Easy Words to Use as Sentence Starters to Write Better Essays

Updated on April 10, 2019
VirginiaLynne profile image

Virginia has been a university English instructor for over 20 years. She specializes in helping people write essays faster and easier.

How to Improve the Vocabulary of Your Essay
How to Improve the Vocabulary of Your Essay

Transition

Word or phrase that shows relationship between ideas. Usually used at the start of a sentence.

Improve Your Writing Today!

Can you quickly and easily improve your writing? Absolutely! For over 20 years, I've taught these tips to students and seen their writing dramatically improve. Why?

  1. Using transition words helps you resist the habit of using a simple subject-verb sentence structure.
  2. Transitions link your ideas more effectively and create more nuanced meaning.
  3. Finally, transitions make your writing sound more professional and less like spoken language.

Improving Your Essay: Choosing the Perfect Words
Improving Your Essay: Choosing the Perfect Words

How To Use Sentence Starter Lists

The most important tip for improving your writing quickly is to follow one rule:

Start every sentence in a paragraph with a different word. How? Here is my step-by-step guide:

  • Use the transition list as you write: Think about how the sentences in your paragraph are related to one another. If you are comparing and contrasting two ideas, then use the "Showing Contrast" transition words (see list below). Are you writing about steps in a process? Then use the "Adding to an Idea" transition words below. When writing about something that happened, use the "Sequence/Time" transitions I've provided.
  • Using the transition list while you are revising: Sometimes, it is easier not to worry about these words until your final draft stage, especially if you are a beginning writer. How do you do this? Use the following tips:
  1. Go through your first draft and circle the first word in every sentence.
  2. If you use the same word to start a sentence twice in a paragraph, then you need to choose another transition word and re-word the sentence.

Choosing the Right Word

How can you choose the right word for each sentence? What makes using transitions improve your writing is that it forces you to explain the connections between your ideas. Ask yourself:

  1. What does the sentence before this one say?
  2. How does this sentence relate to that one?
  3. Scan the list for a transition that seems to fit best. You can also use these questions for help:

Does this sentence add information? Use: moreover, furthermore, additionally, not only...but also, or another addition transition.

Does the sentence contrast or contradict? Use: however, on the other hand, in contrast, yet, conversely, or another contrasting transition.

Are you writing something that happens in order? Use: next, then, in fact, similarly, or a time word like first, second, third, and finally.

Does this sentence add evidence? Use: for example, consequently, for this reason, or another adding transition.

Does the sentence emphasize an idea? Use: obviously, especially, as a rule, particularly, or another emphasizing transition.

Does the sentence start your conclusion: Use: finally, in conclusion, in sum, obviously, or another concluding transition.

Tips to Remember

1. Use a variety of transition words, not the same one.

2. Put a comma after the transition word.

3. Put the subject of the sentence after the comma.

Choosing the Right Word to Start, End, and Transition Topics
Choosing the Right Word to Start, End, and Transition Topics

Transition Word List

Words to Show Contrast
Words to Add to an Idea
Words That Show Cause
Words That Add Emphasis
however
additionally
accordingly
admittedly
although
moreover
as a result
above all
conversely
furthermore
because
as a rule
in contrast
as well as
consequently
as usual
instead
another reason
due to
assuredly
in comparison
along with
for this reason
certainly
nevertheless
also
for this purpose
chiefly
whereas
coupled with
hence
especially
yet
correspondingly
otherwise
granted
on the one hand…on the other hand
for example
since
generally speaking
on the contrary
in addition
so then
for the most part
other than
indeed
subsequently
in this situation
outside of
in fact
therefore
no doubt (undoubtedly)
rather
identically
thereupon
obviously
still
likewise
this is why
of course
besides
again
thus
ordinarily
comparatively
similarly
wherefore
particularly
different from
whereas
following this
singularly
even though
likewise
as you can see
unquestionably
otherwise
one other thing
for all of those reasons
usually

2. Use a Variety of Words When Citing Examples

 
 
 
 
especially
for one thing
in particular (particularly)
specifically
chiefly
as an illustration
markedly
this can be seen in
for/as an example
illustrated with/by
namely
such as
for instance
in this case
including
in fact
Use any of these alternatives to add clarity and variety to your writing.
Easy Ways to Improve Your Essay
Easy Ways to Improve Your Essay

3. Use Different Words to Order Events and Sequence Time

 
 
 
 
first... second... third...
currently
with this in mind
in turn
generally... furthermore... finally
during
for now
later on
in the first place... also... lastly
earlier
immediately
meanwhile
to be sure... additionally... lastly
eventually
in the meantime
next
first... just in the same way... finally
finally
for the time being
then
basically... similarly... as well as
first of all
the next step
simultaneously
afterward
to begin with
in conclusion
soon
at first
in the first place
in time
while
Use a wide variety of words to show how ideas are chronologically related.

