.

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.

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…

Phrases to introduce a thesis

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.

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.”

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


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.”

Phrases to draw conclusions

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

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

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 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.

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

In a nutshell

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

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.

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.

ProWritingAid offering synonyms for great

There you have it: our compilation of the best words and phrases to use in your next essay . Good luck!

big words to use in your essays

Good writing = better grades

ProWritingAid will help you improve the style, strength, and clarity of all your assignments.

Hannah Yang is a speculative fiction writer who writes about all things strange and surreal. Her work has appeared in Analog Science Fiction, Apex Magazine, The Dark, and elsewhere, and two of her stories have been finalists for the Locus Award. Her favorite hobbies include watercolor painting, playing guitar, and rock climbing. You can follow her work on hannahyang.com, or subscribe to her newsletter for publication updates.

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100 Words and Phrases to use in an Essay

Thomas Babb

Writing a compelling essay involves much more than simply putting your thoughts on paper. It demands the use of a precise vocabulary that not only enriches your content but also structures it in a way that is both logical and engaging. The right words and phrases can transform your essay from a basic assignment to an insightful and persuasive piece of writing.

This guide introduces you to 100 essential words and phrases recommended by expert English tutors that will help you convey your ideas more effectively. From adding information to expressing contrasts, and from illustrating examples to summarising your points, these carefully selected terms will enhance the clarity and impact of your essays.

Adding Information

When crafting an essay, integrating additional details effectively can enrich the written content and present a well-rounded argument. Here's how you can use each phrase under this category:

1. Furthermore - Use this to add weight to a point already mentioned, providing further evidence without redundancy.

2. Moreover - Similar to "furthermore," it introduces information that not only adds to the argument but enhances it.

3. Similarly - This indicates that the upcoming point shares notable characteristics with the previous one, aiding in drawing parallels.

4. Additionally - Introduces extra information or arguments that augment the current discussion.

5. Also - A simpler form of "additionally" that integrates extra facts smoothly.

6. Likewise - Indicates similarity and supports points by showing how they relate to each other in terms of qualities or actions.

7. In addition - This phrase is useful for contributing additional supportive details in a clear manner.

8. As well as - Functions to include another subject or item into your discussion without diverging from the main topic.

9. Not only... but also - A powerful structure for emphasizing not just one, but two important points, enhancing the depth of the argument.

10. Alongside - Implies that the information being added runs parallel to the already established facts, reinforcing them.

These phrases, when used correctly, help to build a strong, cohesive narrative flow in your essays, guiding the reader through a logical progression of ideas. For more on enhancing your writing with effective information addition, explore resources like Oxford Royale's Essay Writing Tips .

Introducing Examples

Introducing concrete examples is crucial in illustrating and supporting your claims effectively in an essay. Here’s how to use each word or phrase linked to this category:

11. For instance - Introduces a specific example that illuminates a broader point, helping to clarify complex ideas.

12. For example - Functions similarly to "for instance," offering a direct illustration to support or demonstrate a claim.

13. Such as - Prepares the reader for an example that is part of a larger category, typically used to list items or concepts.

14. Like - Introduces comparisons or examples in a casual and relatable manner.

15. Particularly - Highlights an example that is especially relevant to the argument, focusing attention on significant details.

16. In particular - Similar to "particularly," but often used to introduce a standout example that underscores a critical point.

17. Including - Serves to add examples to a list that may already be understood to be part of the topic being discussed.

18. Namely - Specifies and introduces exact and often multiple examples or details directly related to the point.

19. Chiefly - Points to the most important or significant examples or reasons in support of an argument.

20. Mainly - Indicates that the examples provided are the primary ones to consider, focusing on the most relevant instances.

Effective use of these phrases not only clarifies your points but also strengthens your arguments by making abstract concepts tangible. For detailed guidance on how to incorporate examples effectively in your essays, refer to academic resources like Harvard College Writing Center .

Demonstrating Contrast

IB English tutors suggest that Using contrast effectively in your essays can highlight differences that clarify your points or show alternative perspectives. Here’s how to use each phrase to demonstrate contrast:

21. Conversely - Signals a stark contrast to what has just been discussed, often introducing an opposing viewpoint.

22. However - A versatile tool to introduce a contradiction or counterpoint, breaking from the previous line of reasoning.

23. Nevertheless - Indicates persistence of a stated fact or opinion despite the contrasting information that follows.

24. On the other hand - Used to present a different perspective or an alternative to the argument previously mentioned.

25. Although - Begins a sentence where the main clause contrasts with the lesser significant, conditional clause.

26. Even though - Similar to "although," but often emphasizes a stronger degree of contrast between the conflicting elements.

27. But - A simple and direct way to introduce a contradiction to the preceding statement.

28. Yet - Suggests a contrast that is surprising or unexpected based on the previous statements.

29. Instead - Introduces an alternative action or thought in response to what has been previously discussed.

30. Rather - Used to correct or propose a different idea from what was initially stated or understood.

These phrases are essential for essays where comparing and contrasting ideas, arguments, or perspectives is necessary to deepen understanding or enhance the argument’s complexity. To learn more about using contrast in writing, visit educational resources such as Purdue Online Writing Lab .

Showing Cause and Effect

A-Level English tutors point out that effectively indicating cause and effect relationships in your essays helps clarify the reasons things happen and the consequences that follow. Here’s how to use each word or phrase to illustrate these relationships:

31. Consequently - Signals a direct result from the action or situation mentioned, highlighting the effect or outcome.

32. Therefore - Used to introduce a logical conclusion or result that follows from the reasoning presented earlier.

33. Thus - Indicates a conclusion or result that is a natural consequence of the facts previously mentioned.

34. Hence - Similar to "thus," it conveys a consequence that is a logical extension from the argument or data presented.

35. Accordingly - Shows that an action or decision is a logical response to the circumstances or facts discussed.

36. As a result - Directly points out the outcome or effect resulting from a specific cause or set of conditions.

37. This leads to - Introduces a sequence where one event or fact causes another, often used to chain multiple effects.

38. It follows that - Used when deducing a conclusion that logically arises from the preceding argument or evidence.

39. Leading to - Connects an initial action or decision directly with its consequences, highlighting a progression of events.

40. Contributing to - Indicates that the action or event adds to a situation, leading to a particular result or effect.

Mastering the use of these phrases can enhance the persuasive power of your writing by clearly linking actions and their consequences.

Adding Emphasis

Effectively emphasising key points in your essays can make your arguments more compelling and memorable. Here’s how to appropriately use each word or phrase to add emphasis:

41. Significantly - Indicates that something is of great importance or consequence, drawing the reader's attention to the gravity of the point being made.

42. Importantly - Prioritises the following information as crucial for understanding the argument or situation.

43. Indeed - Reinforces the truth of a statement, often used to confirm and agree with a previously mentioned point that might be surprising or emphatic.

44. Absolutely - A strong affirmation that leaves no doubt about the veracity or importance of the statement.

45. Definitely - Communicates certainty about a fact or opinion, strengthening the author's stance.

46. Certainly - Similar to "definitely," it expresses a high degree of assurance about the information being provided.

47. Undoubtedly - Suggests that there is no doubt about the statement, reinforcing its truth and relevance.

48. Without a doubt - A more emphatic form of "undoubtedly," eliminating any ambiguity about the point’s validity.

49. Particularly - Highlights specific information as especially significant within a broader context.

50. Especially - Used to indicate that something holds more significance than other elements, often emphasizing exceptional cases or instances.

Using these expressions strategically can enhance the persuasive impact of your writing by underscoring the most critical elements of your argument. To see more words and further explore techniques for adding emphasis in academic writing, visit resources like Cambridge Dictionary Blog .

Explaining and Clarifying

In academic essays, clearly explaining and clarifying complex ideas is essential for effective communication. IGCSE tutors and GCSE tutors suggest that each of these phrases can be used to enhance understanding:

51. That is to say - Used to introduce a rephrasing or elaboration on something that has just been stated.

52. In other words - Helps clarify a statement by expressing it in different terms for better understanding.

53. To put it another way - Similar to "in other words," it offers an alternative explanation or perspective to ensure clarity.

54. To clarify - Directly states the intent to make something clearer or to resolve any misunderstandings.

55. To explain - Introduces a detailed explanation aimed at enhancing understanding of a complex issue or point.

56. This means that - Connects a statement or idea to its implications or necessary interpretations.

57. This implies - Suggests a deeper, often unspoken consequence or meaning behind the given information.

58. Put simply - Introduces a simpler or more straightforward version of what has been discussed, making it more accessible.

59. In simpler terms - Another phrase to ease comprehension by breaking down complex concepts into basic language.

60. Thus - Concludes an explanation by summarizing the logical result or conclusion derived from the argument made.

Using these phrases effectively can help articulate intricate arguments in a more digestible format, aiding the reader’s understanding and engagement.

Summarising and Concluding

Expert IB tutors and A-Level tutors recommend that effectively summarising and concluding your essays is crucial for reinforcing your main points and providing a satisfying closure to any persuasive essay. Here’s how to use each word or phrase to effectively wrap up your discussions:

61. In conclusion - Signals the beginning of the final summary, clearly stating that the argument is drawing to a close.

62. To sum up - Introduces a concise summary of the key points discussed, often used before the final conclusion.

63. Ultimately - Indicates a final, overarching conclusion derived from the arguments and evidence presented.

64. Finally - Marks the introduction of the last point or an additional important point that concludes the discussion.

65. Lastly - Similar to "finally," it is used to introduce the final argument or point in the list.

66. To conclude - Directly states the intent to wrap up the essay, leading into a summary of the main findings.

67. In summary - Offers a recap of the essential elements discussed, reinforcing the thesis without introducing new information.

68. All things considered - Provides an overall conclusion, taking into account all the points made throughout the essay.

69. In the final analysis - Suggests a thorough consideration of all aspects discussed, leading to a concluding viewpoint.

70. After all - Implies that the conclusion takes into account all arguments and evidences previously presented.

Mastering the use of these concluding phrases ensures that your essay ends on a strong note, summarising key points and reinforcing your argument.

Discussing Similarities

Highlighting similarities effectively can enhance your argument by showing connections and parallels between ideas or topics. Here’s how to use each phrase to discuss similarities in your essays:

71. Similarly - Indicates that what follows is in alignment with the previous statement, reinforcing the connection between two points.

72. Likewise - Also used to show agreement or similarity, it confirms that the upcoming point supports the previous one in terms of characteristics or outcomes.

73. Just as - Introduces a comparison, suggesting that the situation or argument is equivalent to another.

74. As with - Used before mentioning another example, indicating that it shares properties or conditions with what has been discussed.

75. Equally - Implies that two or more elements are on the same level in terms of importance, quality, or characteristics.

76. Analogous to - Introduces a more formal comparison, indicating that one situation is comparable to another, often used in more scientific or technical discussions.

77. Comparable to - Suggests that two things can be likened to each other, providing a basis for comparison.

78. In the same way - Confirms that the action, process, or idea mirrors another, reinforcing the similarity.

79. Just like - A more casual phrase used to draw a direct comparison, making the similarity clear and understandable.

80. Similarly important - Asserts that the importance or relevance of two or more aspects is equal, emphasising their comparative significance.

Utilising these phrases allows you to effectively link concepts and arguments, showing how they complement or mirror each other, which can strengthen your overall thesis. For further reading on comparing and contrasting ideas effectively, the University of North Carolina Writing Center offers excellent resources.

Providing Alternatives

Offering alternatives in your essays can demonstrate critical thinking by showing different possibilities or approaches. Here’s how to use each word or phrase to introduce alternative ideas:

81. Alternatively - Introduces a different option or suggestion, providing another route or perspective.

82. On the contrary - Used to present a direct opposition to the previously mentioned idea, emphasising a contrasting point.

83. Rather - Suggests a preference for one choice over another, typically used to propose a different approach or opinion.

84. Conversely - Indicates a reversal of what has been previously stated, introducing an opposing viewpoint.

85. Instead - Specifies a substitute or replacement, clearly stating that one option is to be considered in place of another.

86. On the flip side - Introduces a contrasting scenario or viewpoint in a more informal manner, often used in conversational or less formal writing.

87. Rather than - Presents a comparison between two choices, highlighting a preference for one over the other.

88. As an alternative - Explicitly states the introduction of a different option or method, providing variety to the discussion.

89. Either...or - Sets up a choice between two distinct options, forcing a decision that impacts the argument’s direction.

90. Neither...nor - Used to deny two possibilities simultaneously, often restructuring the argument by excluding common options.

Incorporating these phrases allows you to explore and present multiple facets of an issue, enriching the essay’s depth and persuasiveness. For tips on effectively presenting alternative arguments, visit Harvard College Writing Center .

Expressing Conditions

Effectively expressing conditions in your essays can help outline scenarios where certain outcomes or arguments hold true. Here’s how to use each word or phrase to specify conditions:

91. If - Introduces a conditional statement, setting up a scenario where a specific result depends on a preceding condition.

92. Unless - Specifies an exception to a general rule or statement, indicating that a condition will change the outcome if not met.

93. Provided that - Sets a stipulation or requirement for a scenario to occur, emphasizing that certain conditions must be satisfied.

94. Assuming that - Suggests a hypothesis or a precondition that needs to be accepted before proceeding with an argument or conclusion.

95. In case - Prepares for a situation that might occur, setting up precautions or actions based on potential scenarios.

96. Even if - Acknowledges that even under certain circumstances, the primary argument or conclusion still holds.

97. Only if - Restricts the conditions under which a statement or outcome is valid, narrowing down the scenarios to very specific ones.

98. Whether - Presents alternatives, usually offering a choice between possibilities within the condition stated.

99. As long as - Indicates that a condition is contingent upon the duration or continuation of a specified situation.

100. Given that - Introduces a premise as a fact, assuming its truth for the sake of argument or to advance the discussion.

Final Thoughts

In crafting compelling essays, the strategic use of specific words and phrases can significantly enhance both the clarity and persuasiveness of your writing. By mastering the use of these 100 essential terms, students can effectively structure their essays, convey complex ideas, and articulate contrasts and comparisons with precision. Each category of phrases serves a unique purpose, from adding information to providing alternatives, which empowers writers to construct well-rounded arguments and engage their readers more deeply.

As you continue to refine your essay-writing skills, remember that the power of your arguments often lies in the details—the precise words and phrases you choose to express your thoughts. The power of a well crafted essay introduction and precise essay conclusion should also not be overlooked. By integrating these tools into your writing repertoire, you are better equipped to present clear, persuasive, and engaging essays that stand out in academic settings.

How can I improve my essay planning process?

Effective essay planning begins with a clear understanding of the essay question. Break down the question to identify key terms and the required response. Create an outline to organise your main points and supporting arguments logically. Consider using a mind map to visually plot connections between ideas, which can spur creative thinking. Allocate time for research, writing, and revision within your plan. Practising essay plans for different questions can enhance your ability to organise thoughts quickly and efficiently, a crucial skill especially under exam conditions.

What makes an essay introduction effective?

An effective introduction grabs the reader's attention, sets the tone, and provides a clear thesis statement. Start with a hook such as a provocative question, a startling statistic, or a compelling quote. Provide some background information to set the context, ensuring it's directly relevant to the essay's question. The thesis statement should be concise and outline your main argument or response to the question. This setup not only intrigues but also informs the reader about the essay's focus, establishing your understanding and control of the subject.

How do I choose the best evidence for my essay?

The best evidence is relevant, credible, and supports your thesis directly. Use primary sources where possible as they provide first-hand accounts that you can analyse directly. When primary sources are not available, rely on peer-reviewed journals and reputable publications. Diversify your sources to avoid over-reliance on a single type of evidence, and critically evaluate sources for bias and reliability. Properly integrating this evidence into your argument involves summarising, paraphrasing, and quoting sources while always linking back to your main argument.

How can I make my essay arguments more persuasive?

To make your arguments more persuasive, begin with a clear, assertive thesis statement. Structure your essay so each paragraph introduces a single point supporting your thesis. Use credible evidence and explain how this supports your argument. Address potential counterarguments to show the depth of your understanding and strengthen your position by demonstrating why your approach is preferable. Employing a confident but respectful tone and precise language also enhances the persuasiveness of your essay.

What are common pitfalls in essay writing to avoid?

Common pitfalls in essay writing include poor structure, weak thesis statements, and lack of coherence. Avoiding these starts with a robust plan and clear outline. Stay on topic by linking each paragraph back to your thesis statement. Avoid plagiarism by properly citing all sources. Overly complex sentence structures can confuse readers, so strive for clarity and conciseness. Finally, neglecting proofreading can leave typographical and grammatical errors, which diminish the quality of your work, so always review your essay thoroughly.

How do I manage time when writing an essay under exam conditions?

Time management in exams is crucial. Allocate about 10% of your time for planning, 80% for writing, and 10% for revising. Quickly outline your main points to structure your essay from the start. Write your body paragraphs first, as these contain the bulk of marks, then your introduction and conclusion. Keep an eye on the clock and pace yourself to ensure you have enough time to adequately develop your arguments and conclude effectively.

What are the best practices for editing and proofreading essays?

After writing your essay, take a break before you start editing to give you a fresh perspective. Read your essay aloud to catch awkward phrasing and sentences that don't flow logically. Check for consistency in tense and point of view throughout the essay. Use spell-check tools, but do not rely on them solely—manually check for homophones and commonly confused words. Consider having someone else read your work to catch errors you might have overlooked and to provide feedback on the clarity of your arguments.

How can I develop a strong thesis statement?

A strong thesis statement is clear, concise, and specific. It should express one main idea that is debatable, meaning there is potential for argument. Reflect on the essay prompt and decide on your position regarding the topic. Your thesis should guide the reader through your arguments and indicate the rationale behind your viewpoint. It serves as the backbone of your essay, so ensure it is robust and directly linked to the question asked.

How do I handle counterarguments in my essays?

Handling counterarguments effectively involves acknowledging them and then refuting them with stronger evidence or reasoning. Present them fairly and objectively, then use logical, fact-based arguments to demonstrate why your position remains valid. This not only shows critical thinking but also strengthens your original argument by showing you have considered multiple perspectives.

What is the role of a conclusion in an essay?

The conclusion of an essay should effectively summarise the main arguments discussed while reaffirming the thesis statement. It should synthesise the information presented rather than introducing new ideas. Provide a final perspective on the topic or suggest implications, further research or practical applications to leave the reader with something to ponder. A strong conclusion can reinforce your argument and leave a lasting impression on the reader.

How can I ensure my essay flows logically?

To ensure logical flow, each paragraph should seamlessly connect to the next with clear transitions. Focus on structuring paragraphs around one main idea that supports your thesis. Use transitional words and phrases to show the relationship between paragraphs. Consistency in your argumentation style and maintaining a clear focus throughout the essay will help keep your writing coherent.

What techniques help maintain reader interest throughout an essay?

To maintain reader interest, start with a strong hook in your introduction and use engaging content like relevant anecdotes, striking statistics, or interesting quotes throughout your essay. Vary your sentence structure and use active voice to keep the narrative dynamic. Also, ensure your topic is relevant and your arguments are presented with passion and clarity.

How can I integrate quotes effectively in essays?

To integrate quotes effectively, introduce the quote with a sentence that sets up its relevance to your argument, then follow the quote with analysis or interpretation that ties it back to your main point. Do not rely heavily on quotes to make your points; use them to support your arguments. Ensure that every quote is properly cited according to the required academic style guide.

What are the differences between descriptive and argumentative essays?

Descriptive essays focus on detailing a particular subject to give the reader a clear image or understanding of the topic through vivid language and sensory details. In contrast, argumentative essays aim to persuade the reader of a particular viewpoint or position using evidence and reasoning. The former is more about painting a picture, while the latter is about convincing through argument.

How can I use feedback to improve my essay writing skills?

Feedback is invaluable for improving essay writing skills. Actively seek out feedback from teachers, peers, or tutors and focus particularly on recurring themes in their comments. Reflect on this feedback critically and apply it to your future essays. Regularly revisiting and revising your work based on constructive criticism allows you to develop a more refined and effective writing style over time.

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Thomas Babb

Written by: Thomas Babb

Thomas is a PhD candidate at Oxford University. He served as an interviewer and the lead admissions test marker at Oxford, and teaches undergraduate students at Mansfield College and St Hilda’s College. He has ten years’ experience tutoring A-Level and GCSE students across a range of subjects.

