Higher English Tutor

Written by Higher English Tutor

This profile is a platform for a range of Higher-experienced English teachers to post information that will help students, and their parents, with preparing for students' Higher English exams. By following the below advice, we are confident that a student can improve their English grade, but individual motivation, perseverance and other factors must also be taken into account. This platform presents an approach to Higher English; we do not claim it is the only approach. It has worked successfully for other students.

Higher English critical essay – topic sentence – transitional words


Writing in a way that in interesting should not be completely forgotten about when you’re writing your Higher English critical essay. A bit of creativity and style mixed in with the purpose is good. Ideally, essays about English should be written in good, but, ideally, stylish English. There isn’t room to go into all the different techniques that can be used here. However, making minor adjustments in key areas can improve parts of your essay.

An important improvement to make is the essay’s sense of ‘flow’, of the essay moving from one paragraph to the next smoothly, for their to be a smooth transition between paragraphs. This is where transitional phrases are very useful.

The model used by myetutor for topic sentences is a clear statement that emphasises the link to the task. We stress this because remaining focused on the task is so important. However, repeating the same statement each time is not only repetitive, it can also lose you marks for poor writing. This is why we suggest varying the vocabulary and the sentence structure of topic sentences but keeping the meaning the same.

There is a further addition you can make to your topic sentence to improve your critical essay writing and make your essay easier to read – use transitional expressions. To create a flow in your essay you can link your paragraphs with transitional expressions.

Transitional expressions bring ideas together. They show you are leaving one thought and presenting a new one. If you think of these expressions as linking the old and opening the new, it will help you to join the paragraphs in your essay.


To add information - and, not only…but also…,too, moreover, furthermore, in addition

To qualify - yet, nevertheless, even so, however, although, despite the fact that, despite, or whether…or if…

To show sequence - firstly, secondly, finally, in conclusion, in summary, after this we see that, this is not the only point because later

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