12 Best Words To Use Instead Of “So”

The word “so” has a surprising number of uses in English. However, it would help to know what better alternatives are out there that might make your writing a little more impressive to those who read it. This article will help you to learn some of the best ones!

What Are The Best Words To Use Instead Of “So”?

There are many different words we can use to replace “so.” You might be interested in trying one of the following:

  • As a result

Best Words To Use Instead Of So

The preferred version is “therefore.” It works really well to replace “so” in many forms of writing, and it is most effective formally. There are many cases where “therefore” is the better version of “so,” so it would help to understand a little more about it.

“Therefore” is the best way to replace “so.” We can use it correctly when we want to show how something is impacted from a previous sentence. It’s best to start a new sentence with “therefore” when we want to use it.

These examples should help you understand it:

  • They had to go earlier in the day. Therefore, the meeting was cut short.
  • I needed more time to get them the money. Therefore, I had to pick up a few extra jobs on the weekend.
  • He didn’t need to do it, but he thought it would be fun. Therefore, he picked up a nasty injury for his mistakes!

As A Result

“As a result” is a great way to replace “so” at the start of a sentence. It works well when we want to show how a direct result occurred due to the information from the previous sentence.

These examples will help you to make sense of it:

  • We thought we had it all. As a result, we did not think twice about the new job offer before it was too late .
  • I did not want to go there. As a result, I stayed at home and let everyone else have fun.
  • I thought it was going to be more interesting. As a result, I fell asleep at the back of the hall!

“Because of” is one of the most common replacements of “so.” We can use it to show how something might have happened due to another event or situation.

Check out some of these examples to see how it works:

  • I did not want them to be here on my birthday because of all the things I knew they had said about me before.
  • I thought we could have seen eye to eye because of our common interests, but it turns out I was wrong.
  • Because of the way you mishandled these boxes, all of the items inside have been destroyed.

“Due to” is another useful way for us to start a sentence. We can do this once we’ve already made a previous sentence or as part of the current sentence if we think it fits into the context.

Check out some of these examples:

  • I did not think it was wise due to the lack of information we had about it.
  • Due to what I heard from the other room, I think it’s best if I retire early!
  • I thought they could get away with it due to the way they were talking with such confidence.

“Since” is a great way to start a sentence similarly to “so.” We use it when we want to show how something might have happened related to another incident. We do not typically need a previous sentence to link back to with “since.”

These examples should help you to understand it:

  • Since no one told me any better, I took it upon myself to complete the project alone.
  • Since you thought you could do this without me, I’ll take a seat over here and watch you struggle.
  • Since I was not informed there would be a meeting; I’ll just return to my office.

“Thus” is a somewhat old-fashioned word we can use. However, many writers like to include it (especially in formal writing). It works really well when you want to show how two different sentences might have caused a similar outcome.

  • I had to go to the hospital to check in on my mother. Thus, it was no surprise when they told me that she was worsening yesterday.
  • You thought you had gotten the better of me. Thus, you let your guard down, which is when I attacked!
  • I couldn’t bring myself to tell them about the atrocities I saw. Thus, I kept it to myself for as long as I could.

“In turn” works well when relating to a previous point. It helps to include it as part of a second sentence, which is a great way for us to show how two different sentences should interact with each other based on their effects.

Check out some of these examples to see how it looks:

  • We did not think it was wise to tell you. In turn, we made the decision to keep it a secret that only we knew about.
  • I wanted to do it, but I couldn’t! In turn, someone else got the chance, and now they’re being celebrated as the hero.
  • You should have told me something sooner. In turn, I’ve already decided against your motion because you did not inform me!

“Following” is another useful way for us to continue our thought from the previous sentence or idea. We do not always need to start a new sentence related to the previous one with “following.” Sometimes the sentence can explain the idea itself.

Here are a few examples of what we mean:

  • Following the discussion we had earlier, we think it’s appropriate that you should resign from your duties.
  • I do not wish to cause you any more harm following the things that I heard you talk about while you thought I was away.
  • Following the demands made by the criminal, we have no choice but to accept his bid to try and get the hostages back!

“To further” is an excellent way for us to continue a point from a previous sentence. This is a good synonym for “so” because it allows us to set up a new idea that’s somewhat related to the previous one (or the one we want to state in the current clause).

Here are some examples of how it can work:

  • To further understand the problems associated with the dynamics, we have illustrated our project’s findings below.
  • You should not have told her about those things. To further, I think you should go back to her and apologize for everything you said.
  • I didn’t know it was going to be this way. To further, I think it would help if we all forgot this even occurred!

“As well” is another great” way to replace “so.” We can use it to show how something might happen additionally to the previous thing, which is another way that “so” can work in a sentence.

Here are a few ways we can make this one work:

  • You should have seen their faces. As well, you would have noticed that no one knew what to do next.
  • As well as the things I had discussed previously, it has been brought to my attention that you do not understand the assignment.
  • As well as this is for us to discuss, I do not think it’s pertinent, and I think we’ll benefit more from dropping it.

“So” doesn’t always have to show how things happen in relation to something else. Sometimes, we might just use it to compare the size or effect of something. If you think about something being “so important,” you’ll see that it’s an emphasizer in this case.

“Very” works synonymously with “so” when used as an emphasizer. We can use it to increase the value of something or show that there’s more to it than we might have first realized.

Here are a few great examples that show you everything you need to know about it:

  • It’s very important that we find the correct way to do this before we’re tested on it.
  • It’s very strange that he wanted to come here on his day off , but I suppose we can’t judge him.
  • You’re very boring, and I don’t think I can see us having much of an exciting future together.

“Extremely” is synonymous with “so” in the same way that “very” is. We can use it as another emphasizer. “Extremely” is much stronger than “very” in many cases, so you should only use it when something is the “most” of an adjective.

To help you understand what we mean, check out some of these examples:

  • You are extremely drunk, and I think you should go home before you get yourself into any more trouble.
  • I am extremely tired because my newborn won’t stop crying at night!
  • You are extremely terrifying when you make that face, and I don’t think it’s wise for you to do it around the children!

martin lassen dam grammarhow

Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here .

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  • 40 Useful Words and Phrases for Top-Notch Essays

words to replace so in an essay

To be truly brilliant, an essay needs to utilise the right language. You could make a great point, but if it’s not intelligently articulated, you almost needn’t have bothered.

Developing the language skills to build an argument and to write persuasively is crucial if you’re to write outstanding essays every time. In this article, we’re going to equip you with the words and phrases you need to write a top-notch essay, along with examples of how to utilise them.

It’s by no means an exhaustive list, and there will often be other ways of using the words and phrases we describe that we won’t have room to include, but there should be more than enough below to help you make an instant improvement to your essay-writing skills.

If you’re interested in developing your language and persuasive skills, Oxford Royale offers summer courses at its Oxford Summer School , Cambridge Summer School , London Summer School , San Francisco Summer School and Yale Summer School . You can study courses to learn english , prepare for careers in law , medicine , business , engineering and leadership.

General explaining

Let’s start by looking at language for general explanations of complex points.

1. In order to

Usage: “In order to” can be used to introduce an explanation for the purpose of an argument. Example: “In order to understand X, we need first to understand Y.”

2. In other words

Usage: Use “in other words” when you want to express something in a different way (more simply), to make it easier to understand, or to emphasise or expand on a point. Example: “Frogs are amphibians. In other words, they live on the land and in the water.”

3. To put it another way

Usage: This phrase is another way of saying “in other words”, and can be used in particularly complex points, when you feel that an alternative way of wording a problem may help the reader achieve a better understanding of its significance. Example: “Plants rely on photosynthesis. To put it another way, they will die without the sun.”

4. That is to say

Usage: “That is” and “that is to say” can be used to add further detail to your explanation, or to be more precise. Example: “Whales are mammals. That is to say, they must breathe air.”

5. To that end

Usage: Use “to that end” or “to this end” in a similar way to “in order to” or “so”. Example: “Zoologists have long sought to understand how animals communicate with each other. To that end, a new study has been launched that looks at elephant sounds and their possible meanings.”

Adding additional information to support a point

Students often make the mistake of using synonyms of “and” each time they want to add further information in support of a point they’re making, or to build an argument . Here are some cleverer ways of doing this.

6. Moreover

Usage: Employ “moreover” at the start of a sentence to add extra information in support of a point you’re making. Example: “Moreover, the results of a recent piece of research provide compelling evidence in support of…”

7. Furthermore

Usage:This is also generally used at the start of a sentence, to add extra information. Example: “Furthermore, there is evidence to suggest that…”

8. What’s more

Usage: This is used in the same way as “moreover” and “furthermore”. Example: “What’s more, this isn’t the only evidence that supports this hypothesis.”