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How to Write an Argumentative Essay

How to Write a Persuasive Essay

How to Write a Persuasive Essay

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  • 40 Useful Words and Phrases for Top-Notch Essays

big words to use in your essays

To be truly brilliant, an essay needs to utilise the right language. You could make a great point, but if it’s not intelligently articulated, you almost needn’t have bothered.

Developing the language skills to build an argument and to write persuasively is crucial if you’re to write outstanding essays every time. In this article, we’re going to equip you with the words and phrases you need to write a top-notch essay, along with examples of how to utilise them.

It’s by no means an exhaustive list, and there will often be other ways of using the words and phrases we describe that we won’t have room to include, but there should be more than enough below to help you make an instant improvement to your essay-writing skills.

If you’re interested in developing your language and persuasive skills, Oxford Royale offers summer courses at its Oxford Summer School , Cambridge Summer School , London Summer School , San Francisco Summer School and Yale Summer School . You can study courses to learn english , prepare for careers in law , medicine , business , engineering and leadership.

General explaining

Let’s start by looking at language for general explanations of complex points.

1. In order to

Usage: “In order to” can be used to introduce an explanation for the purpose of an argument. Example: “In order to understand X, we need first to understand Y.”

2. In other words

Usage: Use “in other words” when you want to express something in a different way (more simply), to make it easier to understand, or to emphasise or expand on a point. Example: “Frogs are amphibians. In other words, they live on the land and in the water.”

3. To put it another way

Usage: This phrase is another way of saying “in other words”, and can be used in particularly complex points, when you feel that an alternative way of wording a problem may help the reader achieve a better understanding of its significance. Example: “Plants rely on photosynthesis. To put it another way, they will die without the sun.”

4. That is to say

Usage: “That is” and “that is to say” can be used to add further detail to your explanation, or to be more precise. Example: “Whales are mammals. That is to say, they must breathe air.”

5. To that end

Usage: Use “to that end” or “to this end” in a similar way to “in order to” or “so”. Example: “Zoologists have long sought to understand how animals communicate with each other. To that end, a new study has been launched that looks at elephant sounds and their possible meanings.”

Adding additional information to support a point

Students often make the mistake of using synonyms of “and” each time they want to add further information in support of a point they’re making, or to build an argument. Here are some cleverer ways of doing this.

6. Moreover

Usage: Employ “moreover” at the start of a sentence to add extra information in support of a point you’re making. Example: “Moreover, the results of a recent piece of research provide compelling evidence in support of…”

7. Furthermore

Usage:This is also generally used at the start of a sentence, to add extra information. Example: “Furthermore, there is evidence to suggest that…”

8. What’s more

Usage: This is used in the same way as “moreover” and “furthermore”. Example: “What’s more, this isn’t the only evidence that supports this hypothesis.”

9. Likewise

Usage: Use “likewise” when you want to talk about something that agrees with what you’ve just mentioned. Example: “Scholar A believes X. Likewise, Scholar B argues compellingly in favour of this point of view.”

10. Similarly

Usage: Use “similarly” in the same way as “likewise”. Example: “Audiences at the time reacted with shock to Beethoven’s new work, because it was very different to what they were used to. Similarly, we have a tendency to react with surprise to the unfamiliar.”

11. Another key thing to remember

Usage: Use the phrase “another key point to remember” or “another key fact to remember” to introduce additional facts without using the word “also”. Example: “As a Romantic, Blake was a proponent of a closer relationship between humans and nature. Another key point to remember is that Blake was writing during the Industrial Revolution, which had a major impact on the world around him.”

12. As well as

Usage: Use “as well as” instead of “also” or “and”. Example: “Scholar A argued that this was due to X, as well as Y.”

13. Not only… but also

Usage: This wording is used to add an extra piece of information, often something that’s in some way more surprising or unexpected than the first piece of information. Example: “Not only did Edmund Hillary have the honour of being the first to reach the summit of Everest, but he was also appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.”

14. Coupled with

Usage: Used when considering two or more arguments at a time. Example: “Coupled with the literary evidence, the statistics paint a compelling view of…”

15. Firstly, secondly, thirdly…

Usage: This can be used to structure an argument, presenting facts clearly one after the other. Example: “There are many points in support of this view. Firstly, X. Secondly, Y. And thirdly, Z.

16. Not to mention/to say nothing of

Usage: “Not to mention” and “to say nothing of” can be used to add extra information with a bit of emphasis. Example: “The war caused unprecedented suffering to millions of people, not to mention its impact on the country’s economy.”

Words and phrases for demonstrating contrast

When you’re developing an argument, you will often need to present contrasting or opposing opinions or evidence – “it could show this, but it could also show this”, or “X says this, but Y disagrees”. This section covers words you can use instead of the “but” in these examples, to make your writing sound more intelligent and interesting.

17. However

Usage: Use “however” to introduce a point that disagrees with what you’ve just said. Example: “Scholar A thinks this. However, Scholar B reached a different conclusion.”

18. On the other hand

Usage: Usage of this phrase includes introducing a contrasting interpretation of the same piece of evidence, a different piece of evidence that suggests something else, or an opposing opinion. Example: “The historical evidence appears to suggest a clear-cut situation. On the other hand, the archaeological evidence presents a somewhat less straightforward picture of what happened that day.”

19. Having said that

Usage: Used in a similar manner to “on the other hand” or “but”. Example: “The historians are unanimous in telling us X, an agreement that suggests that this version of events must be an accurate account. Having said that, the archaeology tells a different story.”

20. By contrast/in comparison

Usage: Use “by contrast” or “in comparison” when you’re comparing and contrasting pieces of evidence. Example: “Scholar A’s opinion, then, is based on insufficient evidence. By contrast, Scholar B’s opinion seems more plausible.”

21. Then again

Usage: Use this to cast doubt on an assertion. Example: “Writer A asserts that this was the reason for what happened. Then again, it’s possible that he was being paid to say this.”

22. That said

Usage: This is used in the same way as “then again”. Example: “The evidence ostensibly appears to point to this conclusion. That said, much of the evidence is unreliable at best.”

Usage: Use this when you want to introduce a contrasting idea. Example: “Much of scholarship has focused on this evidence. Yet not everyone agrees that this is the most important aspect of the situation.”

Adding a proviso or acknowledging reservations

Sometimes, you may need to acknowledge a shortfalling in a piece of evidence, or add a proviso. Here are some ways of doing so.

24. Despite this

Usage: Use “despite this” or “in spite of this” when you want to outline a point that stands regardless of a shortfalling in the evidence. Example: “The sample size was small, but the results were important despite this.”

25. With this in mind

Usage: Use this when you want your reader to consider a point in the knowledge of something else. Example: “We’ve seen that the methods used in the 19th century study did not always live up to the rigorous standards expected in scientific research today, which makes it difficult to draw definite conclusions. With this in mind, let’s look at a more recent study to see how the results compare.”

26. Provided that

Usage: This means “on condition that”. You can also say “providing that” or just “providing” to mean the same thing. Example: “We may use this as evidence to support our argument, provided that we bear in mind the limitations of the methods used to obtain it.”

27. In view of/in light of

Usage: These phrases are used when something has shed light on something else. Example: “In light of the evidence from the 2013 study, we have a better understanding of…”

28. Nonetheless

Usage: This is similar to “despite this”. Example: “The study had its limitations, but it was nonetheless groundbreaking for its day.”

29. Nevertheless

Usage: This is the same as “nonetheless”. Example: “The study was flawed, but it was important nevertheless.”

30. Notwithstanding

Usage: This is another way of saying “nonetheless”. Example: “Notwithstanding the limitations of the methodology used, it was an important study in the development of how we view the workings of the human mind.”

Giving examples

Good essays always back up points with examples, but it’s going to get boring if you use the expression “for example” every time. Here are a couple of other ways of saying the same thing.

31. For instance

Example: “Some birds migrate to avoid harsher winter climates. Swallows, for instance, leave the UK in early winter and fly south…”

32. To give an illustration

Example: “To give an illustration of what I mean, let’s look at the case of…”

Signifying importance

When you want to demonstrate that a point is particularly important, there are several ways of highlighting it as such.

33. Significantly

Usage: Used to introduce a point that is loaded with meaning that might not be immediately apparent. Example: “Significantly, Tacitus omits to tell us the kind of gossip prevalent in Suetonius’ accounts of the same period.”

34. Notably

Usage: This can be used to mean “significantly” (as above), and it can also be used interchangeably with “in particular” (the example below demonstrates the first of these ways of using it). Example: “Actual figures are notably absent from Scholar A’s analysis.”

35. Importantly

Usage: Use “importantly” interchangeably with “significantly”. Example: “Importantly, Scholar A was being employed by X when he wrote this work, and was presumably therefore under pressure to portray the situation more favourably than he perhaps might otherwise have done.”


You’ve almost made it to the end of the essay, but your work isn’t over yet. You need to end by wrapping up everything you’ve talked about, showing that you’ve considered the arguments on both sides and reached the most likely conclusion. Here are some words and phrases to help you.

36. In conclusion

Usage: Typically used to introduce the concluding paragraph or sentence of an essay, summarising what you’ve discussed in a broad overview. Example: “In conclusion, the evidence points almost exclusively to Argument A.”

37. Above all

Usage: Used to signify what you believe to be the most significant point, and the main takeaway from the essay. Example: “Above all, it seems pertinent to remember that…”

38. Persuasive

Usage: This is a useful word to use when summarising which argument you find most convincing. Example: “Scholar A’s point – that Constanze Mozart was motivated by financial gain – seems to me to be the most persuasive argument for her actions following Mozart’s death.”

39. Compelling

Usage: Use in the same way as “persuasive” above. Example: “The most compelling argument is presented by Scholar A.”

40. All things considered

Usage: This means “taking everything into account”. Example: “All things considered, it seems reasonable to assume that…”

How many of these words and phrases will you get into your next essay? And are any of your favourite essay terms missing from our list? Let us know in the comments below, or get in touch here to find out more about courses that can help you with your essays.

At Oxford Royale Academy, we offer a number of  summer school courses for young people who are keen to improve their essay writing skills. Click here to apply for one of our courses today, including law , business , medicine  and engineering .

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Words To Use In Essays: Amplifying Your Academic Writing

Use this comprehensive list of words to use in essays to elevate your writing. Make an impression and score higher grades with this guide!

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Words play a fundamental role in the domain of essay writing, as they have the power to shape ideas, influence readers, and convey messages with precision and impact. Choosing the right words to use in essays is not merely a matter of filling pages, but rather a deliberate process aimed at enhancing the quality of the writing and effectively communicating complex ideas. In this article, we will explore the importance of selecting appropriate words for essays and provide valuable insights into the types of words that can elevate the essay to new heights.

Words To Use In Essays

Using a wide range of words can make your essay stronger and more impressive. With the incorporation of carefully chosen words that communicate complex ideas with precision and eloquence, the writer can elevate the quality of their essay and captivate readers.

This list serves as an introduction to a range of impactful words that can be integrated into writing, enabling the writer to express thoughts with depth and clarity.








In contrast




Transition Words And Phrases

Transition words and phrases are essential linguistic tools that connect ideas, sentences, and paragraphs within a text. They work like bridges, facilitating the transitions between different parts of an essay or any other written work. These transitional elements conduct the flow and coherence of the writing, making it easier for readers to follow the author’s train of thought.

Here are some examples of common transition words and phrases:

Furthermore: Additionally; moreover.

However: Nevertheless; on the other hand.

In contrast: On the contrary; conversely.

Therefore: Consequently; as a result.

Similarly: Likewise; in the same way.

Moreover: Furthermore; besides.

In addition: Additionally; also.

Nonetheless: Nevertheless; regardless.

Nevertheless: However; even so.

On the other hand: Conversely; in contrast.

These are just a few examples of the many transition words and phrases available. They help create coherence, improve the organization of ideas, and guide readers through the logical progression of the text. When used effectively, transition words and phrases can significantly guide clarity for writing.

Strong Verbs For Academic Writing

Strong verbs are an essential component of academic writing as they add precision, clarity, and impact to sentences. They convey actions, intentions, and outcomes in a more powerful and concise manner. Here are some examples of strong verbs commonly used in academic writing:

Analyze: Examine in detail to understand the components or structure.

Critique: Assess or evaluate the strengths and weaknesses.

Demonstrate: Show the evidence to support a claim or argument.

Illuminate: Clarify or make something clearer.

Explicate: Explain in detail a thorough interpretation.

Synthesize: Combine or integrate information to create a new understanding.

Propose: Put forward or suggest a theory, idea, or solution.

Refute: Disprove or argue against a claim or viewpoint.

Validate: Confirm or prove the accuracy or validity of something.

Advocate: Support or argue in favor of a particular position or viewpoint.

Adjectives And Adverbs For Academic Essays

Useful adjectives and adverbs are valuable tools in academic writing as they enhance the description, precision, and depth of arguments and analysis. They provide specific details, emphasize key points, and add nuance to writing. Here are some examples of useful adjectives and adverbs commonly used in academic essays:

Comprehensive: Covering all aspects or elements; thorough.

Crucial: Extremely important or essential.

Prominent: Well-known or widely recognized; notable.

Substantial: Considerable in size, extent, or importance.

Valid: Well-founded or logically sound; acceptable or authoritative.

Effectively: In a manner that produces the desired result or outcome.

Significantly: To a considerable extent or degree; notably.

Consequently: As a result or effect of something.

Precisely: Exactly or accurately; with great attention to detail.

Critically: In a careful and analytical manner; with careful evaluation or assessment.

Words To Use In The Essay Introduction

The words used in the essay introduction play a crucial role in capturing the reader’s attention and setting the tone for the rest of the essay. They should be engaging, informative, and persuasive. Here are some examples of words that can be effectively used in the essay introduction:

Intriguing: A word that sparks curiosity and captures the reader’s interest from the beginning.

Compelling: Conveys the idea that the topic is interesting and worth exploring further.

Provocative: Creates a sense of controversy or thought-provoking ideas.

Insightful: Suggests that the essay will produce valuable and thought-provoking insights.

Startling: Indicates that the essay will present surprising or unexpected information or perspectives.

Relevant: Emphasizes the significance of the topic and its connection to broader issues or current events.

Timely: Indicates that the essay addresses a subject of current relevance or importance.

Thoughtful: Implies that the essay will offer well-considered and carefully developed arguments.

Persuasive: Suggests that the essay will present compelling arguments to convince the reader.

Captivating: Indicates that the essay will hold the reader’s attention and be engaging throughout.

Words To Use In The Body Of The Essay

The words used in the body of the essay are essential for effectively conveying ideas, providing evidence, and developing arguments. They should be clear, precise, and demonstrate a strong command of the subject matter. Here are some examples of words that can be used in the body of the essay:

Evidence: When presenting supporting information or data, words such as “data,” “research,” “studies,” “findings,” “examples,” or “statistics” can be used to strengthen arguments.

Analysis: To discuss and interpret the evidence, words like “analyze,” “examine,” “explore,” “interpret,” or “assess” can be employed to demonstrate a critical evaluation of the topic.

Comparison: When drawing comparisons or making contrasts, words like “similarly,” “likewise,” “in contrast,” “on the other hand,” or “conversely” can be used to highlight similarities or differences.

Cause and effect: To explain the relationship between causes and consequences, words such as “because,” “due to,” “leads to,” “results in,” or “causes” can be utilized.

Sequence: When discussing a series of events or steps, words like “first,” “next,” “then,” “finally,” “subsequently,” or “consequently” can be used to indicate the order or progression.

Emphasis: To emphasize a particular point or idea, words such as “notably,” “significantly,” “crucially,” “importantly,” or “remarkably” can be employed.

Clarification: When providing further clarification or elaboration, words like “specifically,” “in other words,” “for instance,” “to illustrate,” or “to clarify” can be used.

Integration: To show the relationship between different ideas or concepts, words such as “moreover,” “furthermore,” “additionally,” “likewise,” or “similarly” can be utilized.

Conclusion: When summarizing or drawing conclusions, words like “in conclusion,” “to summarize,” “overall,” “in summary,” or “to conclude” can be employed to wrap up ideas.

Remember to use these words appropriately and contextually, ensuring they strengthen the coherence and flow of arguments. They should serve as effective transitions and connectors between ideas, enhancing the overall clarity and persuasiveness of the essay.

Words To Use In Essay Conclusion

The words used in the essay conclusion are crucial for effectively summarizing the main points, reinforcing arguments, and leaving a lasting impression on the reader. They should bring a sense of closure to the essay while highlighting the significance of ideas. Here are some examples of words that can be used in the essay conclusion:

Summary: To summarize the main points, these words can be used “in summary,” “to sum up,” “in conclusion,” “to recap,” or “overall.”

Reinforcement: To reinforce arguments and emphasize their importance, words such as “crucial,” “essential,” “significant,” “noteworthy,” or “compelling” can be employed.

Implication: To discuss the broader implications of ideas or findings, words like “consequently,” “therefore,” “thus,” “hence,” or “as a result” can be utilized.

Call to action: If applicable, words that encourage further action or reflection can be used, such as “we must,” “it is essential to,” “let us consider,” or “we should.”

Future perspective: To discuss future possibilities or developments related to the topic, words like “potential,” “future research,” “emerging trends,” or “further investigation” can be employed.

Reflection: To reflect on the significance or impact of arguments, words such as “profound,” “notable,” “thought-provoking,” “transformative,” or “perspective-shifting” can be used.

Final thought: To leave a lasting impression, words or phrases that summarize the main idea or evoke a sense of thoughtfulness can be used, such as “food for thought,” “in light of this,” “to ponder,” or “to consider.”

How To Improve Essay Writing Vocabulary

Improving essay writing vocabulary is essential for effectively expressing ideas, demonstrating a strong command of the language, and engaging readers. Here are some strategies to enhance the essay writing vocabulary:

  • Read extensively: Reading a wide range of materials, such as books, articles, and essays, can give various writing styles, topics, and vocabulary. Pay attention to new words and their usage, and try incorporating them into the writing.
  • Use a dictionary and thesaurus:  Look up unfamiliar words in a dictionary to understand their meanings and usage. Additionally, utilize a thesaurus to find synonyms and antonyms to expand word choices and avoid repetition.
  • Create a word bank: To create a word bank, read extensively, write down unfamiliar or interesting words, and explore their meanings and usage. Organize them by categories or themes for easy reference, and practice incorporating them into writing to expand the vocabulary.
  • Contextualize vocabulary: Simply memorizing new words won’t be sufficient; it’s crucial to understand their proper usage and context. Pay attention to how words are used in different contexts, sentence structures, and rhetorical devices. 

How To Add Additional Information To Support A Point

When writing an essay and wanting to add additional information to support a point, you can use various transitional words and phrases. Here are some examples:

Furthermore: Add more information or evidence to support the previous point.

Additionally: Indicates an additional supporting idea or evidence.

Moreover: Emphasizes the importance or significance of the added information.

In addition: Signals the inclusion of another supporting detail.

Furthermore, it is important to note: Introduces an additional aspect or consideration related to the topic.

Not only that, but also: Highlights an additional point that strengthens the argument.

Equally important: Emphasizes the equal significance of the added information.

Another key point: Introduces another important supporting idea.

It is worth noting: Draws attention to a noteworthy detail that supports the point being made.

Additionally, it is essential to consider: Indicates the need to consider another aspect or perspective.

Using these transitional words and phrases will help you seamlessly integrate additional information into your essay, enhancing the clarity and persuasiveness of your arguments.

Words And Phrases That Demonstrate Contrast

When crafting an essay, it is crucial to effectively showcase contrast, enabling the presentation of opposing ideas or the highlighting of differences between concepts. The adept use of suitable words and phrases allows for the clear communication of contrast, bolstering the strength of arguments. Consider the following examples of commonly employed words and phrases to illustrate the contrast in essays:

However: e.g., “The experiment yielded promising results; however, further analysis is needed to draw conclusive findings.”

On the other hand: e.g., “Some argue for stricter gun control laws, while others, on the other hand, advocate for individual rights to bear arms.”

Conversely: e.g., “While the study suggests a positive correlation between exercise and weight loss, conversely, other research indicates that diet plays a more significant role.”

Nevertheless: e.g., “The data shows a decline in crime rates; nevertheless, public safety remains a concern for many citizens.”

