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  • 40 Useful Words and Phrases for Top-Notch Essays

a good word to start an essay

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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How to Begin an Essay: 13 Engaging Strategies

ThoughtCo / Hugo Lin

  • Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia
  • M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester
  • B.A., English, State University of New York

An effective introductory paragraph both informs and motivates. It lets readers know what your essay is about and it encourages them to keep reading.

There are countless ways to begin an essay effectively. As a start, here are 13 introductory strategies accompanied by examples from a wide range of professional writers.

State Your Thesis Briefly and Directly

But avoid making your thesis a bald announcement, such as "This essay is about...". 

"It is time, at last, to speak the truth about Thanksgiving, and the truth is this. Thanksgiving is really not such a terrific holiday...." (Michael J. Arlen, "Ode to Thanksgiving." The Camera Age: Essays on Television . Penguin, 1982)

Pose a Question Related to Your Subject

Follow up the question with an answer, or an invitation for your readers to answer the question.

"What is the charm of necklaces? Why would anyone put something extra around their neck and then invest it with special significance? A necklace doesn't afford warmth in cold weather, like a scarf, or protection in combat, like chain mail; it only decorates. We might say, it borrows meaning from what it surrounds and sets off, the head with its supremely important material contents, and the face, that register of the soul. When photographers discuss the way in which a photograph reduces the reality it represents, they mention not only the passage from three dimensions to two, but also the selection of a point de vue that favors the top of the body rather than the bottom, and the front rather than the back. The face is the jewel in the crown of the body, and so we give it a setting." (Emily R. Grosholz, "On Necklaces." Prairie Schooner , Summer 2007)

State an Interesting Fact About Your Subject

" The peregrine falcon was brought back from the brink of extinction by a ban on DDT, but also by a peregrine falcon mating hat invented by an ornithologist at Cornell University. If you cannot buy this, Google it. Female falcons had grown dangerously scarce. A few wistful males nevertheless maintained a sort of sexual loitering ground. The hat was imagined, constructed, and then forthrightly worn by the ornithologist as he patrolled this loitering ground, singing, Chee-up! Chee-up! and bowing like an overpolite Japanese Buddhist trying to tell somebody goodbye...." (David James Duncan, "Cherish This Ecstasy." The Sun , July 2008)

Present Your Thesis as a Recent Discovery or Revelation

"I've finally figured out the difference between neat people and sloppy people. The distinction is, as always, moral. Neat people are lazier and meaner than sloppy people." (Suzanne Britt Jordan, "Neat People vs. Sloppy People." Show and Tell . Morning Owl Press, 1983)

Briefly Describe the Primary Setting of Your Essay

"It was in Burma, a sodden morning of the rains. A sickly light, like yellow tinfoil, was slanting over the high walls into the jail yard. We were waiting outside the condemned cells, a row of sheds fronted with double bars, like small animal cages. Each cell measured about ten feet by ten and was quite bare within except for a plank bed and a pot of drinking water. In some of them brown silent men were squatting at the inner bars, with their blankets draped round them. These were the condemned men, due to be hanged within the next week or two." (George Orwell, "A Hanging," 1931)

Recount an Incident That Dramatizes Your Subject

"One October afternoon three years ago while I was visiting my parents, my mother made a request I dreaded and longed to fulfill. She had just poured me a cup of Earl Grey from her Japanese iron teapot, shaped like a little pumpkin; outside, two cardinals splashed in the birdbath in the weak Connecticut sunlight. Her white hair was gathered at the nape of her neck, and her voice was low. “Please help me get Jeff’s pacemaker turned off,” she said, using my father’s first name. I nodded, and my heart knocked." (Katy Butler, "What Broke My Father's Heart." The New York Times Magazine , June 18, 2010)

Use the Narrative Strategy of Delay

The narrative strategy of delay allows you to put off identifying your subject just long enough to pique your readers' interest without frustrating them. 

"They woof. Though I have photographed them before, I have never heard them speak, for they are mostly silent birds. Lacking a syrinx, the avian equivalent of the human larynx, they are incapable of song. According to field guides the only sounds they make are grunts and hisses, though the Hawk Conservancy in the United Kingdom reports that adults may utter a croaking coo and that young black vultures, when annoyed, emit a kind of immature snarl...." (Lee Zacharias, "Buzzards." Southern Humanities Review , 2007)

Use the Historical Present Tense

An effective method of beginning an essay is to use historical present tense to relate an incident from the past as if it were happening now. 

"Ben and I are sitting side by side in the very back of his mother’s station wagon. We face glowing white headlights of cars following us, our sneakers pressed against the back hatch door. This is our joy—his and mine—to sit turned away from our moms and dads in this place that feels like a secret, as though they are not even in the car with us. They have just taken us out to dinner, and now we are driving home. Years from this evening, I won’t actually be sure that this boy sitting beside me is named Ben. But that doesn’t matter tonight. What I know for certain right now is that I love him, and I need to tell him this fact before we return to our separate houses, next door to each other. We are both five." (Ryan Van Meter, "First." The Gettysburg Review , Winter 2008)

Briefly Describe a Process That Leads Into Your Subject

"I like to take my time when I pronounce someone dead. The bare-minimum requirement is one minute with a stethoscope pressed to someone’s chest, listening for a sound that is not there; with my fingers bearing down on the side of someone’s neck, feeling for an absent pulse; with a flashlight beamed into someone’s fixed and dilated pupils, waiting for the constriction that will not come. If I’m in a hurry, I can do all of these in sixty seconds, but when I have the time, I like to take a minute with each task." (Jane Churchon, "The Dead Book." The Sun , February 2009)

Reveal a Secret or Make a Candid Observation

"I spy on my patients. Ought not a doctor to observe his patients by any means and from any stance, that he might the more fully assemble evidence? So I stand in doorways of hospital rooms and gaze. Oh, it is not all that furtive an act. Those in bed need only look up to discover me. But they never do." ( Richard Selzer , "The Discus Thrower." Confessions of a Knife . Simon & Schuster, 1979)

Open with a Riddle, Joke, or Humorous Quotation

You can use a riddle , joke, or humorous quotation to reveal something about your subject. 

" Q: What did Eve say to Adam on being expelled from the Garden of Eden? A: 'I think we're in a time of transition.' The irony of this joke is not lost as we begin a new century and anxieties about social change seem rife. The implication of this message, covering the first of many periods of transition, is that change is normal; there is, in fact, no era or society in which change is not a permanent feature of the social landscape...." (Betty G. Farrell, Family: The Making of an Idea, an Institution, and a Controversy in American Culture . Westview Press, 1999)

Offer a Contrast Between Past and Present

"As a child, I was made to look out the window of a moving car and appreciate the beautiful scenery, with the result that now I don't care much for nature. I prefer parks, ones with radios going chuckawaka chuckawaka and the delicious whiff of bratwurst and cigarette smoke." (Garrison Keillor, "Walking Down The Canyon." Time , July 31, 2000)

Offer a Contrast Between Image and Reality

A compelling essay can begin with a contrast between a common misconception and the opposing truth. 

"They aren’t what most people think they are. Human eyes, touted as ethereal objects by poets and novelists throughout history, are nothing more than white spheres, somewhat larger than your average marble, covered by a leather-like tissue known as sclera and filled with nature’s facsimile of Jell-O. Your beloved’s eyes may pierce your heart, but in all likelihood they closely resemble the eyes of every other person on the planet. At least I hope they do, for otherwise he or she suffers from severe myopia (near-sightedness), hyperopia (far-sightedness), or worse...." (John Gamel, "The Elegant Eye." Alaska Quarterly Review , 2009)

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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…

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

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Sentence Starters: Ultimate List to Improve Your Essays and Writing

Ashley Shaw

Ashley Shaw

How to start a sentence

This blog post is going to be about … No. Too boring.

Today, I am going to talk to you about ... No. Too specific.

This is a blog post for all writers ... Nope. Too generic.

Has this ever been you while writing? I get it. Writing a good sentence can be hard, and when you have to string a whole lot of them together, the task can become daunting. So what do you do?

From the first sentence you write to the very last, you want each one to show your style and motivate your reader to keep reading. In this post, we are going to think about how you start your sentences.

sentence starter tip

What Is a Good Sentence Starter for an Essay Introduction?

What is a good sentence starter for a body paragraph, 25 useful transitions, can i repeat a sentence starter, how can i rephrase "in conclusion".

The first paragraph of a paper can make or break your grade. It is what gets your audience into the topic and sets the whole stage. Because of this, it is important to get your readers hooked early.

The first sentence of a paper is often called the hook. It shouldn’t be anything ordinary. It should have strong language and be a little surprising, with an interesting fact, story, statistic, or quote on the topic.

Because it is designed to pull the reader in and surprise them a little, it is often good to avoid pre-written sentence starter examples when writing your hook. Just get into it here, and worry about the flow later.

Here are some examples:

Spider webs were once used as bandages.

I taught myself to read when I was three. At least, that’s the story my parents tell.

Recent studies suggest that the average person lies at least once in every conversation.

“The world is bleeding and humans wield the knife,” or so says environmental scientist So Andso.

(P.S. Except for example 1, which is true, I just made all of these up to demonstrate my point. So, please don’t quote me on these!)

Once you jump right in with your hook, it is time to start working on ways to move sentences along. Here is where you may need some sentence starter examples.

In your first paragraph, you basically want to connect your hook to your thesis. You’ll do this with a few sentences setting up the stage for your topic and the claim you will make about it. To do that, follow the tips found in the next section on body paragraphs and general sentence starter tips.

Many of the tips I am about to discuss can be used anywhere in a paper, but they are especially helpful when writing body paragraphs.

Let’s start with one of the most important types of sentence starter in essay writing: transition words.

How Do I Use Transitions in an Essay?

Definition of Transitions

If you want to start writing terrific sentences (and improve your essay structure ), the first thing you should do is start using transition words.

Transition words are those words or phrases that help connect thoughts and ideas. They move one sentence or paragraph into another, and they make things feel less abrupt.

The good thing about transition words is that you probably know a lot of them already and currently use them in your speech. Now, you just need to transition them into your writing. (See what I did there?)

Before we get into examples of what a good transition word is, let’s look at a paragraph without any transitions:

I went to the store. I bought bacon and eggs. I saw someone I knew. I said hello. I went to the cashier. They checked me out. I paid. I got my groceries. I went to my car. I returned home.

Yikes! That is some boring writing. It was painful to write, and I am sure it is even worse to read. There are two reasons for this:

  • I start every sentence with the same word (more on this later)
  • There are no signposts showing me how the ideas in the paragraph connect.

In an essay, you need to show how each of your ideas relate to each other to build your argument. If you just make a series of statements one after the other, you’re not showing your instructor that you actually understand those statements, or your topic.

How do we fix this? Transition words. Roughly 25% of your sentences should start with a transition word. If you can hit that number in your essay, you’ll know that you’ve made meaningful steps towards demonstrating your understanding.

Of course, hitting that number isn’t enough—those transitions need to be meaningful. Let’s look at the different types of transitions and how you can use them.

What Are Words Like First , Next , and Last Called?

You probably already use some transitions in your essays. For example, if you start a paragraph with firstly , you’ve used a transition word. But transitions can do so much more!

Here are 25 common transitional words and phrases that you could use in your essay:

  • Additionally / In Addition
  • Alternatively / Conversely
  • As a result of
  • At this time
  • Consequently
  • Contrary to
  • First(ly), Second(ly), etc.
  • In contrast
  • Nonetheless
  • On the other hand
  • Particularly / In particular
  • In other words

Common Transitional Words

This list isn’t exhaustive, but it is a good start.

These words show different types of relationships between ideas. These relationships fall into four main categories: Emphasis , Contrast , Addition , and Order .

What Are Emphasis Transition Words?

These phrases are used when you want to highlight a point. Examples from my above list include clearly , particularly , and indeed . Want to see some more? Follow my bolded transitions: Undoubtedly , you understand now. It should be noted that you don’t need to worry.

How Do You Use Addition Transitions?

These words add on to what you just said. These are words like along with , moreover , and also . Here are some more: Not only are you going to be great at transitions after this, but you will also be good at writing sentences. Furthermore , everyone is excited to see what you have to say.

How Can I Use Transitions to Contrast Ideas?

This is the opposite of addition, and you use it when you want to show an alternative view or to compare things. Examples from my list include words like nonetheless , contrary to , and besides .

Here are some more: Unlike people who haven’t read this article, you are going to be really prepared to write great sentences. Even so , there is still a lot more about writing to learn.

