# Argumentative phrases for essays

These are common expressions for framing one’s ideas1. The asterisks [*] indicate expressions that are not preferred in academic English, e.g., due to their informality; first person, especially *I*, is generally to be avoided in most formal academic writing^{[1]}.

## Contents

## 1 Essay opening

### 1.1 Topic priming

- for a long time X, it has been the case that Y
- it is/has been (often) asserted / believed / noted that X
- most accounts of X state / claim / maintain that Y
- according to, X is Y
- one of the most controversial/important X’s (in the recent literature) is Y

### 1.2 Topic nomination (naming / identifying a topic): Statement of purpose

- this paper intends / is designed to X
- the basic emphasis / purpose / goal of the paper / article is to X
- I/we / this paper intends to show / demonstrate / illustrate that X*
- the purpose of this study / analysis / discussion is to X

### 1.3 Topic nomination: Statement of topic

- this paper treats / discusses / claims that X
- it is the case that X
- my/our / this paper’s argument is essentially that X*
- I/we / this paper claims / maintains / contends that X*

### 1.4 Statement of organization

- this paper will compare / contrast / describe / demonstrate that X (first) (by analyzing / comparing / demonstrating) (that Y) (then by ____ing Z, and finally by ____ing A)
- in what follows, X will be examined in erms of Y (and Z)

## 2 Body

### 2.1 asserting

- it can be claimed / said / assumed that X
- it seems certain / likely / doubtful that X
- I/we / this paper maintains / claims that X*

### 2.2 agreeing

- as X perceptively states
- I/we rather / somewhat / strongly agree with / support (the idea that) X*
- X provides / lends support to Y’s argument / claim / conclusion that Z / about Z

### 2.3 disagreeing

- as X would have us believe,
- I/we rather / somewhat / strongly disagree with X*
- as X states (somewhat) unclearly / erroneously
- X does not support Y’s argument / claim / conclusion that Z
- although X contends that Y
- rather, this paper argues that X
- X in no way substantiates / supports Y
- X repudiates / disproves / disconfirms / calls Y into question

### 2.4 comparing

- both X and Y are (quite) similar in that Z
- X resembles Y
- X and Y have / share some aspects of Z
- X and Y have in common that Z
- X is not unlike Y in that / with respect to Z

### 2.5 contrasting

- X is (quite) different from Y (in that Z)
- X is not the case that / the same as Y
- X in no way resembles Y
- X contrasts with Y (in that Z)
- X is unlike Y in that / with respect to Z

### 2.6 recommending

- it is suggested / recommended that X
- this study recommends that X
- I / we recommend / suggest that X*

### 2.7 substantiating

- as proof / evidence / an example (for this) ...
- according to ______
- as X says / claims / maintains / demonstrates
- X provides evidence / support that Y
- X substantiates Y

### 2.8 classifying

- X can / may / might be divided / classified into Y (and Z)
- X and Y are categories / divisions of Z

### 2.9 demonstrating

X demonstrates / shows that Y X is an illustration of Y

## 3 References

- ↑ Adapted from an excerpt from Nattinger, J. & DeCarrico, J. 1992.
*Lexical Phrase and Language Teaching*. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press. pp. 165-6.