Writing Task 2 | Linking Ideas Series

IELTS Lessons, written by Sam Morgan and Tom Speed

Are you new to IELTS or have you been training for IELTS for a while but you still struggle with cohesion in your writing? If so, this class is for you. We will study the use of linking words with a text on the topic of energy.
Many students find it difficult to use the correct linking words when they start to study academic English rather than general English. This is the first of our classes that will teach you a wide range of linking words and guide you to use them accurately in your writing. Accurate use of linking words and phrases will improve your score for coherence and cohesion and also your score for lexical range and accuracy (vocabulary).

Language Focus


​This word is used to give an idea that supports or adds information to your main idea. It is used before the main verb.
For example, Car sales also increased in Germany.

It is used between the auxiliary verb and the main verb.
​For example, Car sales have also increased in Argentina.


This adverb is used at the start of a sentence that is adding similar facts or ideas. ​
​For example, More time needs to be spent educating people about the drawbacks of social media. Similarly, we should teach children about how to correctly make use of the internet.


This word is usually used at the start of a sentence which adds contrasting or surprising information. This word is an academic synonym for but.
For example, The sale of cars fell in the UK. However, overall worldwide sales showed an increase.

This word can be used mid-sentence to link two contrasting clauses but a comma must be used both before and after it.
​For example, The sale of cars fell in the UK, however, overall worldwide sales showed an increase.


​This adverb can be used at the beginning of a sentence which give the result of something described in the previous sentence.
For example, Sales fell dramatically in the UK. Consequently, the company went bankrupt and closed down.

Exercise 1 | Know the relationship of ideas

This task will help you to improve both your reading and writing skills.
There are 8 incomplete sentences. One word has been deleted from each sentence. It is important to understand the function of words (why they are used). The missing word may be used for one of the following functions.
  1. To add supporting information
  2. To show contrast
  3. To show a result
In recent years the oceans around Australia have been warming. [To show a result], in 2016 around one third of the Great Barrier Reef was significantly damaged.
Drag the function of the missing linking words into the gaps. Use the full-screen button (bottom corner) on mobile devices.

Exercise 2 | Apply Linking words

Now you know what the function of the gaps should be, we can add linking words.
​Complete the following sentences by choosing the appropriate linking word from the drop down menu.
It is clear that the use of traditional fossil fuels to power vehicles and create electricity is not sustainable. In certain countries plans have been made to remove petrol and diesel powered cars over the next 15 to 20 years. Both universities and companies are researching appropriate replacement technology and advances in this technology are occurring all the time. 1. , companies and governments are spending more and more on research into renewable energy such as solar power, which can provide cheap energy in the sunny areas of the planet. Wind farms 2. provide a good source of alternative energy, this time for colder, cloudier northern countries such as the UK. 3. , we are seeing big changes in the way that energy is produced in many parts of the world.
This technology is reducing the pollution created by electricity production and is 4. becoming more affordable. 5. , there is much work still to be done if we are to save the planet from the dreadful effects of global warming that scientists predict will occur. More must be done to reduce toxic gas emissions from electricity production. 6. , we must drastically reduce the number of fossil fuel powered vehicles on the road. Some polluting energy companies are unwilling to change their businesses, 7. , some are spending more money on renewable energy research. 8. , there is much to feel positive about in terms of the fight against polluting technology but society must keep working together towards the goal of a cleaner healthier world.

We hope you feel more confident with using these linking words now. For more practice with them when writing essays, view this class on Task 2 Linking Words/Phrases.

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