9. Likewise

Usage: Use “likewise” when you want to talk about something that agrees with what you’ve just mentioned. Example: “Scholar A believes X. Likewise, Scholar B argues compellingly in favour of this point of view.”

10. Similarly

Usage: Use “similarly” in the same way as “likewise”. Example: “Audiences at the time reacted with shock to Beethoven’s new work, because it was very different to what they were used to. Similarly, we have a tendency to react with surprise to the unfamiliar.”

11. Another key thing to remember

Usage: Use the phrase “another key point to remember” or “another key fact to remember” to introduce additional facts without using the word “also”. Example: “As a Romantic, Blake was a proponent of a closer relationship between humans and nature. Another key point to remember is that Blake was writing during the Industrial Revolution, which had a major impact on the world around him.”

12. As well as

Usage: Use “as well as” instead of “also” or “and”. Example: “Scholar A argued that this was due to X, as well as Y.”

13. Not only… but also

Usage: This wording is used to add an extra piece of information, often something that’s in some way more surprising or unexpected than the first piece of information. Example: “Not only did Edmund Hillary have the honour of being the first to reach the summit of Everest, but he was also appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.”

14. Coupled with

Usage: Used when considering two or more arguments at a time. Example: “Coupled with the literary evidence, the statistics paint a compelling view of…”

15. Firstly, secondly, thirdly…

Usage: This can be used to structure an argument, presenting facts clearly one after the other. Example: “There are many points in support of this view. Firstly, X. Secondly, Y. And thirdly, Z.

16. Not to mention/to say nothing of

Usage: “Not to mention” and “to say nothing of” can be used to add extra information with a bit of emphasis. Example: “The war caused unprecedented suffering to millions of people, not to mention its impact on the country’s economy.”

Words and phrases for demonstrating contrast

When you’re developing an argument, you will often need to present contrasting or opposing opinions or evidence – “it could show this, but it could also show this”, or “X says this, but Y disagrees”. This section covers words you can use instead of the “but” in these examples, to make your writing sound more intelligent and interesting.

17. However

Usage: Use “however” to introduce a point that disagrees with what you’ve just said. Example: “Scholar A thinks this. However, Scholar B reached a different conclusion.”

18. On the other hand

Usage: Usage of this phrase includes introducing a contrasting interpretation of the same piece of evidence, a different piece of evidence that suggests something else, or an opposing opinion. Example: “The historical evidence appears to suggest a clear-cut situation. On the other hand, the archaeological evidence presents a somewhat less straightforward picture of what happened that day.”

19. Having said that

Usage: Used in a similar manner to “on the other hand” or “but”. Example: “The historians are unanimous in telling us X, an agreement that suggests that this version of events must be an accurate account. Having said that, the archaeology tells a different story.”

20. By contrast/in comparison

Usage: Use “by contrast” or “in comparison” when you’re comparing and contrasting pieces of evidence. Example: “Scholar A’s opinion, then, is based on insufficient evidence. By contrast, Scholar B’s opinion seems more plausible.”

21. Then again

Usage: Use this to cast doubt on an assertion. Example: “Writer A asserts that this was the reason for what happened. Then again, it’s possible that he was being paid to say this.”

22. That said

Usage: This is used in the same way as “then again”. Example: “The evidence ostensibly appears to point to this conclusion. That said, much of the evidence is unreliable at best.”

Usage: Use this when you want to introduce a contrasting idea. Example: “Much of scholarship has focused on this evidence. Yet not everyone agrees that this is the most important aspect of the situation.”

Adding a proviso or acknowledging reservations

Sometimes, you may need to acknowledge a shortfalling in a piece of evidence, or add a proviso. Here are some ways of doing so.

24. Despite this

Usage: Use “despite this” or “in spite of this” when you want to outline a point that stands regardless of a shortfalling in the evidence. Example: “The sample size was small, but the results were important despite this.”

25. With this in mind

Usage: Use this when you want your reader to consider a point in the knowledge of something else. Example: “We’ve seen that the methods used in the 19th century study did not always live up to the rigorous standards expected in scientific research today, which makes it difficult to draw definite conclusions. With this in mind, let’s look at a more recent study to see how the results compare.”

26. Provided that

Usage: This means “on condition that”. You can also say “providing that” or just “providing” to mean the same thing. Example: “We may use this as evidence to support our argument, provided that we bear in mind the limitations of the methods used to obtain it.”

27. In view of/in light of

Usage: These phrases are used when something has shed light on something else. Example: “In light of the evidence from the 2013 study, we have a better understanding of…”

28. Nonetheless

Usage: This is similar to “despite this”. Example: “The study had its limitations, but it was nonetheless groundbreaking for its day.”

29. Nevertheless

Usage: This is the same as “nonetheless”. Example: “The study was flawed, but it was important nevertheless.”

30. Notwithstanding

Usage: This is another way of saying “nonetheless”. Example: “Notwithstanding the limitations of the methodology used, it was an important study in the development of how we view the workings of the human mind.”

Giving examples

Good essays always back up points with examples, but it’s going to get boring if you use the expression “for example” every time. Here are a couple of other ways of saying the same thing.

31. For instance

Example: “Some birds migrate to avoid harsher winter climates. Swallows, for instance, leave the UK in early winter and fly south…”

32. To give an illustration

Example: “To give an illustration of what I mean, let’s look at the case of…”

Signifying importance

When you want to demonstrate that a point is particularly important, there are several ways of highlighting it as such.

33. Significantly

Usage: Used to introduce a point that is loaded with meaning that might not be immediately apparent. Example: “Significantly, Tacitus omits to tell us the kind of gossip prevalent in Suetonius’ accounts of the same period.”

34. Notably

Usage: This can be used to mean “significantly” (as above), and it can also be used interchangeably with “in particular” (the example below demonstrates the first of these ways of using it). Example: “Actual figures are notably absent from Scholar A’s analysis.”

35. Importantly

Usage: Use “importantly” interchangeably with “significantly”. Example: “Importantly, Scholar A was being employed by X when he wrote this work, and was presumably therefore under pressure to portray the situation more favourably than he perhaps might otherwise have done.”


You’ve almost made it to the end of the essay, but your work isn’t over yet. You need to end by wrapping up everything you’ve talked about, showing that you’ve considered the arguments on both sides and reached the most likely conclusion. Here are some words and phrases to help you.

36. In conclusion

Usage: Typically used to introduce the concluding paragraph or sentence of an essay, summarising what you’ve discussed in a broad overview. Example: “In conclusion, the evidence points almost exclusively to Argument A.”

37. Above all

Usage: Used to signify what you believe to be the most significant point, and the main takeaway from the essay. Example: “Above all, it seems pertinent to remember that…”

38. Persuasive

Usage: This is a useful word to use when summarising which argument you find most convincing. Example: “Scholar A’s point – that Constanze Mozart was motivated by financial gain – seems to me to be the most persuasive argument for her actions following Mozart’s death.”

39. Compelling

Usage: Use in the same way as “persuasive” above. Example: “The most compelling argument is presented by Scholar A.”

40. All things considered

Usage: This means “taking everything into account”. Example: “All things considered, it seems reasonable to assume that…”

How many of these words and phrases will you get into your next essay? And are any of your favourite essay terms missing from our list? Let us know in the comments below, or get in touch here to find out more about courses that can help you with your essays.

At Oxford Royale Academy, we offer a number of  summer school courses for young people who are keen to improve their essay writing skills. Click here to apply for one of our courses today, including law , business , medicine  and engineering .

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33 Transition Words and Phrases

Transitional terms give writers the opportunity to prepare readers for a new idea, connecting the previous sentence to the next one.

Many transitional words are nearly synonymous: words that broadly indicate that “this follows logically from the preceding” include accordingly, therefore, and consequently . Words that mean “in addition to” include moreover, besides, and further . Words that mean “contrary to what was just stated” include however, nevertheless , and nonetheless .