How Do I Order Ideas in My Essay?

A good first step is using order transition words.

This set of transitions helps mark the passage of time or gives an order to events. From the list, think of things like first and finally . Now for some extras: At this time yesterday , you were worried about starting sentences. Following this , though, you will be an expert.

The four types of transitions

Now that you get the concept of transitions, let’s go back to that poorly written paragraph above and add some in to see what happens:

This morning , I went to the store. While I was there, I bought bacon and eggs. Then I saw someone I knew. So I said hello. After that , I went to the cashier. At that time , they checked me out. First , I paid. Next , I got my groceries. Following that , I went to my car. Finally , I returned home.

(Notice the use of commas after most of these transitions!)

This isn’t the best paragraph I’ve ever written. It still needs a lot of work. However, notice what a difference just adding transitions makes. This is something simple but effective you can start doing to make your sentences better today.

If you want to check your transition usage, try ProWritingAid’s Transitions report . You’ll see how many of each type of transition word you've used so you can pin-point where you might be losing your reader.

prowritingaid transitions report for essay

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What Are Some Linking Phrases I Can Use in My Essay?

As well as individual words, you can also use short phrases at the beginning of your sentences to transition between ideas. I just did it there— "As well as individual words" shows you how this section of the article is related to the last.

Here are some more phrases like this:

As shown in the example,

As a result of this,

After the meeting,

While this may be true,

Though researchers suggest X,

Before the war began,

Until we answer this question,

Since we cannot assume this to be true,

While some may claim Y,

Because we know that Z is true,

These short phrases are called dependent clauses . See how they all end with a comma? That's because they need you to add more information to make them into complete sentences.

  • While some may claim that chocolate is bad for you, data from a recent study suggests that it may have untapped health benefits .
  • Since we cannot assume that test conditions were consistent, it is impossible to reach a solid conclusion via this experiment .
  • As a result of this, critics disagree as to the symbolism of the yellow car in The Great Gatsby .

The bolded text in each example could stand on its own as a complete sentence. However, if we take away the first part of each sentence, we lose our connection to the other ideas in the essay.

These phrases are called dependent clauses : they depend on you adding another statement to the sentence to complete them. When you use a sentence starter phrase like the ones above in your writing, you signal that the new idea you have introduced completes (or disrupts) the idea before it.

Note: While some very short dependent clauses don’t need a comma, most do. Since it is not wrong to use one on even short ones (depending on the style guide being used), it is a good idea to include one every time.

Definition of a dependent clause

Along with missing transitions and repeating sentence structure, another thing that stops sentences from being great is too much repetition. Keep your sentences sharp and poignant by mixing up word choices to start your sentences.

You might start your sentence with a great word, but then you use that same word 17 sentences in a row. After the first couple, your sentences don’t sound as great. So, whether it is varying the transitional phrases you use or just mixing up the sentence openers in general, putting in some variety will only improve your sentences.

ProWritingAid lets you know if you’ve used the same word repeatedly at the start of your sentences so you can change it.

ProWritingAid's Repetition Report

The Repeats Report also shows you all of the repeats in your document. If you've used a sentence starter and then repeated it a couple of paragraphs down, the report will highlight it for you.

Try the Repeats Report with a free ProWritingAid account.

Now that you have your introduction sentences and body sentences taken care of, let’s talk a little about conclusion sentences. While you will still use transitions and clauses as in the body, there are some special considerations here.

Your conclusion is what people will remember most after they finish reading your paper. So, you want to make it stand out. Don’t just repeat yourself; tell them what they should do with what you just told them!

Use the tips from above, but also remember the following:

Be unique. Not only should you vary the words you use to start different sentences, but you should also think outside of the box. If you use the same conclusion sentence starter everyone else is using, your ideas will blend in too.

Be natural. Some of the best writing out there is writing that sounds natural. This goes for academic writing, too. While you won’t use phrases like "at the end of the day" in essay writing, stilted phrases like "in conclusion" can disrupt the flow you’ve created earlier on.

Here are some alternatives to "in conclusion" you could use in an essay:

  • To review, ... (best for scientific papers where you need to restate your key points before making your final statement)
  • As has been shown, ...
  • In the final analysis, ...
  • Taking everything into account, ...
  • On the whole, ...
  • Generally speaking, ...

If you’re looking for more ways to rephrase "in conclusion," take a look at our complete list of synonyms you can use.

in conclusion alternatives

There may not be a set word or words that you can use to make your sentences perfect. However, when you start using these tips, you’ll start to see noticeable improvement in your writing.

If you’ve ever heard people talk about pacing and flow in academic writing, and you have no idea what they mean or how to improve yours, then this is your answer. These tips will help your writing sound more natural, which is how you help your ideas flow.

Take your writing to the next level:

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20 Editing Tips from Professional Writers

Whether you are writing a novel, essay, article, or email, good writing is an essential part of communicating your ideas., this guide contains the 20 most important writing tips and techniques from a wide range of professional writers..

a good word to start an essay

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  • If you are writing in a new discipline, you should always make sure to ask about conventions and expectations for introductions, just as you would for any other aspect of the essay. For example, while it may be acceptable to write a two-paragraph (or longer) introduction for your papers in some courses, instructors in other disciplines, such as those in some Government courses, may expect a shorter introduction that includes a preview of the argument that will follow.  
  • In some disciplines (Government, Economics, and others), it’s common to offer an overview in the introduction of what points you will make in your essay. In other disciplines, you will not be expected to provide this overview in your introduction.  
  • Avoid writing a very general opening sentence. While it may be true that “Since the dawn of time, people have been telling love stories,” it won’t help you explain what’s interesting about your topic.  
  • Avoid writing a “funnel” introduction in which you begin with a very broad statement about a topic and move to a narrow statement about that topic. Broad generalizations about a topic will not add to your readers’ understanding of your specific essay topic.  
  • Avoid beginning with a dictionary definition of a term or concept you will be writing about. If the concept is complicated or unfamiliar to your readers, you will need to define it in detail later in your essay. If it’s not complicated, you can assume your readers already know the definition.  
  • Avoid offering too much detail in your introduction that a reader could better understand later in the paper.
  • picture_as_pdf Introductions

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How to Write an Essay Introduction (with Examples)   

essay introduction

The introduction of an essay plays a critical role in engaging the reader and providing contextual information about the topic. It sets the stage for the rest of the essay, establishes the tone and style, and motivates the reader to continue reading. 

Table of Contents

What is an essay introduction , what to include in an essay introduction, how to create an essay structure , step-by-step process for writing an essay introduction , how to write an introduction paragraph , how to write a hook for your essay , how to include background information , how to write a thesis statement .

  • Argumentative Essay Introduction Example: 
  • Expository Essay Introduction Example 

Literary Analysis Essay Introduction Example

Check and revise – checklist for essay introduction , key takeaways , frequently asked questions .

An introduction is the opening section of an essay, paper, or other written work. It introduces the topic and provides background information, context, and an overview of what the reader can expect from the rest of the work. 1 The key is to be concise and to the point, providing enough information to engage the reader without delving into excessive detail. 

The essay introduction is crucial as it sets the tone for the entire piece and provides the reader with a roadmap of what to expect. Here are key elements to include in your essay introduction: 

  • Hook : Start with an attention-grabbing statement or question to engage the reader. This could be a surprising fact, a relevant quote, or a compelling anecdote. 
  • Background information : Provide context and background information to help the reader understand the topic. This can include historical information, definitions of key terms, or an overview of the current state of affairs related to your topic. 
  • Thesis statement : Clearly state your main argument or position on the topic. Your thesis should be concise and specific, providing a clear direction for your essay. 

Before we get into how to write an essay introduction, we need to know how it is structured. The structure of an essay is crucial for organizing your thoughts and presenting them clearly and logically. It is divided as follows: 2  

  • Introduction:  The introduction should grab the reader’s attention with a hook, provide context, and include a thesis statement that presents the main argument or purpose of the essay.  
  • Body:  The body should consist of focused paragraphs that support your thesis statement using evidence and analysis. Each paragraph should concentrate on a single central idea or argument and provide evidence, examples, or analysis to back it up.  
  • Conclusion:  The conclusion should summarize the main points and restate the thesis differently. End with a final statement that leaves a lasting impression on the reader. Avoid new information or arguments. 

a good word to start an essay

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to write an essay introduction: 

  • Start with a Hook : Begin your introduction paragraph with an attention-grabbing statement, question, quote, or anecdote related to your topic. The hook should pique the reader’s interest and encourage them to continue reading. 
  • Provide Background Information : This helps the reader understand the relevance and importance of the topic. 
  • State Your Thesis Statement : The last sentence is the main argument or point of your essay. It should be clear, concise, and directly address the topic of your essay. 
  • Preview the Main Points : This gives the reader an idea of what to expect and how you will support your thesis. 
  • Keep it Concise and Clear : Avoid going into too much detail or including information not directly relevant to your topic. 
  • Revise : Revise your introduction after you’ve written the rest of your essay to ensure it aligns with your final argument. 

Here’s an example of an essay introduction paragraph about the importance of education: 

Education is often viewed as a fundamental human right and a key social and economic development driver. As Nelson Mandela once famously said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” It is the key to unlocking a wide range of opportunities and benefits for individuals, societies, and nations. In today’s constantly evolving world, education has become even more critical. It has expanded beyond traditional classroom learning to include digital and remote learning, making education more accessible and convenient. This essay will delve into the importance of education in empowering individuals to achieve their dreams, improving societies by promoting social justice and equality, and driving economic growth by developing a skilled workforce and promoting innovation. 

This introduction paragraph example includes a hook (the quote by Nelson Mandela), provides some background information on education, and states the thesis statement (the importance of education). 

This is one of the key steps in how to write an essay introduction. Crafting a compelling hook is vital because it sets the tone for your entire essay and determines whether your readers will stay interested. A good hook draws the reader in and sets the stage for the rest of your essay.  

  • Avoid Dry Fact : Instead of simply stating a bland fact, try to make it engaging and relevant to your topic. For example, if you’re writing about the benefits of exercise, you could start with a startling statistic like, “Did you know that regular exercise can increase your lifespan by up to seven years?” 
  • Avoid Using a Dictionary Definition : While definitions can be informative, they’re not always the most captivating way to start an essay. Instead, try to use a quote, anecdote, or provocative question to pique the reader’s interest. For instance, if you’re writing about freedom, you could begin with a quote from a famous freedom fighter or philosopher. 
  • Do Not Just State a Fact That the Reader Already Knows : This ties back to the first point—your hook should surprise or intrigue the reader. For Here’s an introduction paragraph example, if you’re writing about climate change, you could start with a thought-provoking statement like, “Despite overwhelming evidence, many people still refuse to believe in the reality of climate change.” 

Including background information in the introduction section of your essay is important to provide context and establish the relevance of your topic. When writing the background information, you can follow these steps: 

  • Start with a General Statement:  Begin with a general statement about the topic and gradually narrow it down to your specific focus. For example, when discussing the impact of social media, you can begin by making a broad statement about social media and its widespread use in today’s society, as follows: “Social media has become an integral part of modern life, with billions of users worldwide.” 
  • Define Key Terms : Define any key terms or concepts that may be unfamiliar to your readers but are essential for understanding your argument. 
  • Provide Relevant Statistics:  Use statistics or facts to highlight the significance of the issue you’re discussing. For instance, “According to a report by Statista, the number of social media users is expected to reach 4.41 billion by 2025.” 
  • Discuss the Evolution:  Mention previous research or studies that have been conducted on the topic, especially those that are relevant to your argument. Mention key milestones or developments that have shaped its current impact. You can also outline some of the major effects of social media. For example, you can briefly describe how social media has evolved, including positives such as increased connectivity and issues like cyberbullying and privacy concerns. 
  • Transition to Your Thesis:  Use the background information to lead into your thesis statement, which should clearly state the main argument or purpose of your essay. For example, “Given its pervasive influence, it is crucial to examine the impact of social media on mental health.” 

a good word to start an essay

A thesis statement is a concise summary of the main point or claim of an essay, research paper, or other type of academic writing. It appears near the end of the introduction. Here’s how to write a thesis statement: 

  • Identify the topic:  Start by identifying the topic of your essay. For example, if your essay is about the importance of exercise for overall health, your topic is “exercise.” 
  • State your position:  Next, state your position or claim about the topic. This is the main argument or point you want to make. For example, if you believe that regular exercise is crucial for maintaining good health, your position could be: “Regular exercise is essential for maintaining good health.” 
  • Support your position:  Provide a brief overview of the reasons or evidence that support your position. These will be the main points of your essay. For example, if you’re writing an essay about the importance of exercise, you could mention the physical health benefits, mental health benefits, and the role of exercise in disease prevention. 
  • Make it specific:  Ensure your thesis statement clearly states what you will discuss in your essay. For example, instead of saying, “Exercise is good for you,” you could say, “Regular exercise, including cardiovascular and strength training, can improve overall health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.” 

