Are you about to learn the fundamentals of English writing or enhance your skills in writing? One of the vital segments to improve the flow, coherence, and clarity is knowing how to start a sentence.
The words or phrases called sentence starters are to set the tone and clarity of the rest of the sentence. They introduce what the next part of the sentence is about, so the reader can predict what to expect further. Typically they are separated by commas.
The list of sentence starters for college essays is available on different websites. However, knowing which ones, when, and how to use them is not always apparent. Sentence starters facilitate the reading process by smoothing abrupt transitions and preparing the reader for the main subject of interest.
This blog explains when and how to use them and then delivers specific categories and examples of sentence starters you can use in your writing.
When to Use Essay Sentence Starters
Undoubtedly, your writing can be disorganized, confusing, incoherent, and hard to read without sentence starters. However, using them too much can overwhelm your reader too. Therefore, we would like to clarify the cases where a sentence starter works soundest:
- It’s vague how one sentence belongs to others.
- You’re presenting a new idea at the beginning of an essay or a paragraph.
- You’re giving a conclusion or summary.
- You want to add priority to a particular verdict or issue.
- You need to contrast specific ideas or change topics abruptly.
- Your view requires bringing examples to support it.
- You need to establish a cause and effect relationship, why something causes something else to happen.
Note that opening phrases aren’t necessary for all the statements. It’s not rocket science to figure out when to avoid them. If you’re on the fence about deciding whether to use or avoid them, try rereading certain lines of your essay and see how they bond. If your sentences flow together pleasingly, you don’t need sentence starters. If something appears crude, jarring, or simply insufficient, try adding one to see if it supports.
Below you’ll find examples of sentence starters relevant to specific categories.
Introduction Sentence Starters
Introduction or topic sentence starters are like the starters of an entire essay — they introduce a meaningful paragraph that is readable and expectable for the reader.
- This essay discusses.
- In this essay.
- Here, we discuss.
- Below, you will find.
- Views on…range from.
- The central theme.
- The key aspect discussed.
- The issue focused on.
- …are presented.
- …is explored.
- …is briefly outlined.
- …is examined/analyzed.
- …is justified.
Varying your sentence openers prevents your writing from sounding repetitive, making a text more pleasing to your audience. Therefore, having examples of introduction sentence starters before you while reviewing your paper would be beneficial.
Body Paragraph Starters
As the central part of an essay, body paragraphs may encompass myriad statements and thoughts. So let’s take a close look at the types of opening phrases depending on what they express.
Sentence openers compare or contrast information contained within the sentence with the information stated in the previous sentence. Some words and phrases in this class include “Yet,” “While this is the case,” “In comparison,” “On the other hand,” “In contrast,” “On the contrary,” Complementary to this,” “Nevertheless,” “Despite this,” “Similarly,” “Likewise,” or “Rather than.”
Subsequence and lists
Cases when bodies explain a series of events are frequent. If you want to link them together and arrange them in the proper order, the following sentence starters can be handy. The list includes “First…, Second…, Third…,” “Next,” “After that,” “Later,” and “Moving on.”
Statements that introduce examples or information
These words and phrases add information or evidence to support previously made claims. They include “Moreover,” “Likewise,” “For example,” “For instance,” “Along with,” “To illustrate,” and “Consider the example of.” They are helping to support your claims with evidence.
Phrases for citing an idea from another work comprise “According to,” “As seen by,” “Based on the research of,” and “With regards to.”
Cause and effect statements
Cause and effect statements are words indicating that the information in a sentence is a result of something stated in the previous sentence. Some examples of these essay sentence starters include “As a result,” “Consequently,” “Due to,” “Subsequently,” “This means that,” or “Obviously.”
These sentence openers show how long has passed or the opposite. This category includes phrases like “In the meantime,” “After a while,” “In a while,” and “Before long.”
Demonstrate doubt or hesitation
There are situations where something is uncertain and needs to be proved. Not to misinform your reader, use the words like “Arguably,” “Possibly,” “Perhaps,” and “Although not proven” to leave room for doubt.
Sentence starters aren’t necessary for some situations, but they help make a point stand out. Reserve the following phrases for the sentences you want your readers to remember better: “Above all,” “As usual,” “Certainly,” “Absolutely,” “Of course,” “Obviously,” “Apparently,” and “Generally speaking.”
Generally accepted notions and historical facts
Your reader can be oblivious of some generally accepted concepts or not-so-common historical facts. In these instances, good paragraph starters like “Traditionally,” “Initially,” “In the past,” or “Up to now” can provide that context.
You need to be aware of whether your opening phrases serve their purpose of unifying the whole text or not.
Conclusion Sentence Starters
Though conclusions and summaries relate to the entire paper, they don’t deliver new information. So when you’re writing a concluding paragraph, remember that sentence starters can indicate to your reader that you’re about to wrap things up.
That’s how they understand that you are summing up and don’t expect any new information:
- In drawing to a close;
- In summary;
- In light of this information;
- Putting it all together;
- In conclusion;
- To wrap it up;
- In a nutshell;
- To review;
- In short;
- All in all;
- All things considered;
- On the whole;
- In brief;
- To sum up;
- To conclude;
- It has been shown that.
Note that the phrases above can fit regardless of your work paper type.
How to Implement Good Paragraph Starters
To be capable of making meaningful sentences, one must know how to start them. Here are some tips on using sentence starters to create smooth sentences.
- Assess your primary point. Taking your theme into account is essential for structuring the sentence. Do you want to emphasize the subject, an action, or something that is being done to the subject? These questions can help you determine how to construct your sentence.
- Scrutinize the previous sentence. Make sure your sentence is related to the context. Keep the last thought in mind when you’re drafting a new sentence. This way, you can efficiently implement good sentence starters for essays so that your writing conveys information impeccably.
- Use transitions. Depending on the prior sentence, you may need to start with transitional words to shift to a new idea in the new sentence. Transitional words include terms like “Hence,” “Besides,” “Thus,” and “Furthermore.”
- Imply prepositions. Prepositional phrases balance and regulate the relationship between all other parts of speech. You can skillfully use these phrases to open sentences.
- Test a subject opener. If you want to construct a simple sentence, try using a subject opener to start it off. Subject openers are sentences that open with the subject.
- Try a clausal opener. Clausal phrases are the following words – where, when, while, as, since, if, although. You can express your ideas in straightforward but complex ways by beginning your sentence with them.
- Use gerund. Gerunds can be used as good paragraph starters.
- Use past participles. You can also start a sentence with words that end in “ed” form to emphasize an emotional state of being that the subject is undergoing.
- Use an adverbial phrase. Adverbs are words that modify verbs. Therefore, if you want to emphasize the way an action is.
And last but not least, be minimalistic. If you’re going to apply a minimalist writing style, think about rephrasing your points in a short sentence.