The executive’s flight was delayed and they accordingly arrived late.

in or by way of addition : FURTHERMORE

The mountain has many marked hiking trails; additionally, there are several unmarked trails that lead to the summit.

at a later or succeeding time : SUBSEQUENTLY, THEREAFTER

Afterward, she got a promotion.

even though : ALTHOUGH

She appeared as a guest star on the show, albeit briefly.

in spite of the fact that : even though —used when making a statement that differs from or contrasts with a statement you have just made

They are good friends, although they don't see each other very often.

in addition to what has been said : MOREOVER, FURTHERMORE

I can't go, and besides, I wouldn't go if I could.

as a result : in view of the foregoing : ACCORDINGLY

The words are often confused and are consequently misused.

in a contrasting or opposite way —used to introduce a statement that contrasts with a previous statement or presents a differing interpretation or possibility

Large objects appear to be closer. Conversely, small objects seem farther away.

used to introduce a statement that is somehow different from what has just been said

These problems are not as bad as they were. Even so, there is much more work to be done.

used as a stronger way to say "though" or "although"

I'm planning to go even though it may rain.

in addition : MOREOVER

I had some money to invest, and, further, I realized that the risk was small.

in addition to what precedes : BESIDES —used to introduce a statement that supports or adds to a previous statement

These findings seem plausible. Furthermore, several studies have confirmed them.

because of a preceding fact or premise : for this reason : THEREFORE

He was a newcomer and hence had no close friends here.

from this point on : starting now

She announced that henceforth she would be running the company.

in spite of that : on the other hand —used when you are saying something that is different from or contrasts with a previous statement

I'd like to go; however, I'd better not.

as something more : BESIDES —used for adding information to a statement

The city has the largest population in the country and in addition is a major shipping port.

all things considered : as a matter of fact —used when making a statement that adds to or strengthens a previous statement

He likes to have things his own way; indeed, he can be very stubborn.

for fear that —often used after an expression denoting fear or apprehension

He was concerned lest anyone think that he was guilty.

in addition : ALSO —often used to introduce a statement that adds to and is related to a previous statement

She is an acclaimed painter who is likewise a sculptor.

at or during the same time : in the meantime

You can set the table. Meanwhile, I'll start making dinner.

BESIDES, FURTHER : in addition to what has been said —used to introduce a statement that supports or adds to a previous statement

It probably wouldn't work. Moreover, it would be very expensive to try it.

in spite of that : HOWEVER

It was a predictable, but nevertheless funny, story.

in spite of what has just been said : NEVERTHELESS

The hike was difficult, but fun nonetheless.

without being prevented by (something) : despite—used to say that something happens or is true even though there is something that might prevent it from happening or being true

Notwithstanding their youth and inexperience, the team won the championship.

if not : or else

Finish your dinner. Otherwise, you won't get any dessert.

more correctly speaking —used to introduce a statement that corrects what you have just said

We can take the car, or rather, the van.

in spite of that —used to say that something happens or is true even though there is something that might prevent it from happening or being true

I tried again and still I failed.

by that : by that means

He signed the contract, thereby forfeiting his right to the property.

for that reason : because of that

This tablet is thin and light and therefore very convenient to carry around.

immediately after that

The committee reviewed the documents and thereupon decided to accept the proposal.

because of this or that : HENCE, CONSEQUENTLY

This detergent is highly concentrated and thus you will need to dilute it.

while on the contrary —used to make a statement that describes how two people, groups, etc., are different

Some of these species have flourished, whereas others have struggled.

NEVERTHELESS, HOWEVER —used to introduce a statement that adds something to a previous statement and usually contrasts with it in some way

It was pouring rain out, yet his clothes didn’t seem very wet.

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Some experts argue that focusing on individual actions to combat climate change takes the focus away from the collective action required to keep carbon levels from rising. Change will not be effected, say some others, unless individual actions raise the necessary awareness.

While a reader can see the connection between the sentences above, it’s not immediately clear that the second sentence is providing a counterargument to the first. In the example below, key “old information” is repeated in the second sentence to help readers quickly see the connection. This makes the sequence of ideas easier to follow.  

Sentence pair #2: Effective Transition

Some experts argue that focusing on individual actions to combat climate change takes the focus away from the collective action required to keep carbon levels from rising. Other experts argue that individual actions are key to raising the awareness necessary to effect change.

You can use this same technique to create clear transitions between paragraphs. Here’s an example:

Some experts argue that focusing on individual actions to combat climate change takes the focus away from the collective action required to keep carbon levels from rising. Other experts argue that individual actions are key to raising the awareness necessary to effect change. According to Annie Lowery, individual actions are important to making social change because when individuals take action, they can change values, which can lead to more people becoming invested in fighting climate change. She writes, “Researchers believe that these kinds of household-led trends can help avert climate catastrophe, even if government and corporate actions are far more important” (Lowery).

So, what’s an individual household supposed to do?

The repetition of the word “household” in the new paragraph helps readers see the connection between what has come before (a discussion of whether household actions matter) and what is about to come (a proposal for what types of actions households can take to combat climate change).

Sometimes, transitional words can help readers see how ideas are connected. But it’s not enough to just include a “therefore,” “moreover,” “also,” or “in addition.” You should choose these words carefully to show your readers what kind of connection you are making between your ideas.

To decide which transitional word to use, start by identifying the relationship between your ideas. For example, you might be

  • making a comparison or showing a contrast Transitional words that compare and contrast include also, in the same way, similarly, in contrast, yet, on the one hand, on the other hand. But before you signal comparison, ask these questions: Do your readers need another example of the same thing? Is there a new nuance in this next point that distinguishes it from the previous example? For those relationships between ideas, you might try this type of transition: While x may appear the same, it actually raises a new question in a slightly different way. 
  • expressing agreement or disagreement When you are making an argument, you need to signal to readers where you stand in relation to other scholars and critics. You may agree with another person’s claim, you may want to concede some part of the argument even if you don’t agree with everything, or you may disagree. Transitional words that signal agreement, concession, and disagreement include however, nevertheless, actually, still, despite, admittedly, still, on the contrary, nonetheless .
  • showing cause and effect Transitional phrases that show cause and effect include therefore, hence, consequently, thus, so. Before you choose one of these words, make sure that what you are about to illustrate is really a causal link. Novice writers tend to add therefore and hence when they aren’t sure how to transition; you should reserve these words for when they accurately signal the progression of your ideas.
  • explaining or elaborating Transitions can signal to readers that you are going to expand on a point that you have just made or explain something further. Transitional words that signal explanation or elaboration include in other words, for example, for instance, in particular, that is, to illustrate, moreover .
  • drawing conclusions You can use transitions to signal to readers that you are moving from the body of your argument to your conclusions. Before you use transitional words to signal conclusions, consider whether you can write a stronger conclusion by creating a transition that shows the relationship between your ideas rather than by flagging the paragraph simply as a conclusion. Transitional words that signal a conclusion include in conclusion , as a result, ultimately, overall— but strong conclusions do not necessarily have to include those phrases.

If you’re not sure which transitional words to use—or whether to use one at all—see if you can explain the connection between your paragraphs or sentence either out loud or in the margins of your draft.

For example, if you write a paragraph in which you summarize physician Atul Gawande’s argument about the value of incremental care, and then you move on to a paragraph that challenges those ideas, you might write down something like this next to the first paragraph: “In this paragraph I summarize Gawande’s main claim.” Then, next to the second paragraph, you might write, “In this paragraph I present a challenge to Gawande’s main claim.” Now that you have identified the relationship between those two paragraphs, you can choose the most effective transition between them. Since the second paragraph in this example challenges the ideas in the first, you might begin with something like “but,” or “however,” to signal that shift for your readers.  

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Essay Writing Guide

Transition Words For Essays

Last updated on: Dec 19, 2023

220 Best Transition Words for Essays

By: Nova A.

15 min read

Reviewed By: Jacklyn H.

Published on: Jul 9, 2019

Transition Words for Essays

Writing essays can be hard, and making sure your transitions are smooth is even harder. 

You've probably heard that good essays need good transitions, but what are they? How do you use them in your writing? Also, your essays are assessed according to particular criteria and it is your responsibility to ensure that it is being met.

But don't worry, we are here to help. This blog will give you transition words for essays, including how to choose the right ones and where to place them for maximum impact. Essay writing is a technical process that requires much more effort than simply pouring your thoughts on paper.

If you are new to the concept of transition words and phrases, deep dive into this article in order to find out the secret to improving your essays.

Transition Words for Essays

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What Are Transition Words 

Transition words are essential elements in essay writing that create smooth transitions between ideas. 

Think of a transition as a conjunction or a joining word. It helps create strong relationships between ideas, paragraphs, or sentences and assists the readers to understand the word phrases and sentences easily.

As writers, our goal is to communicate our thoughts and ideas in the most clear and logical manner. Especially when presenting complex ideas, we must ensure that they are being conveyed in the most understandable way.

To ensure that your paper is easy to understand, you can work on the sequencing of ideas. Break down your ideas into different sentences and paragraphs then use a transition word or phrase to guide them through these ideas.

