Useful Phrases for Proficiency Essays

Introducing the phenomenon to be discussed

More and more families are choosing to have only one child.

The trend nowadays is towards having smaller families.

Over the past ten years or so the media have frequently carried reports of ...............

Recent research indicates that the number of teenagers who smoke is increasing.

Hardly a week goes by without another report of ................. appearing in the media.

This raises the issue of whether .................

Although most people would generally agree that ............... few would deny that ................

Stating your opinion

As I see it,

It seems to me that ............ I would also say that ....

I am convinced that ...............

I am inclined to believe that ..................

There is no doubt in my mind that ..................

One of the drawbacks of ....... is ..........

However, one of the benefits is that ............

Changing topic

As regards the causes for this, ..............

Concerning the causes for this, .........

As for the causes, ...........

Presenting arguments

One justification often given for ........... is that.................

Advocates/Proponents would claim that ..................

Those who object to ................. often argue that ...................

Another objection is that ......

However, it should not be forgotten that ..............

........... are opposed to ................ on the grounds that .................

From the point of view of .................

According to ....................

Describing causes

One factor which has led to ............ is ..............

One of the factors which has brought this about is .........

The problem often stems from ....................

The situation has been exacerbated by ................

.............. has only made the situation worse.

One consequence of ................ is ................

Proposing steps and measures

As regards the most appropriate response to this situation, one suggestion would be to .........

The first step to be taken would be to ........

To alleviate the situation people should ...........

In addition they ought to ...............

To begin to tackle this situation society/individuals/the government need/s to ..........

.............. would certainly ameliorate the situation.

This can only be dealt with if ............

To overcome this problem, ..............

Were the government to ..............., the situation would doubtless improve.

Individuals can do a great deal to ............

The burden of responsiblity lies in the hands of ........

It is vitally important that .........

Legislation should be introduced to control .................

It would be a grave error if we .................

Concluding

All in all it seems to me that ...........

The obvious conclusion to be drawn is that .......................

All things considered, .............

On balance, I tend to believe that ............

The world would surely be a better place to live in if ..............

If people stopped ....ing, we would have/ we could look forward to a ...............

The prospects for the future will be bleak/grim unless ...................

Tip

You should have a few pages safe somewhere where you can keep a record of other useful essay phrases that you come across in your reading. Note them down and practise using them in your own writing.

Look out for more advanced expressions that you can use in place of phrases that weren't even impressive at the B2 level - phrases like "solve the problem". Here are a few alternative problem and solution phrases to get you going.:

a crisis in education which must be addressed

something that must be tackled / be dealt with

a challenge which must be met

something must be done to restore law and order in the inner cities

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