4. Use Interesting Words When Summarizing

 
 
 
 
after all
in any event
in other words
on balance
all in all
in brief
in short
that is (that is to say)
all things considered
in conclusion
in brief
therefore
briefly
in essence
in summary
to put it differently
by and large
indeed
in the final analysis
to sum up
hence
on the whole
in the long run
to summarize
in any case
overall
namely
finally
Use a wide variety of words to sum up the point you are making.

Example

Short paragraph without transition words:

Cell phones have changed our family communication for the worse. Parents complain their teenagers spending too much time on their phone. Teenagers are annoyed that they can't get the attention of their parents who are always working or shopping on their phones. We need to make some changes.

Adding transition words:

Generally speaking, cell phones have changed our family communication for the worse. Obviously, parents complain about their teenagers spending too much time on their phones. Moreover, teenagers are annoyed that they can't get the attention of their parents who are always working or shopping on their phones. Unquestionably, we need to make some changes.

Improving Your Writing Over Time

Just following my tips to add transition words to your essay can often make your essay much better and will probably improve your grade. Inevitably, as soon as I tell my classes about this technique their writing improves dramatically. Better yet, the more you use transition words in revision, the more you begin to add that technique to your writing during the first draft.

Why does that help? It begins training you to think about how your ideas relate to one another and helps you to write essays that are deeper, more connected and logical. If you've found this technique helpful, or if you have another sentence starting technique, please add your comments below to help out other writers.

How many times to you revise an essay?

See results

Questions & Answers

  • Helpful 1044
  • What are other words to use instead of using "I" all the time?

    If you are writing in the first person, you can't avoid using "I." However, if you follow the easy five tips, I give for writing better sentences: https://hubpages.com/humanities/Writing-Effective-...

    you will be able to hide the fact that you are using "I" a lot by not starting every sentence with the personal pronoun.

  • What is a good way to start a sentence?

    There are many good ways of starting a sentence. A typical way of starting a sentence in English is with the subject. However, that can become monotonous and that is why I suggest that you try using some of these sentence starters, or "ing" words (called gerunds) or other types of phrases which come before the subject.

  • What is the best way to start a story?

    Start a story with a vivid illustration, a story, a question, or a personal example.

  • Does an essay have to have a bibliography?

    If an essay uses sources, it should include a bibliography which lists the works cited in the essay.

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    • profile image

      Charlie 

      9 days ago

      This has been helpful through out all my essays and quite easy to understand

    • profile image

      prim 

      12 days ago

      this website is really helpful

    • profile image

      Ninja 

      2 weeks ago

      This is quite helpful and I really enjoyed this website and it was really easy to use

    • profile image

      suhitha 

      3 weeks ago

      It is really very useful

    • profile image

      Angela Y. Serrano Robles 

      7 weeks ago

      Exactly what I was searching for. It has been very useful.

    • profile image

      Paul boateng 

      2 months ago

      This is very helpful

    • profile image

      Heaven 

      2 months ago

      It's so simple but helpful at the same time

    • profile image

      lizzy 

      2 months ago

      I just want to know more about writing a good essay. This is good

    • profile image

      Anonymous 

      2 months ago

      Very helpful, thanks!

    • profile image

      Ann_VAL 

      2 months ago

      Thanks so much for your help! This will help me make my essays better! I will use this website for years to come!

      Thanks,

      Ann_VAL

    • profile image

      offical_Daddy 

      3 months ago

      Thank you so much it helped me pass my report! It helped ALOT!

    • profile image

      John Wick 

      3 months ago

      Thank You

    • profile image

      Nora 

      4 months ago

      Great help!! Thanks!!!

    • profile image

      Lubna Shahnaz 

      4 months ago

      Very helpful indeed.

    • VirginiaLynne profile imageAUTHOR

      Virginia Kearney 

      4 months ago from United States

      Hi Ariana, I’m glad to hear my article helped. I have 100+ articles on how to write. You can find them by looking at my profile page, owlcation’s home page, or by Googling my name and the topic you need help with.