Why Should You Use Transitions

The purpose of transition words goes beyond just connectivity. They create a cohesive narrative , allowing your ideas to flow seamlessly from one point to another. These words and phrases act as signposts and indicate relationships. 

These relations could include:

  • Cause and Effect
  • Comparison and Contrast
  • Addition and Emphasis
  • Sequence and Order
  • Illustration and Example
  • Concession and Contradiction
  • Summary and Conclusion

They form a bridge and tie sentences together, creating a logical connection. In addition to tying the entire paper together, they help demonstrate the writer’s agreement, disagreement, conclusion, or contrast.

However, keep in mind that just using or including transitional words isn’t enough to highlight relationships between ideas. The content of your paragraphs must support the relationship as well. So, you should avoid overusing them in a paper.

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Types of Transitions

Transitions in essays can be classified into different types based on the relationships they indicate between ideas. Each type serves a specific purpose in guiding readers through your arguments. 

Let's explore some common types of transitions and their examples:

Additive Transitions 

These transitions are used to add information or ideas. They help you expand on your points or provide additional supporting evidence. Examples:

  • In addition
  • Furthermore
  • Additionally
  • Not only... but also
  • Coupled with

Adversative Transitions

Adversative transitions show contrast or contradiction between ideas. They are used to present opposing viewpoints or highlight differences. Examples:

  • Nevertheless
  • On the other hand
  • In contrast

Causal Transitions

Causal transitions explain cause-and-effect relationships. They help you establish the reasons behind certain outcomes or actions. Examples:

  • As a result
  • Consequently
  • Resulting in
  • For this reason

Sequential Transitions

Sequential transitions indicate the order or sequence of events or ideas. They help you present your thoughts in a logical and organized manner. Examples: 

  • Subsequently
  • In the meantime
  • Simultaneously

Comparative Transitions

Comparative transitions highlight similarities or comparisons between ideas. They help you draw connections and illustrate relationships. Here are some transition words for essays examples: 

  • In the same way
  • Compared to
  • In comparison
  • Correspondingly
  • By the same token
  • Equally important
  • Analogous to

Getting started on your essay? Check out this insightful read on essay writing to make sure you ace it!

List of Good Transition Words for Essays

As mentioned above, there are different categories of transitions that serve a unique purpose. Understanding these different types will help you pick the most suitable word or phrase to communicate your message.

Here we have categorized the best transition words for essays so you can use them appropriately!

Transition Words for Argumentative Essays

In argumentative essays , the effective use of transition words is essential for presenting a well-structured and coherent argument. 

Transition Words for Compare and Contrast Essays

In compare and contrast essays , transition words play a crucial role in highlighting the similarities and differences between the subjects being compared. 

Here are a few transition words that are particularly useful in compare and contrast essays:

Transition Words for Cause and Effect Essays

In cause and effect essays , transition words help illustrate the relationships between causes and their corresponding effects. 

Here are a few transition words that are particularly useful in cause-and-effect essays:

Transition Words for Different Parts of Essays

Transition words are valuable tools that can be used throughout different parts of an essay to create a smooth and coherent flow. By understanding the appropriate transition words for each section, you can logically connect your ideas. 

Introduction Transition Words for Essays

Introductions are one of the most impactful parts of the essay. It's important that it connects logically with the rest of the essay. To do this, you can utilize different transition words for essays to start. Here are some starting transition words for essays:

Transition Words for Essays Body Paragraph

In an essay, body paragraphs play a crucial role in presenting and developing your ideas. To ensure a logical flow within each body paragraph, the strategic use of transition words is essential.

Here are lists of transitions for essays for different body paragraphs:

Transition Words for Essays for First Body Paragraph

Here is a list of transition words that you can use for the first body paragraph of an essay:

Transition Words for Essays Second Body Paragraph

Here is a list of transition words for the second body paragraph of an essay:

Transition Words for Essays Third Body Paragraph

Transition words for essays last body paragraph, transition words for essays conclusion .

Here is a list of ending transition words for essays:

Do’s and Don’ts of Using Essay Transitions

When it comes to using transitions in your essay, there are certain do's and don'ts that can help you effectively enhance the flow of your writing. Here are some key guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Add transitions only when introducing new ideas.
  • Go through the paper to make sure they make sense.
  • Start by creating an outline, so you know what ideas to share and how.
  • Use different transitions for each idea.
  • Don’t overuse them.
  • Don’t keep adding transitions in the same paragraph.
  • Don’t completely rely on transitions to signal relationships.
  • Don’t incorporate it into your content without understanding its usage.

By now, you have probably understood how transition words can save you from disjointed and directionless paragraphs. They are the missing piece that indicates how ideas are related to one another. You can also generate more essays with our AI powered essay writer to learn the art of transitioning smoothly from one paragraph to another. 

If you are still unable to distinguish transitions to open or conclude your essays, don’t be upset - these things require time and practice.

If you are looking for the perfect essay-writing service, get in touch with the expert writers at We will include the right transitions according to the type of paper, ensuring a coherent flow of ideas.

Just say ‘ write my essay ’ now and let our essay writer create quality content at the most pocket-friendly rates available.

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As a Digital Content Strategist, Nova Allison has eight years of experience in writing both technical and scientific content. With a focus on developing online content plans that engage audiences, Nova strives to write pieces that are not only informative but captivating as well.

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Formal synonyms of 'SO'

Below are the formal and polite equivalents (synonyms) of ' so ' which you can use in your business or professional pieces of writing.

'So' has a number of different meanings. Below are synonyms for it which are used when you want to give or explain what the consequences or the results of something happening are or will be.

Used to explain/give what the consequences of something are.

'We have still not received payment for your last order with us. Therefore , you will be unable to order any further products from us until we do.'

With this meaning, it is used to explain/give what the consequences of something are. This should only be used in very formal pieces of writing.

'Our testing has shown that the problem is caused by a specific part in the machine. Thus , we will replace this part in the coming days.'

As a consequence

'You have not responded to our previous emails regarding your attendance at the event. As a consequence , we have given the tickets to another organisation.'

You can also use ' consequently ' in exactly the same way.

'You have not responded to our previous emails regarding your attendance at the event. Consequently , we have given the tickets to another organisation.'

As a result

'Our testing has shown that the problem is caused by a specific part in the machine. As a result , we will replace this part in the coming days.'

©2024, Blair English

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Words to Use in an Essay: 300 Essay Words

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words to use in an essay

Table of Contents

Words to use in the essay introduction, words to use in the body of the essay, words to use in your essay conclusion, how to improve your essay writing vocabulary.

It’s not easy to write an academic essay .

Many students struggle to word their arguments in a logical and concise way.

To make matters worse, academic essays need to adhere to a certain level of formality, so we can’t always use the same word choices in essay writing that we would use in daily life.

If you’re struggling to choose the right words for your essay, don’t worry—you’ve come to the right place!

In this article, we’ve compiled a list of over 300 words and phrases to use in the introduction, body, and conclusion of your essay.

The introduction is one of the hardest parts of an essay to write.

You have only one chance to make a first impression, and you want to hook your reader. If the introduction isn’t effective, the reader might not even bother to read the rest of the essay.

That’s why it’s important to be thoughtful and deliberate with the words you choose at the beginning of your essay.

Many students use a quote in the introductory paragraph to establish credibility and set the tone for the rest of the essay.

When you’re referencing another author or speaker, try using some of these phrases:

To use the words of X

According to X

As X states

Example: To use the words of Hillary Clinton, “You cannot have maternal health without reproductive health.”

Near the end of the introduction, you should state the thesis to explain the central point of your paper.

If you’re not sure how to introduce your thesis, try using some of these phrases:

In this essay, I will…

The purpose of this essay…

This essay discusses…

In this paper, I put forward the claim that…

There are three main arguments for…

Phrases to introduce a thesis

Example: In this essay, I will explain why dress codes in public schools are detrimental to students.

After you’ve stated your thesis, it’s time to start presenting the arguments you’ll use to back up that central idea.

When you’re introducing the first of a series of arguments, you can use the following words:

First and foremost

First of all

To begin with

Example: First , consider the effects that this new social security policy would have on low-income taxpayers.

All these words and phrases will help you create a more successful introduction and convince your audience to read on.

The body of your essay is where you’ll explain your core arguments and present your evidence.

It’s important to choose words and phrases for the body of your essay that will help the reader understand your position and convince them you’ve done your research.

Let’s look at some different types of words and phrases that you can use in the body of your essay, as well as some examples of what these words look like in a sentence.

