Writing Task 2 | Linking Ideas Series

IELTS Lessons, written by Sam Morgan and Tom Speed

Certain linking words or phrases can be used either at the beginning of the sentence or in the middle of the sentence. You must pay careful consideration to the punctuation (.,;:'”?!) in each case. In order to receive a higher band for grammar you need to accurately punctuate your writing.

If you haven’t done so, have a look at our other linking words lessons:
Linking Words and Phrases Lesson
Linking Words and Phrases Lesson Exercise 1
Linking Words and Phrases Lesson Exercise 2
Linking Words and Phrases Lesson Exercise 3

Exercise 1

Let’s remind ourselves of the different functions of some linking words and phrases from the first linking words exercise lesson.
Addition – used to connect two pieces of related information.
Contrast – used to connect two pieces of information that disagree with each other.
Summary – used to introduce a conclusion or overview of information.
Time – used to relate the sequence of events, i.e. what happens first, second and so on.
​Result – used to connect the result of an action.
Reason – used to connect the cause of an action.

Let’s warm up by categorising the following linking words by their functions.

1. however
2. since
3. moreover
4. furthermore
5. consequently
6. in addition
7. in conclusion

Exercise 2

In the task above we have three linking words used for addition. Read the sentences below, there are minor differences in meaning between the linking words
  1. The book received a bad review because it was poorly written. Moreover, the reviewer said that the plot didn’t make sense.
  2. Learning a language has been shown to improve a child’s brain in a number of ways. Furthermore, it allows the child to communicate with a wider range of people.
  3. The space probe will visit several planets in the outer solar system. In addition, it will observe several comets. 

Complete the language description with the correct word or phrase from the box based on the sentences above.
furthermore   ·  in addition   ·  moreover  
Click or touch a word above
1. is used when the second statement adds information and supports the argument.
2. and are used to add additional information.

Language Note

​Notice how in all three example sentences above, the writer uses the linking word or phrase at the beginning of the sentence and it is followed by a comma (,​).

It is also possible, but less usual, to use these linking words and phrases between two clauses in a sentence. See the example below.

They achieved a high success rate and, furthermore, received the thanks of the whole group.

clause 1 =  They achieved a high success rate
​clause 2 = 
received the thanks of the whole group.

​A comma is used both before and after the linking word.

Exercise 3

Choose the appropriate linking word or phrase to complete the text. Watch out for capital letters!
moreover   ·  Furthermore   ·  since   ·  however   ·  Consequently   ·  In conclusion  
Click or touch a word above
It is the opinion of some people that without a high salary an individual cannot be considered successful. , some may argue that if an individual has a low paying job, he or she may have low self-confidence, many people see a link between salary and self-worth. Many believe this to be true, , I am of the opinion that free time may be more valuable for a large portion of the community than struggling for a high salary that may never be attained. An abundance of free time allows the individual to spend more time pursuing interests or skills he or she is directly interested in. , the individual is likely to be much happier and, , is likely to improve skills which he or she believes are important. This would seem to be an indicator of a form of success.
, while a high paying job has traditionally been seen as a sign of success, it is clear that there are other ways of measuring success in life, one of which may be to see how much time an individual can spend pursuing interests or skills which he or she places value on.
​Notice how the writer uses some linking words at the beginning of the sentence while others are used at the end. For a high band score, you need to show that your language control is flexible. This means that you know how to use different linking words in different positions in the sentence across the essay.

Key Vocabulary Note

​It’s important to use these lessons to help develop your vocabulary. If there are any new words in the text above, look them up in a dictionary and write down their definition(s) and example usages in a vocabulary book. Review your vocabulary book so that you are confident when using the words in the test.
Here is an example:

self-worth (noun)
synonym of self-confidence

Meaning: To have self-worth is to think of yourself as a positive person.

Example: I feel like my self-worth has increased since I started learning the piano.

Structure Note

​Notice how the writer here uses a ‘concessive’ paragraph structure. The writer starts by describing an opinion he/she disagrees with, and then the writer argues against it. This is a common way to structure an argument in academic writing.

For yet more linking ideas practice, go to this lesson on linking phrases and relevant ideas!