In contrast: e.g., “The economic policies of Country A focus on free-market principles. In contrast, Country B implements more interventionist measures.”

Despite: e.g., “Despite the initial setbacks, the team persevered and ultimately achieved success.”

Although: e.g., “Although the participants had varying levels of experience, they all completed the task successfully.”

While: e.g., “While some argue for stricter regulations, others contend that personal responsibility should prevail.”

Words To Use For Giving Examples

When writing an essay and providing examples to illustrate your points, you can use a variety of words and phrases to introduce those examples. Here are some examples:

For instance: Introduces a specific example to support or illustrate your point.

For example: Give an example to clarify or demonstrate your argument.

Such as: Indicates that you are providing a specific example or examples.

To illustrate: Signals that you are using an example to explain or emphasize your point.

One example is: Introduces a specific instance that exemplifies your argument.

In particular: Highlights a specific example that is especially relevant to your point.

As an illustration: Introduces an example that serves as a visual or concrete representation of your point.

A case in point: Highlights a specific example that serves as evidence or proof of your argument.

To demonstrate: Indicates that you are providing an example to show or prove your point.

To exemplify: Signals that you are using an example to illustrate or clarify your argument.

Using these words and phrases will help you effectively incorporate examples into your essay, making your arguments more persuasive and relatable. Remember to give clear and concise examples that directly support your main points.

Words To Signifying Importance

When writing an essay and wanting to signify the importance of a particular point or idea, you can use various words and phrases to convey this emphasis. Here are some examples:

Crucially: Indicates that the point being made is of critical importance.

Significantly: Highlights the importance or significance of the idea or information.

Importantly: Draws attention to the crucial nature of the point being discussed.

Notably: Emphasizes that the information or idea is particularly worthy of attention.

It is vital to note: Indicates that the point being made is essential and should be acknowledged.

It should be emphasized: Draws attention to the need to give special importance or focus to the point being made.

A key consideration is: Highlight that the particular idea or information is a central aspect of the discussion.

It is critical to recognize: Emphasizes that the understanding or acknowledgment of the point is crucial.

Using these words and phrases will help you convey the importance and significance of specific points or ideas in your essay, ensuring that readers recognize their significance and impact on the overall argument.

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Become a Writer Today

300+ Words To Use In An Essay

Here is our top list of essay words you can add to your writing.

Any student or academic will tell you writing academic papers requires patience, thorough research, and appropriate words to relay ideas effectively. Below, we have prepared a list of essay words for your essay or academic piece’s introduction, body, and conclusion.

What Are Essay Words?

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Closeup image of a woman writing on a blank notebook on the table

Along with a paper’s arguments, format, and structure, essay words are used to adequately explain the subject in a formal but clear manner. Picking the correct phrases and words helps your audience realize your key point and persuade them to follow your thinking.

Plus, applying suitable words to introduce and expound ideas convinces your readers that you’ve done your research correctly. These English essay words are also helpful if you spend time paraphrasing the ideas of other writers and academics. If you need more help, consider using a good essay checker .

Good Vocabulary Words to Use in Essays

Here are some common essay words you can use:

Essay words list printable

Above allEffectivelyObviously
AccordingElaborateOn balance
AccordinglyElucidateOn the contrary
AcknowledgeEmphasizeOn the one hand
ActuallyEndorseOn the whole
AdditionEnumerateOn top of that
AdditionallyEquallyOpposite of
AddressEquivalent toOutline
AfterEven moreParallels
After all is said and doneEventuallyParticularly
AfterwardEverything consideredPeriodically
Akin toEvidentlyPoint out
All in allExhibitPresent
All things consideredExplorePresently
AlongsideExposePretend that
AmplifyFirstProof of
Analogous toFocus onRather than
AndFor exampleRegardless of
AnotherFor instanceReinforce
As a final observationFurthermoreReview
As a final pointHenceSame as
As a resultHenceforthSay
As opposed toHereafterSequentially
As soon asHighlightSet side by side
As suchHoweverShed
As wellI.e. (Id est)Show
AssuredlyImagine ifSimilar to
BolsterIn a nutshellSituation
BroadIn additionSoon
By and largeIn comparisonSpecifically
By the same tokenIn conclusionState
CaseIn contrastSubsequently
CertainlyIn drawing things to a closeSubstantiate
ChallengingIn essenceSuddenly
ChieflyIn factSuggest
CiteIn lieu ofSummarily
ClarifyIn light ofSummarizes
ClearlyIn like mannerSumming up
CloseIn opposition toSymbolize
CommonlyIn other wordsTaking everything into account
ComparativelyIn particularTell
ComparisonIn realityTestament
CompellingIn retrospectThen
ComplementaryIn spite ofThereafter
ComplexIn summaryTherefore
ConclusivelyIn the endThereupon
ConcurrentlyIn the final analysisThough
ConfirmIn the interimThus
ConsecutivelyIn the meantimeTo add
ConsequentlyIn the same veinTo cap it all off
ConsiderIn the same wayTo close
ContendIncidentallyTo conclude
ContextIndeedTo finish
ContinuallyIndicateTo give an idea
ContradictInevitablyTo sum up
ContrariwiseInstead ofTo that end
ContraryIntroduceTogether with
CorrelatedJust asTouch
CorrespondinglyLast but not the leastUltimately
Counter toLaterUnderline
DemonstrateMake certain ofValidate
DetailMore importantlyWeigh
Different fromMuch asWhenever
DisparateNecessaryWith this in mind
DisplayNeverthelessWithout a doubt
Dissimilar toNextWrap
Distinct fromNot only… but alsoYet
Divergent fromNotablyZoom

Most academic essays require a formal writing style because using informal writing makes it hard to edit and grade based on a standard the school or university gives. Even personal and narrative essays must stay formal. These are the words to create and enhance your introduction without losing the sense of formality in academic writing.

According to the most recent data, more employees prefer working at home than in the office.

This essay will address the issue of gender inequality in the workforce.

In this essay, we will analyze the various factors that contribute to climate change.

The approach we’ll use in discussing this topic involves a combination of qualitative and quantitative analysis.

Some experts argue that human activities are the major contributors to global warming.

The author asserts that the lack of early education is one of the main drivers of economic inequality.

Let’s assume for a moment that we’ve already optimized all renewable energy sources.

Before we begin analyzing the effects of the problem, we must first know the root of it.

This essay takes a broad look at the implications of global warming on agricultural productivity.

  • Challenging

Drug addiction is the most challenging global problem every government must solve.

Mental illness is a topic with many complex issues.

We will consider both sides of the argument before drawing conclusions.

  • Significance

What is the significance of following rules?

In the context of this discussion, “productivity” refers to the output of a worker per hour.

Mental health is a sensitive topic affecting people of all ages.

There is a debate about the effectiveness of the new tax policy in reducing income disparity.

This essay will detail the causes and effects of deforestation.

Our task is to determine the causes of the rise in mental health issues among college students.

We will discuss the ethical implications of genetic engineering in this essay.

This essay will elaborate on the role of social movements in bringing about societal change.

In the next section, the researchers will enumerate the benefits of adopting a plant-based diet.

We will evaluate the impact of climate change on biodiversity.

This essay will explore the important aspect of artificial intelligence in modern healthcare.

To understand the subject better, we will first discuss its history.

First and foremost , it’s essential to understand that not all politicians are bad.

We can learn a lot from the book “ The Little Prince ,” such as about the fundamental nature of love.

The essay will highlight the importance of community participation in local governance.

This essay will illuminate the effects of screen time on children’s development.

This essay will introduce the concept of sustainable development and its significance.

The main goal of this essay is to discuss the value of justice in our lives.

There’s a myriad of factors that affect a country’s tourism.

The objective of this essay is to spread awareness about the violence women and children face daily. 

An overview of the current state of renewable energy technologies will be provided in this essay.

We will present an argument in favor of implementing more stringent environmental regulations.

Lack of knowledge in managing finances is a prevalent problem today.

A good speaker delivers their speech without referring to notes.

In this essay, we will review studies related to the impact of social media on teenagers.

Let’s shed some light on the impact of fast fashion on the environment in this essay.

The youth’s mental state today has been disturbed by societal pressures, such as the impossible beauty standards they see on social media. 

Research suggests that adolescent mental health can be severely affected by excessive screen time.

  • To that end

To that end , this essay aims to challenge conventional thinking and inspire more inclusive practices in our communities.

This essay will touch on the issue of gender disparity in corporate leadership.

We will unpack the factors contributing to the rapid development of technology.

My essay aims to validate the hypothesis that a healthier diet can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease.

This essay will weigh the pros and cons of genetic modification in agriculture.

We’ll zoom in on the specific impacts of pollution on marine ecosystems in this essay.

Essays need examples to present arguments and illustrate cases. Examples support claims offer evidence, make complex concepts easier for readers, and usually lead to higher grades! Knowing several essay words for giving examples is vital to avoid the repetition of similar words or phrases. 

Akin to the effects of climate change, deforestation also leads to a significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

To analogize, the effect of deforestation on our planet is like removing the lungs from a living organism.

It appears from recent studies that regular exercise can improve mental health.

Our justice system’s flaws are apparent, such as in the case of O.J. Simpson , who was acquitted despite murdering his wife.

To clarify, this essay argues that renewable energy is more sustainable than fossil fuels.

This essay conveys the importance of cultivating empathy in a diverse society.

  • Corroborate

Recent studies corroborate the theory that mindfulness meditation can reduce stress.

  • Demonstrate

Statistics demonstrate a significant correlation between diet and heart disease.

This essay will depict the socio-economic impacts of the ongoing pandemic.

Current research discloses a worrying trend of increasing cyber threats.

The data displays a significant increase in the usage of renewable energy sources.

To elucidate, this essay aims to explore the intricate relationship between mental health and social media use.

The evidence suggests that pollution is a major factor contributing to global warming.

The effects of climate change exemplify the urgent need for environmental preservation.

The graphs below exhibit the significant impact of human activities on climate change.

  • For example

For example, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can significantly lower the risk of heart disease.

  • For instance

For instance, aerobic exercises like running and swimming improve cardiovascular health.

  • I.e. (Id est)

A healthy lifestyle, i.e., a balanced diet and regular exercise, can prevent numerous diseases.

This essay will illustrate how technology has transformed modern education.

Imagine if we could harness all the power from the sun; we would have an unlimited source of clean energy.

  • In other words

In other words, this essay will deconstruct the complexities of artificial intelligence in layman’s terms.

The data indicates a steady decline in the population of bees worldwide.

Like a domino effect, one small change can trigger a series of events in an ecosystem.

This essay will outline the main strategies for maintaining mental wellness amid a pandemic.

This essay seeks to portray the various forms of discrimination prevalent in society.

  • Pretend that

Pretend that each tree cut down is a breath of air taken away; perhaps then we’ll understand the severity of deforestation.

The melting polar ice caps are undeniable proof of global warming.

This essay proposes a holistic approach to dealing with the issue of cyberbullying.

Each data point represents a respondent’s opinion in the survey.

Recent studies reveal a direct correlation between screen time and sleep disorders.

The experts say that practicing mindfulness can help reduce anxiety.

The graphs show a significant increase in the global temperature over the past century.

Similar to how a car needs fuel to run, our bodies need a balanced diet for optimal performance.

The current situation with the global pandemic has underscored the importance of mental health.

  • Substantiate

The studies substantiate the claim that smoking can lead to a multitude of health issues.

In this context, melting ice caps symbolize the urgent need for climate action.

The data tells us that stress levels have spiked during the pandemic.

The increasing global temperatures are a testament to the impact of human activities on climate change.

  • To give an idea

To give an idea, think of the human brain as a super-computer, continuously processing and storing information.

The goal of this essay is to underline the importance of sustainable practices.

The findings verify the hypothesis that meditation can improve mental health.

These words appear throughout the essay but are mainly for the body. You can use these words to effectively show the importance of an argument and emphasize essential paragraphs in your essay.

Above all, it’s essential to maintain a balance between work and personal life for overall well-being.

  • Acknowledge

We must acknowledge the crucial role of teachers in shaping the future of our society.

Environmentalists advocate for sustainable practices to mitigate climate change effects.

The research affirms the beneficial impact of regular exercise on mental health.

The government is taking measures to amplify the reach of digital literacy.

Adding evidence from credible sources can bolster your argument in an essay.

The author cites numerous studies to support his theory of human behavior.

  • Conclusively

Conclusively, the findings suggest a strong correlation between diet and heart health.

The experiments confirm the effectiveness of the vaccine against the virus.

Some experts contend that implementing a carbon tax reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

These new findings contradict the previously held beliefs about the origins of the universe.

The president will declare a state of emergency in a few days.

Exercise can definitely improve your mood and energy levels.

The speaker emphasizes the need for more mental health services.

Many celebrities endorse the idea of adopting a plant-based diet for environmental reasons.

Children, especially, should be taught the value of resilience from an early age.

These viral scandals expose the corruption within the political system.

The law expressly forbids discrimination based on race or gender.

The situation is extremely concerning and requires immediate attention.

The fact is that climate change is a reality we must confront.

We should focus on adopting renewable sources of energy to mitigate climate change.

  • Fundamentally

Fundamentally, equality is a basic human right that everyone deserves.

The data seems to imply a shift in consumer behavior towards sustainable products.

  • Importantly

Importantly, regular check-ups are crucial for early detection of diseases.

  • in light of

In light of recent research, it’s vital to re-examine the previous findings.

Regular exercise, indeed, has been proven to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses.

  • Irrefutable

The damaging effects of plastic pollution on marine life are irrefutable .

We must maintain a commitment to practice sustainability in our daily lives.

  • Make certain of

Before the researchers start any experiments, they must make certain of procedures and goals.

Several factors contribute to climate change, namely deforestation, industrial pollution, and urbanization.

It’s necessary to reduce our carbon footprint to protect the planet.

Notably, the use of renewable energy has been making significant progress in recent years.

Obviously, a balanced diet and regular exercise are key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

  • On the whole

On the whole, implementing green practices can significantly improve our environmental impact.

  • Particularly

Air pollution is a concern, particularly in densely populated cities.

The study points out the beneficial effects of meditation in reducing stress.

The organization is primarily focused on promoting gender equality.

The success stories reinforce the importance of perseverance and hard work.

I would like to reiterate the need for consistent efforts in maintaining mental health.

  • Significantly

Regular physical activity can significantly decrease the risk of heart disease.

The project was singularly successful due to the dedicated efforts of the team.

  • Specifically

The legislation specifically targets unfair practices in the industry.

Ultimately, the decision rests on the collective agreement of the team.

Alice in Wonderland syndrome, or AIWS , is undeniably one of the rarest diseases.

  • Undoubtedly

Undoubtedly, regular reading considerably enhances vocabulary and comprehension skills.

  • Unquestionably

Unquestionably, education plays a pivotal role in societal development.

These words show the order of events or progress in an essay. They are used to give examples to further expound on a point or introduce another concept. However, be careful that each paragraph should only focus on one idea.

After completing the coursework, the students began preparing for the final exams.

The team celebrated their victory, afterwards, they began to prepare for the next season.

He accepted the job, albeit with some reservations.

As soon as the rain stopped, we left for our hike.

Before the introduction of modern technology, tasks were manually done.

  • Concurrently

The two events were happening concurrently, no wonder there was a scheduling conflict.

  • Consecutively

She was late for work three days consecutively .

  • Consequently

He forgot his wallet, consequently, he couldn’t pay for lunch.

  • Continually

The organization is continually striving to improve its services.

She loves the beach. Conversely, he prefers the mountains.

The team is currently working on the new project.

During the conference, several new initiatives were announced.

Earlier in the day, we had discussed the pros and cons.

Eventually, she managed to finish her book.

Firstly, we need to identify the root of the problem.

Following the events yesterday, we decided to meet up today.

He was tired, hence he went to bed early.

Henceforth, all meetings will be held in the new conference room.

Hereafter, we must ensure that all protocols are strictly followed.

  • Immediately

He left immediately after the meeting.

  • In the interim

In the interim, we’ll continue with our current strategies.

  • In the meantime

In the meantime, let’s clean up the workspace.

  • Incidentally

Incidentally, I came across this book while cleaning my attic.

With the constant disagreements, the project inevitably failed.

She invariably arrives late for meetings.

We decided to postpone the discussion for later .

Latterly, there has been a surge in the use of online learning platforms.

He will cook dinner. Meanwhile, I will set the table.

  • Momentarily

He was momentarily distracted by the noise.

Next, we need to review the project plan.

  • Periodically

The software updates periodically to ensure optimal performance.

She is presently attending a conference in New York.

Previously, we discussed the risks involved in the project.

Prior to the event, we need to finalize all arrangements.

  • Sequentially

The tasks must be completed sequentially .

  • Simultaneously

We cannot handle multiple tasks simultaneously .

She will arrive soon .

  • Subsequently

He completed his degree and subsequently found a job in the field.

The power suddenly went out.

He got promoted and thereafter received a substantial raise in salary.

Thereupon, he decided to retire and write a book.

Thus, we conclude our discussion.

Keep stirring until the sugar dissolves.

We will begin when everyone arrives.

Call me whenever you need help.

While she cooked the meal, he set the table.

No matter what type of essay you write, it should remain informative. Words used to add information create flow, expand arguments, and incorporate details that support your points.

She’s asking him about that project the boss wants them to do.

The results were not as bad as anticipated; actually, they were quite good.

This is a great product; in addition, it’s very affordable.

  • Additionally

The car is economical; additionally, it’s environmentally friendly.

She tried again after failing the first time.

He worked alongside his colleagues to complete the project.

We will also need to consider the budget.

  • Alternatively

If the plan fails, we could alternatively try a different approach.

She likes to read books and watch movies.

He is open to another perspective on the matter.

She will attend the meeting as well .

The project will assuredly be completed on time.

Besides the main dish, we also have a variety of desserts.

She will certainly appreciate the gesture.

The rules were clearly explained to everyone.

This is a problem commonly encountered in this field.

  • Complementary

The two studies are complementary, providing a comprehensive understanding of the issue.

  • Correspondingly

The workload increased, and correspondingly, the need for more staff became apparent.

The increased workload, coupled with tight deadlines, created a stressful atmosphere.

The team members contributed equally to the project.

The cake was delicious, and the icing made it even more enjoyable.

  • Furthermore

He is qualified for the job; furthermore, he has relevant experience.

  • In addition

She is a great leader; in addition, she is an excellent communicator.

  • In contrast

He is outgoing; in contrast, his brother is quite shy.

She did not like the book; in fact, she found it boring.

  • In particular

She loves flowers, roses in particular .

It appears simple; in reality, it’s quite complex.

  • In the same way

He treats all his employees fairly, in the same way he would like to be treated.

He enjoys reading; likewise, his sister loves books.

  • More importantly

She passed the exam; more importantly, she scored highest in the class.

The house is beautiful; moreover, it’s located in a great neighborhood.

  • Not only… but also

He is not only a talented musician, but also a great teacher.

  • On the one hand

On the one hand, he enjoys his current job; on the other, he aspires for a higher position.

  • On top of that

The food was delicious; on top of that, the service was excellent.

She has impressive qualifications; plus, she has a lot of experience.

He was disheartened after failing the exam; similarly, she was upset after losing the match.

He woke up late, and then rushed to work.

He is a skilled programmer; to add, he has an exceptional understanding of user experience design.

  • Together with

He completed the project together with his team.

She is tired, and she is hungry too .

  • With this in mind

With this in mind, we should proceed cautiously.

These are words used to include information that confirms or disagrees with a point in your essay. Words that compare and contrast ideas are common in argumentative essays . It’s because this type demands a counterargument to fairly present other experts’ take on the issue.

He went to work although he was feeling unwell.

  • Analogous to

The structure of an atom is analogous to our solar system.

  • As opposed to

She prefers tea as opposed to coffee.

  • By the same token

He is a great teacher; by the same token, he is a superb mentor.

  • Comparatively

My new laptop works comparatively faster than the old one.

Upon comparison, his work proved far superior.

  • Contrariwise

The day was hot; contrariwise, the night was chilly.

Contrary to his usual behavior, he arrived on time.

Her efforts are directly correlated to her success.

His words were counter to his actions.

Despite the rain, they continued the game.

  • Different from

His opinion is different from mine.

Their views on the subject are disparate .

  • Dissimilar to

His style of writing is dissimilar to that of his peers.