    • profile image

      Ariana 

      4 months ago

      Hello Ms. Kearney,

      Thank you so much for creating this website! My essays will be a million times better now! Are there any other articles that you would recommend for me? I intend to read more by you!

      Thanks Again,

      Ariana

    • profile image

      ~*NightStorm*~ 

      4 months ago

      This helped a lot!

      I was racing against time to do my five paragraph essay as the teacher timed my class and I clicked on this and my mind was wide opened with the million ideas I could add.

    • profile image

      Amaria 

      4 months ago

      This was great!!

    • profile image

      selin 

      5 months ago

      so helpful thank you!

    • profile image

      Spase 

      5 months ago

      Thank you brilliant help!

    • profile image

      unknown 

      5 months ago

      It was really helpful for this website and now i know what to start in a sentence

    • profile image

      Mathias Tommy 

      5 months ago

      It is very helpful in my essay writing and it improves my understanding too so I believe that it will give more Hint in writing.Thanks and God will bless you for done this job.

    • profile image

      Shaymaa.alakbaree 

      6 months ago

      Thank you so much

    • profile image

      heaven 

      8 months ago

      these are very good sentences starters.

    • profile image

      zainab 

      9 months ago

      i love this website

    • profile image

      Jackie 

      9 months ago

      Thank you so much this helped to my essays soo much ;)

    • profile image

      angie 

      10 months ago

      Thank you for the wonderful words and the way you fix it to make it understand. : )

    • profile image

      Mandisa Madonda 

      10 months ago

      Thanks a lot...these words really helped me...i'm a student

    • profile image

      Andrew matenga 

      10 months ago

      it is very helpful

    • profile image

      Ereta 

      11 months ago

      Thanks a lot for this I'm a student and after reading this I was mind open all I want to say that this is the best❤❤❤❤

    • profile image

      feza byolenganya 

      11 months ago

      thank you for help me .

    • profile image

      omar & hana 

      11 months ago

      this is very helpful

    • profile image

      Cassie 

      12 months ago

      This is very helpful

    • profile image

      Muhammad Abdullah 

      13 months ago

      Very effective and helpful thank you so much.

    • VirginiaLynne profile imageAUTHOR

      Virginia Kearney 

      13 months ago from United States

      Hi Nicole--I have lots of instructions on how to write articles. I'd suggest you start looking at my articles on How to Write an Argument Essay at Owlcation. Google that and you'll find it.

    • profile image

      Nicole 

      13 months ago

      My son has to write a 500 word essay on violence and the Impact. And yes I've never in my life wrote an essay. So not sure on how to even start nor word it? Can someone please clue me in thanks.

    • profile image

      evan 

      14 months ago

      Helped me

    • profile image

      SaraFPU 

      14 months ago

      This article was concise and helpful :)

    • VirginiaLynne profile imageAUTHOR

      Virginia Kearney 

      15 months ago from United States

      Hi "Don't!"

      I think your sentence would work but it is a bit hard to tell out of context of the paragraph. However, I think it would be better if you said:

      Until, finally, Lindbergh made it to Paris...

      or

      Finally, Lindbergh made it to Paris...

      or

      The crowd watched for hours until, finally, Lindbergh made it to Paris.

    • profile image

      Don't want to tell you my name.... 

      15 months ago

      Hi Can I say Until finally Lindbergh had made it to Paris?

    • VirginiaLynne profile imageAUTHOR

      Virginia Kearney 

      15 months ago from United States

      How about an electrifying (or provocative) gastronomical event? Or

    • profile image

      Helen Davies1 

      15 months ago

      can you recommend an alternative for the words:

      sizzling experience (food review)

    • profile image

      Dilnoza 

      16 months ago

      thanks a million!!!

    • profile image

      Pipit 

      16 months ago

      Thank you very much

    • profile image

      Lovi 

      16 months ago

      Thanks mate! helps a lot

    • profile image

      suzy 

      17 months ago

      thank you a lot!

    • profile image

      Steven 

      17 months ago

      This is insightful, thank you so much

    • profile image

      Fuat 

      17 months ago

      Thanks so much, Virginia.

    • VirginiaLynne profile imageAUTHOR

      Virginia Kearney 

      17 months ago from United States

      Hi Fuat, I now understand your question more clearly. With the added information you give here, I would have to say that "especially" is not a good substitute for "in particular." In a dialogue or quoting someone talking, I think it would be appropriate to use the sentences "I have a number of hobbies. Especially, I like swimming." However, in a formal written document, it is not really the correct form in American English. "In particular, I like swimming" is a correct phrase.