Examples of essay introduction 

Here are examples of essay introductions for different types of essays: 

Argumentative Essay Introduction Example:  

Topic: Should the voting age be lowered to 16? 

“The question of whether the voting age should be lowered to 16 has sparked nationwide debate. While some argue that 16-year-olds lack the requisite maturity and knowledge to make informed decisions, others argue that doing so would imbue young people with agency and give them a voice in shaping their future.” 

Expository Essay Introduction Example  

Topic: The benefits of regular exercise 

“In today’s fast-paced world, the importance of regular exercise cannot be overstated. From improving physical health to boosting mental well-being, the benefits of exercise are numerous and far-reaching. This essay will examine the various advantages of regular exercise and provide tips on incorporating it into your daily routine.” 

Text: “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee 

“Harper Lee’s novel, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ is a timeless classic that explores themes of racism, injustice, and morality in the American South. Through the eyes of young Scout Finch, the reader is taken on a journey that challenges societal norms and forces characters to confront their prejudices. This essay will analyze the novel’s use of symbolism, character development, and narrative structure to uncover its deeper meaning and relevance to contemporary society.” 

  • Engaging and Relevant First Sentence : The opening sentence captures the reader’s attention and relates directly to the topic. 
  • Background Information : Enough background information is introduced to provide context for the thesis statement. 
  • Definition of Important Terms : Key terms or concepts that might be unfamiliar to the audience or are central to the argument are defined. 
  • Clear Thesis Statement : The thesis statement presents the main point or argument of the essay. 
  • Relevance to Main Body : Everything in the introduction directly relates to and sets up the discussion in the main body of the essay. 

a good word to start an essay

Writing a strong introduction is crucial for setting the tone and context of your essay. Here are the key takeaways for how to write essay introduction: 3  

  • Hook the Reader : Start with an engaging hook to grab the reader’s attention. This could be a compelling question, a surprising fact, a relevant quote, or an anecdote. 
  • Provide Background : Give a brief overview of the topic, setting the context and stage for the discussion. 
  • Thesis Statement : State your thesis, which is the main argument or point of your essay. It should be concise, clear, and specific. 
  • Preview the Structure : Outline the main points or arguments to help the reader understand the organization of your essay. 
  • Keep it Concise : Avoid including unnecessary details or information not directly related to your thesis. 
  • Revise and Edit : Revise your introduction to ensure clarity, coherence, and relevance. Check for grammar and spelling errors. 
  • Seek Feedback : Get feedback from peers or instructors to improve your introduction further. 

The purpose of an essay introduction is to give an overview of the topic, context, and main ideas of the essay. It is meant to engage the reader, establish the tone for the rest of the essay, and introduce the thesis statement or central argument.  

An essay introduction typically ranges from 5-10% of the total word count. For example, in a 1,000-word essay, the introduction would be roughly 50-100 words. However, the length can vary depending on the complexity of the topic and the overall length of the essay.

An essay introduction is critical in engaging the reader and providing contextual information about the topic. To ensure its effectiveness, consider incorporating these key elements: a compelling hook, background information, a clear thesis statement, an outline of the essay’s scope, a smooth transition to the body, and optional signposting sentences.  

The process of writing an essay introduction is not necessarily straightforward, but there are several strategies that can be employed to achieve this end. When experiencing difficulty initiating the process, consider the following techniques: begin with an anecdote, a quotation, an image, a question, or a startling fact to pique the reader’s interest. It may also be helpful to consider the five W’s of journalism: who, what, when, where, why, and how.   For instance, an anecdotal opening could be structured as follows: “As I ascended the stage, momentarily blinded by the intense lights, I could sense the weight of a hundred eyes upon me, anticipating my next move. The topic of discussion was climate change, a subject I was passionate about, and it was my first public speaking event. Little did I know , that pivotal moment would not only alter my perspective but also chart my life’s course.” 

Crafting a compelling thesis statement for your introduction paragraph is crucial to grab your reader’s attention. To achieve this, avoid using overused phrases such as “In this paper, I will write about” or “I will focus on” as they lack originality. Instead, strive to engage your reader by substantiating your stance or proposition with a “so what” clause. While writing your thesis statement, aim to be precise, succinct, and clear in conveying your main argument.  

To create an effective essay introduction, ensure it is clear, engaging, relevant, and contains a concise thesis statement. It should transition smoothly into the essay and be long enough to cover necessary points but not become overwhelming. Seek feedback from peers or instructors to assess its effectiveness. 


  • Cui, L. (2022). Unit 6 Essay Introduction.  Building Academic Writing Skills . 
  • West, H., Malcolm, G., Keywood, S., & Hill, J. (2019). Writing a successful essay.  Journal of Geography in Higher Education ,  43 (4), 609-617. 
  • Beavers, M. E., Thoune, D. L., & McBeth, M. (2023). Bibliographic Essay: Reading, Researching, Teaching, and Writing with Hooks: A Queer Literacy Sponsorship. College English, 85(3), 230-242. 

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  • How to Cite Social Media Sources in Academic Writing? 
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105 Best Words To Start A Paragraph

words to start a paragraph, explained below

The first words of a paragraph are crucial as they set the tone and inform the reader about the content that follows.

Known as the ‘topic’ sentence, the first sentence of the paragraph should clearly convey the paragraph’s main idea. 

This article presents a comprehensive list of the best words to start a paragraph, be it the first, second, third, or concluding paragraph.

Words to Start an Introduction Paragraph

The words you choose for starting an essay should establish the context, importance, or conflict of your topic.

The purpose of an introduction is to provide the reader with a clear understanding of the topic, its significance, and the structure of the ensuing discussion or argument.

Students often struggle to think of ways to start introductions because they may feel overwhelmed by the need to effectively summarize and contextualize their topic, capture the reader’s interest, and provide a roadmap for the rest of the paper, all while trying to create a strong first impression.

Choose one of these example words to start an introduction to get yourself started:

  • The debate surrounding [topic]…
  • [Topic] has garnered attention due to…
  • Exploring the complexities of [topic]…
  • The significance of [topic] lies in…
  • Over the past decade, [topic] has…
  • The critical question of [topic]…
  • As society grapples with [topic]…
  • The rapidly evolving landscape of [topic]…
  • A closer examination of [topic] reveals…
  • The ongoing conversation around [topic]…
Don’t Miss my Article: 33 Words to Avoid in an Essay

Words to Start a Body Paragraph

The purpose of a body paragraph in an essay is to develop and support the main argument, presenting evidence, examples, and analysis that contribute to the overall thesis.

Students may struggle to think of ways to start body paragraphs because they need to find appropriate transition words or phrases that seamlessly connect the paragraphs, while also introducing a new idea or evidence that builds on the previous points.

This can be challenging, as students must carefully balance the need for continuity and logical flow with the introduction of fresh perspectives.

Try some of these paragraph starters if you’re stuck:

  • Building upon previous research…
  • As [source] suggests, [topic]…
  • Analyzing [topic] through [theory]…
  • Considering the impact of [policy]…
  • Delving deeper into [topic]…
  • Drawing from [author]’s findings…
  • [Topic] intersects with [related topic]…
  • Contrary to popular belief, [topic]…
  • The historical context of [topic]…
  • Addressing the challenges of [topic]…

Words to Start a Conclusion Paragraph

The conclusion paragraph wraps up your essay and leaves a lasting impression on the reader.

It should convincingly summarize your thesis and main points. For more tips on writing a compelling conclusion, consider the following examples of ways to say “in conclusion”:

  • In summary, [topic] demonstrates…
  • The evidence overwhelmingly suggests…
  • Taking all factors into account…
  • In light of the analysis, [topic]…
  • Ultimately, [topic] plays a crucial role…
  • In light of these findings…
  • Weighing the pros and cons of [topic]…
  • By synthesizing the key points…
  • The interplay of factors in [topic]…
  • [Topic] leaves us with important implications…

Complete List of Transition Words

Above, I’ve provided 30 different examples of phrases you can copy and paste to get started on your paragraphs.

Let’s finish strong with a comprehensive list of transition words you can mix and match to start any paragraph you want:

  • Secondly, …
  • In addition, …
  • Furthermore, …
  • Moreover, …
  • On the other hand, …
  • In contrast, …
  • Conversely, …
  • Despite this, …
  • Nevertheless, …
  • Although, …
  • As a result, …
  • Consequently, …
  • Therefore, …
  • Additionally, …
  • Simultaneously, …
  • Meanwhile, …
  • In comparison, …
  • Comparatively, …
  • As previously mentioned, …
  • For instance, …
  • For example, …
  • Specifically, …
  • In particular, …
  • Significantly, …
  • Interestingly, …
  • Surprisingly, …
  • Importantly, …
  • According to [source], …
  • As [source] states, …
  • As [source] suggests, …
  • In the context of, …
  • In light of, …
  • Taking into consideration, …
  • Given that, …
  • Considering the fact that, …
  • Bearing in mind, …
  • To illustrate, …
  • To demonstrate, …
  • To clarify, …
  • To put it simply, …
  • In other words, …
  • To reiterate, …
  • As a matter of fact, …
  • Undoubtedly, …
  • Unquestionably, …
  • Without a doubt, …
  • It is worth noting that, …
  • One could argue that, …
  • It is essential to highlight, …
  • It is important to emphasize, …
  • It is crucial to mention, …
  • When examining, …
  • In terms of, …
  • With regards to, …
  • In relation to, …
  • As a consequence, …
  • As an illustration, …
  • As evidence, …
  • Based on [source], …
  • Building upon, …
  • By the same token, …
  • In the same vein, …
  • In support of this, …
  • In line with, …
  • To further support, …
  • To substantiate, …
  • To provide context, …
  • To put this into perspective, …

Tip: Use Right-Branching Sentences to Start your Paragraphs

Sentences should have the key information front-loaded. This makes them easier to read. So, start your sentence with the key information!

To understand this, you need to understand two contrasting types of sentences:

  • Left-branching sentences , also known as front-loaded sentences, begin with the main subject and verb, followed by modifiers, additional information, or clauses.
  • Right-branching sentences , or back-loaded sentences, start with modifiers, introductory phrases, or clauses, leading to the main subject and verb later in the sentence.

In academic writing, left-branching or front-loaded sentences are generally considered easier to read and more authoritative.

This is because they present the core information—the subject and the verb—at the beginning, making it easier for readers to understand the main point of the sentence.

Front-loading also creates a clear and straightforward sentence structure, which is preferred in academic writing for its clarity and conciseness.

Right-branching or back-loaded sentences, with their more complex and sometimes convoluted structure, can be more challenging for readers to follow and may lead to confusion or misinterpretation.

Take these examples where I’ve highlighted the subject of the sentence in bold. Note that in the right-branching sentences, the topic is front-loaded.

  • Right Branching: Researchers found a strong correlation between sleep and cognitive function after analyzing the data from various studies.
  • Left-Branching: After analyzing the data from various studies, a strong correlation between sleep and cognitive function was found by researchers.
  • The novel was filled with vivid imagery and thought-provoking themes , which captivated the audience from the very first chapter.
  • Captivating the audience from the very first chapter, the novel was filled with vivid imagery and thought-provoking themes.

The words you choose to start a paragraph are crucial for setting the tone, establishing context, and ensuring a smooth flow throughout your essay.

By carefully selecting the best words for each type of paragraph, you can create a coherent, engaging, and persuasive piece of writing.


Chris Drew (PhD)

Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]

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a good word to start an essay

How To Start An Essay -The Only Guide You'll Need

a good word to start an essay

How To Start An Essay

To begin an essay effectively, use a captivating hook, provide context, present a clear thesis statement, outline the essay's structure, transition smoothly to the body, be concise, and revise for alignment with the content. A strong introduction engages readers and sets the tone for your essay.

This guide will help you if you’re stuck, so read on. Starting an essay can be difficult, and we’ve all had major writer’s block occasionally. But we will demystify it and give you all the practical help and guidance you’ll need to power through.

