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IELTS Writing Task 2: relying too much on linking

Some IELTS candidates rely far too much on linking words. If you start every sentence of your essay with a typical linking word (firstly, furthermore, moreover etc.), your writing will seem 'mechanical' and you probably won't get higher than a band 6 for coherence and cohesion (25% of your score).

The opposite extreme is to use none of the typical linking words. In last week's lesson I showed you an example of this. I called it "the art of linking without linking". The only problem with this way of writing is that you need to be an advanced user of English to do it well. It's the kind of thing that a native speaker or band 9 candidate might do.

Most candidates should aim to be somewhere between these two extremes. Try to use linking words in a natural way. It makes sense to use 'Furthermore' when you're adding to an idea, and it makes sense to use 'For example' when you're giving an example.

In short, linking words are useful, but you shouldn't rely on them; they are not going to impress the examiner or magically give you a high score.

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