  • Distinct from

Her dress is distinct from the others.

  • Divergent from

His findings are divergent from the initial hypothesis.

  • Equivalent to

His happiness was equivalent to that of a child.

He failed the test; however, he didn’t stop trying.

  • In comparison

In comparison, his work is of a higher standard.

He gave a donation in lieu of flowers.

  • In like manner

She dresses in like manner to her sister.

  • In opposition to

He voted in opposition to the proposed bill.

  • In spite of

In spite of the challenges, she never gave up.

  • In the same vein

In the same vein, he continued his argument.

He chose to walk instead of taking the bus.

Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, success doesn’t come overnight.

Much as I appreciate your help, I must do this on my own.

  • Nevertheless

He was tired; nevertheless, he continued to work.

  • Notwithstanding

Notwithstanding the difficulties, he completed the task on time.

  • On the contrary

He is not lazy; on the contrary, he is a hard worker.

  • Opposite of

Joy is the opposite of sorrow.

His life parallels that of his father.

  • Rather than

She chose to laugh rather than cry.

  • Regardless of

Regardless of the consequences, he went ahead with his plan.

His answer is the same as mine.

  • Set side by side

When set side by side, the differences are clear.

Though he was late, he still got the job.

Unlike his brother, he is very outgoing.

It was a match of experience versus youth.

He is tall, whereas his brother is short.

He is rich, yet very humble.

The conclusion is an essential part of the essay. The concluding paragraph or section reiterates important points, leaves the readers with something to think about, and wraps up the essay nicely so it doesn’t end abruptly. 

  • Accordingly

He performed well on the job; accordingly, he was promoted.

  • After all is said and done

After all is said and done, it’s the kindness that counts.

All in all, the concert was a great success.

  • All things considered

All things considered, I think we made the best decision.

The event, altogether, was a memorable one.

  • As a final observation

As a final observation, her dedication to the project was commendable.

  • As a final point

As a final point, the successes outweighed the failures.

  • As a result

He worked hard; as a result, he achieved his goals.

His actions were inappropriate; as such, he was reprimanded.

  • By and large

By and large, the feedback has been positive.

The event was, chiefly, a success.

In close, I must say the performance was extraordinary.

The evidence was compelling and led to his conviction.

  • Effectively

The team effectively handled the project.

  • Everything considered

Everything considered, the trip was beneficial.

Evidently, he was not involved in the crime.

Finally, she announced her decision.

  • In a nutshell

In a nutshell, the plan was not effective.

  • In conclusion

In conclusion, we need to strive for better communication.

  • In drawing things to a close

In drawing things to a close, I’d like to thank everyone for their contributions.

In essence, we need to focus on quality, not quantity.

  • In retrospect

In retrospect, our methodology was correct.

In summary, the event was a success.

In the end, hard work always pays off.

  • In the final analysis

In the final analysis, the project was a success.

  • Last but not the least

Last but not the least, we need to thank our sponsors.

Lastly, don’t forget to enjoy the process.

On balance, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.

Overall, it was a productive meeting.

Summarily, we need to focus on our key strengths.

The report summarizes the main findings of the study.

Summing up, we made significant progress this year.

  • Taking everything into account

Taking everything into account, it was a successful campaign.

He was ill; therefore, he couldn’t attend the meeting.

  • To cap it all off

To cap it all off, we had a great time at the party.

To close, we need your continued support.

  • To conclude

To conclude, let’s aim for higher targets next year.

To finish, remember that success comes to those who dare.

To sum up, we achieved our objectives.

  • Without a doubt

Without a doubt, it was an unforgettable experience.

To wrap up, it was a journey worth taking.

Learning how to use the right essay words is just one of the many writing skills students and those writing in academia must develop. Others include a good knowledge of grammar and an ability to write an essay that’s readable and accurate. It just takes practice. Check out our guide packed with transition words for essays .

Some words that could be used to describe different kinds of essays include argumentative, persuasive, expository, narrative, descriptive, analytical, compare and contrast, cause and effect, reflective, and personal.

When writing an essay, it’s important to choose appropriate and effective words to express your ideas clearly and concisely. Here are some words you can use to enhance your essay writing: 1. First, secondly, third 2. Moreover, furthermore, additionally 3. In addition, also, likewise 4. However, nevertheless, yet 5. Although, despite, regardless

Here are some other words that can be used as alternatives for “you” in an essay: yourself, oneself, one, someone, somebody, anyone, everybody, people, individuals, persons, others, them, they, yourselves, thou, thee.

1. Narrative essays 2. Descriptive essays 3. Expository essays 4. Persuasive essays 5. Argumentative essay


100+ Useful Words and Phrases to Write a Great Essay

By: Author Sophia

Posted on Last updated: October 25, 2023

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How to Write a Great Essay in English! This lesson provides 100+ useful words, transition words and expressions used in writing an essay. Let’s take a look!

The secret to a successful essay doesn’t just lie in the clever things you talk about and the way you structure your points.

Useful Words and Phrases to Write a Great Essay

Overview of an essay.

100+ Useful Words and Phrases to Write a Great Essay

Useful Phrases for Proficiency Essays

Developing the argument

  • The first aspect to point out is that…
  • Let us start by considering the facts.
  • The novel portrays, deals with, revolves around…
  • Central to the novel is…
  • The character of xxx embodies/ epitomizes…

The other side of the argument

  • It would also be interesting to see…
  • One should, nevertheless, consider the problem from another angle.
  • Equally relevant to the issue are the questions of…
  • The arguments we have presented… suggest that…/ prove that…/ would indicate that…
  • From these arguments one must…/ could…/ might… conclude that…
  • All of this points to the conclusion that…
  • To conclude…

Ordering elements

  • Firstly,…/ Secondly,…/ Finally,… (note the comma after all these introductory words.)
  • As a final point…
  • On the one hand, …. on the other hand…
  • If on the one hand it can be said that… the same is not true for…
  • The first argument suggests that… whilst the second suggests that…
  • There are at least xxx points to highlight.

Adding elements

  • Furthermore, one should not forget that…
  • In addition to…
  • Moreover…
  • It is important to add that…

Accepting other points of view

  • Nevertheless, one should accept that…
  • However, we also agree that…

Personal opinion

  • We/I personally believe that…
  • Our/My own point of view is that…
  • It is my contention that…
  • I am convinced that…
  • My own opinion is…

Others’ opinions

  • According to some critics… Critics:
  • believe that
  • suggest that
  • are convinced that
  • point out that
  • emphasize that
  • contend that
  • go as far as to say that
  • argue for this

Introducing examples

  • For example…
  • For instance…
  • To illustrate this point…

Introducing facts

  • It is… true that…/ clear that…/ noticeable that…
  • One should note here that…

Saying what you think is true

  • This leads us to believe that…
  • It is very possible that…
  • In view of these facts, it is quite likely that…
  • Doubtless,…
  • One cannot deny that…
  • It is (very) clear from these observations that…
  • All the same, it is possible that…
  • It is difficult to believe that…

Accepting other points to a certain degree

  • One can agree up to a certain point with…
  • Certainly,… However,…
  • It cannot be denied that…

Emphasizing particular points

  • The last example highlights the fact that…
  • Not only… but also…
  • We would even go so far as to say that…

Moderating, agreeing, disagreeing

  • By and large…
  • Perhaps we should also point out the fact that…
  • It would be unfair not to mention the fact that…
  • One must admit that…
  • We cannot ignore the fact that…
  • One cannot possibly accept the fact that…


  • From these facts, one may conclude that…
  • That is why, in our opinion, …
  • Which seems to confirm the idea that…
  • Thus,…/ Therefore,…
  • Some critics suggest…, whereas others…
  • Compared to…
  • On the one hand, there is the firm belief that… On the other hand, many people are convinced that…

How to Write a Great Essay | Image 1

100+ Useful Words and Phrases to Write a Great Essay 1

How to Write a Great Essay | Image 2

100+ Useful Words and Phrases to Write a Great Essay 2

Phrases For Balanced Arguments


  • It is often said that…
  • It is undeniable that…
  • It is a well-known fact that…
  • One of the most striking features of this text is…
  • The first thing that needs to be said is…
  • First of all, let us try to analyze…
  • One argument in support of…
  • We must distinguish carefully between…
  • The second reason for…
  • An important aspect of the text is…
  • It is worth stating at this point that…
  • On the other hand, we can observe that…
  • The other side of the coin is, however, that…
  • Another way of looking at this question is to…
  • What conclusions can be drawn from all this?
  • The most satisfactory conclusion that we can come to is…
  • To sum up… we are convinced that…/ …we believe that…/ …we have to accept that…

How to Write a Great Essay | Image 3

100+ Useful Words and Phrases to Write a Great Essay 3

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Friday 19th of August 2022

thank u so much its really usefull


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Friday 25th of March 2022

Thank you so so much, this helped me in my essays with A+

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Friday 11th of March 2022

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advanced essay words

  • Posted in in Writing

30 Advanced Essay Words to Improve Your Grades

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  • Posted by by Learn English Every Day
  • September 13, 2023

In this guide, you’ll find 30 advanced essay words to use in academic writing. Advanced English words are great for making academic writing more impressive and persuasive, which has the potential to wow teachers and professors, and even improve your grades.

30 Advanced Essay Words

  • Definition: Present, appearing, or found everywhere.
  • Example: The smartphone has become ubiquitous in modern society.
  • Replaces: Common, widespread, prevalent.
  • Definition: Fluent or persuasive in speaking or writing.
  • Example: Her eloquent speech captivated the audience.
  • Replaces: Well-spoken, articulate.
  • Definition: To make less severe, serious, or painful.
  • Example: Planting more trees can help mitigate the effects of climate change.
  • Replaces: Alleviate, lessen, reduce.
  • Definition: In contrast or opposite to what was previously mentioned.
  • Example: Some believe in climate change; conversely, others deny its existence.
  • Replaces: On the other hand, in opposition.
  • Definition: Stated or appearing to be true, but not necessarily so.
  • Example: His ostensible reason for the delay was a traffic jam.
  • Replaces: Apparent, seeming, supposed.
  • Definition: A countless or extremely great number.
  • Example: The internet offers a myriad of resources for research.
  • Replaces: Countless, numerous.
  • Definition: Exceeding what is necessary or required.
  • Example: His lengthy introduction was filled with superfluous details.
  • Replaces: Excessive, redundant.
  • Definition: To cause something to happen suddenly or unexpectedly.
  • Example: The economic crisis precipitated widespread unemployment.
  • Replaces: Trigger, prompt.
  • Definition: Too great or extreme to be expressed or described in words.
  • Example: The beauty of the sunset over the ocean was ineffable.
  • Replaces: Indescribable, inexpressible.
  • Definition: Having knowledge or awareness of something.
  • Example: She was cognizant of the risks involved in the project.
  • Replaces: Aware, conscious.
  • Definition: Relevant or applicable to a particular matter.
  • Example: Please provide only pertinent information in your report.
  • Replaces: Relevant, related.
  • Definition: Showing great attention to detail; very careful and precise.
  • Example: The researcher conducted a meticulous analysis of the data.
  • Replaces: Thorough, careful.
  • Definition: Capable of producing the desired result or effect.
  • Example: The medication has proved to be efficacious in treating the disease.
  • Replaces: Effective, successful.
  • Definition: Mentioned earlier in the text or conversation.
  • Example: The aforementioned study provides valuable insights.
  • Replaces: Previously mentioned, previously discussed.
  • Definition: To make a problem, situation, or condition worse.
  • Example: His criticism only served to exacerbate the conflict.
  • Replaces: Worsen, intensify.
  • Definition: The state or capacity of being everywhere, especially at the same time.
  • Example: The ubiquity of social media has changed how we communicate.
  • Replaces: Omnipresence, pervasiveness.
  • Definition: In every case or on every occasion; always.
  • Example: The professor’s lectures are invariably informative.
  • Replaces: Always, consistently.
  • Definition: To be a perfect example or representation of something.
  • Example: The city’s skyline epitomizes modern architecture.
  • Replaces: Symbolize, represent.
  • Definition: A harsh, discordant mixture of sounds.
  • Example: The cacophony of car horns during rush hour was deafening.
  • Replaces: Discord, noise.
  • Definition: A person who acts obsequiously toward someone important to gain advantage.
  • Example: He surrounded himself with sycophants who praised his every move.
  • Replaces: Flatterer, yes-man.
  • Definition: To render unclear, obscure, or unintelligible.
  • Example: The politician attempted to obfuscate the details of the scandal.
  • Replaces: Confuse, obscure.
  • Definition: Having or showing keen mental discernment and good judgment.
  • Example: Her sagacious advice guided the team to success.
  • Replaces: Wise, insightful.
  • Definition: Not or no longer needed or useful; superfluous.
  • Example: His repeated explanations were redundant and added no value.
  • Replaces: Unnecessary, surplus.
  • Definition: Unwilling or refusing to change one’s views or to agree about something.
  • Example: The intransigent negotiators couldn’t reach a compromise.
  • Replaces: Unyielding, stubborn.
  • Definition: Characterized by vulgar or pretentious display; designed to impress or attract notice.
  • Example: The mansion’s ostentatious decorations were overwhelming.
  • Replaces: Showy, extravagant.
  • Definition: A tendency to choose or do something regularly; an inclination or predisposition.
  • Example: She had a proclivity for taking risks in her business ventures.
  • Replaces: Tendency, inclination.
  • Definition: Difficult to interpret or understand; mysterious.
  • Example: The artist’s enigmatic paintings left viewers puzzled.
  • Replaces: Mysterious, cryptic.
  • Definition: Having a harmful effect, especially in a gradual or subtle way.
  • Example: The pernicious influence of gossip can damage reputations.
  • Replaces: Harmful, destructive.
  • Definition: Shining with great brightness.
  • Example: The bride looked resplendent in her wedding gown.
  • Replaces: Radiant, splendid.
  • Definition: Optimistic, especially in a difficult or challenging situation.
  • Example: Despite the setbacks, he remained sanguine.
  • Replaces: Optimistic, hopeful.

Using these advanced words in your essays can elevate your writing, making it more precise, engaging, and impactful.

As you work on your essays, consider the nuanced meanings and applications of these advanced words, and use them judiciously to enhance the quality of your academic writing.

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Powerful words and Phrases to use in Essays

words and phrases to spice up an essay

Although many might consider essay writing an easy task, it is not always the case with most students. Writing academic papers (essays, term papers, research papers, dissertations, theses, proposals, reports, and other assignments) requires students to hone and practice continuously. Thus, mastering writing at the academic level takes time and much practice, after which most students begin to be confident writing essays. For some, this confidence comes towards the end of the undergraduate course, while some master the art a few months or a week into their undergrad level studies.

This might sound like you, and you do not have to feel sorry about it. We have a list of academic writing power words that you can use when writing academic assignments. These words and phrases to use in your essay and other papers will help you avoid the dead words that probably deny you the top grade. Together with our team of experts in best essay writing, we have listed essential academic words that you can use in your introduction, body, and conclusion for all your essays and research papers .

Although you might have arguments and ideas that might attract the best grade, using the words we have listed could help you articulate, expound, and present the ideas effectively. Consequently, you will end up with a standard academic paper that any professional can grade, or that attracts your reader's attention and keeps them glued to the end.

After all, academic writing is a formal practice that disdains cliches or dead words such as colloquial expressions, controversial phrases, or casual words/slang. This means that the words you use when texting your friends, such as LOL, OMG, TIA, and the rest, should only end in the messages and not on the PDF or Word document you are typing your essay. As we have mentioned, formal academic writing is very delicate; it requires in-depth skills.

We hope that as you plan, write, and polish your essay, you will consider using the words we have listed here for inspiration and to hone your professional writing skills.

Words to Spice up your Introduction

Crafting a perfect introduction is arguably the most challenging part of academic writing. Whether you write the introduction first or last, it is always the invitation point for your readers to enjoy what is in the body. So, naturally, with adequate planning and structuring, you need to ensure that the introduction counts.

To begin an essay, you need to mind that your reader is uninformed about your arguments and topic, which means that the very first sentence has to summarize the central argument and the topic.

Although there is no preserved set of words to use in your essay introduction, you use the following words and phrases to explain what your essay is discussing (its scope) without losing the formality of your academic writing.

  • For decades
  • Over the years
  • Challenging
  • Significance
  • Complex problem
  • To begin with
  • As far as is proven in the literature
  • From the statistics presented by studies
  • The main objective
  • This topic resonates

This list of phrases is not complete; you can use the other phrases and words we will cover in the following sections of this guide. As long as you have a good reason to use a phrase, do not feel limited : use it for the glory of excellent grades.

General Explanations

When providing general explanations, both in the body, introduction, and conclusion of your essays, either for complex or easy points, you can use these phrases:

  • In order to
  • In other words
  • To that end
  • In another way
  • That is to say

We will see (in the course of this guideline) how else you can use the exact phrases in your essay.

Giving Examples in your essay

Any standard piece of academic writing must include examples. For instance, when presenting an argument in an argumentative or persuasive essay, you must illustrate your essay with examples to make the arguments stand out. Examples help clarify explanations, which makes it easy for the reader to connect the dots. Besides, they create an ideal picture in the mind of the reader. Instead of repeating for example when introducing illustrations in your essay, here are other phrases, transitions, and words that you can use in their place.

  • To illustrate
  • As evidence
  • To elucidate
  • To exemplify
  • On this occasion
  • As in the case of
  • Take the case of
  • In this sense
  • In this situation
  • In another case
  • In this case
  • As a demonstration
  • As a testament
  • To demonstrate
  • As an example,
  • For instance
  • For example
  • To give an illustration

Academic essays that receive top scores always have well-kit paragraphs that entail the topic sentence, arguments, examples (illustration), and closing sentences with the relevant transition words. These academic phrases are helpful when introducing examples. You can ideally use them in any academic piece, including theses, proposals, and dissertations. They help you avoid repeating similar phrases, which facilities readability and smooth flow in your essays.

Showing importance of arguments in an essay

When writing academic essays, it is vital to demonstrate that a given argument or point is fundamental. You can highlight this in your essay writing by using the following phrases:

  • In particular
  • Specifically
  • Importantly
  • Significantly
  • Fundamentally

These words can comfortably be used interchangeably when demonstrating significant ideas that are critical to understanding a topic.

Arguing based on facts from other authors

You can use phrases that acknowledge what others have said concerning a topic at the beginning of your essay. When you begin your essay with such phrases, you are posing your argument based on the authors' findings or a general interest/concern in your area of research. You can use such phrases when the evidence supports or refutes your arguments. Here are the essay phrases to use when acknowledging authors:

  • Considering
  • In light of
  • Taking into consideration
  • On account of
  • All things considered
  • On the whole
  • Insomuch as
  • Inasmuch as
  • Forasmuch as

Introducing the views of an author who is an authority in your area of interest or topic is critical in academic essay writing. For example, when you include a quote but do not want to use parenthetical citation or the exact words, you can use academic phrases such as:

  • According to X
  • X contends that
  • Referring to the views of
  • Drawing from X
  • As argued by Y
  • Findings by Y
  • As hypothesized by X
  • As proposed/shown/demonstrated/suggested by X
  • Studies by X
  • A recent study by X

Although you are referencing a quote here, it is not always advisable to use direct quotes at the start of your essay unless directed by your instructor. This means that using the above phrases can help spice up your essay introduction.

Laying Emphasis

When writing an essay, whether it be an English class essay or any essay, you must emphasize the main argument. The idea behind this is to create coherence within your essay. You can use the transition words below to emphasize your paragraphs. This list of academic essay words can be used in the introduction, body, and even conclusion.

  • In any case
  • Some other words include unquestionably, without a doubt, certainly, undeniably, without reservation, naturally, surprisingly, always, forever, perennially, eternally, never, emphatically,

Showing some sequence

When describing ideas or presenting arguments in sequence within an essay, here are the proven phrases and words that can earn you the best grades in school.

  • First, second, third
  • First, secondly, thirdly
  • Following this
  • At this point
  • Before this
  • Consequently
  • Subsequently
  • At this time

It would help if you were extra careful when introducing ideas because each paragraph only has one idea. They are also ideal when giving a list of examples.

You can also show the order of events using the phrases below:

  • Furthermore
  • In the meantime
  • Simultaneously
  • In the first place
  • First of all
  • For the time being
  • With this in mind

These phrases come in handy when writing about a linear event or a sequential occurrence of facts. They further help to maintain a good flow, clarity, and coherence.