To commence your essay effectively, consider adopting these approaches:

  • Engage Your Audience : Start with an engaging element to capture your audience's interest. This could be an unexpected fact, a provocative query, an impactful quote, or a vivid brief story.
  • Set the Scene : Quickly provide the necessary background to frame your topic, highlighting its significance or intrigue.
  • State Your Central Argument : Articulate your central thesis or primary argument clearly. This will guide the direction of your essay and clarify your purpose to the reader.
  • Preview Your Essay's Structure : Briefly outline the organization of your essay, indicating the key points or arguments you intend to explore.
  • Smooth Transition : Seamlessly lead into the body of your essay with transitional phrases, preparing the reader for the forthcoming content.
  • Keep it Brief and Focused : Maintain brevity and focus in your introduction. Steer clear of extensive details or protracted background exposition.
  • Refine and Enhance : Once your essay is complete, reassess your introduction to ensure it is aligned with the overall content and effectively sets up your topic.

‍ Understanding The Craft: How To Start An Essay

The introduction paragraph can set the ENTIRE tone for your essay, so it’s more than important. By the end of this guide, you’ll be able to master it (hopefully).

The level of engagement your audience will feel throughout the essay and if they understand the message you’re conveying can be determined just by reading your introduction.

Remember how crucial an essay introduction is, as first impressions can be lasting. 

Sharp Eye: Analyzing The Prompt 

Before you go your ways to start an essay, you should fully grasp the prompt of the essay. By fully understanding the prompt, you won’t be led astray. Here’s a few simple things to remember: 

Breaking down the question

Deconstruct your prompt to understand it fully. Highlight key terms and consider what each word truly means.

Interpret instructions carefully

Depending on the instructions, you should be aware of the differences in what they’re asking you for.

For example, a prompt that instructs you to “describe” will want different results from a prompt that asks you to “analyze.”

Research first

To help you understand your prompt better, you can do some research. Collect information like background information and the current relevance of the prompt.

This will add context to your understanding of it. This will give you a better and fuller perspective as well. 

Creating A Hook That Hooks

A crucial part of your essay introduction and starting an essay is writing a good hook. Your hook is your attention-grabber, so it needs to literally hook your readers. Be mindful of these tips:

  • Use startling facts to shock readers.
  • Use provocative questions.
  • Use anecdotes or intriguing quotes.
  • Don’t forget to tailor your hook to your audience and your topic.

Writing A Great Thesis Statement 

You don’t know how to start an essay correctly if you don’t know how to write a great thesis statement. 

Need help? Writers at Studyfy will guide you with essay writing if you send a “ write an essay for me ” request, and they’ll do it instantly. Moving along, here’s what you need to keep in mind with your thesis statement:

Thesis concept

A thesis statement is a very clear and concise sentence.

It could be two sentences, too. It sums up and represents the core argument of your essay and serves as a guide for your writing and developing your arguments.

Do initial research to back up your thesis

By collecting evidence, examples, and facts, you can refine your essay and make it more accurate, compelling, and sophisticated. 

Positioning your thesis

Ideally, you’d want to position your thesis statement at the end of your introduction.

It allows for a smooth reading flow, and it introduces the main argument and purpose of the essay before the reader moves on to the body paragraph.

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How To Begin An Essay: Outlining Your Main Points

An outline is like a roadmap. It can guide you and help you remember and set clear expectations for your essay's development. Here are a few things to consider: 

  • Outline your main points in the introduction.
  • Make an outline that helps you write in intriguing detail and keeps your essay introduction concise.
  • Ensure that all points in your introduction paragraph directly back up or relate to your thesis statement.

Techniques For Creating A Dynamic Essay Introduction Paragraph

If you want more techniques on how to start a paper effectively, here are some valuable techniques you can employ in your essay writing. 

As we’ve stated, your essay introduction is a crucial pillar you’ll need to develop, so let’s take a look at more writing tips you can apply to it:

  • Use the ACTIVE Voice : Write in the active voice, where the subject performs the action. Active voice makes your writing clearer, direct, dynamic, and engaging.
  • Avoid Common Mistakes : Steer clear of cliches, generalizations, and irrelevant information. Stay on-topic in your introduction.
  • Set the Proper Tone : Match the tone of your essay introduction with the rest of your essay. If your essay is formal, keep the introduction formal; if it's persuasive, make the introduction persuasive.
  • Smooth Transitions : Ensure a smooth transition from the essay introduction to the body to maintain the flow of your writing

And don’t forget, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by all this information, you can buy custom essay services on Studyfy right now and get expert help.

So, what exactly can we do to employ smooth transitions? Here are a few helpful pointers: 

  • Employ Transitional Phrases : Use phrases like "this leads us to" or "with that in mind" to facilitate seamless transitions from the introduction to the body.
  • Re-use a Key Term : Consider re-using a key term introduced in the first sentence of your introduction in the last sentence. This creates continuity and maintains smoothness in your writing.
  • Leverage Logical Progression : Organize your points logically to ensure a coherent and clear progression in your essay.

‍ Mastering The Essay’s Introduction

Now you know all that you NEED to know about starting an essay. Let’s go over a brief recap of the key takeaways:

  • Analyze your prompt thoroughly.
  • Create a captivating hook.
  • Use effective transitional phrases.
  • Use logical flow for coherence.
  • Introduce key points and make sure they align with your thesis statement.

We hope this guide has helped you. Don’t forget to seek feedback from professors and peers. They might give you additional tips and insights that can be valuable. 

Did you like our article?

For more help, tap into our pool of professional writers and get expert essay writing services!

Which strategies can I use to start an essay?

The best way to start an essay is to analyze the prompt thoroughly. This will give you an idea of your essay's general purpose. If you need help, you can pay for an essay right now and get expert help.

The prompt is essential background information for your narrative essay or your persuasive essay introductions, as well as other types of academic writing.

How can I craft a strong thesis statement?

A key component of how to start an essay is a strong thesis statement. You can create a strong one by identifying the key theme/question and then narrowing it down to your main argument.

What's a good way to hook a reader in my introduction? What are good essay introduction examples?

A good way to start an essay is by making a compelling hook in your introduction paragraph. You can start your introduction by providing a shocking fact, a provoking question, an intriguing quote, or a personal anecdote.

To maintain the reader's attention, center your essay writing process, both how the essay begins and the entire essay, around the reader's curiosity. The reader's attention should lead your essay introductions, how you incorporate relevant background information, and write other academic essays.

What are common mistakes I should avoid when writing my introduction?

The best way to start an essay is by avoiding common pitfalls in the introduction. Don't use broad statements or cliches. Don't make your intro too long. Have a clear thesis statement ready. 

When it comes to the intro, whether an argumentative essay introduction or expository essay introduction, what matters is igniting the mentioned reader's attention.

A big mistake is to dull down the reader's curiosity right at the beginning. Instead, open with passion. A few examples might be interesting facts, shocking statistics, or other intriguing ways to get a strong introduction.

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The Beginner's Blueprint for Writing an Effective Argumentative Essay

Harish M

Are you ready to learn how to write an argumentative essay that packs a punch? Buckle up, because we're about to embark on a journey that will transform you into a master of persuasive writing! Whether you're a student, writer, or just someone who loves a good debate, mastering the art of crafting a compelling argumentative essay is a skill that will serve you well.

In this article, we'll walk you through the essential steps to writing an argumentative essay that effectively supports your stance with solid evidence and convincing reasoning. From understanding the basics to structuring your essay for maximum impact, we've got you covered. So, let's dive in and discover how to write an argumentative essay that will leave your readers convinced and impressed!

Understanding the Basics of an Argumentative Essay

Before diving into the nitty-gritty of crafting an argumentative essay, it's crucial to grasp the fundamentals. An argumentative essay is all about presenting a well-researched and logical argument to persuade your readers to see things from your perspective. It's not just about stating your opinion; it's about backing it up with solid evidence and reasoning.

The Building Blocks of an Argumentative Essay

  • Introduction: This is where you set the stage for your argument. Start with a hook to grab your readers' attention, provide some background information, and clearly state your thesis .
  • Body Paragraphs: This is the meat of your essay, where you present your arguments and evidence. Each paragraph should focus on one main point and provide supporting evidence.
  • Conclusion: Wrap up your essay by restating your thesis and summarizing your main points. Leave your readers with something to think about.

Types of Argumentative Essays

The writing process.

  • Brainstorm and research your topic
  • Prepare an outline
  • Draft your essay
  • Revise and refine
  • Proofread and edit

Remember, an argumentative essay is all about presenting a confident and assertive stance while maintaining a logical and organized structure. With these basics in mind, you're well on your way to writing a compelling argumentative essay!

Choosing a Strong Topic

Alright, let's dive into the exciting world of choosing a strong topic for your argumentative essay! The key is to find a subject that sparks your interest and gets your audience fired up.

What Makes a Topic Arguable?

To ensure your topic is arguable, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is it debatable? Can people have different opinions on the subject?
  • Is it relevant to your audience? Will they find it interesting and engaging?
  • Is it not too broad or too narrow? You want a topic that's just right!

Techniques for Generating Topic Ideas

Narrowing down your topic.

Once you have a list of potential topics, it's time to narrow it down:

  • Consider your goals and purpose for the essay. What do you want to achieve?
  • Ensure there is sufficient evidence available to support your argument.
  • Test the topic by putting it in a general argument format, such as "Is...effective?" or "...should be allowed for..."

Remember, a strong argumentative essay topic should be debatable, relevant to your audience, and not too broad or too narrow. By following these guidelines and techniques, you'll be well on your way to choosing a topic that will make your essay shine!

Structuring Your Essay Effectively

Alright, let's talk about how to structure your argumentative essay like a pro! A well-organized essay is like a roadmap that guides your readers through your argument, making it easy for them to follow along and see things from your perspective.

The Building Blocks of a Winning Structure

Crafting a compelling argument.

  • Present your perspective: Explain your stance on the topic clearly and concisely.
  • Address the opposition: Acknowledge and refute counterarguments with solid evidence.
  • Provide evidence: Back up your claims with facts, statistics, and expert opinions.
  • Find common ground: Consider both sides of the issue and propose a middle ground, if possible.
  • Conclude with conviction: Reinforce your thesis and summarize your main points, leaving a lasting impression.

Logical Flow and Organization

To ensure your essay is easy to follow, pay attention to:

  • Clear transitions between the introduction, body, and conclusion
  • Body paragraphs that provide evidential support and explain how it connects to your thesis
  • Consideration and explanation of differing viewpoints
  • A conclusion that ties everything together and reinforces your argument

By structuring your essay effectively, you'll create a compelling and persuasive argument that leaves your readers convinced and impressed. So, go forth and organize your thoughts like a master debater!

Gathering and Evaluating Evidence

Alright, let's talk about gathering and evaluating evidence like a pro! This is where the real fun begins, as you dive into the world of research and uncover the juicy bits that will make your argumentative essay shine.

The Evidence Hunt

Using evidence effectively.

  • Introduce the evidence and explain its significance.
  • Show how the evidence supports your argument.
  • Use quotations, paraphrasing, and summary to present the evidence.
  • Always cite your sources properly.

Evaluating Evidence for Credibility

When assessing the credibility, accuracy, and reliability of your evidence, consider:

  • The source: Is it primary or secondary? Is it reputable?
  • Comparison with other sources: Does it align with or contradict other findings?
  • Currency: Is the information up-to-date and relevant?
  • Relevance: Does it directly support your claim and argument?

Evidence for Different Essay Types

  • Literary Analysis Essays: Use quotes from the work itself or literary criticism.
  • Research-Based Papers: Gather information from reliable sources, such as academic databases, libraries, and trusted websites.
  • Document-Based Papers: Develop an argument based on provided documents, synthesizing material from at least three sources.

Putting It All Together

  • Provide logical and persuasive evidence.
  • Ensure your proof is appropriately documented.
  • Consider your audience and present clear and convincing evidence.
  • Explain the significance of each piece of evidence.
  • Build evidence into your text strategically to prove your points.

Remember, well-researched, accurate, detailed, and current information is key to supporting your thesis statement. By gathering and evaluating evidence like a pro, you'll be well on your way to crafting an argumentative essay that packs a punch!

Crafting a Persuasive Thesis Statement

Alright, let's dive into the art of crafting a persuasive thesis statement that will make your argumentative essay shine like a beacon of brilliance!

The Power of a Strong Thesis Statement

A thesis statement is like the heart of your essay - it pumps life into your argument and keeps everything flowing smoothly. Here's what makes a thesis statement truly persuasive:

  • It takes a stand: Your thesis should make a clear, debatable claim that people could reasonably have differing opinions on.
  • It's specific: Narrow down your focus to make your argument more effective and easier to support with evidence.
  • It's supportable: Make sure you can back up your claim with solid facts and reasoning.
  • It's not just an announcement: Your thesis should do more than just state your topic - it should make an argument about it.