Transition Words and Phrases

Transitioning from one argument to another is crucial for a good essay.

It’s important to guide your reader from one idea to the next so they don’t get lost or feel like you’re jumping around at random.

Transition phrases and linking words show your reader you’re about to move from one argument to the next, smoothing out their reading experience. They also make your writing look more professional.

The simplest transition involves moving from one idea to a separate one that supports the same overall argument. Try using these phrases when you want to introduce a second correlating idea:


In addition


Another key thing to remember

In the same way


Example: Additionally , public parks increase property value because home buyers prefer houses that are located close to green, open spaces.

Another type of transition involves restating. It’s often useful to restate complex ideas in simpler terms to help the reader digest them. When you’re restating an idea, you can use the following words:

In other words

To put it another way

That is to say

To put it more simply

Example: “The research showed that 53% of students surveyed expressed a mild or strong preference for more on-campus housing. In other words , over half the students wanted more dormitory options.”

Often, you’ll need to provide examples to illustrate your point more clearly for the reader. When you’re about to give an example of something you just said, you can use the following words:

For instance

To give an illustration of

To exemplify

To demonstrate

As evidence

Example: Humans have long tried to exert control over our natural environment. For instance , engineers reversed the Chicago River in 1900, causing it to permanently flow backward.

Sometimes, you’ll need to explain the impact or consequence of something you’ve just said.

When you’re drawing a conclusion from evidence you’ve presented, try using the following words:

As a result


As you can see

This suggests that

It follows that

It can be seen that

For this reason

For all of those reasons


Example: “There wasn’t enough government funding to support the rest of the physics experiment. Thus , the team was forced to shut down their experiment in 1996.”

Phrases to draw conclusions

When introducing an idea that bolsters one you’ve already stated, or adds another important aspect to that same argument, you can use the following words:

What’s more

Not only…but also

Not to mention

To say nothing of

Another key point

Example: The volcanic eruption disrupted hundreds of thousands of people. Moreover , it impacted the local flora and fauna as well, causing nearly a hundred species to go extinct.

Often, you'll want to present two sides of the same argument. When you need to compare and contrast ideas, you can use the following words:

On the one hand / on the other hand


In contrast to

On the contrary

By contrast

In comparison

Example: On the one hand , the Black Death was undoubtedly a tragedy because it killed millions of Europeans. On the other hand , it created better living conditions for the peasants who survived.

Finally, when you’re introducing a new angle that contradicts your previous idea, you can use the following phrases:

Having said that

Differing from

In spite of

With this in mind

Provided that




Example: Shakespearean plays are classic works of literature that have stood the test of time. Having said that , I would argue that Shakespeare isn’t the most accessible form of literature to teach students in the twenty-first century.

Good essays include multiple types of logic. You can use a combination of the transitions above to create a strong, clear structure throughout the body of your essay.

Strong Verbs for Academic Writing

Verbs are especially important for writing clear essays. Often, you can convey a nuanced meaning simply by choosing the right verb.

You should use strong verbs that are precise and dynamic. Whenever possible, you should use an unambiguous verb, rather than a generic verb.

For example, alter and fluctuate are stronger verbs than change , because they give the reader more descriptive detail.

Here are some useful verbs that will help make your essay shine.

Verbs that show change:


Verbs that relate to causing or impacting something:

Verbs that show increase:

Verbs that show decrease:


Verbs that relate to parts of a whole:

Comprises of

Is composed of




Verbs that show a negative stance:


Verbs that show a negative stance

Verbs that show a positive stance:


Verbs that relate to drawing conclusions from evidence:



Verbs that relate to thinking and analysis:




Verbs that relate to showing information in a visual format:

Useful Adjectives and Adverbs for Academic Essays

You should use adjectives and adverbs more sparingly than verbs when writing essays, since they sometimes add unnecessary fluff to sentences.

However, choosing the right adjectives and adverbs can help add detail and sophistication to your essay.

Sometimes you'll need to use an adjective to show that a finding or argument is useful and should be taken seriously. Here are some adjectives that create positive emphasis:


Other times, you'll need to use an adjective to show that a finding or argument is harmful or ineffective. Here are some adjectives that create a negative emphasis:






Finally, you might need to use an adverb to lend nuance to a sentence, or to express a specific degree of certainty. Here are some examples of adverbs that are often used in essays:






Using these words will help you successfully convey the key points you want to express. Once you’ve nailed the body of your essay, it’s time to move on to the conclusion.

The conclusion of your paper is important for synthesizing the arguments you’ve laid out and restating your thesis.

In your concluding paragraph, try using some of these essay words:

In conclusion

To summarize

In a nutshell

Given the above

As described

All things considered

Example: In conclusion , it’s imperative that we take action to address climate change before we lose our coral reefs forever.

In addition to simply summarizing the key points from the body of your essay, you should also add some final takeaways. Give the reader your final opinion and a bit of a food for thought.

To place emphasis on a certain point or a key fact, use these essay words:






It should be noted

On the whole

Example: Ada Lovelace is unquestionably a powerful role model for young girls around the world, and more of our public school curricula should include her as a historical figure.

These concluding phrases will help you finish writing your essay in a strong, confident way.

There are many useful essay words out there that we didn't include in this article, because they are specific to certain topics.

If you're writing about biology, for example, you will need to use different terminology than if you're writing about literature.

So how do you improve your vocabulary skills?

The vocabulary you use in your academic writing is a toolkit you can build up over time, as long as you take the time to learn new words.

One way to increase your vocabulary is by looking up words you don’t know when you’re reading.

Try reading more books and academic articles in the field you’re writing about and jotting down all the new words you find. You can use these words to bolster your own essays.

You can also consult a dictionary or a thesaurus. When you’re using a word you’re not confident about, researching its meaning and common synonyms can help you make sure it belongs in your essay.

Don't be afraid of using simpler words. Good essay writing boils down to choosing the best word to convey what you need to say, not the fanciest word possible.

Finally, you can use ProWritingAid’s synonym tool or essay checker to find more precise and sophisticated vocabulary. Click on weak words in your essay to find stronger alternatives.

ProWritingAid offering synonyms for great

There you have it: our compilation of the best words and phrases to use in your next essay . Good luck!

words to replace so in an essay

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Hannah Yang is a speculative fiction writer who writes about all things strange and surreal. Her work has appeared in Analog Science Fiction, Apex Magazine, The Dark, and elsewhere, and two of her stories have been finalists for the Locus Award. Her favorite hobbies include watercolor painting, playing guitar, and rock climbing. You can follow her work on, or subscribe to her newsletter for publication updates.

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  • November 8, 2019

Overused Words to Replace in Your English Writing

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Communication is great, but sometimes it gets just a little predictable. That’s because, despite the thousands upon thousands of words we could use to express ourselves, we keep on insisting on using the same ones.

You may feel a little restricted with the words you can use because of the requirement for simple, plain and inoffensive language. But that doesn’t mean you have to be predictable and, well, dull. 

Without further ado (so), let’s start now by identifying some of the main culprits, and looking at suitable alternatives to make your English writing just that little bit more interesting:

When it comes to quantifying something, some just doesn’t get the job done. Can you be more specific? And that is the point. This type of vague language only succeeds in frustrating the reader, who cannot say, with any great conviction, how many you are actually talking about.

Alternatives : couple, several, dozens, one, two, three, four etc.

This has to be the worst adjective in English. Okay, maybe not quite, but it’s certainly the most overused, and the one that describes the least. Think of a surly teenager who doesn’t want to reveal any information about anything, but at the same time doesn’t want to give the impression that anything is wrong. Good tells us nothing. It is so undescriptive, it is laughable. There’s really no good reason to use it (well-spotted!).

Alternatives : interesting, informative, enjoyable, uplifting, eye-opening (depending on the context).

Great is good ’s slightly less annoying, but more excitable big brother. We know that it’s better than good , but it’s also a word that fails to deliver the idea that it really should. No one can get excited about great , even though that is exactly the feeling that great should convey.  But when it comes to attaching a value to something, instead of using a word such as great , which really means nothing, seek to use a word that is more descriptive and explicit, or go for something which makes a valid comparison.

Alternatives : even better than the last time, incredibly rewarding, of magnificent value.

Other is a word that is incredibly practical, so it’s not as annoying as something like good , which really has no value at all. The problem with other is that it just turns up too frequently in writing, so here you just need to think about repetition, and go for something a little different each time.

Alternatives : additional, alternative, further, supplementary.

More . This word even sounds dull. But it’s similar to other , both in meaning, and in that it is incredibly practical. Instead just look for those nicer sounding alternatives.