Creating Flow and providing further information

Essays, even the short ones, should be as informative as possible. Knowing how to present arguments, points, and facts concisely and helps you avoid bluff in the essay. As the flow of your essay matters to the reader and for your grades, we recommend that you use these phrases or words that denote more information or flow. These words will help you to chronologically and structurally present your arguments and ideas

  • In addition
  • What's more
  • Additionally

These are academic phrases that help you expand your argument; add a point you have made without interrupting the flow of your essay. You can also use them when beginning new paragraphs.

The next set of essay words are a great choice when you want to add a piece of information that corroborates the argument or point you just mentioned. When writing academic essays and papers, it is critical to concur with your arguments. Doing so not only helps you to keep your readers glued but also helps you to contextualize your research.  They also help you avoid repeating also many times. Repetitions are a sure way to score poor grades in your essay : they make your writing predictive and boring. Here are some words to save you grades and embracement.

  • Another key thing to remember
  • Not only but also ( use this when establishing similarity in your arguments- it makes the argument stand out)
  • Coupled with
  • Firstly, secondly, thirdly

You can also use the essay phrases below when stating your claim or introducing your claim. When your essay requires you to prove how you will achieve a goal- as is with a problem-solution essay or proposal argument essay , you can use these sentences to expand your points.

  • To this end

You can also use the academic phrases below to improve continuity in your essay write-up. These essay phrases explain a point that you already made but differently. Avoid repetition when elaborating specific points or arguments in your essay by using the phrases below

  • To put it in another way
  • To put it more simply

The phrases above can also be used when rounding up a point that came before the sentence that you begin.

An Example: He was already abusive to both the mother and the kids. In other words, it was a long-term domestic violence case.

Comparing and Contrasting Points

In academic essays, there are instances when you are required to include information that proves or refutes a point. For instance, when writing an argumentative essay, you have to include a counterargument. To show the views of the researchers that disagree with your main argument or point of view, you can use these words to introduce alternative arguments:

  • Nevertheless
  • On the contrary
  • On the other hand
  • Even though

These phrases are a seamless way to include an alternative perspective.

An Example: While 35% of the population appears to be living below the poverty line, the remaining 65% seem to be doing well.

You can also use phrases that show contrast, present uncertainty, and compare facts associated with your significant arguments. Here are some of the phrases:

  • By contrast
  • In comparison

The phrases above demonstrate expertise in your topic, authority in writing and help you convince your readers.

When you intend to demonstrate a positive aspect of your subject matter, you can use these phrases in your academic piece:

  • Despite this
  • Provided that
  • Nonetheless

Example : Provided that there is a red flag in a relationship, it is only safe that the victim acts or seeks help.

To add contrast, you can also highlight the relevance of an opinion, argument, point, or fact as regards your research. Here are some academic words that can help you introduce paragraphs or sentences that have big ideas in your essay:

  • Another key point

Perfect words to conclude your essay

An essay conclusion carries as much weight as the introduction. Therefore, you must ensure that you have concluding words for your essay good enough to wrap up your arguments. In addition, considering that your conclusion should have a summary of the main ideas, your final statement and road plan to the conclusion must be evident. Here is a list of categorized phrases to use to conclude an essay effectively:

  • In conclusion
  • To summarize
  • In the final analysis
  • On close analysis
  • As can be seen from the argument above
  • The most compelling finding
  • The outstanding idea
  • The most persuasive point
  • This suggests that
  • It can be seen that
  • The consequence is
  • Subsequent to
  • Most significantly
  • It should be noted
  • It is worth noting

These are essay phrases that you use when articulating your reasons in the essay. Some of them summarize the relevant ideas or arguments, while others emphasize the relevant arguments.

Parting Shot

We have explored the list of useful phrases for writing great essays. When coupled with the correct vocabulary words, an essay easily scores the top grade in a rubric. When you use the words above, you automatically sound smart.

Whether you are writing a narrative, argumentative, or descriptive essay, these are words that you can use to convince your readers. They help you maintain a good flow, play around with other vocabularies, present authors' views, and finalize your essay in a bang.

We hope that these words will transform your essays from better to best. So, stay confident while articulating points, arguments, and ideas in your essays.

If writing an essay is not your thing, and these academic words and phrases sound Greek to you, you can hire an essay writer. Sourcing essay writing help from Gradecrest guarantees you a sample academic essay that is well-formatted. In addition, we have writers who specialize in writing different essays and can deliver within the shortest turnaround time.

big words to use in your essays

Gradecrest is a professional writing service that provides original model papers. We offer personalized services along with research materials for assistance purposes only. All the materials from our website should be used with proper references. See our Terms of Use Page for proper details.

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The Write Practice

How to Use Big Words Without Making a Fool of Yourself

by Guest Blogger | 7 comments

Have you ever used a word for years — like, maybe during your thesis defense or in a high-profile report for work — then realized one day that you had it totally wrong? Those big words you thought were making you look so erudite were, in fact, working against you. Turns out, coif is not the same as coiffure, and you never even realized it.

How to Use Big Words Without Making a Fool of Yourself

No one is immune from this, neither journalists nor poets, essayists nor novelists. The problem often stems from our natural inclination as writers to grab hold of an exciting new word and just run with it. Not only do we end up using big words just plain wrong , our enthusiasm leads to overuse as well.

By slowing down just a little bit, recognizing common pitfalls, and inserting some deliberate practice into your vocabulary usage, you can turn this trend around.

6 Big Word Sins You Can Learn to Avoid

We love those flashy mots , but in the pursuit of better craft, we often make our writing worse. Here are five common slipups writers make with big words:

Sin 1: Confusing Similar Words

You’ve probably come across the idea that only the first and last letters of a word are really important , while those between can be jumbled without losing meaning. This idea seems to contain the seeds of truth, which is bad for us writers who don’t parse vocab carefully enough.

At first glance, enervate and energize may look and sound the same, and seem to mean the same thing. Same with meretricious and meritorious. Unfortunately, these word pairs are opposites. To enervate is to drain energy; to energize is to add it. Meretricious means cheap or tawdry; meritorious means worthy or deserving of praise.

If you’re not careful to examine all of a word, you may end up using it wrong. Once you misapply it a few times, it gets cemented in your brain and will be hard to change. No Bueno.

Sin 2: Assuming You Know What Words Mean From Context

As writers, we’re used to absorbing vocabulary from what we read. That’s great, but only if you monitor the process. Otherwise, you can easily become confused. Take the above example of coif and coiffure. To coif is a verb; a coiffure is a hairstyle. You do the first; you have the second.

Luxuriant and luxurious are also frequently confused. Luxuriant doesn’t mean plush; it means lots of it . You have luxuriant hair; you get luxurious haircuts at expensive salons. If you’re not sure, follow my mom’s oft-repeated advice: Look it up .

Sin 3: Using the Word Multiple Times in Close Proximity

This … annoys me … so much. If you use a distinctive word too many times, I promise you readers will notice.

I’ll give you an example. Of late, fantasy authors have fallen in luuuuurve with the word “eldritch,” meaning bizarre or sinister. Now, this is a great word, but it’s not good enough to justify using more than once in a novel. There are other words for “weird and sinister,” starting with either “weird” or “sinister.” Just sayin’.

This can occur with phrases too. I love the Throne of Glass series, but my pet peeve is Sarah J. Maas’ use of “killing fields.” Yes, it’s a cool, if dark, term. But it’s so distinctive that at ten uses per novel, each new reference begins to grate. No matter how excited you are, keep your shiny new word to one instance.

Sin 4: Using Too Many DIFFERENT Words in Close Proximity

Like the above advice, readers notice when your prose or copy is suddenly crammed with four-syllable words. Keeping the big guys to a minimum is a good way to make those you do use stand out, so stick with one or two per page, at a maximum.

If it’s a word most people don’t know (eyeballing you, “eldritch”), give it even more space. Otherwise your readers will find your writing taxing, and they will get tired of it. You’re not James Joyce. Sorry.

Sin 5: Integrating More Than One Word into Your Vocab at a Time

I’m stoked you like the great authors. I do too. But while reading classic lit is a great way to expand our vocab, it’s also a great way to cram our brains full of words with which we’re only half conversant … and biff it in that thesis defense.

When you read a new word, dog-ear that page or write it down. Don’t just absorb it and conclude you “know” what it means. Then look words up carefully and practice (below) to be sure you know how to use them. If you come across many new words in a short amount of time, write them down in a document and reference it when you have some free writing time.

Sin 6: Using the Word in Dialogue When It’s Out of Character

The occasional professor or lair-bound scientist can fairly employ flowery phrasing, but chances are good your medieval heroines and subversive Nazi soldiers don’t have overflowing vocabularies. You can use that fancy five-syllable exclamation, but they probably won’t. Of course, you know your characters better than anyone else, but for the most part, you should keep their language simpler than your prose.

Choose Your Words

Phew, that was a lot of don’ts.

Luckily there is also a DO! Do use deliberate practice to improve your command of new words you stumble across. If you haven’t stumbled in a while, feel free to head to your favorite writing blog or dictionary, both of which commonly suggest new words to use. Stuck for ideas? Check out some of our favorite big words here .

When you encounter a new word you love the sound of, look it up and absorb its meaning. To deepen your understanding, check out a few examples of it in use — dictionary and encyclopedia sites are a handy way to do this, as they often offer sample sentences.

Big and uncommon words can be the perfect things to make your prose sizzle. By avoiding these egregious sins, you'll ensure each one packs a punch. Don't stop using your fancy vocabulary! Just make sure it's working for you, not against you.

What's your favorite uncommon word to use in your writing? What's a word you often see overused or misused?  Let us know in the comments .

Now it’s your turn: Find a word you're unfamiliar with. Flip through a dictionary, or pick one off this list . Then, take fifteen minutes to write three paragraphs, using the new word once in each.

Post your practice in the comments section so we can all see your work and boost our vocabulary skills along with you! And if you post, be sure to leave feedback for your fellow writers!

How to Write Like Louise Penny

Guest Blogger

This article is by a guest blogger. Would you like to write for The Write Practice? Check out our guest post guidelines .

big words to use in your essays

I have to look up so many words! Whenever I read a book, there are words I don’t know. And, this helps me extend my vocabulary. And, yes. As a Mom, I tell my kids, “Go get the dictionary.” And, me too. Thank you for the article.


Thank you for reading! Knowing how to look up words is an actual skill, so it’s always good to teach our kiddos a better way! And I still see words that I don’t know all the time. KNOWLEDGE.

I'm determined

Telling kids to’Go get the dictionary’ whilst ultimately being hard on the tome is a much better choice than simply telling them. Well done!

You’re welcome! I too have to look up so many words. It’s one of the best things in life. 🙂

David H. Safford

I love Sin #1 – malapropisms are the beast… I mean, best!

Hahaha and I love that word so much, it’s almost worth it!


  • How to Use Big Words Without Making a Fool of Yourself | Creative Writing - […] “ Not sure what a word means? Do as your mother told you and look it up. Tweet this…
  • The Write Practice Guest Post: How to Use Big Words Without Making a Fool of Yourself - […] I thought I’d hop on over to The Write Practice and talk about how to, you know, not do…
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big words to use in your essays

17 academic words and phrases to use in your essay

(Last updated: 20 October 2022)

Since 2006, Oxbridge Essays has been the UK’s leading paid essay-writing and dissertation service

We have helped 10,000s of undergraduate, Masters and PhD students to maximise their grades in essays, dissertations, model-exam answers, applications and other materials. If you would like a free chat about your project with one of our UK staff, then please just reach out on one of the methods below.

For the vast majority of students, essay writing doesn't always come easily. Writing at academic level is an acquired skill that can literally take years to master – indeed, many students find they only start to feel really confident writing essays just as their undergraduate course comes to an end!

If this is you, and you've come here looking for words and phrases to use in your essay, you're in the right place. We’ve pulled together a list of essential academic words you can use in the introduction, body, and conclusion of your essays .

Whilst your ideas and arguments should always be your own, borrowing some of the words and phrases listed below is a great way to articulate your ideas more effectively, and ensure that you keep your reader’s attention from start to finish.

It goes without saying (but we'll say it anyway) that there's a certain formality that comes with academic writing. Casual and conversational phrases have no place. Obviously, there are no LOLs, LMFAOs, and OMGs. But formal academic writing can be much more subtle than this, and as we've mentioned above, requires great skill.

So, to get you started on polishing your own essay writing ability, try using the words in this list as an inspirational starting point.

Words to use in your introduction

The trickiest part of academic writing often comes right at the start, with your introduction. Of course, once you’ve done your plan and have your arguments laid out, you need to actually put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and begin your essay.

You need to consider that your reader doesn’t have a clue about your topic or arguments, so your first sentence must summarise these. Explain what your essay is going to talk about as though you were explaining it to a five year old – without losing the formality of your academic writing, of course! To do this, use any of the below words or phrases to help keep you on track.

1. Firstly, secondly, thirdly

Even though it sounds obvious, your argument will be clearer if you deliver the ideas in the right order. These words can help you to offer clarity and structure to the way you expose your ideas. This is an extremely effective method of presenting the facts clearly. Don’t be too rigid and feel you have to number each point, but using this system can be a good way to get an argument off the ground, and link arguments together.

2. In view of; in light of; considering

These essay phrases are useful to begin your essay. They help you pose your argument based on what other authors have said or a general concern about your research. They can also both be used when a piece of evidence sheds new light on an argument. Here’s an example: The result of the American invasion has severely impaired American interests in the Middle East, exponentially increasing popular hostility to the United States throughout the region, a factor which has proved to be a powerful recruitment tool for extremist terrorist groups (Isakhan, 2015). Considering [or In light of / In view of] the perceived resulting threat to American interests, it could be argued that the Bush administration failed to fully consider the impact of their actions before pushing forward with the war.

3. According to X; X stated that; referring to the views of X

Introducing the views of an author who has a comprehensive knowledge of your particular area of study is a crucial part of essay writing. Including a quote that fits naturally into your work can be a bit of a struggle, but these academic phrases provide a great way in.

Even though it’s fine to reference a quote in your introduction, we don’t recommend you start your essay with a direct quote. Use your own words to sum up the views you’re mentioning, for example:

As Einstein often reiterated, experiments can prove theories, but experiments don’t give birth to theories.

Rather than:

“A theory can be proved by experiment, but no path leads from experiment to the birth of a theory.” {Albert Einstein, 1954, Einstein: A Biography}.

See the difference?

And be sure to reference correctly too, when using quotes or paraphrasing someone else's words.

big words to use in your essays

Adding information and flow

The flow of your essay is extremely important. You don’t want your reader to be confused by the rhythm of your writing and get distracted away from your argument, do you? No! So, we recommend using some of the following ‘flow’ words, which are guaranteed to help you articulate your ideas and arguments in a chronological and structured order.

4. Moreover; furthermore; in addition; what’s more

These types of academic phrases are perfect for expanding or adding to a point you’ve already made without interrupting the flow altogether. “Moreover”, “furthermore” and “in addition” are also great linking phrases to begin a new paragraph.

Here are some examples: The dissociation of tau protein from microtubules destabilises the latter resulting in changes to cell structure, and neuronal transport. Moreover, mitochondrial dysfunction leads to further oxidative stress causing increased levels of nitrous oxide, hydrogen peroxide and lipid peroxidases.

On the data of this trial, no treatment recommendations should be made. The patients are suspected, but not confirmed, to suffer from pneumonia. Furthermore, five days is too short a follow up time to confirm clinical cure.

5. In order to; to that end; to this end

These are helpful academic phrases to introduce an explanation or state your aim. Oftentimes your essay will have to prove how you intend to achieve your goals. By using these sentences you can easily expand on points that will add clarity to the reader.

For example: My research entailed hours of listening and recording the sound of whales in order to understand how they communicate.

Dutch tech companies offer support in the fight against the virus. To this end, an online meeting took place on Wednesday...

Even though we recommend the use of these phrases, DO NOT use them too often. You may think you sound like a real academic but it can be a sign of overwriting!

6. In other words; to put it another way; that is; to put it more simply

Complement complex ideas with simple descriptions by using these sentences. These are excellent academic phrases to improve the continuity of your essay writing. They should be used to explain a point you’ve already made in a slightly different way. Don’t use them to repeat yourself, but rather to elaborate on a certain point that needs further explanation. Or, to succinctly round up what just came before.

For example: A null hypothesis is a statement that there is no relationship between phenomena. In other words, there is no treatment effect.

Nothing could come to be in this pre-world time, “because no part of such a time possesses, as compared with any other, a distinguishing condition of existence rather than non-existence.” That is, nothing exists in this pre-world time, and so there can be nothing that causes the world to come into existence.

7. Similarly; likewise; another key fact to remember; as well as; an equally significant aspect of

These essay words are a good choice to add a piece of information that agrees with an argument or fact you just mentioned. In academic writing, it is very relevant to include points of view that concur with your opinion. This will help you to situate your research within a research context.

Also , academic words and phrases like the above are also especially useful so as not to repeat the word ‘also’ too many times. (We did that on purpose to prove our point!) Your reader will be put off by the repetitive use of simple conjunctions. The quality of your essay will drastically improve just by using academic phrases and words such as ‘similarly’, ‘as well as’, etc. Here, let us show you what we mean:

In 1996, then-transport minister Steve Norris enthused about quadrupling cycling trips by 2012. Similarly, former prime minister David Cameron promised a “cycling revolution” in 2013…

Or Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) aims to bridge the gap of access to electricity across the continent (...). Another key fact to remember is that it must expand cost-efficient access to electricity to nearly 1 billion people.

The wording “not only… but also” is a useful way to elaborate on a similarity in your arguments but in a more striking way.

big words to use in your essays

Comparing and contrasting information

Academic essays often include opposite opinions or information in order to prove a point. It is important to show all the aspects that are relevant to your research. Include facts and researchers’ views that disagree with a point of your essay to show your knowledge of your particular field of study. Below are a few words and ways of introducing alternative arguments.

8. Conversely; however; alternatively; on the contrary; on the other hand; whereas

Finding a seamless method to present an alternative perspective or theory can be hard work, but these terms and phrases can help you introduce the other side of the argument. Let's look at some examples:

89% of respondents living in joint families reported feeling financially secure. Conversely, only 64% of those who lived in nuclear families said they felt financially secure.

The first protagonist has a social role to fill in being a father to those around him, whereas the second protagonist relies on the security and knowledge offered to him by Chaplin.

“On the other hand” can also be used to make comparisons when worded together with “on the one hand.”

9. By contrast; in comparison; then again; that said; yet

These essay phrases show contrast, compare facts, and present uncertainty regarding a point in your research. “That said” and “yet” in particular will demonstrate your expertise on a topic by showing the conditions or limitations of your research area. For example:

All the tests were positive. That said, we must also consider the fact that some of them had inconclusive results.

10. Despite this; provided that; nonetheless

Use these phrases and essay words to demonstrate a positive aspect of your subject-matter regardless of lack of evidence, logic, coherence, or criticism. Again, this kind of information adds clarity and expertise to your academic writing.

A good example is:

Despite the criticism received by X, the popularity of X remains undiminished.

11. Importantly; significantly; notably; another key point

Another way to add contrast is by highlighting the relevance of a fact or opinion in the context of your research. These academic words help to introduce a sentence or paragraph that contains a very meaningful point in your essay.

Giving examples

A good piece of academic writing will always include examples. Illustrating your essay with examples will make your arguments stronger. Most of the time, examples are a way to clarify an explanation; they usually offer an image that the reader can recognise. The most common way to introduce an illustration is “for example.” However, in order not to repeat yourself here are a few other options.

12. For instance; to give an illustration of; to exemplify; to demonstrate; as evidence; to elucidate

The academic essays that are receiving top marks are the ones that back up every single point made. These academic phrases are a useful way to introduce an example. If you have a lot of examples, avoid repeating the same phrase to facilitate the readability of your essay.

Here’s an example:

‘High involvement shopping’, an experiential process described by Wu et al. (2015, p. 299) relies upon the development of an identity-based alliance between the customer and the brand. Celebrity status at Prada, for example, has created an alliance between the brand and a new generation of millennial customers.

big words to use in your essays

Concluding your essay

Concluding words for essays are necessary to wrap up your argument. Your conclusion must include a brief summary of the ideas that you just exposed without being redundant. The way these ideas are expressed should lead to the final statement and core point you have arrived at in your present research.