Crafting Your Persuasive Thesis: A Step-by-Step Guide

Examples of persuasive thesis statements.

  • "The surge in plastic products during the 21st century has had a notable impact on climate change due to increased greenhouse gas emissions at every stage of its lifecycle, from production to disposal."
  • "While social media provides rapid access to information, it has inadvertently become a conduit for misinformation, causing significant societal implications that call for more robust regulations."
  • "While zoos have been popular attractions for centuries, they often cause more harm than good to the animals, making their closure imperative for animal welfare."

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Being too vague or broad
  • Stating a fact instead of an argument
  • Lacking focus or clarity
  • Writing the thesis statement last

Remember, a persuasive thesis statement is the foundation of your argumentative essay. By crafting a clear, specific, and debatable claim that directly addresses your prompt, you'll set yourself up for success in convincing your readers to see things from your perspective. So go forth and argue with confidence!

Revising and Editing Your Essay

Alright, let's dive into the nitty-gritty of revising and editing your argumentative essay like a pro! This is where the magic happens, as you transform your rough draft into a polished masterpiece that will knock your readers' socks off.

The Revision Process: Making Your Essay Shine

Revising your essay involves taking a step back and looking at the big picture. It's all about making changes to the content, organization, and source material to ensure your argument is clear, well-supported, and logically structured.

  • Check the clarity and support of your argument
  • Evaluate the organization and logical flow of your essay
  • Ensure proper integration and citation of sources

The Editing Process: Polishing Your Prose

Once you've revised your essay, it's time to put on your editing hat and focus on the sentence-level details. This is where you'll hunt down those pesky grammatical, punctuation, and typographical errors that can detract from your brilliant argument.

Tips and Tricks for Effective Revision and Editing

  • Allow time between writing and revising for a fresh perspective 
  • Read your essay aloud to identify awkward phrasing or unclear points 
  • Get feedback from others and consider their suggestions
  • Use the ARMS strategy for revision: Add, Remove, Move, and Substitute 
  • After revising, write a clean draft for publication, taking all revisions into account 

Remember, the revision and editing process is crucial to transforming your argumentative essay from good to amazing. By carefully evaluating your essay and making necessary changes, you'll ensure that your argument is clear, well-supported, and persuasive.

So, roll up your sleeves, grab your red pen, and get ready to revise and edit your way to argumentative essay success!

Writing an effective argumentative essay is a skill that can be mastered with practice and dedication. By understanding the basics, choosing a strong topic, structuring your essay effectively, gathering and evaluating evidence, crafting a persuasive thesis statement, and revising and editing your work, you'll be well-equipped to create compelling arguments that leave a lasting impact on your readers.

As you embark on your argumentative essay writing journey, remember to approach each step with enthusiasm and an open mind. Embrace the power of persuasion, and let your unique voice shine through your writing. With these tools and techniques at your disposal, you're ready to tackle any argumentative essay that comes your way and make your mark in the world of persuasive writing.

What is an effective way to begin an argumentative essay? 

To effectively initiate an argumentative essay, start with an engaging hook or a sentence that grabs attention. Provide a brief summary of the texts involved, clearly state your claim by restating the essay prompt, and include a topic sentence that reaffirms your claim and your reasoning.

How should I structure the opening of my argumentative essay? 

The opening of an argumentative essay should establish the context by offering a general overview of the topic. The author should then highlight the significance of the topic or why it should matter to the readers. Concluding the introduction, the thesis statement should be presented, clearly outlining the main argument of the essay.

What is the initial step in crafting an argumentative essay? 

The first step in writing an argumentative essay is selecting a topic and formulating a strong thesis statement. Your thesis should state your claim, your position on the claim, and outline the primary points that will bolster your stance within the context of the chosen topic. This statement will guide the development of the essay's body paragraphs.

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I’ve Been at NPR for 25 Years. Here’s How We Lost America’s Trust.

Uri Berliner, a veteran at the public radio institution, says the network lost its way when it started telling listeners how to think.

a good word to start an essay

By Uri Berliner

April 9, 2024

a good word to start an essay

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You know the stereotype of the NPR listener: an EV-driving, Wordle-playing, tote bag–carrying coastal elite. It doesn’t precisely describe me, but it’s not far off. I’m Sarah Lawrence–educated, was raised by a lesbian peace activist mother , I drive a Subaru, and Spotify says my listening habits are most similar to people in Berkeley. 

I fit the NPR mold. I’ll cop to that.

So when I got a job here 25 years ago, I never looked back. As a senior editor on the business desk where news is always breaking, we’ve covered upheavals in the workplace, supermarket prices, social media, and AI. 

It’s true NPR has always had a liberal bent, but during most of my tenure here, an open-minded, curious culture prevailed. We were nerdy, but not knee-jerk, activist, or scolding. 

In recent years, however, that has changed. Today, those who listen to NPR or read its coverage online find something different: the distilled worldview of a very small segment of the U.S. population. 

If you are conservative, you will read this and say, duh, it’s always been this way.

But it hasn’t.

For decades, since its founding in 1970, a wide swath of America tuned in to NPR for reliable journalism and gorgeous audio pieces with birds singing in the Amazon. Millions came to us for conversations that exposed us to voices around the country and the world radically different from our own—engaging precisely because they were unguarded and unpredictable. No image generated more pride within NPR than the farmer listening to Morning Edition from his or her tractor at sunrise. 

Back in 2011, although NPR’s audience tilted a bit to the left, it still bore a resemblance to America at large . Twenty-six percent of listeners described themselves as conservative, 23 percent as middle of the road, and 37 percent as liberal.

By 2023, the picture was completely different: only 11 percent described themselves as very or somewhat conservative, 21 percent as middle of the road, and 67 percent of listeners said they were very or somewhat liberal. We weren’t just losing conservatives; we were also losing moderates and traditional liberals. 

An open-minded spirit no longer exists within NPR, and now, predictably, we don’t have an audience that reflects America. 

That wouldn’t be a problem for an openly polemical news outlet serving a niche audience. But for NPR, which purports to consider all things, it’s devastating both for its journalism and its business model. 

a good word to start an essay

Like many unfortunate things, the rise of advocacy took off with Donald Trump. As in many newsrooms, his election in 2016 was greeted at NPR with a mixture of disbelief, anger, and despair. (Just to note, I eagerly voted against Trump twice but felt we were obliged to cover him fairly.) But what began as tough, straightforward coverage of a belligerent, truth-impaired president veered toward efforts to damage or topple Trump’s presidency. 

Persistent rumors that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia over the election became the catnip that drove reporting. At NPR, we hitched our wagon to Trump’s most visible antagonist, Representative Adam Schiff. 

Schiff, who was the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, became NPR’s guiding hand, its ever-present muse. By my count, NPR hosts interviewed Schiff 25 times about Trump and Russia. During many of those conversations, Schiff alluded to purported evidence of collusion. The Schiff talking points became the drumbeat of NPR news reports.

But when the Mueller report found no credible evidence of collusion, NPR’s coverage was notably sparse. Russiagate quietly faded from our programming. 

It is one thing to swing and miss on a major story. Unfortunately, it happens. You follow the wrong leads, you get misled by sources you trusted, you’re emotionally invested in a narrative, and bits of circumstantial evidence never add up. It’s bad to blow a big story. 

What’s worse is to pretend it never happened, to move on with no mea culpas, no self-reflection. Especially when you expect high standards of transparency from public figures and institutions, but don’t practice those standards yourself. That’s what shatters trust and engenders cynicism about the media. 

Russiagate was not NPR’s only miscue.

In October 2020, the New York Post published the explosive report about the laptop Hunter Biden abandoned at a Delaware computer shop containing emails about his sordid business dealings. With the election only weeks away, NPR turned a blind eye. Here’s how NPR’s managing editor for news at the time explained the thinking : “We don’t want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories, and we don’t want to waste the listeners’ and readers’ time on stories that are just pure distractions.” 

But it wasn’t a pure distraction, or a product of Russian disinformation, as dozens of former and current intelligence officials suggested. The laptop did belong to Hunter Biden. Its contents revealed his connection to the corrupt world of multimillion-dollar influence peddling and its possible implications for his father.

The laptop was newsworthy. But the timeless journalistic instinct of following a hot story lead was being squelched. During a meeting with colleagues, I listened as one of NPR’s best and most fair-minded journalists said it was good we weren’t following the laptop story because it could help Trump. 

When the essential facts of the Post ’s reporting were confirmed and the emails verified independently about a year and a half later, we could have fessed up to our misjudgment. But, like Russia collusion, we didn’t make the hard choice of transparency. 

Politics also intruded into NPR’s Covid coverage, most notably in reporting on the origin of the pandemic. One of the most dismal aspects of Covid journalism is how quickly it defaulted to ideological story lines. For example, there was Team Natural Origin—supporting the hypothesis that the virus came from a wild animal market in Wuhan, China. And on the other side, Team Lab Leak, leaning into the idea that the virus escaped from a Wuhan lab. 

The lab leak theory came in for rough treatment almost immediately, dismissed as racist or a right-wing conspiracy theory. Anthony Fauci and former NIH head Francis Collins , representing the public health establishment, were its most notable critics. And that was enough for NPR. We became fervent members of Team Natural Origin, even declaring that the lab leak had been debunked by scientists. 

But that wasn’t the case.

When word first broke of a mysterious virus in Wuhan, a number of leading virologists immediately suspected it could have leaked from a lab there conducting experiments on bat coronaviruses. This was in January 2020, during calmer moments before a global pandemic had been declared, and before fear spread and politics intruded. 

Reporting on a possible lab leak soon became radioactive. Fauci and Collins apparently encouraged the March publication of an influential scientific paper known as “The Proximal Origin of SARS-CoV-2.” Its authors wrote they didn’t believe “any type of laboratory-based scenario is plausible.” 

But the lab leak hypothesis wouldn’t die. And understandably so. In private, even some of the scientists who penned the article dismissing it sounded a different tune. One of the authors, Andrew Rambaut, an evolutionary biologist from Edinburgh University, wrote to his colleagues , “I literally swivel day by day thinking it is a lab escape or natural.”

Over the course of the pandemic, a number of investigative journalists made compelling, if not conclusive, cases for the lab leak. But at NPR, we weren’t about to swivel or even tiptoe away from the insistence with which we backed the natural origin story. We didn’t budge when the Energy Department—the federal agency with the most expertise about laboratories and biological research— concluded , albeit with low confidence, that a lab leak was the most likely explanation for the emergence of the virus.

Instead, we introduced our coverage of that development on February 28, 2023, by asserting confidently that “the scientific evidence overwhelmingly points to a natural origin for the virus.” 

When a colleague on our science desk was asked why they were so dismissive of the lab leak theory, the response was odd. The colleague compared it to the Bush administration’s unfounded argument that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, apparently meaning we won’t get fooled again. But these two events were not even remotely related. Again, politics were blotting out the curiosity and independence that ought to have been driving our work. 

NPR editor Uri Berliner tells how the network lost America's trust in The Free Press

I’m offering three examples of widely followed stories where I believe we faltered. Our coverage is out there in the public domain. Anyone can read or listen for themselves and make their own judgment. But to truly understand how independent journalism suffered at NPR, you need to step inside the organization.

You need to start with former CEO John Lansing. Lansing came to NPR in 2019 from the federally funded agency that oversees Voice of America . Like others who have served in the top job at NPR, he was hired primarily to raise money and to ensure good working relations with hundreds of member stations that acquire NPR’s programming. 

After working mostly behind the scenes, Lansing became a more visible and forceful figure after the killing of George Floyd in May 2020. It was an anguished time in the newsroom, personally and professionally so for NPR staffers. Floyd’s murder, captured on video, changed both the conversation and the daily operations at NPR. 

Given the circumstances of Floyd’s death, it would have been an ideal moment to tackle a difficult question: Is America, as progressive activists claim, beset by systemic racism in the 2020s—in law enforcement, education, housing, and elsewhere? We happen to have a very powerful tool for answering such questions: journalism. Journalism that lets evidence lead the way. 

But the message from the top was very different. America’s infestation with systemic racism was declared loud and clear: it was a given. Our mission was to change it.

“When it comes to identifying and ending systemic racism,” Lansing wrote in a companywide article, “we can be agents of change. Listening and deep reflection are necessary but not enough. They must be followed by constructive and meaningful steps forward. I will hold myself accountable for this.”

