After you have planned your essay (first decided what the main argument of your essay will be and the best arguments/points to use and then how to structure what you will write), you are ready to start writing it.

When writing the essay, your choice of vocabulary and phrases/expressions is important. To make your essay read better and look more professional, you shouldn't repeat or overuse the same phrase or expression too many times. Instead, use other words or phrases which have the same meaning. For example, besides using 'because', you can also use 'due to'.

In addition to this, try to use vocabulary which sounds more professional or formal. So instead of using 'tell', use 'inform' and instead of using 'this could be because', use 'this could be a result of'.

The problem about doing this, is that you need to already know the alternative vocabulary and phrases/expressions. If you don't, you have to learn them. One way of doing this is reading other people's essays. See the phrases and vocabulary which they use and make a note of it. But reading a lot essay will take you a long time to do.

Another way of improving your essay writing vocabulary is to find lists of phrases and vocabulary which are used when writing essays. The problem with using these types of lists is that they don't show you in what context/situation to use the phrases/vocabulary. And it could result in you using them incorrectly.

Because of this, I have created two exercises to help you improve your knowledge of English vocabulary and phrases to use in an essay both quickly and correctly. In these two exercises you will not only learn alternative words and phrases to use in your own essays, but you will see when and how they should be used.


Exercise:

In this exercise, you will learn different ways of saying the same thing in an essay. In this first part of the exercise you will find the first half of an essay titled 'Should schools use computers or textbooks for teaching subjects in class?'.

In each paragraph, you will find a part (or parts) which are in bold and underlined. You will be shown alternative ways you can write these parts in a question which is below the paragraph it is in.

When reading each part which is in bold and underlined, think what the purpose of it is: is it giving a reason? is it giving an example? etc...

In each question, you will be given 4 alternatives ways of writing this part. Three of these alternatives mean the same thing (are synonyms) as the part in the paragraph, one of them isn't. To answer the question correctly, you have to choose the three which have the same meaning. When you have chosen the three, click the the 'Check answer' button to see if you are right.

For hundreds of years, textbooks have been used by schools as one of the main methods to educate their students. But with the rise of technology (computers, the internet etc...) many experts are now saying that students should learn many subjects (from maths to geography) at school using computers instead. So why do these experts believe that software on a computer is better for learning than using a traditional textbook?

1.

Which of the three below sentences have the same meaning as 'many experts are now saying that students should learn'?

many experts are now arguing that students should learn
many experts are now advocating that students should learn
many experts are now explaining that students should learn
many experts are now supporting the idea that students should learn

One of the reasons which people who support the idea of replacing textbooks with computer software for teaching in classrooms give is that it makes the learning environment more enjoyable and productive. Because most educational software applications on computers are interactive (they can contain videos, animations, games etc...), they are more engaging for students to use. Making students want to use them more than reading a textbook. As a result, students not only learn more, but do so more quickly than they would by using a textbook.

2.

Which of the three below sentences have the same meaning as 'Because most educational software applications on computers are interactive'?

As most educational software applications on computers are interactive
Provided that most educational software applications on computers are interactive
Due to most educational software applications on computers being interactive
Given that most educational software applications on computers are interactive

3.

Which of the three below sentences have the same meaning as 'As a result, students not only learn more, but do so'?

On the other hand, students not only learn more, but do so
Therefore, students not only learn more, but do so
Consequently, students not only learn more, but do so
Thus, students not only learn more, but do so

Not only do they encourage students to learn more quickly than textbooks can, but they can also be used to monitor the individual performance of students. For example, their exam or course work results. As students complete tests and exams on applications they are using on computers, a record of their results is automatically kept. This makes it easier for the teacher to identify issues any of their students are having with a particular area of a subject, so they can undertake the necessary actions to solve them.

4.

Which of the three below sentences have the same meaning as 'For example, their exam or course work results.'?

For instance, their exam or course work results.
, e.g. their exam or course work results.
, such as their exam or course work results.
, especially their exam or course work results.

5.

Which of the three below sentences have the same meaning as 'This makes it easier for the teacher to identify issues any of their students are'?

Because it is easier for the teacher to identify issues any of their students are
Making it easier for the teacher to identify issues any of their students are
As a consequence, it is easier for the teacher to identify issues any of their students are
Resulting in the teacher being able to more easily identify issues any of their students are

















To continue improving your essay writing vocabulary, go to the second part of this exercise.


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Practice

Now that know alternative ways to say the above words and phrases in the essay, practise by creating your own sentences and use them in these.

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