Words to use in your writing

  • Words are important. You need to understand the words used in your assessments and be able to use the right words to convey what YOU want to say in your own work.

    Just as important are the signposting and linking words that help your reader (your tutor) through your work. The right word in referring to the literature leaves no doubt where you found your information and what you think of it. And of course, easier reading of your work leads to better marks! There are plenty of links in this A-Z: we'll guide you to some of them here.

    Instruction or task words

    These words tell you what you are being asked to do in your assignment: analyse / critically evaluate / to what extent... / discuss. If you find yourself doing a write-all-you-know about answer, look more carefully at what these words mean.
    • Instruction words  
      (University of Kent, UK) all listed with a brief explanation of what each requires you to do to answer the question.

    Linking and signposting words make your writing and argument easier to follow (with more coherence).

    Referring to the literature

    • Academic Phrasebank 
      (University of Manchester, UK) provides an immense resource for all aspects of academic writing from the introduction to conclusion, referring to the literature and being critical.
    • Coherence: linking words and phrases
      (RMIT, Aus) A tightly packed two sides of words to make your work more readable, and enable you to develop your discussion or argument more clearly.
    • Integrating references 
      (RMIT, Aus) One side, two strategies and an example showing words to use in referring to your sources in your writing.