And we were told that NPR itself was part of the problem. In confessional language he said the leaders of public media, “starting with me—must be aware of how we ourselves have benefited from white privilege in our careers. We must understand the unconscious bias we bring to our work and interactions. And we must commit ourselves—body and soul—to profound changes in ourselves and our institutions.”

He declared that diversity—on our staff and in our audience—was the overriding mission, the “North Star” of the organization. Phrases like “that’s part of the North Star” became part of meetings and more casual conversation.

Race and identity became paramount in nearly every aspect of the workplace. Journalists were required to ask everyone we interviewed their race, gender, and ethnicity (among other questions), and had to enter it in a centralized tracking system. We were given unconscious bias training sessions. A growing DEI staff offered regular meetings imploring us to “start talking about race.” Monthly dialogues were offered for “women of color” and “men of color.” Nonbinary people of color were included, too. 

These initiatives, bolstered by a $1 million grant from the NPR Foundation, came from management, from the top down. Crucially, they were in sync culturally with what was happening at the grassroots—among producers, reporters, and other staffers. Most visible was a burgeoning number of employee resource (or affinity) groups based on identity.

They included MGIPOC (Marginalized Genders and Intersex People of Color mentorship program); Mi Gente (Latinx employees at NPR); NPR Noir (black employees at NPR); Southwest Asians and North Africans at NPR; Ummah (for Muslim-identifying employees); Women, Gender-Expansive, and Transgender People in Technology Throughout Public Media; Khevre (Jewish heritage and culture at NPR); and NPR Pride (LGBTQIA employees at NPR).

All this reflected a broader movement in the culture of people clustering together based on ideology or a characteristic of birth. If, as NPR’s internal website suggested, the groups were simply a “great way to meet like-minded colleagues” and “help new employees feel included,” it would have been one thing. 

But the role and standing of affinity groups, including those outside NPR, were more than that. They became a priority for NPR’s union, SAG-AFTRA—an item in collective bargaining. The current contract, in a section on DEI, requires NPR management to “keep up to date with current language and style guidance from journalism affinity groups” and to inform employees if language differs from the diktats of those groups. In such a case, the dispute could go before the DEI Accountability Committee.

In essence, this means the NPR union, of which I am a dues-paying member, has ensured that advocacy groups are given a seat at the table in determining the terms and vocabulary of our news coverage. 

Conflicts between workers and bosses, between labor and management, are common in workplaces. NPR has had its share. But what’s notable is the extent to which people at every level of NPR have comfortably coalesced around the progressive worldview. 

And this, I believe, is the most damaging development at NPR: the absence of viewpoint diversity. 

a good word to start an essay

Today on Honestly Bari talks to Uri about this essay and his decision to publish it. Listen here:

a good word to start an essay

There’s an unspoken consensus about the stories we should pursue and how they should be framed. It’s frictionless—one story after another about instances of supposed racism, transphobia, signs of the climate apocalypse, Israel doing something bad, and the dire threat of Republican policies. It’s almost like an assembly line. 

The mindset prevails in choices about language. In a document called NPR Transgender Coverage Guidance—disseminated by news management—we’re asked to avoid the term biological sex . (The editorial guidance was prepared with the help of a former staffer of the National Center for Transgender Equality.) The mindset animates bizarre stories—on how The Beatles and bird names are racially problematic, and others that are alarmingly divisive; justifying looting , with claims that fears about crime are racist ; and suggesting that Asian Americans who oppose affirmative action have been manipulated by white conservatives.

More recently, we have approached the Israel-Hamas war and its spillover onto streets and campuses through the “intersectional” lens that has jumped from the faculty lounge to newsrooms. Oppressor versus oppressed. That’s meant highlighting the suffering of Palestinians at almost every turn while downplaying the atrocities of October 7, overlooking how Hamas intentionally puts Palestinian civilians in peril, and giving little weight to the explosion of antisemitic hate around the world. 

For nearly all my career, working at NPR has been a source of great pride. It’s a privilege to work in the newsroom at a crown jewel of American journalism. My colleagues are congenial and hardworking. 

I can’t count the number of times I would meet someone, describe what I do, and they’d say, “I love NPR!” 

And they wouldn’t stop there. They would mention their favorite host or one of those “driveway moments” where a story was so good you’d stay in your car until it finished.

It still happens, but often now the trajectory of the conversation is different. After the initial “I love NPR,” there’s a pause and a person will acknowledge, “I don’t listen as much as I used to.” Or, with some chagrin: “What’s happening there? Why is NPR telling me what to think?”

In recent years I’ve struggled to answer that question. Concerned by the lack of viewpoint diversity, I looked at voter registration for our newsroom. In D.C., where NPR is headquartered and many of us live, I found 87 registered Democrats working in editorial positions and zero Republicans. None. 

So on May 3, 2021, I presented the findings at an all-hands editorial staff meeting. When I suggested we had a diversity problem with a score of 87 Democrats and zero Republicans, the response wasn’t hostile. It was worse. It was met with profound indifference. I got a few messages from surprised, curious colleagues. But the messages were of the “oh wow, that’s weird” variety, as if the lopsided tally was a random anomaly rather than a critical failure of our diversity North Star. 

In a follow-up email exchange, a top NPR news executive told me that she had been “skewered” for bringing up diversity of thought when she arrived at NPR. So, she said, “I want to be careful how we discuss this publicly.”

For years, I have been persistent. When I believe our coverage has gone off the rails, I have written regular emails to top news leaders, sometimes even having one-on-one sessions with them. On March 10, 2022, I wrote to a top news executive about the numerous times we described the controversial education bill in Florida as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill when it didn’t even use the word gay . I pushed to set the record straight, and wrote another time to ask why we keep using that word that many Hispanics hate— Latinx . On March 31, 2022, I was invited to a managers’ meeting to present my observations.

Throughout these exchanges, no one has ever trashed me. That’s not the NPR way. People are polite. But nothing changes. So I’ve become a visible wrong-thinker at a place I love. It’s uncomfortable, sometimes heartbreaking.

Even so, out of frustration, on November 6, 2022, I wrote to the captain of ship North Star—CEO John Lansing—about the lack of viewpoint diversity and asked if we could have a conversation about it. I got no response, so I followed up four days later. He said he would appreciate hearing my perspective and copied his assistant to set up a meeting. On December 15, the morning of the meeting, Lansing’s assistant wrote back to cancel our conversation because he was under the weather. She said he was looking forward to chatting and a new meeting invitation would be sent. But it never came.

I won’t speculate about why our meeting never happened. Being CEO of NPR is a demanding job with lots of constituents and headaches to deal with. But what’s indisputable is that no one in a C-suite or upper management position has chosen to deal with the lack of viewpoint diversity at NPR and how that affects our journalism. 

Which is a shame. Because for all the emphasis on our North Star, NPR’s news audience in recent years has become less diverse, not more so. Back in 2011, our audience leaned a bit to the left but roughly reflected America politically; now, the audience is cramped into a smaller, progressive silo. 

Despite all the resources we’d devoted to building up our news audience among blacks and Hispanics, the numbers have barely budged. In 2023, according to our demographic research, 6 percent of our news audience was black, far short of the overall U.S. adult population, which is 14.4 percent black. And Hispanics were only 7 percent, compared to the overall Hispanic adult population, around 19 percent. Our news audience doesn’t come close to reflecting America. It’s overwhelmingly white and progressive, and clustered around coastal cities and college towns.

These are perilous times for news organizations. Last year, NPR laid off or bought out 10 percent of its staff and canceled four podcasts following a slump in advertising revenue. Our radio audience is dwindling and our podcast downloads are down from 2020. The digital stories on our website rarely have national impact. They aren’t conversation starters. Our competitive advantage in audio—where for years NPR had no peer—is vanishing. There are plenty of informative and entertaining podcasts to choose from. 

Even within our diminished audience, there’s evidence of trouble at the most basic level: trust. 

In February, our audience insights team sent an email proudly announcing that we had a higher trustworthy score than CNN or The New York Times . But the research from Harris Poll is hardly reassuring. It found that “3-in-10 audience members familiar with NPR said they associate NPR with the characteristic ‘trustworthy.’ ” Only in a world where media credibility has completely imploded would a 3-in-10 trustworthy score be something to boast about. 

With declining ratings, sorry levels of trust, and an audience that has become less diverse over time, the trajectory for NPR is not promising. Two paths seem clear. We can keep doing what we’re doing, hoping it will all work out. Or we could start over, with the basic building blocks of journalism. We could face up to where we’ve gone wrong. News organizations don’t go in for that kind of reckoning. But there’s a good reason for NPR to be the first: we’re the ones with the word public in our name. 

Despite our missteps at NPR, defunding isn’t the answer. As the country becomes more fractured, there’s still a need for a public institution where stories are told and viewpoints exchanged in good faith. Defunding, as a rebuke from Congress, wouldn’t change the journalism at NPR. That needs to come from within.

A few weeks ago, NPR welcomed a new CEO , Katherine Maher, who’s been a leader in tech. She doesn’t have a news background, which could be an asset given where things stand. I’ll be rooting for her. It’s a tough job. Her first rule could be simple enough: don’t tell people how to think. It could even be the new North Star.

a good word to start an essay

Uri Berliner is a senior business editor and reporter at NPR. His work has been recognized with a Peabody Award, a Loeb Award, an Edward R. Murrow Award, and a Society of Professional Journalists New America Award, among others. Follow him on X (formerly Twitter) @uberliner .

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a good word to start an essay


Student Stories: “What do you write, my lord? Words, words, words.”

Media contact.

Katy Payne   she/her 360-764-0201

Editor’s Note: OSPI aims to elevate the authentic experiences of the students in Washington’s K–12 public schools. This story was written by a Washington state high school student participating in  OSPI’s Student Stories Program . The author’s opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints do not necessarily reflect those of OSPI, and publication of this story does not constitute OSPI’s approval or endorsement of its contents. With questions, please contact OSPI’s Communications team at [email protected].

I’ve been thinking a lot about writing lately. I can’t seem to escape it. I doubt there will ever come a time in my life again where I do nearly as much writing as I have been this past month. College application essays, AP Literature essays, scholarship applications, my summer job application, and my OSPI blogs. With each keystroke, each new sequence of syllables, I think more and more about the practice as a whole.

Last year I hated my writing. Any jumble of words produced by this mind and these hands was, to me, the worst thing I’d ever read. This was because last year I had to completely rewire the way I had always thought about writing. For so long I had been able to get through my English classes by relying solely on a single process. Five paragraphs: outlining intro, body example #1, body example #2, body example #3, topped off with a conclusion reiterating everything I’ve already said. It was a formula that had worked for so many years, even through two honors English language arts classes. Come my junior year, however, it became clear that this was no longer going to cut it. Megan, meet AP English Language and Composition.

Although there was a good deal of non-fiction reading, AP Lang was primarily a composition class over anything else. The first thing I learned when I walked through those doors was that a five paragraph essay was too formulaic, and such predictability leads to essays that can be boring reads. I learned the hard way that an essay should flow, it should have as many body paragraphs as the idea needs to be properly communicated, and each paragraph should build on or somehow connect to the last.

I hated this new process, I thought. In reality, I hated learning it. It contradicted everything that made sense to my brain, the way I was taught to write. The organized system I knew, I found comfort in, wasn’t satisfactory anymore. Sure, the introduction and conclusion still stand, but most of the essay was thrown out the window.

I often wondered why writing was taught the way it is in the first place if, to be successful in their writing as high schoolers and beyond, a student must relearn to write. The simple answer is that it is the easiest way for young students to begin to grasp longer forms of writing, which makes a lot of sense. I’ve never found this answer to be fully satisfactory though, as it doesn’t answer my second underlying question: Why do we still lack a more substantive transition to the writing demanded of us later on? Now seems like the moment in which I introduce an end-all be-all solution, but I’m not sure there is one. I have no expertise other than being a student in the public school system for the past 13 years, and as a result have only known one method of long-term English language arts education.

As such, I can only offer an idea: More exposure. Throughout nearly all my English education we read books, not essays (even though essays are what we are expected to write). By no means am I saying that children should read fewer books, though. Books are incredible works of art, and reading provides us with so many benefits. What I am saying, however, is that I believe providing essays to middle schoolers as reading materials in addition to longer works like novels could help bridge the gap between the five paragraph essay and more creative, flowing works. If children learn by imitation, how are we supposed to imitate something we’ve never seen?