Alternatives : additional, alternative, further, supplementary, extra.

This word is horrible for two reasons. Firstly, because a lot of the time, it just isn’t true. We live in a society now where everything is brilliant or terrible. Everything is either the best or the worst, ever! But it actually isn’t, is it? What you are saying is a massive overstatement. So, avoid using such superlatives when they do not apply. Secondly, it’s all about opinion anyway, so just because it is the best for you, is it really the best for others? Scrap this word! 

Alternatives : the most suitable, the most fitting, the most practical, one of the most…

Everything is important . Or nothing is. It all depends who you are talking to, or what you are talking about. And what is important for one person isn’t important for another (see best ). And another thing, important doesn’t mean best in English: this is a false translation from other languages.

Alternatives : crucial, essential, vital.

Like is a word that is shockingly overused in speech, but it is also creeping in more and more to English writing, which is a cause of major frustration to language purists, and those who like language to be clear. Because like just isn’t. Like has multiple meanings, but almost all of them can be better expressed in other ways. Here are some examples:

I like it. = I think it is an interesting proposition. It was like last time. = It was similar to the previous occasion. It feels like you have misunderstood… = You have misunderstood…

Does it really feel similar to that? Or is that how it feels? Stop stepping around the issue, and SAY WHAT YOU MEAN!

Alternatives : as above.

A pro tip : Linguix allows you learning new words while writing. The Linguix Grammar Checker and paraphraser (here is our Chrome extension ) have a built-in AI-fueled synonyms-selection engine. This feature allows you to see synonyms of English words. Just hold down the Alt button and double-click on a word to see a list of its synonyms. 

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How to Replace Second‐Person Pronouns

Last Updated: May 9, 2023 References

This article was co-authored by Celena Hathaway and by wikiHow staff writer, Hannah Madden . Celena Hathaway is an English & Creative Writing Teacher at Cornerstone Schools of Alabama in Birmingham, Alabama. She specializes in entry-level creative writing, such as fundamental poetry and fiction short story techniques, and 8th-grade-level grammar and reading. She earned her B.S.E. in Secondary Education and B.A. in English from Samford University. This article has been viewed 9,475 times.

It can be easy to add in second-person pronouns like “you” and “your” to your writing since they’re used so often in daily speech. However, addressing the audience directly isn’t accepted in academic or formal writing, as it can make assumptions about the reader. You can either insert different pronouns to get the same message across or eliminate second-person pronouns altogether to tighten up your writing and make it more academic and formal.

Choosing Alternate Pronouns

Step 1 Use a specific noun instead of “you.”

  • For example, “In the summer, you often have to stand in line to get to the pool.”
  • Try saying, “In the summer, customers often have to stand in line to get to the pool.”
  • Or, “In many areas, you have people who are unhappy with local government.”
  • Try, “In many areas, citizens are unhappy with local government.”

Step 2 Replace “you” with “people” for generalizations.

  • For example, take the sentence, “You may already know that there is plastic in the ocean.”
  • Change that sentence to, “Most people already know that there is plastic in the ocean.”
  • Or, “You might think that bees don’t play a large role in the ecosystem.”
  • Try, “Many people don’t know that bees play a large role in the ecosystem.”

Step 3 Try using “one” instead of “you.”

  • ”You may think that this is impossible.”
  • Change that to, “One may think that this is impossible.”
  • Or, “You could say that the idea is unlikely.”
  • Try, “One could say that the idea is unlikely.”

Step 4 Use “someone” or “somebody” for hypotheticals.

  • ”You may feel compelled to argue that the research is flawed.”
  • Try, “Someone may feel compelled to argue that the research is flawed.”
  • Or, “You could say that the timeline is too short.”
  • Try, “Somebody could say that the timeline is too short.”

Step 5 Add in “the reader” or “the viewer” to address the audience.

  • For example, “Now, you may be confused as to why these methods were chosen.”
  • Try, “The reader may be confused as to why these methods were chosen.”
  • Use “the reader” and “the viewer” sparingly, as they can be a little jarring in academic text.

Avoiding Second-Person Pronouns

Step 1 Remove unnecessary second-person pronouns.

  • For example, “You should set up the lab equipment to begin.”
  • Take out the “you” to make: “Set up the lab equipment to begin.”
  • Or, “However, you can read the essay before coming to any conclusions.”
  • Try, “Read the essay before coming to any conclusions.”

Step 2 Rearrange the sentence to avoid a second-person pronoun.

  • For example: “After reading this paper, you’ll know much more about the history of Europe.”
  • Try, “This paper will explain the history of Europe.”
  • Or, “You may be interested in learning more about topographical maps.”
  • Try, “Keep reading to learn more about topographical maps.”

Step 3 Reframe the sentence to sound like a fact, not advice.

  • For example, “When you don’t wear a seatbelt, you’re more likely to get seriously injured in an accident.”
  • Reframe the sentence to say, “People who don’t wear a seatbelt are more likely to get seriously injured in an accident.”
  • Or, “If you don’t stretch before working out, you could pull a muscle.”
  • Try, “Working out without stretching can lead to pulled muscles.”

Expert Q&A

  • Avoid second-person pronouns in academic text to make your writing seem more formal. Thanks Helpful 2 Not Helpful 0
  • Addressing the reader directly can be a little jarring and make unfair assumptions about your audience, so try to avoid it, if you can. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

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13 Formal Synonyms for “Like”

words to replace so in an essay

So, you want to know the best ways to replace “like” as a verb formally, right?

After all, you’re a little worried the term is too friendly or loving.

Luckily, you have other options!

This article will aim to show you what to say instead of “like” in an essay or email, depending on the contextual needs.

Other Ways to Say “Like”

  • Acknowledge
  • Hold in high regard


  • “Like” is a suitable verb that’s versatile and works well in every context (formal and informal).
  • You can use “approve of” if you’re looking for a phrasal verb alternative to mix things up.
  • For a one-word synonym, try using “respect,” as it’s a great way to spice up your writing.

Keep reading to learn how to say “like” in different formal contexts. We’ve explored the two best options from the list above to help you understand more about them.

The final section will also teach you whether “like” is correct formally. So, you may want to skip ahead if you think this will be more applicable to you.

You can use “approve of” as another way to say “like.” This is a great professional verb that helps to keep your tone more formal in business settings.

So, you can use it when emailing employees . It’s a good option if you’re approving an idea they might have, as your approval suggests you “like” it.

Generally, this synonym is a subtle way to show you like something.

Your approval is important as an employer. So, if you approve of something, it means you like the idea and want to see how far an employee is willing to take it.

Also, you can check out this sample email to learn a bit more about it:

Dear Bobby, I approve of this suggestion, and I’m keen to see what you do with it. Please keep me informed as to what you decide to do next. Best wishes, Bradley Wigan

It’s not only useful in emails, though!

You can also use it in a resume . It’s a good option that suggests you have people who already approve of the work you’ve completed that will vouch for you.

Also, check out this CV sample to learn a bit more about it:

My referees will approve of my portfolio and the work I put into it. I’m certain you’ll be impressed with what I’ve done.

You can also write “respect” as a fancy word for “like.” This is a one-word alternative that’ll help you to spice things up in your writing.

For the most part, it remains formal. It’s also sincere , which goes a long way in professional emails.

If you respect something, it suggests that you like it and can understand why someone is thinking of it.

Therefore, it’s worth using this when agreeing with a client . It shows you like their idea, and you want to work with it to see what you can come up with together.

If you’re still unsure, you can also review this email sample:

Dear Ms. Nevis, I respect the choices you’re making here. I’m sure this is the start of a great partnership, and I look forward to seeing what you do next. Best wishes, Tom Healy

Also, you can use “respect” when writing a resume . It suggests that you like specific traits in a workplace, and you want to try and find a position or role that allows you to find those traits.

This resume sample will clear things up if you still don’t get it:

I respect cleanliness and security in the workplace. Therefore, I need these to be guaranteed before I take any offers.

Is It Correct to Say “Like”?

It is correct to say “like.” It’s a common verb choice that’s versatile and works well in nearly every situation.

So, you can use it in a formal context .

There’s nothing wrong with using it in an email . For instance:

Dear Jude, I like this idea a lot, and I look forward to hearing more about it. When are you free to discuss what your plans are? Best regards, Don Wallace

You can also use it in a resume . For example:

I like working for this employer. That’s why I’m reapplying for a role that will better test my abilities.

Finally, you can use it in an essay to spice things up:

I like figuring out the best ways to complete these tasks. It’s one of the most exciting things about the investigations.