    • profile image

      Fuat 

      17 months ago

      Thanks Virginia. And yet in your samples "especially" refers to "in the summer" and "when it is a warm day" respectively, whereas in my example it referred to "swimming". So, again, can it be used in place of "in particular" - as in "I have a number of hobbies. In particular/especially, I like swimming". Thanks in advance.

    • VirginiaLynne profile imageAUTHOR

      Virginia Kearney 

      17 months ago from United States

      To make this a good sentence you need something between "especially" and the subject "I." These words would explain the "especially" when or what. Here are some samples:

      Especially in the summer, I like swimming.

      Especially when it is a very warm day, I like swimming.

    • profile image

      Fuat 

      17 months ago

      Thanks a lot, Virginia. So, would a sentence like "Especially I like swimming" be correct?

    • VirginiaLynne profile imageAUTHOR

      Virginia Kearney 

      17 months ago from United States

      Hello Fuat, these are words that are intended to help you start your sentences with something other than just the subject. Some of these words work alone and others need to be put into a phrase. "Especially" is one of those sorts of words. Here are some examples:

      Especially in the summer, I love to take a walk in the woods.

      Especially when my daughter is taking a nap, I enjoy a quiet cup of tea and a good novel.

      Especially nice is a hot summer day and a cool dip in our neighbor's pool.

    • profile image

      Fuat 

      17 months ago

      Hello, Virginia. Thanks for this undoubtedly useful article. I'd like to clarify something: the title of this material is "sentence starters". Does it mean that the above mentioned words can be used at the beginning of a sentence? e.g. Can I start a sentence with "especially"? Thank you in advance.

    • profile image

      logan paul 

      17 months ago

      thanks for this

    • profile image

      Wolffy 

      18 months ago

      Thank you for this, I used this for my essay and I got an A.

    • profile image

      cheyenne hartsfield 

      18 months ago

      Thanks i cant wait to print this out and carry it with me for my English class . And take it out when i can .

    • profile image

      Prilum 

      19 months ago

      Very effective and helpful

    • profile image

      Anand 

      19 months ago

      Very nice

      Extremely helpful

      Especially for me

      I hope other s also enjoyed.

      Thanks a lot.

    • profile image

      JC 

      19 months ago

      I can now write a better essay, thanks to this.

    • profile image

      DJ 

      19 months ago

      THANKS FOR THE HELP BECAUSE I WAS REALLY IN TROUBLE GETTING ALL MY WORK DONE!!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      Olivia 

      19 months ago

      This helped me a lot.

    • VirginiaLynne profile imageAUTHOR

      Virginia Kearney 

      19 months ago from United States

      Hi jlc--I'm glad to hear that you work hard at your revision. I'm not sure about the "Same for" as a start. Could you give me the full sentence? I can't think of a sentence that is correct which uses that beginning; however, sometimes in conversation and dialogue, it is appropriate to write what people are speaking, even if it is not correct grammar.

    • profile image

      Dimitris 

      19 months ago

      Thank you very much from Greece, you are great. HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

    • profile image

      jlc 

      19 months ago

      I may revise 50 times and I stop only when I no longer change any word.

      But what about starting a sentence with "Same for..." ?

    • profile image

      sofia 

      19 months ago

      Thank you from Italy!

    • profile image

      Frangky 

      19 months ago

      Thanks for the tips

    • profile image

      Lucille 

      20 months ago

      Love this article! Great for when you are unsure of how to start sentences.

    • profile image

      lex 

      20 months ago

      this was very helpful thank you so much

    • profile image

      213460@class.org 

      20 months ago

      Thank you very much

    • profile image

      sunny 

      20 months ago

      this really helped me and it is still helping me cause am writing an essay now. thanks

    • profile image

      farzaneh 

      20 months ago

      this sit helps me to improve my skills i love to follow this kind of web sit due to they are so use full

    • profile image

      blah blah 

      20 months ago

      this help me a lot on the essay thanks

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      20 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      This is really useful. Things I should have learned in school but have not really done so. Thanks for a great hub.

    • alexarain379 profile image

      Alexa Rain 

      21 months ago from egypt

      Great Hub!

      i found it very helpful.

      transition words collection and related things, thank you.

    • profile image

      ighost01 

      21 months ago

      Hello Madam, this is the best article about English I found on the net. Thank you very much for sharing it.