In terms of expectations, I felt that the transition from a formulaic essay to something more thoughtful and advanced was expected of me from the moment I signed up for an AP English class. In terms of my skill and progression, the transition took about three months of taking AP Lang. In an ideal world, though, I wouldn’t have been under expectations for those few months; I would have crossed that bridge somewhere before my junior year of high school. In reality I believe I was able to cross that bridge so quickly in part due to the pressure of College Board expectations, but primarily due to the sheer number of essays we read in class. Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace, Politics and the English Language by George Orwell, The Owl Has Flown by Sven Birkerts, Seeing by Annie Dillard, and so many more. We also annotated essays of varying scores from actual college students, and listened to speeches like David Foster Wallace’s This is Water . By the end of my first semester in AP Lang, I felt so thoroughly exposed to short-form literature that I could use the techniques I observed in these works and confidently apply them to my own essays, effectively bridging the previously mentioned “gap.”

The way we write influences the way we think, and, by extension, the way we communicate and interact with those around us. As such, I believe we need to begin to think about English language arts education as a path, in which each step builds on the last and leads to the next, more than we currently do.

Megan Jewell author bio

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Wordle Tips: The Very Best Start Words, Tips and Strategies

Learn to use your six guesses most effectively and keep your streak alive.

a good word to start an essay

  • Co-author of two Gen X pop-culture encyclopedia for Penguin Books. Won "Headline Writer of the Year"​ award for 2017, 2014 and 2013 from the American Copy Editors Society. Won first place in headline writing from the 2013 Society for Features Journalism.


Winning Wordle is tricky but start words are key. "ADIEU" has been popular since the beginning and that makes sense, since it includes four vowels. But not everyone wants to know the vowels right away.

On the day that the wordle answer is ‘adieu’ social media will implode — vasili (@mockdownblues) January 20, 2022

Want some statistically supported help? I consulted with the people behind the Oxford English Dictionary, who shared an analysis they did showing which letters are most frequently used in English words. Here's the entire alphabet ranked by frequent use .

Use the list, share it, bookmark it, whatever you'd like to do. It will surprise absolutely no one that A and E are the top two. But I was shocked that J was the second-lowest, right in front of Q.

Lately I've been starting Wordle with the one-two punch of "TRAIN" and "CLOSE." That combo uses every single one of the top 10 letters, and it almost always leaves me with a decent group of correct guesses -- though not always in the right spots. That's what guesses three through six are for.

Check out this CNET TikTok , which recommends starting with ADIEU and then throwing in STORY. It's a great one-two punch that covers a lot of popular letters. The first time I tried it out, I was able to use the letter info I gained from those guesses to get the word easily on my third attempt.

I asked more CNET staffers, past and present, to share their Wordle strategies and favorite starting words. Hope it gives you a BOOST or maybe a NUDGE.

Big AUDIO dynamite

AUDIO. Get 4 out of 5 vowels out of the way immediately and focus on narrowing down consonants. Don't be afraid to deviate from your regular starter word, though -- sometimes a random word that pops into your head ends up being way more intuitive than you could have ever imagined. -- Ashley Esqueda

A blank STARE

My go-to is STARE. I'm inspired a little by the Wheel of Fortune move of guessing RSTLNE first, and with this, I also knock off two vowels. At the very least, this often seems to give me something on the board early. -- Eli Blumenthal

I cycle through TEARY, PIOUS and ADIEU as a first word, to knock out some common letters and make inroads with vowels. I then choose my next word based on the results, though sometimes I just throw up my hands and use both TEARY and PIOUS one after the other no matter what. -- Amanda Kooser

MAKER's mark

MAKER. That word puts me in the mood to 'create' the answer based on the data I get from knocking out the above letter combo. Then I move on to animal names like TIGER. It's not so much tactical as it is about just having fun for five or so minutes. -- Mike Sorrentino

Use weird words

You aren't playing Wordle correctly if you use the same word to start every day. That's my official rule and I'm flabbergasted y'all use the same word each day. What? Use weird words. Grab a dictionary, close your eyes and flick to a random page. Start with YACHT one day, try ULCER the next. Look around the room! TOAST? Why not? Just do it! Come on, people. It's not about clearing each day in the least amount of moves, it's about learning to love yourself . -- Jackson Ryan

CHEAT, and try the NYT Spelling Bee

I've been playing around with using FIRST, MANIC or CHEAT to start with. I don't know if that says more about my frame of mind than my word solving skills, but this approach has pretty much led to me solving within three words. (I got PANIC the other day in two!) But I have to say that while I enjoy Wordle, I'm still a bigger fan of the NYT's Spelling Bee , where you're asked to create words using seven letters, and each word has to use the letter at the center of the puzzle. I play Spelling Bee with my husband (he gets half the points to Genius; I get the other half). With Wordle, we play against each other to see who can solve faster. So Spelling Bee just seems nicer. -- Connie Guglielmo

Wheel good plan

First, I make sure to do it before my morning coffee, for an added layer of difficulty. I don't have a go-to word, since that feels sorta cheap, but I do generally aim for initial words that are high in either vowel count or the good old-fashioned Wheel of Fortune letters: RSTLNE. If it works for Pat Sajak's crew, it's good enough for me. -- Andrew Krok

More on Wordle

  • Wordle Explained: What You Need to Know
  • Best Wordle Memes and Jokes: 'I Think I'm Doing This Wrong…'
  • Apple Pulls Wordle Clones From App Store

An argument for ADIEU

I've been using ADIEU from day one. Hilariously, I still sometimes misspell it. Sometimes to shake things up -- mostly based on pressure from Jackson Ryan -- I'll try something different. But every time I stray from ADIEU, it manifests into a gigantic uphill struggle I barely recover from. Either way, I dunno what we're all arguing about. Someone did an experiment on this. The best word is ROATE .  -- Mark Serrels

I steal Mark's word, ADIEU, and follow it up with STORY. Then it's just a matter of putting all the letters I uncovered into the spots I think they're in, and banging my head on the table, saying, "I'm not this stupid, am I?" until I figure it out. -- Oscar Gonzalez

The first word you think of

I'm a high-risk, high-reward Wordle player. I truly pick the first word that pops into my mind, with absolutely no strategy whatsoever. Aside from this being the purest form of Wordling (as the experts say, obviously), when I'm lucky enough to accidentally guess three or four of five letters correctly, it's immensely satisfying. -- Monisha Ravisetti

Not easy being green

TREAD is a winner, but I like to mix up my first word. That said, I always have a few first-guess rules. At least two vowels. Never use an S. (That S guess will come in handy down the track when you realize you're incredibly dim-witted and you can only think of four-letter guesses. Final rule: Your second guess should never include your greens from guess one (unless you're on hard mode). Save those greens for later and throw five new letter guesses into the mix. If I see you post a Wordle answer on Twitter that has tall green columns of letters staying in the same place, I  will  judge you. -- Claire Reilly

Guess it in two

My ultimate goal in Wordle is to guess the word by my second try. To that end, I use STEAR as my first word, which provides a solid set of letters in unusual positions -- so I can often predict where they'll go if they turn up yellow. From there, I make aggressive guesses, even if they're strategically inadvisable (duplicate letters, few vowels, low-likelihood letters, etc.). Since starting this strategy, my average is about the same as ever, but now I occasionally win in two guesses. So, success? - -David Priest

Don't fail

I don't believe in strategies. Pick the word that speaks to you most in the morning and follow your heart. Starting with a tactically effective word makes it too easy anyway. So what if you fail? It's just Wordle! (But I would like to make it clear that I never fail, not even when there's an X in the word.) -- Sarah McDermott

Read more : Over Wordle? Try One of These Other Puzzle Games

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Subscriber only, sponsored content | best essay writing services: review and comparison of top-rated websites.

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Reputable service, one of the best sites on the market;

All content is written from scratch by professionals;

No need to provide a lot of personal information, you can stay anonymous;

Reasonable price, great value for money.

Even though all papers that PaperHelp delivers are plagiarism-free, a plagiarism report costs extra;

Urgent orders with short deadlines (3-6 hours) can get expensive.

I’ve used PaperHelp a few times when I’ve been swamped with schoolwork and deadlines were creeping up. It’s a solid option if you’re looking for reliable essay writing services. They offer original content and make sure your papers are free from plagiarism, which is crucial for scoring well.

Their system is straightforward. You don’t need to contact customer support to place an order. You simply choose from three levels of professional essay writers — Basic, Advanced, or TOP — depending on your needs and budget. The starting price is $10 per page, and they can deliver within a minimum of three hours. However, adding extra features can increase the cost significantly, so it’s wise to consider whether you really need those extras.

PaperHelp’s policies are a big plus. They have a money-back guarantee, and you can ask for revisions and proofreading to refine your paper. This has been helpful in ensuring the final product meets my expectations.

One downside is that you have to create an account to make a purchase. It seems unnecessary and a bit annoying, especially since this is common with many online essay writing services — they end up sending you endless promotions.

Despite this, I found the quality of their work to be consistently high. It’s important to double-check and spell-check the work you receive, though, as errors can sometimes slip through.

Overall, PaperHelp is a dependable choice. It won’t replace studying or writing your own papers, but it’s a great help when you’re in a bind. If you’re browsing through Reddit for recommendations, you’ll likely come across positive reviews about them, and from my experience, they’re well-deserved.

2.  BBQPapers  — Best for Complex Assignments

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BBQPapers is all about the quality. The company prides itself in writing college papers with professional paper writers that deliver best results on the market;

The company never misses deadlines, you can be sure to receive your order on time, just when you need it;

Free revisions are available 10 days after delivery.

There’s no quick price calculator to get an order estimate, you have to sign up to get the final price;

BBQPapers is somewhat more expensive than most professional essay writing services on this list.

I’ve had my share of experiences with essay writing services, and BBQPapers stands out when it comes to handling complex assignments. They have a team ready to take on papers of any difficulty, and you can even order presentations. Their support is available around the clock, ensuring that you get the best possible grades.

Their prices are pretty reasonable too. High school papers start at $5.85 per 100 words, college papers at $6.77, and PhD-level work begins at $10.64. Every order promises original, plagiarism-free content, thoroughly researched and well-cited, plus you get a free plagiarism report.

Quality control is tight, and each paper is reviewed by a trained editor to ensure error-free results. So, quality isn’t something you’ll need to worry about with them.

Now, understanding their pricing is straightforward. It depends on the academic level, urgency, and length of your paper. Simpler and less urgent tasks cost less, while detailed and urgent ones will naturally cost more. Unlike other essay writing websites that charge by the page, BBQPapers charges by every 100 words, which can make them more expensive. However, they justify their prices with the quality of professional college essay writers they hire.

In summary, while they might be pricier, the quality and service at BBQPapers are top-notch, and they’ve earned a loyal following for it.

3.  SpeedyPaper  — Best Research Paper Writing Service

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Good quality, finding a professional essay writer is a matter of minutes, even if your subject is quite peculiar;

There’s no need to pay for a plagiarism report, it is free;

Lots of positive reviews on Reddit.

Finding an ENL essay writer can be quite hard, because SpeedyPaper mostly works with ESL essay writers.

I’ve had some experience with SpeedyPaper, a well-known online essay writing service. They’re pretty good at what they do, focusing on quick turnarounds and maintaining quality. Their services are broad, covering everything from essay writing and proofreading to solving complex problems and even crafting dissertations.

Their pricing is straightforward: starting at $9 for a basic 275-word piece, it can climb to $99 for an urgent six-hour deadline task. For example, a three-page research paper needed in six hours costs $96, but if you give them 24 hours, the price drops to $75.

SpeedyPaper also offers free essay samples on a variety of subjects like Law, Psychology, and Finance, which is a real lifesaver if you’re trying to write a paper on your own and have some time to spare.

The general consensus online seems to agree that SpeedyPaper is reliable and steady—qualities you want in a professional paper writing service that handles your academic needs. They don’t try to dazzle with flashy gimmicks, they just consistently deliver solid work.

From my interactions, the importance of clear communication is clear. When you place an order, you’ll work directly with a writer. It’s crucial to give them all the details up front to ensure the final product meets your expectations. This can really smooth out the whole process.

And while there are loads of glowing reviews on their main page, take it with a grain of salt—no essay writing service online can please everyone, and it’s normal for there to be a mix of opinions.

But if you need a reliable service without over-the-top pricing, SpeedyPaper might just do the trick. They seem to manage well by hiring competent and experienced writers in regions where the cost of living is lower, benefiting everyone involved.

4.  EssayPro  — Best College Paper Writing Service

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Good quality, great value for money;

Unlike other sites on this list, EssayPro allows you to choose the best essay writer yourself by browsing through dozens of writers’ profiles;

Direct communication with the chosen professional;

Free essay originality report available.

