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Research Starter - McNair Scholars

This guide was created to help McNair scholars advance towards their goal of graduate education.

Helpful Phrases for Writing

How can I make sure the reader is following my thought processes?

The purpose of this document is to help you as a writer use your words wisely.  Using introductory phrases and transitional words and phrases will help your writing be clear, concise, and interesting to the reader.  Please see the lists below to learn more. 

Introductory Phrases

When writing, often one needs to tell the reader what the author of a research article or book has stated.  To keep the reader from either becoming lost or bored from repetitive beginnings, add diverse introduction phrases. In the table below, a list of introductory phrases has been compiled for your use. 
NOTE:  When phrases such as “states that…” - “comments that…” or “asserts that…” are used, a direct quote should follow.  Be sure to provide the page number, immediately following the quote, where the quote can be found.
Introductory phrases for quotes and paraphrasing authors’ writing(s):

 

According to Smith (1887) . . .

Smith (1887) concedes that …

Smith (1887) points out that …

As Smith (1887) states . . .

Smith (1887) concluded that …

Smith (1887) possets that …

Conversely Jones (1889) tell of … 

Smith (1887) contends that …

Smith (1887) proposes that . . .

Moreover, Smith (1887) identified …

Smith (1887) criticized “X” …

Smith (1887) rejects the idea that …

Smith (1887) agreed that . . .

Smith (1887) debates that …

Smith (1887) remarked that . . .

Smith (1887) asserted that . . .

Smith (1887) describes this as …

Smith (1887) says that . . .

Smith (1887) asserts that . . .

Smith (1887) focuses on …

Smith (1887) stated that . . .

Smith (1887) believes that . . .

Smith (1887) indicates that …

Smith (1887) strongly argued . . .

Smith (1887) claimed that . . .

Smith (1887) insisted that …

Smith (1887) suggested that . . .

Smith (1887) claims that . . .

Smith (1887) maintains that …

Smith (1887) takes the view that …

Smith (1887) commented that . . .

Smith (1887) notes that …

Smith’s (1909) results suggest that …

Smith (1887) observed that …

Transitional Words and Phrases

In addition to the introduction of an author’s writing, it also can be easy to fall into the proverbial trap of repeating one’s self for starting a new idea or even continuing without sounding repetitive in the process.
To make it easier to view the words and phrases they have been separated into categories that identify the type of phrase(s):

 

in the first place. . .

Equally …

Moreover …

not only ... but also….

Identically …

Correspondingly …

as a matter of fact…

Uniquely …

As well as …

in like manner…

Again …

Additionally …

in addition …

Once again …

Likewise …

Coupled with…

Comparatively …

Furthermore …

In the same fashion…

Equally important…

By the same token …

Together with …

Similarly …

In the light of …

First, second, third …

In the same way …

 

As a result . . .

For

Consequently …

Under such circumstances ….

Thus

Therefore …

In this case …

Uniquely …

Accordingly …

For this reason …

Because the …

Concluding that …

Henceforth …

Then …

Possibly causing …

 

As can be seen . . .

After all …

Overall …

Generally speaking …

In fact …

Ordinarily …

In the final analysis …

In summary …

Usually …

All things considered …

In conclusion …

By and large …

As shown above …

In short …

To sum up …

In the long run …

In brief …

On the whole …

Given these results …

In essence …

In any event …

As has been noted …

To summarize …

In either case …

For the most part …

Altogether …

All in all …

 

At the present time . . .

After

Further …

From time to time ….

Later

Prior to …

At the same time …

Until …

During …

As long as …

Since …

Meanwhile …

Finally …

Then …

Occasionally …

 

In the event that . . .

If

In case (of) …

Granted (that) ….

Then

Provided that …

For the purpose of …

Unless …

Given that …

With (this / the) intention …

When …

Only / even if …

With this in mind …

Whenever …

So as to …

In the hope that …

Because of …

Due to ..

In order to …

While …

Inasmuch as …

Seeing / being that …

Lest

Owing to …

In view of …

Since

So that …

 

 

In other words . . .

To be sure …

In fact …

For one thing ….

Including …

In general …

In this case …

Namely …

To explain …

For this reason …

Truly …

To clarify …

That is to say …

Certainly …

Such as …

As an illustration …

Markedly …

For instance …

With attention to …

Expressively …

To point out …

By all means …

Frequently …

With this in mind …

To put it another way …

Significantly …

To emphasize …

 

although this may be true . . .

But

Although …

In contrast ….

Still

Despite …

On the other hand …

However …

Instead …

After all …

Unlike …

Notwithstanding  …

In reality …

Or …

Occasionally …

Be that as it may …

Albeit ..

Regardless …

On the contrary …

Even though ..

Nevertheless …

At the same time …

Besides …

Otherwise …

Different from …

As much as …

Conversely …

 

Subordinating

Correlative

Coordinating

In contrast ….

Still

Prior to …

On the other hand …

However …

During …

After all …

Unlike …

Meanwhile …

In reality …

Or …

Occasionally …

Be that as it may …

Albeit ..

On the contrary …

Even though ..

At the same time …

Besides …

Different from …

As much as …