13. In conclusion; to conclude; to summarise; in sum; in the final analysis; on close analysis

These are phrases for essays that will introduce your concluding paragraph. You can use them at the beginning of a sentence. They will show the reader that your essay is coming to an end:

On close analysis and appraisal, we see that the study by Cortis lacks essential features of the highest quality quantitative research.

14. Persuasive; compelling

Essay words like these ones can help you emphasize the most relevant arguments of your paper. Both are used in the same way: “the most persuasive/compelling argument is…”.

15. Therefore; this suggests that; it can be seen that; the consequence is

When you’re explaining the significance of the results of a piece of research, these phrases provide the perfect lead up to your explanation.

16. Above all; chiefly; especially; most significantly; it should be noted

Your summary should include the most relevant information or research factor that guided you to your conclusion. Contrary to words such as “persuasive” or “compelling”, these essay words are helpful to draw attention to an important point. For example:

The feasibility and effectiveness of my research has been proven chiefly in the last round of laboratory tests.

Film noir is, and will continue to be, highly debatable, controversial, and unmarketable – but above all, for audience members past, present and to come, extremely enjoyable as a form of screen media entertainment.

17. All things considered

This essay phrase is meant to articulate how you give reasons to your conclusions. It means that after you considered all the aspects related to your study, you have arrived to the conclusion you are demonstrating.

After mastering the use of these academic words and phrases, we guarantee you will see an immediate change in the quality of your essays. The structure will be easier to follow, and the reader’s experience will improve. You’ll also feel more confident articulating your ideas and using facts and examples. So jot them all down, and watch your essays go from ‘good’ to ‘great’!

big words to use in your essays

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big words to use in your essays

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big words to use in your essays

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Big Words for Your Essay Writing


Year after year of writing assignments, you may notice that you are used to the same constructions and the same words slipping into your essay. It is hard to find expressions that may leave a trace in your teacher’s memory, and with stale words, you writing is bound to become dull. Fear not! Here are some of the most common words you could replace to make your essay shine.

Replace: To Say

The list of synonyms for this word is truly enormous. Concentrate on your setting. How was your statement pronounced? It could have been repeated, added, replied, spoken, told or even revealed. If you are talking about a politician, you may use instead such words as “declared”, “announced”, “proclaimed”. Were there any emotional connotations in the speaker’s voice? If yes, use these words to describe it: “whispered”, “exclaimed”, “sobbed”, “yelled”. Add a little bit more expression to your words and you will immediately feel how a dull statement becomes sharper.

Replace: Because

Marking a clear cause and effect relation in your sentence with “because” is acceptable, but rather boring. There are other conjunctions you may use to state your reasons, such as “as”, “considering”, “on account of”, “due to”, “for” and “owing to the fact”. Switch up your sentence with these words, or even change the subordinate clause with the main, to reach an unexpected stylistic effect. Consider these two sentences:

Kids learn the names of the neighboring countries, because of the Eurovision contest.

Due to the Eurovision contest, kids learn the names of the neighboring countries,

Replace: To Think

Especially in those essays when you need to state your opinion, the phrase “I think” has already planted its roots deeply into our subconscious. It is time to eradicate it, whether by not using it at all, as it gives off an area of self-doubt, or by changing it up for better words. Try it with such gems as “assume”, “consider”, “determine”, “expect”, “feel”, “guess”, “believe”, “judge”, “realize”.


Replace: A Lot

Describing a considerable amount of something can be tough. Not only it is non-specific, but also sounds a little childish. Try to use such words as “myriad”, “tons”, “plethora”, “a bundle” or “an abundance”, especially if they fit your context and the style of your text. The English language is rich for words that are becoming extinct day by day, so it is up to you to help them to live and thrive.

Replace: Good

A word that bores to tears even in everyday life, “good” is no good for your essay. With this word, you want to assess an object or a situation, so why not give it a more precise evaluation? As for the “good” weather, you could say “sunny”, “cloudless” or “bright”. If it is a work of art, it can be “excellent”, “moving”, “valuable” or “wonderful”. If you are talking about a place, ranging from a restaurant to a country it can be “expensive”, “worth visiting”, “notable”, “unique”. A specific quality of the object will not only describe your object, but give your essay the needed lift.

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ATAR Notes

Using Big Words; a Trickster's Guide to English

Jake Silove

Friday 20th, May 2016

Using big words is one of the best ways you can (seem to) improve any essay or piece of creative writing. Last week, I released an article about dealing with English for those who hate the subject. If you haven’t read it yet, check it out here! This week, I thought I’d build on that article by giving you some examples of specific words you could use, and how you can use them.

This is a real thing I did. I found big words that I liked the sound of. I vaguely learnt what they meant, although not in any particular depth. Then, I used them in my essay.

My teachers absolutely frothed over them. These words were golden nuggets.

By having a thesis totally different from everyone else, you already sound bloody smart. You can think for yourself, and maybe your teacher doesn’t quite understand your thesis, but they think to themselves “hmm maybe this student is smarter than me, I can’t mark them down for that!”. To really push yourself over the edge, though, use big words .

My favourite words were vicissitudes and verisimilitude. A google of “Big smart words” yields things like:


You get the idea. For a great guide vis-a-vis (fancy word, look it up) improving your vocabulary, check this out! Write yourself a list, write yourself definition, put them in a sentence in your essay and memorise that sentence. By sounding smarter, teachers will generally look more favourable on you. Since all English essays are marked dependent on whether the teacher has had their cup of coffee that morning or not, having a few extra silver bullets is always helpful.

Below, I’ve written out some great words you could use, with accompanying definitions and sentences. Within no time, you’ll be writing like a true bullshitter! Here’s an example sentence:

‘ The quintessential aesthetic, given impetus by its assiduously clandestine nature, was a resplendent self-contained duplicitous dichotomy. The piquant sense of ennui generated a foreboding facade that would act as a facsimile, differing only in the comparison of verisimilitude and truth.’ – Jacob Silove, Lyrical Wordsmith

Now, this might be a bit much, but check out the words below for some more idea.

With regards to an appreciation of beauty.

‘Writing long sentences with big fancy words gives aesthetic pleasure to English markers’

With reference to; concerning.

‘Using big words in essays apropos of textual analysis is always beneficial’

Being very diligent and meticulous.

‘If you are assiduous in learning these words, you will certainly get a Band 6 in English’


‘To state that using big words in English will increase your mark is axiomatic’

To have an inconsistent mood.

‘Hamlet’s conduct can be described as capricious and unstable’


Something done in secret.

‘Joshua became the teacher’s pet in a slimy, clandestine manner’

Come together.

‘My plan for HSC success coalesced as I achieved all the results I had hoped for’

The point of a plot in which everything comes together and is explained/resolved.

‘The denouement of Hamlet leaves all significant characters dead, unsurprisingly’

Lacking a purpose or enthusiasm.

‘In the hour before the exam, I was left studying in a desultory manner’

Duplicitous dichotomy

A juxtaposition of two items, with what appears to be deceitful or dire outcomes.

‘Comparing the Board of Studies on one hand with actual learning on the other is a duplicitous dichotomy’



‘If only I could retain the effervescence of Year 11’

A general feeling of dissatisfaction.

‘The HSC has left me with a feeling of ennui’

Delicate and light; not of this world.

‘The day that I get to stop studying appears, in the distance, ethereal’

An external shell hiding something beneath.

‘”Do PDHPE, it’s easy!” they said. And it was, until the façade dropped away and I realised how much I needed to memorise’

An exact copy.

‘Every time I write out my English essay, its essentially a facsimile of one I had written before’

Feeling that something bad will happen.

‘As the HSC drew closer, a sense of foreboding overwhelmed me’

The thing that causes an object or idea to progress/move.

‘My trip to Europe at the end of the year is my impetus to study’

An illusion.

‘The school holidays are merely a phantasm’

Sharp taste, appetising flavour.

‘The taste of success was particularly piquant as I received my paper back, having used many big words’


Showing a lack of courage.

‘When the HSC looms before me, I will not be pusillanimous! I will prevail!’


A perfect example of a quality or class.

‘This article is a quintessential example of ways to bullshit your way through English’

Idealistic, unrealistic and impractical.

‘My goal of a 99.95 Atar is likely quixotic’


Attractive and impressive (and usually very colourful).

‘My Art major work was resplendent’


Above normal human experience.

‘And then, for one transcendent moment, I understood what my teacher was talking about’

Found everywhere.

‘The ubiquitous presence of my Principle ensured nobody swore when in the playground’


An appearance of truth or reality. ‘Adding big words to English essays lends them a touch of verisimilitude’


An unwelcomed change in circumstance. ‘Hamlet’s vicissitudes of fortune lead him to construct a heinous plan’

In relation to.

‘I still have absolutely no idea what I should do vis-à-vis my future’

Attractive, lively.

‘A want my creative writing character to be vivacious; then, she will seem more life-like!’

A gentle breeze.

‘And with that exam, my hopes for a 99.95 Atar floated away, as if on a zephr’

See you on the forum! If you want some high quality, totally free online tutoring, why don’t you check out my services here ?

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Your chance of acceptance, your chancing factors, extracurriculars, what are some good vocab words to use in an essay.

Hey guys, I'm a junior trying to improve my essay-writing skills. Can you suggest some good vocabulary words to use in essays that can help elevate my writing? Thanks!

Hi there! It's fantastic that you're working on refining your essay-writing skills. Incorporating a strong vocabulary can certainly help elevate your writing, but remember to use words naturally and in the appropriate context - you should only use a word if it's genuinely the best one to express your idea, as otherwise your writing may feel forced or clunky.

Additionally, there are lots of good words out there that might fit especially well with particular topics - there's no universal rule about which words will most enhance your point. But as a starting point, here are some vocabulary words that can enhance your essays:

1. Compelling — striking or interesting

2. Ephemeral — short-lived or temporary

3. Nuanced — subtle differences in meaning or opinion

4. Quandary — a state of uncertainty or indecision

5. Salient — noticeable or important

6. Ubiquitous — found everywhere or widespread

7. Pervasive — spreading throughout or permeating

8. Disparate — fundamentally different or distinct

9. Sagacious — wise or showing good judgment

10. Resilience — the ability to recover quickly from obstacles

Again, while using strong vocabulary can enhance your writing, it's essential to strike a balance. Overuse can make your essay sound pretentious or overly complex. Always prioritize clarity and simplicity in your writing, and when in doubt, choose the word that best communicates your point.

One good tip that can help you with that is to read widely and observe how authors use words in context. This can help you acquire new vocabulary naturally and learn how to incorporate them seamlessly into your writing, rather than trying to force in a word where it doesn't quite work.

Good luck with your essay writing journey!

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71 Big Words You Should Probably Never Use If You Don’t Want To Sound Dumb

70+ Big Words That Will Make You Feel Smart

The biggest word in the English language is 189,819 letters long, and takes three hours to pronounce! More commonly used big words are several syllables long, and often make people feel smart when they say them out loud. Somewhat ironically, however, study after study has shown that using big words usually makes people sound dumb.

big words to use in your essays

There is a time and a place for big words. If you’re a writer, you might want to be careful about how often you invoke long words that no one has ever heard of before. Mark Twain has a few good quotes about why writers should be economical and precise:

“Don’t use a five-dollar word when a fifty-cent word will do.”

“the difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter – it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”.

With that said, below is a list of some of the biggest words in the English language, which you can choose to ignore, or insert into your writing and vocabulary. Remember, sometimes, a big word works better. Try to insert a new word into your vocabulary every day until you’re able to use them naturally, without thinking about it. Here are some big words that you can use to sound smart around your family and friends, along with their meaning so you use them in the correct way:

Big Words (A)

big words to use in your essays

1. Abstentious

Self-restraining; also the longest word in the English language to use all five vowels in order once

2. Accoutrements

trappings, esp. related to apparel

3. Acumen — ability, skill

4. Anachronistic — a story that didn’t actually happen

5. Anagnorisis — the moment in a story when the main character realizes something that leads to a resolution

6. Anomalist — difficult to classify

big words to use in your essays

8. Apropos — appropriate

9. Arid — dry

10. Assiduous — painstaking; taking great care through hard work

11. Auspicious — signaling a positive future

Big Words (B-C)

12. Behoove — something that is a personal duty

13. Bellwether — the first sheep in a flock, wearing a bell around its neck

14. C allipygian — having large, round, succulent buttocks

15. Circumlocution —the act of using too many words

16. Consanguineous — of the same blood or same ancestor

17. Conviviality — friendliness

18. Coruscant — sparkling

19. Cuddlesome — cuddly

20. Cupidity — greed

21. Cwtch — from the Welsh word for “hiding place”; the longest word in English to be entirely composed of consonants

22. Cynosure — center of attention

Big Words (D)

23. Deleterious — harmful

24. Desideratum — something needed or wanted

big words to use in your essays

Big Words (E)

26. Enervating — exhausting

27. Equanimity — level-headedness

28. Euouae — a medieval musical term; the longest word in a major dictionary entirely composed of vowels

29. Excogitate — to plan

big words to use in your essays

Big Words (F)

31. Florid — red and inflamed

32. Fortuitous — lucky

33 . Frugal — cheap, thrifty

Big Words (G-M)

34. Gasconading — bragging

35. Grandiloquent — verbally pompous

36. Hackneyed — clichéd

37. Honorificabilitudinitatibus — an extremely long-winded way to say “honorable”; at 27 letters, the longest word in the work of William Shakespeare; also the longest word in the English language featuring alternating consonants and vowels

38. Idiosyncratic — peculiar

39. Indubitably — without a doubt

40. Ivoriate — to cover in ivory

41. Lopadotemachoselachogaleokranioleipsanodrimhypo…pterygon  — (ellipsis used because the word is 182 letters long) an elaborate fricassee; coined word that appeared in the play Assemblywomen by Aristophanes

42. Methionylthreonylthreonylglutaminylalanyl…isoleucine … the chemical name for titin, the largest known protein; ellipsis used because at 189,819 letters, it’s the largest known word and takes over three hours to pronounce

43. Milieu — environment

Big Words (N-P)

44. Nidificate — to build a nest

45. Nonchalant — carefree and unbothered

46. Osculator — one who loves or is loved

47. Paradigm — model

48. Parastratiosphecomyiastratiosphecomyiodes — a species of fly native to Thailand

49. Parsimonious — cheap

50. Penultimate — second to last

51. Perfidious — treacherous

52. Perspicacious — perceptive

big words to use in your essays

54. Proficuous — profitable

55. Predilection — preference

56. Pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism — an inherited thyroid disorder

57. Psychotomimetic – inducing psychotic alteration of behavior and personality

Big Words (Q-Z)

58. Querulous — fussy

59 Rancorous — bitter and argumentative

60. Remunerative — lucrative

61. Rotavator — a soil tiller; at 9 letters, the longest palindromic word in the English language (i.e., it’s spelled the same way backwards)

62. Saxicolous — something that lives on rocks

63. Sesquipedalian — involving long words, just like this article

64. Splendiferous — wonderful

65. Squirrelled — put away; the longest one-syllable word in the English language

big words to use in your essays

67. Supercilious — when a person is arrogant

68. Synergy — extra energy generated by cooperation

69. Unencumbered — free

70. Unparagoned — without equal

Read more Creativity .

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Jerome London

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A butterfly coming out of a book

Transform Your Writing With This Epic List of Descriptive Words

A butterfly coming out of a book

Words are powerful tools that we use to communicate and describe the world around us. Verbs and adjectives are particularly useful in this regard, as they allow us to convey action and describe qualities and characteristics.

In this article, we’ll explore a diverse range of descriptive verbs and adjectives that can be used to enhance writing and better communicate thoughts and ideas. Whether you are a writer looking to expand your vocabulary or simply want to add more descriptive language to your everyday conversations, this list is sure to provide you with plenty of inspiration!

Common Descriptive Adjectives and Different Ways to Say Them

Table of Contents


Common descriptive verbs and different ways to say them, describing the world through language.

Great writing doesn’t just state what happens, it shows it, it paints it, it describes a world in your readers mind that they step into. The list above can certainly help you on your way to improving your descriptive language, but there are a few other tips to help you achieve this lofty goal!

About The Author

Related posts, what is an allegory examples, definitions, and how to create them, what is personification in writing examples, definitions, and how to create them, what is a pun examples, definitions, and how to create them, leave a comment cancel reply.

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Big Words That Can Make You Look Perspicacious Or Injudicious

A five dollar word

Using multitudinous big words in your writing will make you a sesquipedalian writer.

It is always a temptation for a writer to show off the vastness of their vocabulary.

There is nothing wrong at all with using big, long words in your writing.

But it is the use, style, placement, frequency, relevance, and the mixing of the formal and informal register that can cause difficulties for readers.

Article Contents

Big words in writing

Readers love learning new words.

But if they have to run off to a dictionary for a definition three times on one page, it will not make for an enjoyable read.

Another word for big words is polysyllabic.

It means using words of many syllables, which can become   polysyllabic jargon .

Writers need to excogitate before they ameliorate a text with interminable and convoluted lexis.

Or, in other words, if you have an irrational fear of long words, writers need to think before using them.

In fact, there is a word for the fear of long words. It is hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia.

According to Wiktionary , it is not a misspelled form of hippopotamus.

It’s the combination of the Latin prefixes hippopoto and monsto to exaggerate the meaning of big.

Nevertheless, nonetheless, however, and notwithstanding all that, I always think that a simple word like but will usually suffice.

The use of extended vocabulary

For a descriptive narrative, using the words nice, pretty, and lovely won’t make for an exciting read.

They’re functional but generalities. Imagine trying to capture a beautiful sunset with simply the adjective orange.

The fiery descent of the crimson orb, bleeding into streaks of lavender and gold, would have much more impact.

But in an article or blog post, keeping things simple is excellent writing .

Clarity is king. A text full of complex vocabulary might leave your reader reaching for a dictionary, halting the flow of your ideas.

In spoken English, politicians, in particular, love using as many long words as they possibly can.

When your job is to say as little as possible for an extended period of time, using long, big words that no one knows is the perfect way to achieve a positive result.

You can use varied vocabulary to engage your audience, but keep it clear enough for easy comprehension.

What is Eldrich?

What is eldritch

In fiction, it is a fine balance. The word  eldritch became popular with paranormal writers.

The definition of the word means weird and sinister or ghostly and perhaps derives from the word elf.

But when it is used too often, it loses its punch. Used once is fun, but twice or three times becomes boring.

Words such as menacing, threatening, ominous, forbidding, baleful, frightening, eerie, alarming, disturbing, disquieting, dark, and black offer plenty of choices to say the same thing.


When using two or more adjectives , the pairing or collocation of words can come unstuck when using unusual word combinations.

Yes, a Ferrari is singularly puissant, splendiferous, and pricey . But maybe the words powerful and expensive might collocate better.

It is not that longer words of more than three syllables confuse readers.

There is no need to lower the level of your writing , thinking that readers might have a specific phobia for long words.

It is when and how you use words that can disrupt the flow of your text.

If you want to be sesquipedalian, that fine. Just know when to avoid circumlocution.

You don’t need to write with a fear of long words. Use them at the right time and for the right reason.

What is another word for thesaurus?

big words in a thesaurus

It is an old joke. But there is an answer.

thesaurus noun wordfinder, wordbook, synonym dictionary/lexicon; rare synonymy.

By whatever name, a thesaurus is a writer’s best friend.

I love the verb to liaise. Not because it is a lengthy word, but because I know how to spell it.

But how often would I use the word? Perhaps once or twice a year.

I would use   work together , collaborate,   network , link up, or hook up far more often.

Uncommon words are like salt and pepper. A little seasoning goes a long way, but too much spoils the meal.

Context in writing

It is in the context of use that a writer needs to be cautious. When you look for a word in a thesaurus, always check for formal and informal uses.

When you are writing dialogue, make sure the vocabulary you choose suits the character.

If your protagonist is a politician and wants to sound intellectual, then the twenty-dollar word perfidiousness might easily be one that you could use.

But if your main character is a down-and-out alcoholic detective, he would probably use more common words like bogus or shifty.

Similarly, if you are writing fiction using the third person omniscient point of view , you need to maintain a consistency of style in your narrative.