Finding an online essay writer for your task can be a time-consuming process.

I recently used EssayPro, an essay writing service that really stands out because of its commitment to quality and originality in everything from college essays to academic research. It’s a great help for students who need support with writing, rewriting, editing, or proofreading their assignments.

EssayPro is a cheap essay writing service that serves students across all academic levels, as well as professionals looking for quick, reliable results. Their team includes specialized professionals with diverse expertise, ensuring that every paper is expertly handled.

You can pick your own essay writer, chat directly with them, and place orders at reasonable prices. They promise a stress-free process with top-notch customer support and deliver quality work fast—sometimes in as little as six hours.

Additionally, EssayPro offers a range of services like case studies, dissertations, and business plans, among others. They provide unique perks like a free originality report, guaranteed anonymity, 24/7 support, and unlimited revisions.

From my experience, what really sets them apart is their transparent approach. You can view detailed profiles of their essay writers online and choose who you want to work with based on a flexible bidding system. This flexibility extends to their pricing, making it easier to work within your budget—unless you’re after the most sought-after professional essay writers, as their fees can go up with demand.

If you’re good at academic writing and looking for freelance opportunities, EssayPro might be worth considering. They manage to keep their rates competitive by handling a large volume of work.

The design of the website is clear and easy to navigate, with a pleasing aesthetic and a straightforward interface. It’s definitely a reliable choice for anyone needing academic writing help.

5.  ExpertWriting  — Best for Discounts and Bonuses

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Reasonable price, good quality;

Great discounts for regular customers, good choice for resellers.

The company doesn’t clearly communicate the fact that some disciplines can cost more than others;

Customer service couldn’t be more responsive.

I’ve used ExpertWriting for various academic assignments, and I’ve found it to be a reliable service. This platform offers a variety of academic writing services, including essay writing, research papers, term papers, and coursework, as well as editing and proofreading to improve your essays.

The process is straightforward. You submit your assignment details, and they quote a rate. If you agree, you gain access to their pool of essay writers and editors who can assist with your writing needs. You’ll receive your completed work by the deadline you set.

ExpertWriting is known for being affordable, which is great for students on a budget. They are often recommended on platforms like Reddit as a cost-effective option without compromising on quality. They also offer discounts for bulk orders, which can help save even more.

I’d particularly recommend ExpertWriting if you’re pressed for time. We’ve all been there—needing to complete a solid piece of academic work in a rush. While their prices go up for tighter deadlines, they manage them well. For example, they can deliver work in as little as three hours, though for more complex papers, more time will naturally be required.

However, it’s wise not to expect miracles for extremely short deadlines, especially for lengthy papers. For a more realistic turnaround, an eight-hour deadline is doable for them without sacrificing the quality too much.

Pricing on ExpertWriting is reasonable. For a less urgent two-week deadline, you’ll pay around $11 per page, which can increase depending on the urgency, academic level, and length of your paper. This is pretty standard across most professional writing services.

Lastly, they don’t just handle essays. You can get help with almost any type of academic writing, including research proposals, creative writing assignments, cover letters, and literature reviews. It’s a versatile platform that can meet various academic needs.

6.  ExtraEssay  — Best Customer Service

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Affordable prices and good quality;

Free, unlimited revisions for 10 days after order delivery;

Exceptional customer service, the customer support team is always ready to help anytime.

Sometimes ExtraEssay fails to meet customers’ deadlines.

I’ve been turning to ExtraEssay for my academic writing needs for a couple of years now, and they’ve been a reliable resource ever since they started up about seven years ago. Their focus is clear—they prioritize attention to detail, reliability, and professionalism.

They offer a broad spectrum of about 20 services, primarily catering to students. You can get anything from basic essays to more specialized documents like resumes and cover letters, all tailored to meet your needs.

What really sets ExtraEssay apart for me is their competitive pricing. It’s rare to find such affordable rates without compromising on quality. The essays and support you receive are absolutely top-tier. Speaking of support, their customer service is remarkable. I’ve had several interactions with their team, and each time they were exceptionally helpful and knowledgeable.

Navigating their website is a breeze too. The homepage is packed with useful information, making it easy for anyone to understand their offerings right off the bat. From a handy price calculator to detailed descriptions of the ordering process, everything is laid out to ensure a smooth user experience.

They don’t just cater to experienced users, and newcomers will find themselves comfortably making their way through the site. They’ve also detailed essential features like free revisions and continuous customer support, which have been lifesavers for me on more than one occasion.

With thousands of clients each year and an 85% return rate, it’s clear they’re doing something right. Their commitment to their customers really shows through in every aspect of their service.

7.  GradeMinders  — Best for Quick Turnaround

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Reputable company, solid and consistent quality;

The fastest college essay service on the market (1-hour turnaround time available);

Finding a writer during crunch season might be time-consuming.

GradeMiners is more expensive than most essay writing sites in the industry.

I’ve been using GradeMiners for a while now, and I have to say, they offer a solid service at a fair price. A high school essay runs about $16 per page, and a college paper is $18 per page. They offer a wide array of professional academic writing services beyond just essays; you can get help with everything from presentations and book reviews to lab reports and dissertations.

The process is straightforward: you go to their website, pick your subject, set your deadline, and the professional writers take it from there. They assure that your paper will be completely original and plagiarism-free, which is crucial.

One of the standout features is their speedy delivery. If you’re pressed for time, you can get a college paper done within an hour—as long as it’s not too long. This frees you up to concentrate on other things that might need more of your attention or are more appealing to you.

8. EssayTerritory — Best New Essay Writing Company

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Good quality, fair price;

Great loyalty program, good choice for students who are looking to use this site regularly;

Exceptional customer service.

No sample essays available;

Plagiarism report doesn’t come for free;

Expensive extras.

I recently tried out EssayTerritory, a new but promising college paper writing service. It was easy to find an essay writer that matched my specific needs, and the platform has a roster of over 800 active paper writers. They’ve already completed more than 1300 orders, which is impressive for a newcomer.

What stands out most about EssayTerritory is their 98% satisfaction rate. It seems they really know how to please their customers, as about 85% of users return for more academic papers. They offer a plagiarism-free guarantee like many top essay writing services, and they’ll give you a full refund if they miss your deadline or if your work contains plagiarism.

You can order various assignments from them—essays, research papers, case studies, term papers, dissertations, and even help with presentations or speeches if that’s what you need. They also provide proofreading and editing services.

Privacy and confidentiality are top priorities for them. They ensure that every “write my essay” request is kept anonymous and your personal details are secure. They have robust measures in place to prevent any data leaks. This level of security gave me a lot of confidence in using their essay writer service.

FAQs About Best Paper Writing Services

Should i trust essay writing service reviews.

Trusting essay writing service reviews can be tricky. Unfortunately, some companies that offer a custom essay writing service also operate fake review sites to maintain a positive online reputation. This means you need to be cautious about where you look for reviews.

For more reliable information, it’s better to use independent review platforms like SiteJabber and These sites are generally more trustworthy because they’re not directly affiliated with any essay writing services.

However, even with these platforms, it’s wise to approach reviews with a critical eye. Some dedicated essay writing review sites might have biases or hidden motives, so take their recommendations with skepticism and always cross-reference multiple sources if possible.

How long does it take to have my essay written for me?

Essay writers generally focus on producing high-quality work, and the time it takes to write an essay largely depends on its length. For a standard 275-word essay, the average turnaround is about 3 hours. Most essay writing services strive to meet these deadlines consistently.

If you’re in a rush and your deadline is just a few hours away, you can opt for a premium service. This usually involves having several top-rated writers collaborate to deliver your essay in about half the standard time.

It’s worth noting that the best college paper writing services might experience delays during peak times when demand is high. Typically, they recommend giving writers at least six hours to complete an essay. If you’re willing to pay extra, your order can be prioritized to ensure a faster delivery.

For more complex assignments like thesis papers or extensive research projects, the process can take up to five days. Writers often submit a partial draft by the second day for client feedback, allowing any revisions to be included in the final submission by day five.

Will my essay be written by a professional essay writer?

Picking a reliable essay writing website is crucial for ensuring the safety, confidentiality, and quality of the service.

When hiring writers, most companies put them through a rigorous vetting process. They typically require that writers have native or near-native proficiency in the language they’ll be writing in, along with a relevant degree from an accredited university.

Once hired, these writers undergo further training on the platform to polish their linguistic and formatting skills. They only start working on actual assignments once their writing meets the company’s professional standards.

The best writing services take extra steps to maintain high-quality standards. For example, every piece of work is checked by a moderator before it goes to the client. Writers are also provided with ongoing opportunities to enhance their skills within the company’s supportive environment.

The person who is labeled as a premium paper writer often has more experience and higher qualifications, like a Ph.D., and at least two years of writing experience. While their services cost a bit more, the quality they deliver usually makes the investment worthwhile.

Is using a paper writing service confidential and safe?

The internet is a vast resource where people often share their knowledge, which is a huge help, especially for college students working on their homework. It’s also completely legal and secure to purchase essays and custom papers online if you need them. However, it’s crucial to choose a reputable provider to avoid issues like plagiarism or low-quality work, which could waste your time, money, and effort.

I’ve found that doing your homework on these services is essential. Make sure to look at the company’s refund policy in case you’re not satisfied with their work, and confirm that they’ll keep your school’s name confidential. It’s also a good idea to check reviews of their past work to see if it’s well-written and structurally sound.

From my experience, as long as you do this research beforehand, buying essays online can be a safe option that keeps your details private. Just be vigilant to avoid scams.

What if I’m not satisfied with my paper?

Most top-rated essay writing companies strive to deliver excellent quality, because they want their customers to come back. They have skilled writers who are well-versed in various academic tasks, including essays, lab reports, and research papers. They work hard to produce top-quality work.

If there are any issues with the finished product, these services usually offer free revisions until you’re satisfied with the quality. Client satisfaction is a high priority for these companies, driven by stiff market competition. The goal is to deliver a flawless paper that helps you achieve a high grade.

What are the main drawbacks of using essay writing services?

For many students, using essay writing services is considered a luxury, primarily because the reputable ones that offer great reviews, unlimited revisions, and maintain confidentiality tend to be more expensive. Opting for cheap essay writing services often means risking quality and reliability, especially when it comes to meeting deadlines.

Plagiarism is another serious issue. Both intentional and unintentional plagiarism can occur, particularly with services that don’t carefully vet their writers. Sometimes, clients don’t discover the plagiarism until it’s too late to rewrite the paper and meet their deadline.

Moreover, if an essay writing company lacks a quality control team, the work submitted by writers might be subpar, filled with typos and grammatical errors. Some writers might also resist feedback, making it hard to get the necessary revisions to ensure the essay meets your standards.

Who will write my work and what determines the price?

Your assignment will be handled by writers with diverse backgrounds. Some are full-time professionals dedicated solely to writing, while others are former academics who’ve embraced the flexibility of working from home. There are also those who write as a side job.

Regarding pricing, we’ve discussed the main factors in our article: the length of the assignment, its complexity, and the deadline. Another element influencing cost is the location of the company. Businesses based in regions like Eastern Europe, North Africa, and Central Asia often have lower rates because the cost of living is lower there, making the dollar stretch further.

Comparison of the Top Paper Writing Services

#1. paperhelp 🏅.

Academic papers written from scratch by writers with Ph.D. and Master’s degrees;

No need to provide any personal information;

Reasonable price, great quality, plagiarism-free papers.

#2. BBQPapers 🥈

Premium quality, best writers in the industry;

On-time delivery guarantee, even on rush orders;

Free revisions.

#3. EssayPro 🥉

Good quality at a reasonable price (ENL writers);

Free plagiarism report;

Good reputation.

Best Essay Services: Conclusion

Working with a professional essay writing service is important not only for the quality of the work you’ll receive but also for the security of your personal details. Many students turn to these services when they’re pressed for time and need to complete their academic tasks—there’s nothing wrong with this approach.

Today, numerous legitimate essay writing services uphold high standards of academic integrity and deliver plagiarism-free papers. These paper writing websites are generally affordable for most students, although there are some exceptions.

Before placing an order, it’s important to do your homework. Check the company’s reviews, find out if it offers a refund policy, and look into its track record on past projects. A reliable service will prioritize your confidentiality, which is a vital consideration.

The news and editorial staff of the Santa Cruz Sentinel had no role in this post’s preparation. This is a paid advertisement and does not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Santa Cruz Sentinel, its employees, or subsidiaries.

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