Don’t go anywhere without bookmarking this page, though! After all, you never know when you might need to return to remind yourself of the best synonyms for “like.”

  • 10 Words to Replace “I Am” in a Resume
  • 15 Other Ways to Say “At Your Earliest Convenience”
  • 15 Other Ways to Say “No Need to Apologize”
  • 14 Other Ways to Ask “Does It Work for You?”

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Our mission is to help you choose the right phrase or word for your emails and texts.

Choosing the right words shouldn't be your limitation!

© WordSelector Free Resources for Writers and Poets

Word lists, cheat sheets, and sometimes irreverent reviews of writing rules. kathy steinemann is the author of the writer's lexicon series..

words to replace so in an essay

60+ Ways to Replace “That”: A Word List for Writers

Ways to Remove That From Your Writing

This post continues my series about the most repeated words in writing. Today’s culprit is that .

If that is a word that plagues your WIP, I’m here to tell you that there are methods that you can use to cure that plague.

The That vs. Which Controversy

One way to trim a few occurrences is to replace that with which .

You may have encountered the following guideline: If a clause is restrictive (vital), use that ; if it’s non-restrictive (optional), use which followed by a comma.

The parcels that are marked “Fragile” go into the third bin.

Not just any parcels go into the third bin, but the fragile parcels. Without the underlined portion, the sentence would refer to all parcels — a considerable change in meaning.

The parcels, which were received this morning , go into the third bin.

All the parcels go into the third bin. The underlined portion provides optional information about the parcels, but if it’s left out, it doesn’t change the fundamental meaning.

Vi T al: T hat

O pt I onal: [c O mma] wh I ch

Writers from Great Britain might dispute this. However, keep it in mind if you’re a UK writer with a global audience.

Another Controversy: That vs. Who

Although some sources disagree, it’s recommended that writers select who when referring to

  • other sentient beings (such as AIs in science fiction, Ents in The Lord of the Rings , or talking animals in fantasy fiction)

How many occurrences of that could you remove from your WIP if you were to adopt this approach?

The woman that who thought of this is a genius.

The alien that who piloted the third ship in the fleet turned purple when the star exploded.

The emergency medical hologram that who served on USS Voyager sometimes saved the crew from disaster.

The dog that who won the race was my dog, Swifty. I never doubted him for a second.

See also: “That” or “Who”? Which Word Is Correct?

Some Verbs May Not Require That

You can often remove that after these bridge verbs and their relatives.

A to W assume, believe, claim, comment, decide, declare, establish, feel, figure, hear, hope, imagine, insist, know, posit, remark, report, respond, say, suggest, suppose, think, understand, write

Read the sentences below out loud, with and without that . Does deletion make an appreciable difference?

He believed that he could write the book in a month.

The patient claimed that he was no longer ill.

I figured that it was the best way to proceed.

The shoppers heard that there was a sale.

I imagine that the parcel will arrive on Saturday.

He insisted that he was fit to drive, even though I saw a dozen empty beer cans in the back seat.

The tech knew that nobody would understand the complex algorithm but tried to explain it anyway.

He said that nobody showed up.

I suggest that you go to bed before your father gets home!

I suppose that you expect a surprise party.

He thinks that he can string her along even though he’s dating three other women.

I understand that you’re upset, but let me explain why I did it.

Sometimes rewording is the best approach.

he was unaware of the fact that he didn’t know about

I wonder why that is. Why?

in spite of the fact that although, even if, even though

owing to the fact that because, since

Why did she try to keep something like that from her doctor? Why did she try to keep such a thing from her doctor?

It was that that made the difference. [A specific incident] made the difference.

It’s something that we should all do. We should all [provide details].

The cake wasn’t that bad. The cake wasn’t so bad.

That was the last straw. [A specific incident] was the last straw.

On that matter, he refuses to compromise. On [specific issue], he refuses to compromise.

She insisted that she should pay the tab. She insisted on paying the tab.

If that ’s all you have to say, we can get to the point. If you’re finished babbling, we can get to the point.

After that , everyone smiled and clapped. After [specific incident], everyone smiled and clapped. Afterward, everyone smiled and clapped.

Following that , he broke the vase. Following [specific incident], he broke the vase. [Next, then] he broke the vase.

Nouns or Pronouns + That

On your search-and-destroy mission, scrutinize sentences like the following. Does deletion of that change the meaning?

The rumor that the virus is no more deadly than the flu has been disproved.

The wonder that the woman displayed was contagious. Everyone fell to their knees .

My doctor told me that I have to self-isolate for another week.

There’s no doubt that the polar icecaps are melting at an unprecedented rate.

This isn’t the coat that I wore last week.

This is the package that he’s been expecting.

The book that I just published is a romantic comedy.

Adjectives + That

These senteces demonstrate how you can often remove that after adjectives.

It’s obvious that he’s lying.

I’m disappointed that she didn’t show up.

It’s tragic that the parachute didn’t open.

It’s unfortunate that he rejected the evidence.

She was afraid that the medication wouldn’t work.

The stew was so salty that no one would eat it.

His report card was so good that his parents gave him a computer.

Clichés, Idioms, and Trite Phrases

Stale expressions sometimes creep into writing. One here, another there … and soon they overtake a page or chapter. Although they may function well in dialogue, consider rewording when appropriate.

All that glitters is not gold: Appearances may be misleading. Don’t trust everything you see

at that point in time: next, subsequently, then

Been there, done that, got the T-shirt: Ditto. Likewise. Me too.

Can’t say that I have: No, I haven’t. I’ve never [specific incident].

Do you kiss your mother with that mouth ? Do you have to be so vulgar? Why are you so crude?

for all that: however, nevertheless, nonetheless, still

I’ll drink to that: Agreed. Certainly. Definitely. Indeed. Of course.

in the event that: every time, if, whenever

Is that a fact? Is that so? Are you sure? Really?

living proof that: confirmation of, corroboration of, verification of

Sorry to hear that: I sympathize. I regret what happened.

that said, having said that: even so, however, nevertheless

That’s a fact: Beyond doubt. Clearly. It’s true. Literally.

That’s a likely story: You’re lying. I don’t believe you.

That’s easy for you to say: [Specific incident] is difficult for me.

That’s fine by me: All right. I agree. OK. Sure.

That goes without saying: Certainly. Obviously. Of course.  Undoubtedly.

That’s news to me: I didn’t know; I had no idea

That’s that! I’m done. [Specific noun or pronoun] is finished. [Specific proper noun or pronoun]’s word is final

the straw that broke the camel’s back: the breaking point, the last straw, the final indignity, the limit

To bite the hand that feeds you: criticize, disparage rebuff, reject, turn against [an ally, a benefactor, a Good Samaritan, a patron, a provider]

with a face that would stop a clock: hideous, repulsive, revolting, ugly

When in Doubt

Read your work out loud. If omitting that sounds awkward, leave it in or reword your sentence.

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22 thoughts on “ 60+ Ways to Replace “That”: A Word List for Writers ”

I am reminded that English is a flawed language every time i am forced to use “that that” in a sentence. All the good faith that i had had had had no effect on the outcome of that sentence.

“I’m sorry” and “I apologize” mean the same thing, except when you’re at a funeral. See also: “Have a nice day” and “Enjoy the next 24 hours” don’t mean the same thing.

I had to look up the difference between “nobody” and “no one”. While it feels like there should be a difference, they appear to be synonyms.

Some days I think there’s an imp who invents new ways to make English funnier, more difficult, and even more exasperating. 😉

I found this information very informative and useful for my writing. Could you do one like this for wasn’t, couldn’t and other words like that

Thanks, Brixton.

How about this one?

Great help! Thank you, Kathy.

My pleasure, Marina. Thanks for stopping by!

Great explanations with great examples. 🙂

Thanks, Debby!

Thanks, Kathy. Always great information.

Glad to do it, Frank. Thanks for stopping by again.

This makes me so happy. 🙂 As a home school mom, I tell my kiddos to search for “that” in their paper & see if it can be eliminated. You gave some excellent suggestions here. Now I need to put it to use in my manuscript. 😉

Good luck with the kiddos, Barb. I’m glad that I was able to help. 😉

“That” gives me the most headaches when writing so this was enormously helpful.

Thanks, Michael. I’m glad you found it useful.

I use ‘that’ a lot – my brain is lazy when writing, and reaches for the easiest way to say something.

You wouldn’t want to read this version.

Rigorous self-editing – after Autocrit presents me with the tally of that and that’s and I blanch – and we’re back to something palatable.

A lot of your examples also shorten and tighten the sentences – useful and good.