It is not the length or type of word that matters.

Long words such as superfluous and incomprehensible are extremely common.

But short words like mien, cavil, or descry belong to an overly formal writing style or voice.

To suddenly change the voice of a character or the narrator is very disconcerting for a reader.

Consistency and not trying to sound smart are the keys to good writing.

Be frugal with your five-dollar words

Mark Twain gave wise advice. “Don’t use a five-dollar word when a fifty-cent word will do.”

Here are some examples for you of my favorite five and ten-dollar words with a fifty-cent equivalent.

$5 word: Quintessential    –   $0.50 word: Typical

$10 word: Boondoggle    –   $0.50 word: Wasteful

$10 word: Brobdingnagian   –   $0.50 word: Huge

$5 word: Discombobulate   –   $0.50 word: Confuse

$5 word: Adscititious    –   $0.50 word: Additional

$5 word: Bindlestiff   –   $0.50 word: Tramp

$10 word: Umbriferous    –   $0.50 word: Shady

$5 word: Natation   –   $0.50 word: Swimming

$5 word: Octothorpe    –   $0.50 word: Hash as in #

$5 word: Equanimous   –   $0.50 word: Balanced

$5 word: Serpentine   –   $0.50 word: Wily

$10 word: Rebarbative    –   $0.50 word: Irritating

The denouement

Denouement ? Well, okay. It’s the conclusion.

Acquiring and expanding your vocabulary is a never-ending process for a writer.

But learning to be careful in when and how you use your expanding vocabulary is far more important.

Why spend a five-dollar word when a cheap one will do the job?

Repetition is often a problem, particularly in a long text such as a novel.

Variety is essential.

But it needs to remain within the voice, style, and register of your writing. This is not such an easy task.

Finding the right word and using it in the right place is a must. But using a word sparingly is equally important.

In the end, it is not about big long words and short simple words. You will use both, of course.

Your task as a writer is to either inform or entertain. Both of these forms of writing need clarity and precision but with a sprinkling of surprise.

Use your extended vocabulary prudently to add some spice to your writing. But do not overdo it.

Keep your readers in mind. They want to enjoy reading your work, so do not make it painfully challenging for them to read.

Just because you can spell supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is not a good reason to use your longest word on every page.

But the meaning of the word is appropriate for this article. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious means something to say when you have nothing to say.

Related reading: Morning Suit And Mourning Suit – Are Both Of Them Correct?

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big words to use in your essays

Why Authors Should Be Using the BIG Words

big words to use in your essays

I’m a vocabulary nut. I admit it. I love words. Little words, big words, unusual words, archaic words. In high school, I kept a piece of paper in the front of whatever book I was reading, so I could write down unfamiliar words and look them up the next day. Whenever I looked up a word, I underlined it, and these days, if you were to flip through my battered Random House Dictionary, you’d be hard pressed to find a page that didn’t have three or four words underlined.

Not surprisingly, this obsession overflows into my writing. I love being able to share a word that perfectly describes something . I’m ecstatic when a particular word absolutely nails what I’m trying to say. But what happens when an author’s audience isn’t as interested in their vocabulary as the author is in his?

Have Modern Writers Forgotten the Art of the Big Words?

First Five Pages Noah Lukeman

The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman (affiliate link)

It’s a sad fact that modern society is no longer as literate as it once was—and most authors don’t seem to be doing a lot to raise the bar. Literary agent Noah Lukeman, author of the popular The First Five Pages , shares the lamentation:

…extended vocabulary, if properly used, is impressive. It is rare to come across unusual words in manuscripts these days. It is as if all of today’s writers were working from a high school-level vocabulary—and writers who do use unusual words more often than not mis use them.

The arguments against using large and possibly unfamiliar words include the idea that you must match your writing to your readers’ level. If your readers aren’t likely to recognize a word, then its usage will only serve to confuse them and possibly even alienate them.

Plus, there’s always the risk of committing the cardinal sin of drawing the reader’s attention away from the story to the author himself. Some people claim the use of large words is a cheap gimmick that says, in essence, “Look at me! Look how smart I am!”

These arguments certainly aren’t without merit. In his 1946 essay “Politics and the English Language,” British satirist George Orwell outlined a “remedy of six rules” to combat what he considered the “ugly and inaccurate” writing of the day. In the light of the solid advice of Rule #3 that one should “ never use a long word where a short will do ,” it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that a long, specific word beats the pants off a short, general word any day of the week.

Should You Ever Considering Dumbing Down Your Vocabulary for Your Readers?

What if the long word isn’t necessarily going to be familiar to the reading public? What’s a writer to do? Do we dumb down our writing, simplify it, cut out the beauty and precision of millennia of linguistic evolution—and with every deletion risk the permanent maiming of our language? Or do we stretch ourselves to embrace the endless possibilities lurking in our dictionaries? Award-winning non-fiction author Michael Perry commented that:

If the word is beautiful, unusual, attractive, it sounds cool, it’s got great rhythm—and, by the way, it means exactly what you mean to say—why shouldn’t you use it? Why in this day and age should we be apologizing for keeping these words alive? We’re killin’ ’em. We’re doing away with them as fast as we can…. It’s not about being snobby. It’s about being excited about language.

A book is a contract between writer and reader. The writer bears the responsibility to do his best to make his work legible and precise. But readers also bear a responsibility: to rise to the book’s intellectual challenge. Although books are all too often relegated to the realm of mere entertainment, they are also an endless source of education. And, as such, readers should expect to be lifted above themselves in some way.

As writers, we should strive to lift our readers. But like any good teacher, we must also make sense. We must find the balance between asking a reader to grow and losing him completely. We’re all striving toward that balance. Here’s to reaching it!

Wordplayers, tell me your opinions! How do you determine when to use big words—and when to simplify your vocabulary? Tell me in the comments!

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K.M. Weiland is the award-winning and internationally-published author of the acclaimed writing guides Outlining Your Novel , Structuring Your Novel , and Creating Character Arcs . A native of western Nebraska, she writes historical and fantasy novels and mentors authors on her award-winning website Helping Writers Become Authors.

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I love to toss in the occasional $.25 word and have a critquer go “what does __________ mean?”

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I find it funny, but not in a nice way, when people do this. Ask me? Hello, Google! And as KM says in the next post down, yeah, your personal vocabulary is not my standard to which I write. Why would I deny somebody the excitement that I had, for example, when I discovered the oh-so-perfect word stygian to mean perfect dark with an ominous under-current? (thank you Stephen King). What kind of real reader does NOT want to learn new words!?

I’ll never forget the critter who told me I should delete all the words he didn’t know – as if his own vocabulary should have been the litmus test for the rest of the world. I get a kick out of that every time I think about it!

You’ve given me a lot to mull over in your post. I’m not sure that I consciously think about what words I’m using as I write. Mostly what’s inside comes out. If I’ve read deeply and have developed my vocabulary, then it will naturally flow in my story. If the words aren’t already inside me, then I’ll have to force them, and it will probably disrupt the flow of the story.

If the words are there naturally, and they’re just pouring forth, they’re probably exactly the words you want to be writing. When you’re instinctively drawing from the deep well of a broad vocabulary, your subconscious often has a sense of what’s appropriate – sometimes more so than your conscious. It’s when you’re consciously picking thousand-dollar words that you need to stop and consider your intentions.

Quite interesting. I usually try to add one or two words into every piece I write that I know aren’t in general use. It’s a small way of trying to enlighten the public (if they take responsibility for looking them up) and hopefully encourage them to expand their understanding of the language.

Kudos to you. I firmly believe that the only way we’re going to turn around this saddening degeneration of our language is to not only persist in using our vocabularies in our writing, but in also learning to use them to maximum effect.

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I agree with you, Katie. It worries me how un-interested many millenials seem about reading, learning, words. As you know, I’ve had my own crisis with ‘writer vocabulary’ r/t one of my Beta Readers saying the vocab “got in the way of the story”. I was initially shocked outta my gourd, then went back and re-read as objectively as possible. I just couldn’t take a scalpel to my work . It was only one Beta reader but he shook me up , saying “If I didn’t know any better I’d think you were showing off “. Boy did that ever sting ! 🙁 I questioned having selected him in the first place, of course. My bad.

The article link you sent me ( also the one posted above) was such great medicine and helped a great deal . It seems I’m always thanking you, Miz Katie, so let me add another one to the pile:

Thank you so much for the incredible resource you so graciously supply all us struggling authors.

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You’re very welcome! I’m glad this old post was an encouragement. I do think it’s very important for us to be careful in selecting beta readers. Although we have to be able to accept valid criticism, it’s absolutely true that not everyone’s opinion is equally valuable.

The last conference I went to, a speaker insinuated that since the publishers are producing 6th grade reading level material that we should watch our reading level when we write. It was so hard for me to keep my tongue in. If we willingly only produce literature at a sixth grade reading level we are guilty of the reading public’s lack of reading skills. Where did I get my vocabulary? From reading. I will mourn the day when there are no more contemporarily written books with high end words.

You’ve hit the nail on the head. Someone once told me, in regard to a word he didn’t know, that “no one writes words like those.” To which, of course, I replied, “Well, someone had to. How else would I have learned it?”

The dumbing down of language is a self-destructive cycle that we cannot allow to continue.

Very well stated, my sweet friend! All too often I have tossed out a word that I was afraid others would not know. I love coming across a word I do not know and then look it up. One function of Word that I love to use, but don’t use enough, is the readibility statistics under Spelling and Grammar. I love to structure a sentence in order to get the highest reading level. Thanks for this, Katie. We are certainly being dumbed down.

Thanks for reminder about the statistics in Word. I remember somebody pointing it out to me a while back, but I’d forgotten all about it. I’ll have to go check it out!

I’ve often said that one perfect big word can take the place of many smaller, dumber words. 😉

great post. i’ve been told my writing was too formal, and part of that was the use of big words or phrases above that 5th-grade level you mentioned. sigh. i love words, though. and long ones don’t intimidate me! 🙂

I appreciate unusual words also although I find myself opting for the more familiar ones as I write. Not that I want to but as you mentioned, most writing today is bereft of any words above a fifth grade level. I will seriously consider resurrecting my old favorites and even adding some new.

Thanks for the important nudge.

I don’t purposely use big words, but I don’t shy away from them either. I think the advice to use short words maybe meant more for for beginning or young writers, who will use the biggest word their thesaurus provides for every single word.

I’d say it all comes down to style. If you’re consistent with your large or small vocabulary, your readers will follow along. If you’re all over the place, you might lose some for the reasons you mentioned in your post.

Lynnette Labelle http://lynnettelabelle.blogspot.com

@Phy: That’s good. I’ll remember that one!

@Jeannie: I think it all depends on what style you’re trying to achieve. In some pieces formality is optimal, in others not so much. It’s just a matter of learning to find the right rhythm.

@Shaddy: You’re very welcome! Here’s to revolutionizing vocabulary!

@Kate: Nothing wrong with short words. Often, they *are* the best word for the job. But that doesn’t mean they should be used to the exclusion of the big ones.

@Lynnette: Variety is important – same with words as with sentence structures. Every word in the dictionary – short or long – absolutely has its place.

Wow, what a great post! I am going to start my own list of unfamiliar words. By the way what is that word in the picture?

“Sesquipedalian” means the use of long words. Apropos, don’t you think? 😉

It is interesting how writings are each so different. In high school, I was hard pressed to read a book, let alone carry a dictionary around with highlighed words on it.

I had a lot of catching up to do as an adult, which is a testament to God’s grace and sense of humor.

I’m totally with you on this post. Writers are just drawn to the beauty of language — on all levels.

I don’t think anyone should *have* to carry around a dictionary to highlight words in. That’s the part of the beauty of doing a good job of incorporating words in our writing: if we do it well, readers will get a sense of the meaning form the usage itself!

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When I read my first Dorothy Dunnett novel there were many words I’d never heard of but I knew from the context roughly what they meant. However, I was so intrigued I had to get up for a dictionary and check every one! And I loved the whole adventure of ‘digging out’ those golden words even when it meant re-reading the paragraph to get back into the flow.

Yes, I wish I still had time to pursue every unfamiliar word. It was a great experience.

We’ve had this discussion a time or two before, and I can still see both sides of the issue too well to come down in favor of either side.

It’s lonely up here on the fence.

Balance. Writing is all about balance. Maybe sitting up there on the fence and seeing both sides of the issue, you’re finding that balance.

All I can say is that you’ve inspired me to keep paper, pencil and a dictionary close by when I bury myself in a book! 😀 Thank you and love you!

Oh good. Then my job here is done. 😉 Thanks so much for stopping by!

I think that if the reader doesn’t know a big word in a book it’s his job to find out what it is…As writers and readers we need to not go looking for the easy way out. We need to look in all ways to grow from the occasion.

Totally agree. Too bad more people aren’t of your way of thinking!

I agree. Beautifully written.

Thank you for reading!

When I was little I used to read the dictionary and encyclopedia for fun! Now I’m on http://www.m-w.com quite often.

Me too! When I was 13 my English teacher awarded me a prize, which was to choose any book I liked from the local bookshop. I took ages browsing (“only one, Sir?) and eventually decided on a Thesaurus – something I had not known existed before then. It only cost Aus$5 at that time and he thought it was such a modest choice he gave me another one (of his choice) to go with it.

That is a truly awesome anecdote!

That’s hilarious! I used to do that too!

Dean Koontz was told he would never sell his novels because the words he used were too big. . .’nuff said.

He made a comment on his website about not insulting the reader’s intelligence and literacy by avoiding big words. I wholeheartedly agree. No matter the size, if a word explains perfectly what you mean and contributes to the flow of the story, use it.

Geeze, what would HP Lovecraft think of us? 🙁

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Dean Kootz’s novels are great, and they helped me expand my vocabulary when I was younger. It’s actually sad when my friends ask me about the meaning of this word and that one. And I do think we should challenge ourselves to a higher reading level. And besides, the mark of a true writer is being able to make sure a person understands the big word by context alone.

Great insight about insulting the readers’ intelligence. The problem is, these days, too many readers *ask* to be insulted!

I’m so used to “dumbing down” my language when I talk to people— especially my parents—that using big words doesn’t come naturally for me. I’m working on it though.:)

I think we all tend to do that to one extent or another. One more regrettable side effect of our culture’s downhill vocabulary slide..

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I love you for writing this post. I have refused ever to dumb down my vocabulary or go for a cliche phrase because a reader is more familiar with its rhythm.

Reading should be part of how we grow. I know it is for me.

Couldn’t agree more. As a reader, I would disappointed were I never to encounter an unfamiliar word.

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The debate about using high-sounding vocabulary or every day words will never cease. I remember individuals complain about the high sounding vocabulary used in the works of Nobel Laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka. One of such person is the Elechi Amadi who himself is an accomplished author especially with his book, The Concubine. However, Soyinka himself doesn’t share such view. Infact, he opined that his books are not meant for the roadside mechanic! This underscores the point in your piece that readers should not only focus on the level of simplicity of communication between reader and writer but should also strive to attain to the intellectual height or praxis of the book itself. Although, I take to heart about balance as advised, I am an apostle of high sounding vocabulary because it gives me the kick and sense of satisfaction that I belong to a select class outside ordinariness. Let’s be realistic, it takes effort and time to build diversity of vocabulary and as such one should have the kick whenever one is successful in the use of such.

Know thy audience–and don’t be ashamed of not being able to speak to everyone.

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All it can take, is just one word, denoting a look or a feeling or a reaction to a look, and diction then proves the entire cause of difference between emptiness and fulfilment.

Croyan’s reality, all too easily, could’ve been under-represented; just for lack of a series of pivotal words, and his reality’s sheer finality wouldn’t be known..

Writing really is all about finding the right word.

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I use a word-of-the-day app, and often find a word that helps tighten up my writing. I’m a big believer in improving my vocabulary.

Fun! Any good recommendations? I sort of gave up on those after having a hard time finding one that was giving me any new words.

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I enjoy reading beautiful prose and poetry. It’s one of the reasons I start reading; it’s one of the reasons I keep reading. I relish the way that words engage all the senses; I love the music they make. Sometimes this engagement demands words and combinations of words not common in every day speech. Fine – I don’t want a common experience! But each story form and genre will demand its own palette and flavour of words. Some of these might be ‘fancy soundin’ book learnin’ words. I think a masterful writer knows the sound of their world, and nails the sense of it consistently throughout their work. Openly demanding that things be ‘dumbed down’ to effect reader engagement is not a literary, but a journalistic requirement.

“I don’t want a common experience” – well put! That is exactly my sentiment as well.

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I have mentioned this elsewhere, I was firmly told once that if I used BIG words, like they did in the 1950s, I’d never get published. I was almost ordered to write for an audience with a 30-second attention span – bascially, someone with a high school education. If I wanted to get published and be fashionable, that is. I don’t like fashion.

Sad but true. I think we’re starting to come out of that fad a bit though.

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What’s tragic, is that in writer communities, many writers follow the advice of using simple words religiously, and when they critique other writers’ work, they would come down hard on any writer that dares to not follow the rule. Any writer that uses sophisticated diction will be branded as being pretentious and a “thesaurus thumper,” or writing “purple prose.” It’s such a common knee-jerk reaction that it almost seems like they’ve bullied many aspiring writers into writing at a lower level of diction than the story actually calls for. Obviously, the story’s premise and the education level of the characters and narrator should dictate the level of diction used by the writer, but these writers seem to think that everyone should follow the same path of simple prose.

I was once dinged for using a relatively common word that the critiquer happened to be unfamiliar with. He felt that just because *he* didn’t know the word, no one would. The word stayed!

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When I was 14 my English teacher a Catholic priest who had a deep knowledge of many languages like Latin,Greek,Italian,Spanish,French and English advised me not to write in a pompous way and to keep my language simple. He noticed that I was reading dictionaries and using too many archaic and unusual words !

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I don’t really agree with your position but I must say that you expressed it well. You’ve given me something to think about.

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How do you determine when to use big words–and when to simplify your vocabulary?

If the word fits perfectly then it’s the right word. I love my thesaurus( but not too much!) to hunt for a word or words that give the exact meaning, feel, and image that sentence needs to, to.. flow right! I don’t think that writers should purposely put what they think of as “smart” words just to try and show off their vocabulary though that means they’ve focused on the wrong thing.

that thing sure isn’t the story, characters, or plot!

I have a major character that’s a little bit more educated than the Main pov so occasionally I’ll have him use a “smart” word just because he knows them. xD

All words are our friends even: incomprehensibilities. Hey, it taught my spell check a new word. Lol!

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I used “quinquagenarian” in a book I’m writing. It’s perfect. It means “a person in his fifties.” If the reader doesn’t recognize it, he or she can just skip it and keep reading.

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15 Words and Phrases That Will Make Your Essay Sound Smarter

As composing any piece of writing, it’s essential to use appropriate vocabulary to make your essay stand out. Plain language sounds boring and unappealing, so it’s really important to know how to write effective papers. Not only do some words can help you persuade the reader, grab their attention, but they can also make you sound smarter.

“It’s always the language, words and phrases that you use in your writing that make your paper sound smart. Your paper can be well-researched and insightful, but it won’t stand out if it’s written in plain, boring language,” says Adam Simon, a college student and contributor to LegitWritingServices essay writing service review and education blog.

So enjoy our list of 15 words and phrases that will be of great help to make you paper sound smarter. 

In other words

When to Use: To paraphrase something in a simpler manner, thus making it easier to understand;

Exemplary Sentence: Writing an essay isn’t as black as it’s painted. In other words , once you learn the general tips, all is left is the practice.

That is to say

When to Use: To provide additional explanation to your previous point, or to add information to sound more accurate;

Exemplary Sentence: To start writing an essay one needs to do research. That is to say , one should search for materials, read them, examine and take notes.

To that end

When to Use: A synonymous phrase meaning ‘in order to’ or ‘so’;

Exemplary Sentence: He wanted to get straight A’s. To that end , he has been mastering his writing skills recently.

Supporting points with additional info

And, and, and. Using ‘and’ throughout your essay to add points won’t make your paper sound smarter. There are tons of awesome expressions and here are the top of them.


When to Use: To provide additional points, used at the beginning of a sentence (don’t forget a comma);

Exemplary Sentence: Furthermore , you should proofread and polish your paper before handing out the final variant.

