Writing resources: register, punctuation and proofreading

Use commas correctly: The Grammar Book, Oxford Dictionaries and The University of Bristol.

Practise your formal and informal register: Flo-Joe’s formal and informal register practice activities

Use apostrophes correctly: The Oatmeal’s apostrophe comic

Use semicolons correctly (and then teach native English users how to do it!!): The Oatmeal’s semicolon comic

Practise your proofreading!!! Flo-Joe’s proofreading practice activities

Academic writing resources: linking expressions

Academic writing involves the communication of complex and nuanced ideas and arguments, and therefore tends to require particular words and expressions to do so effectively.

Knowing such language is step one.  Step two is knowing how to use it in a sentence!  In other words, each expression creates or modifies meaning in its unique way and appears in different positions in a sentence.

Here are some resources to help you with both:

Flo-Joe’s expressions of contrast, addition, purpose, reason and time

Birmingham City University’s list of expressions and practice activities

Manchester University’s Academic Phrasebank

Expressions for Discussions and Debates

When you want to state an opinion:

INFORMAL

  • In my opinion____
  • I think that_____
  • I feel that______
  • I believe that______
  • It seems to me that________
  • If you ask me_____
  • I’d say that_______
  • The point is________
  • As I see it_______
  • I’d say that______
.

FORMAL

  • Wouldn’t you say that_______?
  • Don’t you agree that_______?
  • I’d just like to say that______
  • I’d like to point out that_______
When you want someone to repeat or explain:

  • I don’t get what you mean
  • I’m sorry, but I didn’t get your point.
  • Could you give an example?
  • What do you mean (by_____)?
When you want to agree with someone:

  • I think so, too
  • I agree with you
  • You could be right
  • I couldn’t agree more
  • That’s a good point
  • I see what you mean
  • That’s just what I was thinking
  • I agree entirely
  • You know, that’s exactly what I think
When you want to disagree with someone:

  • Yes, but_____
  • I disagree
  • I can’t agree with you there
  • Up to a point, yes, but________
  • Yes, that’s quite true, but_____
  • I’m not sure I quite agree
  • Well, you have a point there, but_____
  • I see what you mean, but________
  • I tend to disagree with you there
Informal disagreement (between people you know very well):

  • You can’t be serious!!
  • Come off it!
  • That’s ridiculous!
When you want to persuade someone:

  • You must admit that___
  • Do you really believe that_____?
  • Don’t you think that______?
  • Don’t you agree that____?

When you want to interrupt someone:

  • Sorry, can I just say…
  • Sorry, can I jump in here?
  • I just wanted to add…
  • Sorry to interrupt, but…

When you want to bide time:

  • Hmm, good question.
  • Let me think about that for a moment.
  • I’ve never thought about that before.
  • I’ve not given that much thought.
  • Well, …

Downloadable version: Debate language.