    • profile image

      Rasheed 

      21 months ago

      I really helped a lot I will really the web

    • profile image

      Chris 

      21 months ago

      hey if youre reading this, just know you helped me a lot, thank you

    • profile image

      Karim 

      22 months ago

      well that helped a lot thank you very much

    • profile image

      goodguy 

      22 months ago

      Hi, thanks for this article. I was writing an undergrad engineering report and this helped me a lot. Thanks for your time and effort and God bless you.

    • profile image

      serge 

      22 months ago

      thanks (lol don't judge me) writing 3 take home essays tonight. We can only use notes from Professors lectures; you are immensely helping me.

    • VirginiaLynne profile imageAUTHOR

      Virginia Kearney 

      22 months ago from United States

      Hi Lulu! I used to assign a reflection journal in my class. What I had my students do was to either just reflect on something that happened that week, or to talk about something they had read or seen in the media, or to reflect on a question. You probably need to check out my articles on reflection and personal experience essays. You can find my other articles by searching this website, by looking at my profile page or looking at the links to the side of this article.

    • profile image

      22 months ago

      Thank you so much this helped a lot!

    • profile image

      Lulu 

      22 months ago

      Thank you so much for your great tips ,it helped me

      I just want to ask you how can I write reflection journal

    • VirginiaLynne profile imageAUTHOR

      Virginia Kearney 

      22 months ago from United States

      Hi Tammy--I'm so very glad this helped you. Thanks for letting me know! You made my day.

    • profile image

      Tammy Ballard 

      22 months ago

      I just started college at age 47. The instructor said write a summary and impact response paper on pages 9 to 36. I immediately panicked, after reading your article I'm feeling much more confident in doing my first college assignment. Thank you so much!!!!

    • profile image

      Cris Michael Andrews 

      22 months ago

      This helped me so much!

    • VirginiaLynne profile imageAUTHOR

      Virginia Kearney 

      22 months ago from United States

      Hi Cambry--Thanks so much for letting me know this helped you. I've had almost a million views from this one idea now. It is very gratifying to know I have helped people learn to write better.

    • profile image

      Cambry 

      22 months ago

      Thank you so much! This helped me with my writing assesment and I got an A+! Thank you!!!

    • VirginiaLynne profile imageAUTHOR

      Virginia Kearney 

      22 months ago from United States

      Hi Harni--I have lots of help for writing essays of all sorts. Just follow the links to the side of this article, or look at the links to different kinds of essays on my profile page.

    • profile image

      Harni 

      22 months ago

      Hiya

      This helped me sooo much Thank You

      I was just wondering how to start an essay like the introduction

    • VirginiaLynne profile imageAUTHOR

      Virginia Kearney 

      22 months ago from United States

      Hi Ryan, You can use any of the words here in front of the "I" or you can use a phrase from the end of the sentence. Here is an example:

      I am going to the store because I need to buy groceries.

      Because I need groceries, I'm going to the store.

      Frankly, I need groceries, so I'm going to the store.

    • profile image

      Ryan C. 

      22 months ago

      Hi, I was just wondering easy ways to replace I at the beginning of a sentence. Sometimes, I struggle with this, and the replacements I find sound unnatural. This is a great article though.

    • VirginiaLynne profile imageAUTHOR

      Virginia Kearney 

      23 months ago from United States

      Hi Sepphora, you want to start by underlining all the first words in your sentences. When you find you are using the same word to start a sentence (especially in the same paragraph) you should use one of these ideas instead.

    • profile image

      sepphora 

      23 months ago

      my problem is the different word to use or replace .

    • profile image

      kimberly 

      23 months ago

      This helps me so much

    • VirginiaLynne profile imageAUTHOR

      Virginia Kearney 

      23 months ago from United States

      Hi Mimi--To avoid the passive sentence, you want to put the actor first. In your example, one way to fix this is to ask "who considered Mimi?" Then instead of "was given consideration" you would use the more direct "considered." Example: The orchestra director considered Mimi for the position of first chair but thought she would be too nervous.

    • profile image

      Mimi 

      23 months ago

      How do you write non-passive sentences? For example, Mimi was given consideration...

    • profile image

      Amy 

      23 months ago

      thank you very much, it really helped me :)

    • profile image

      Sanchit 

      23 months ago

      Already bookmarked it. This article helped me for my entire 2 years masters. Thanks a lot for writing such informative post. Also, do write & update us with more of this awesome posts

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