When to Use: To add additional information, or offering some ideas that support your point of view in a similar manner;

Exemplary Sentence: Planning the writing process is vital to avoid writer’s block and craft a well-thought paper. Likewise , it is essential to write an outline, so that your essay is well-structured.

Another key thing to remember

When to Use: If you have already overused the word ‘also’, it’s high time to use its synonymous phrase ‘another key thing to remember’;

Exemplary Sentence: When writing an introduction, make sure you hook the reader’s attention and arouse their interest. Another key thing to remember is that crafting an introduction last thing is often more effective, as you have already had the perfect grasp of the chosen topic.

Not only...but also

When to Use: To present two ideas while the latter is often more surprising than the former one. Keep in mind the inversion moment as well;

Exemplary Sentence: Not only should you support your topic idea with several additional ones, but you should also provide great examples to underpin your point of view.

Coupled with

When to Use: To examine two or more arguments at a time;

Exemplary Sentence: He soon realized that choosing the topic he was passionate about, coupled with following all the academic rules and standards, was the key to getting top grades for the essay.

Expressing contrast

It’s essential to present contrasting opinions in argumentative essays, as well as in any essay if you want to develop your point of view and make it sound strong. That is why, here are some phrases to use.

When to Use: To provide a contrasting point of view;

Exemplary Sentence: Putting off your essay until the last minute isn’t the greatest idea. However , there are some students who claim that they do better when they’re pressed for time.

When to Use: To give a contrasting point; often used at the beginning of a sentence for better emphasis;

Exemplary Sentence: Purchasing essays online is regarded as cheating by the majority of people. Yet some believe there is nothing wrong in asking for a bit of assistance with their papers.

On the other hand

When to Use: Often used along with another contrasting point, for example, there are two different interpretations of the same idea ‘on the one hand’ and ‘on the other hand’;

Exemplary Sentence: Crafting an essay may seem like the worst and the most daunting task. On the other hand , once you’ve finished it, you feel satisfied and have this pleasant sense of accomplishment.

Highlighting important information

Emphasizing particular points in your essay also require some useful vocabulary.

When to Use: A synonymous expression to ‘particularly’ or ‘significantly’ to highlight peculiar information;

Exemplary Sentence: After reading this article, one can notably improve their vocabulary and make their writing sound smarter.


When to Use: Another synonym to the word ‘significantly’, suggesting a special meaning to the point;

Exemplary Sentence: Polishing her paper with high-brow vocabulary affected her grades importantly.

Providing examples

You won’t surprise you professor ‘for example’, while the following expression will boost your writing skills.

To give an illustration

When to Use: To provide an example that will best illustrate your point of view

Exemplary Sentence: To give an illustration of what I mean, let’s have a look at the final effective phrase to use.

All things considered

When to Use: In other words, ‘taking everything into account’

Exemplary Sentence: All things considered , writing a good essay may be time- and energy-consuming; it may require scrutinizing tons of academic rules and standards; it can be pressuring and scary. However, following some useful tips can ease the whole composing process. To give an illustration of what I mean, try enriching your vocabulary with these 15 words and phrases and see how smarter your paper sounds now.


If an effective essay was a building, it would have a great foundation (an introduction and a conclusion). An introduction grabs the reader’s attention and guides straight to the main body, while a conclusion has the final say that is supposed to leave an aftertaste. For this reason, it’s essential to use persuasive vocabulary when summarizing your ideas.

Unconventional language hacking tips from Benny the Irish polyglot; travelling the world to learn languages to fluency and beyond!

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Home » Articles » 75+ Beautiful English Words You Should Know: From Aurora to Zephyr

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written by Kelsey Lechner

Language: English

Reading time: 13 minutes

Published: Jul 1, 2024

Updated: Jul 3, 2024

75+ Beautiful English Words You Should Know: From Aurora to Zephyr

When you think of the world’s most beautiful languages, beautiful English words might not be the first to spring to mind. After all, it doesn’t quite have the musical lilt of a Romance language. And having studied several languages, English also  doesn’t always have words  for certain unique, philosophically-rich cultural words, like Japanese 金継ぎ ( kintsugi , or repairing something in gold).

But don’t be fooled! The English language is brimming with lovely vocabulary to capture the full range of human emotions and experiences.

From the simple elegance of “ennui” to the lush, velvety feel of “sumptuous”, English is full of words that sparkle and sing. Some paint vivid pictures in just a few syllables, while others evoke powerful emotions and sensations. (And as we’ll see in the final bonus category, some are just downright silly or fun to say!)

In this article, I’ve curated over 70 of the most beautiful, fun, and unique words in the English language. We’ll explore their meanings, origins, and how to use them in your writing and conversations. Get ready to fall in love with the power and beauty of words! Fair warning: you may find yourself wanting to pepper all your sentences with these linguistic gems!

big words to use in your essays

Here’s me overlooking quite a chiaroscuro of a landscape in Portugal!

Table of contents

Beautiful english words related to emotions and states of being, nature and science words, aesthetic and sensory words, more beautiful english words to fall in love with, quirky words with unique meanings, final thoughts on beautiful english words.

From the depths of melancholy to the heights of bliss, the English language has a treasure trove of beautiful words to describe the complex spectrum of human emotions and states of being. Here are some of my favorites:

Bliss  (n.) – Complete happiness, euphoria, joy. “Sophie was overcome with bliss as she watched the sun setting over the ocean, painting the sky in glorious shades of pink and gold.”

Chrysalism  (n.) – The tranquility and peace that you feel when you’re indoors during a thunderstorm. “Is there anything more soothing than the chrysalism of being wrapped in a blanket, watching the rain?”

Ebullience  (n.) – Lively, enthusiastic, and naturally cheerful. “The children’s ebullience was contagious as they ran and played in the park.”

Elation  (n.) – An exhilarating sense of delight, often from success. “Upon receiving the acceptance letter, Jamie felt a rush of elation.”

Ennui  (n.) – Listlessness and dissatisfaction. “Ennui evokes an almost romantic world-weariness, a beautiful kind of boredom.”

Ethereal  (adj.) – Extremely delicate, light, and not of this world. “An ethereal voice seems to come from the heavens.”

Euphoria  (n.) – Intense happiness and joy. “When you’re euphoric, you’re in a state of such exuberant bliss, it’s like your spirit has never been healthier.”

Felicity  (n.) – Intense happiness. “The felicity in her smile brightened everyone’s day.”

Halcyon  (adj.) – Idyllically happy and peaceful. “They spent a halcyon summer at the beach, free from worries and responsibilities.”

Innervate  (v.) – To supply with energy or stimulation. “A heartfelt pep talk from a friend can innervate you before a big presentation.”

Jubilant  (adj.) – Feeling or expressing overwhelming joy. “The team was jubilant after winning the championship.”

Limerence  (n.) – A state of deep infatuation bordering on obsession. “If thoughts of your beloved fill your every waking moment, you might be in the throes of limerence.”

Melancholy  (n.) – A profound sense of pensive sadness, tinged with nostalgia. “Melancholy can feel bittersweet, an aching beauty.”

Rapture  (n.) – A state of intense delight, ecstasy, or enthusiasm. “The audience listened to the symphony in a state of rapture.”

Serendipity  (n.) – The occurrence of happy coincidences or desirable discoveries by accident. “Call it serendipity or call it fate, but I’m so glad we met today.”

Sonder  (n.) – The profound realization that everyone around you is living a life as vivid and complex as your own. “A moment of sonder can shift your perspective and fill you with awe.”

Woebegone  (adj.) – Sad, miserable, or wretched in appearance. “The woebegone puppy, drenched from the rain, whimpered at the door.”

Nature and science offer an abundance of beautiful English words that capture the awe-inspiring wonders of the world around us, from the ethereal glow of bioluminescence to the earthy petrichor after a rain. Want to learn more? Here we go!

Aurora  (n.) – A natural electrical phenomenon creating bright, colorful light displays in the sky. “Auroras are named after the Roman goddess of the dawn.”

Bioluminescence  (n.) – The biochemical emission of light by living organisms such as fireflies and deep-sea fishes. “Is there anything more magical than a bioluminescent bay?”

Borealis  (adj.) – Relating to the aurora of the Northern Hemisphere. “The borealis lights danced across the night sky, creating a breathtaking display.”

Coppice  (n.) – A thicket or grove of small trees. “Coppices are often managed by humans to yield timber, adding a charming, pastoral quality to a landscape.”

Crepuscular  (adj.) – Resembling or relating to twilight. “Many beautiful animals are crepuscular, meaning they’re most active at dawn and dusk.”

Efflorescence  (n.) – The state or period of flowering. “Seeing the efflorescence of cherry trees is a joyful rite of spring.”

Halcyon  (n.) – A bird identified with the kingfisher, said to calm the sea in winter. “The halcyon days of summer were filled with laughter and lazy afternoons by the lake.”

Nebulous  (adj.) – In the form of a cloud or haze; hazy. “A nebulous mist settled over the moors, creating an air of mystery.”

Nemophilist  (n.) – Someone with a love or fondness for forests. “Nemophilists feel most at peace surrounded by trees and dappled sunlight.”

Riparian  (adj.) – Relating to wetlands adjacent to rivers and streams. “A riparian zone is lush with biodiversity.”

Petrichor  (n.) – The earthy scent produced when rain falls on dry soil. “Stepping outside after a storm and breathing in the petrichor instantly refreshes the senses.”

Phosphorescence  (n.) – Emission of light without burning, chemically or physiologically. “The phosphorescence of the glow-in-the-dark stickers created a magical ambiance in the child’s bedroom.”

Pluviophile  (n.) – Someone who loves the rain. “As a true pluviophile, Sarah always looked forward to the soothing sound of raindrops on her window.”

Sequoia  (n.) – A redwood tree, especially the California redwood. “Sequoias are the largest and tallest trees in the world, inspiring a sense of reverence and wonder.”

Zephyr  (n.) – A soft, gentle breeze. “On a warm summer’s day, there’s nothing better than feeling a zephyr on your cheek.”

The English language is rich with beautiful words that evoke vivid sensory experiences and aesthetic qualities, from the iridescent shimmer of a hummingbird’s wings to the mellifluous melody of a violin. Here are some of the best to tickle your senses:

Cascading  (adj.) – Rushing down in a waterfall or descending rapidly. “The cascading waterfall created a mesmerizing display of beauty and power.”

Diaphanous  (adj.) – Light, delicate, and translucent. “Diaphanous curtains allow soft light to filter into the room.”

Dulcet  (adj.) – Sweet and soothing. “The dulcet sounds of the violin made the entire audience sigh in appreciation.”  (Side note: I remember getting  really  far in a school spelling bee when I was a kid, and this is the word that knocked me out of the semi-finals. So I have a bit of a bone to pick with this one.)

Elysian  (adj.) – Relating to a blissful heavenly paradise. “The Elysian Fields were a mythical place of perfect happiness.”

Ephemeral  (adj.) – Lasting for a very short time; transient. “The cherry blossoms were ephemeral, but all the more precious for it.”

Gossamer  (n.) – A fine, filmy substance like cobwebs, floating in the air in calm weather. “The gossamer strands of the spider’s web glistened with morning dew.”

Incandescent  (adj.) – Glowing radiantly, as from great heat. “The incandescent lava flowed down the mountainside, illuminating the night sky.”

Iridescent  (adj.) – Showing luminous colors that seem to change when seen from different angles. “The hummingbird’s iridescent feathers flashed in the sun.”

Lambent  (adj.) – Softly glowing or radiant. “The lambent candlelight set the mood for romance.”

Lullaby  (n.) – A soothing song to lull a child to sleep. “The mother’s gentle lullaby drifted through the nursery, calming her restless baby.”

Mellifluous  (adj.) – Sweet or musical; pleasant to hear. “A mellifluous voice is soothing to the ear, washing over you like honey.”

Quintessence  (n.) – The most perfect example or embodiment of a quality. “The quintessence of elegance, she glided across the room in a stunning evening gown.”

Redolent  (adj.) – Having a pleasant, fragrant smell. “The kitchen was redolent with the aroma of freshly baked cookies.”

Sibilance  (n.) – A hissing sound, or the use of repeated sounds. “The poet’s use of sibilance in the line ‘The slithering snake slipped silently’ created an eerie atmosphere.”

Sonorous  (adj.) – Producing a full, deep, rich sound. “The cello’s sonorous tones reverberated through the concert hall.”

Susurrus  (n.) – A soft murmuring or rustling sound. “The susurrus of leaves in the breeze lulled me to sleep in my hammock.”

Not all of these beautiful English words fall nicely into one category! From the opulent to the quintessential, there are countless more to discover and  fall in love  with:

Caliginous  (adj.) – Misty, dim, or dark. “A caliginous fog crept through the abandoned amusement park, creating an eerie atmosphere.”

Chiaroscuro  (n.) – The contrast of light and shade to convey depth and drama. “Rembrandt was a master of chiaroscuro.”

Elixir  (n.) – A magical or medicinal potion. “Many skincare brands claim to have discovered the elixir of youth.”

Ingénue  (n.) – A naive, innocent girl or young woman. “The ingénue is a classic theater archetype.”

Labyrinthine  (adj.) – Twisting and turning in a complex, maze-like fashion. “Old European city centers are often labyrinthine.”

Languid  (adj.) – Drooping or flagging from weakness or fatigue. “After a large meal, she gave a languid sigh of contentment.”

Lassitude  (n.) – A state of physical or mental weariness. “I’m not lazy; I’m just embracing lassitude as a lifestyle.”

Opulent  (adj.) – Ostentatiously costly and luxurious. “The opulent ballroom was dripping with crystal and gold.”

Panacea  (n.) – A solution for all problems or difficulties. “Chocolate may not be a panacea, but it certainly soothes a broken heart.”

Phosphenes  (n.) – The light and colors produced by rubbing your closed eyes. “Seeing phosphenes is a mind-bending experience.”

Plethora  (n.) – An abundance or excess of something. “A plethora of wildflowers dotted the Alpine meadow with stunning color.”  (Side note: I remember teaching this word in one of my Academic English classes, and my students loving it! There was a plethora of “plethora” in essays after that!)

Quintessential  (adj.) – Representing the most perfect or typical example of a quality. “Paris is the quintessential romantic city.”

Raconteur  (n.) – A person who tells anecdotes in a skillful and amusing way. “My grandpa is a gifted raconteur, keeping us entertained for hours.”

Scintilla  (n.) – A tiny trace or spark of a feeling or quality. “The argument was resolved without a scintilla of bitterness.”

Silhouette  (n.) – The dark shape and outline of someone or something visible against a lighter background. “The silhouettes of the dancers were striking against the illuminated backdrop.”

Sublimity  (n.) – Transcendent excellence or supreme grandeur. “The sublimity of a sunset can leave you breathless and inspired.”

Sumptuous  (adj.) – Extremely costly, rich, luxurious, or magnificent. “Marie Antoinette’s sumptuous gowns were the talk of Versailles.”

Vellichor  (n.) – The bittersweet awareness of time passing, often evoked by secondhand bookstores. “Browsing old novels can give you a poignant sense of vellichor.”

Vespertine  (adj.) – Relating to, or occurring in the evening. “Vespertine blooms like the evening primrose only reveal their beauty near dusk.”

Okay, let’s end on a fun note. Among the many beautiful words in the English language, there are some delightfully quirky terms with unique meanings that add whimsy and specificity to our vocabulary:

Brouhaha  (n.) – An overexcited reaction or response to something. “The celebrity’s new haircut caused quite the brouhaha on social media.”

Bumbershoot  (n.) – A whimsical word for an umbrella. “Be sure to grab your bumbershoot before heading out into the rain!”

Cattywampus  (adj.) – Askew, off-center, crooked, diagonal. “The picture frame hung cattywampus on the wall, refusing to be straightened.”

Defenestration  (n.) – The action of throwing someone out of a window. “Apparently, defenestration was once a popular way to overthrow political rivals!”

Flibbertigibbet  (n.) – A silly, flighty, or scatterbrained person. “We all have that one lovable flibbertigibbet friend who’s impossible to keep on track.”

Gobbledygook  (n.) – Language that is meaningless or made unintelligible by excessive jargon. “Legalese is full of confusing gobbledygook.”

Hullabaloo  (n.) – A very noisy and confusing situation. “The hullabaloo of Times Square on New Year’s Eve is legendary.”

Kerfuffle  (n.) – A commotion or fuss, usually caused by conflicting views. “Thanksgiving dinners can quickly descend into family kerfuffles.”

Onomatopoeia  (n.) – The formation of a word by imitating the sound associated with it, like “sizzle” or “buzz.” “Onomatopoeia appeals to our inner wordsmith.”

Syzygy  (n.) – The alignment of three celestial objects in a straight line. “Syzygy is a celestial phenomenon, and is also just a super fun word to say.”

Tintinnabulation  (n.) – The ringing or sound of bells. “The tintinnabulation of the church bells echoed through the quiet village.”

Widdershins  (adv.) – In a left-handed, contrary, or counterclockwise direction. “According to some superstitions, walking widdershins around a church three times will summon the devil!”

From “serendipity” to “tintinnabulation”, English overflows with words that are a joy to say and hear. Whether describing feelings or nature, abstract concepts or concrete sensations, our rich and varied language has a beautiful word for every occasion. Incorporating these terms into your conversations and writing will allow you to express yourself with vivid precision and  poetry .

So the next time you’re feeling a rush of limerence or find yourself awestruck by the aurora, you’ll have the perfect words to capture those sublime moments. Even if your audience has to look up the meaning, they’ll be charmed by the sheer music and magic of these linguistic delights!

I hope you’ve enjoyed exploring the aesthetic side of English as much as we have. For even more fascinating linguistic insights, check out our other articles, like this awesome one on Old English  etymologies . Thanks for reading!

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Kelsey Lechner

Translator, teacher, interpreter

Kelsey is a writer, translator, and educator. She is an avid lover of dance, dogs, and tea. LinkedIn | Contently

Speaks: English, Japanese, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Swahili, Bengali

Have a 15-minute conversation in your new language after 90 days

Katz V. United States: Redefining Privacy in the Modern Era

This essay is about the landmark Supreme Court case Katz v. United States which redefined the Fourth Amendment’s protection of privacy. The case involved Charles Katz whose conversations in a public phone booth were recorded by the FBI without a warrant. The Court ruled that the Fourth Amendment protects people not places establishing the principle of a reasonable expectation of privacy. This decision marked a significant shift from the previous focus on physical intrusion acknowledging the need to adapt privacy protections to new technologies. The ruling has had lasting implications for privacy rights law enforcement practices and the legal landscape regarding electronic surveillance and data collection.

How it works

Katz v. United States is a big deal in the history books shaking up how we think about privacy and the Fourth Amendment back in 1967. It all started with Charles Katz who got in trouble for illegal gambling after the FBI snooped on his conversations in a public phone booth—no warrant just listening in. Katz fought back saying this violated his Fourth Amendment rights which say no one can snoop around without a good reason.

Before Katz’s case the Fourth Amendment mostly protected against physical sneaky stuff like breaking into places.

But here no one physically invaded Katz’s space—it was all about listening in on his talks. This got the Supreme Court thinking: should privacy protections only cover physical places or should they include where you think you’re private like in a phone booth?

In a 7-1 decision the Supreme Court sided with Katz. Justice Potter Stewart put it plain: “The Fourth Amendment protects people not places.” He said if you want something to stay private even in a public spot like a phone booth the law should have your back. This was a big switch from the old way of thinking that only cared about physical spaces.

The Court set a new rule: to decide if snooping is okay they’d use the “reasonable expectation of privacy” test. That means if you think your stuff should stay private and others would agree the law should protect it. Katz clearly wanted his chats private and anyone would think that’s reasonable in a phone booth.

This ruling changed how we see privacy and how cops can use technology. It said gadgets that snoop—like wiretaps or GPS trackers—need court approval first. This keeps our private lives safe from overreach even as tech keeps changing.

Katz’s impact goes beyond just legal talk—it’s about what we expect for our privacy in a digital world. It’s a reminder that as tech grows our laws need to keep up to protect our rights. It sparked debates on how much the government should watch versus our right to keep stuff private.

In the end Katz v. United States was a game-changer for our rights. It pushed the law to protect what we think is private not just what’s physically hidden. As tech keeps zooming ahead the lessons from Katz will stay key in keeping our privacy safe and our rights strong.


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