Note: the dash is sometimes useful for ‘that.’

Thanks, Alicia. An em dash instead of that? I could see it work in some sentences, although I try to eliminate as many em dashes as possible. They cause unexpected formatting issues.

I wish I discovered your series earlier. Until recently, I would have written that sentence as “I wish that I discovered your series earlier.” Thanks for the concrete examples. You’ve simplified the “that” and “which” dilemma for me too.

Thanks, Pete. I’m so glad I was able to help!

‘That’ is an insidious little word that creeps unnoticed into our writing. (See, there’s one there that just crept in. Oh! And another!)

Heh heh. Ain’t that the truth!

This was my most over used word in my first book – 565 times in an 85K manuscript! The editing was excruciating! LOL!

That sounds like that would have been a monumental task that would have taken a long time to fix. 🙂

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words to replace so in an essay

How to replace is, are, am, was, were, be, been and to be.

The hardest skill students learn is how to replace the verb “to be.”  Yet is it the single most important skill for improving the verbs in their writing.

The problem is that the verb “to be” rarely has strong synonyms. As a linking verb it can sometimes be replaced with another linking verb.  “He is sick” can become “He looks sick” or “He feels sick” or “He seems sick.”  But none of those replacements is much stronger than the original verb, “is.”

Change common verbs to more expressive verbs.

An excerpt of a third grader’s revised essay.

Even harder is when the verb identifies something that exists.  How do you restate, “That dog is mine.”  “That dog was mine,” changes just the verb tense; it is the same verb.  “That dog becomes mine,” changes the meaning.

What I tell my students is that usually they will need to replace not just the verb, but the whole sentence.  I ask them to tell me what the sentence means, using other words.  For the sentence, “He is sick,” I ask how they know he is sick.  What does he look like that would let me know he is sick?  They might say, “His face is red and he has a fever.”  I might say, “That’s good, but you are still using the word is.  How can you tell me that his face is red and that he has a fever without using the word ‘is’”?  Usually they are stumped, so I offer suggestions.  “His mother placed an ice bag on his flushed forehead.”  Or, “’Wow!  101 degrees,’ said his mother shaking the thermometer.”   Or, “The feverish boy lay down on the cold tile floor, moving every few seconds to chill his hot body.”

The trick is to let the reader see, hear, touch, smell or taste (usually see) what the writer saw in his mind before he wrote, “He is sick.”  “He is sick” is a conclusion based on certain facts.  What are the facts that led the writer to conclude that “He is sick”? Those facts are what the reader needs to know so that the reader can come to his own conclusion that “He is sick.”

We’ll have more blogs on changing the verb “to be” in the future because it is such a vital part of improving writing, yet such a difficult skill to master.  For now, we’ll move on to the next blog about sentence beginnings.

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2 responses to “ How to replace is, are, am, was, were, be, been and to be. ”

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Hi, I’m looking for a writing tutor for my 10 year old daughter. One who could grow in the language arts especially in writing. I like your edited writing excerpt, even though i know english as my second language. My deepest desire is to see my daughter Laura to excel in language arts learning. Do you think i could hrar from you? We live in Ventura.

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Excellent article……simply outstanding

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words to replace so in an essay

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words to replace so in an essay

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English Recap

12 Alternatives to “Firstly, Secondly, Thirdly” in an Essay

words to replace so in an essay

Essays are hard enough to get right without constantly worrying about introducing new points of discussion.

You might have tried using “firstly, secondly, thirdly” in an essay, but are there better alternatives out there?

This article will explore some synonyms to give you other ways to say “firstly, secondly, thirdly” in academic writing.

Can I Say “Firstly, Secondly, Thirdly”?

You can not say “firstly, secondly, thirdly” in academic writing. It sounds jarring to most readers, so you’re better off using “first, second, third” (removing the -ly suffix).

Technically, it is correct to say “firstly, secondly, thirdly.” You could even go on to say “fourthly” and “fifthly” when making further points. However, none of these words have a place in formal writing and essays.

Still, these examples will show you how to use all three of them:

Firstly , I would like to touch on why this is problematic behavior. Secondly , we need to discuss the solutions to make it better. Thirdly , I will finalize the discussion and determine the best course of action.

  • It allows you to enumerate your points.
  • It’s easy to follow for a reader.
  • It’s very informal.
  • There’s no reason to add the “-ly” suffix.

Clearly, “firstly, secondly, thirdly” are not appropriate in essays. Therefore, it’s best to have a few alternatives ready to go.

Keep reading to learn the best synonyms showing you what to use instead of “firstly, secondly, thirdly.” Then, we’ll provide examples for each as well.

What to Say Instead of “Firstly, Secondly, Thirdly”

  • First of all
  • One reason is
  • Continuing on
  • In addition

1. First of All

“First of all” is a great way to replace “firstly” at the start of a list .

We recommend using it to show that you have more points to make. Usually, it implies you start with the most important point .

Here are some examples to show you how it works:

First of all , I would like to draw your attention to the issues in question. Then, it’s important that we discuss what comes next. Finally, you should know that we’re going to work out the best solution.

2. To Begin

Another great way to start an essay or sentence is “to begin.” It shows that you’re beginning on one point and willing to move on to other important ones.

It’s up to you to decide which phrases come after “to begin.” As long as there’s a clear way for the reader to follow along , you’re all good.

These examples will also help you with it:

To begin , we should decide which variables will be the most appropriate for it. After that, it’s worth exploring the alternatives to see which one works best. In conclusion, I will decide whether there are any more appropriate options available.

“First” is much better than “firstly” in every written situation. You can include it in academic writing because it is more concise and professional .

Also, it’s somewhat more effective than “first of all” (the first synonym). It’s much easier to use one word to start a list. Naturally, “second” and “third” can follow when listing items in this way.

Here are a few examples to help you understand it:

First , you should know that I have explored all the relevant options to help us. Second, there has to be a more efficient protocol. Third, I would like to decide on a better task-completion method.

4. One Reason Is

You may also use “one reason is” to start a discussion that includes multiple points . Generally, you would follow it up with “another reason is” and “the final reason is.”

It’s a more streamlined alternative to “firstly, secondly, thirdly.” So, we recommend using it when you want to clearly discuss all points involved in a situation.

This essay sample will help you understand more about it:

One reason is that it makes more sense to explore these options together. Another reason comes from being able to understand each other’s instincts. The final reason is related to knowing what you want and how to get it.

“Second” is a great follow-on from “first.” Again, it’s better than writing “secondly” because it sounds more formal and is acceptable in most essays.

We highly recommend using “second” after you’ve started a list with “first.” It allows you to cover the second point in a list without having to explain the flow to the reader.

Check out the following examples to help you:

First, you should consider the answer before we get there. Second , your answer will be questioned and discussed to determine both sides. Third, you will have a new, unbiased opinion based on the previous discussion.

6. Continuing On

You can use “continuing on” as a follow-up to most introductory points in a list.

It works well after something like “to begin,” as it shows that you’re continuing the list reasonably and clearly.

Perhaps these examples will shed some light on it:

To begin, there needs to be a clear example of how this should work. Continuing on , I will look into other options to keep the experiment fair. Finally, the result will reveal itself, making it clear whether my idea worked.

Generally, “next” is one of the most versatile options to continue a list . You can include it after almost any introductory phrase (like “first,” “to begin,” or “one reason is”).

It’s great to include in essays, but be careful with it. It can become too repetitive if you say “next” too many times. Try to limit how many times you include it in your lists to keep your essay interesting.

Check out the following examples if you’re still unsure:

To start, it’s wise to validate the method to ensure there were no initial errors. Next , I think exploring alternatives is important, as you never know which is most effective. Then, you can touch on new ideas that might help.

One of the most effective and versatile words to include in a list is “then.”

It works at any stage during the list (after the first stage, of course). So, it’s worth including it when you want to continue talking about something.

For instance:

First of all, the discussion about rights was necessary. Then , it was important to determine whether we agreed or not. After that, we had to convince the rest of the team to come to our way of thinking.

9. In Addition

Making additions to your essays allows the reader to easily follow your lists. We recommend using “in addition” as the second (or third) option in a list .

It’s a great one to include after any list opener. It shows that you’ve got something specific to add that’s worth mentioning.

These essay samples should help you understand it better:

First, it’s important that we iron out any of the problems we had before. In addition , it’s clear that we have to move on to more sustainable options. Then, we can figure out the costs behind each option.

Naturally, “third” is the next in line when following “first” and “second.” Again, it’s more effective than “thirdly,” making it a much more suitable option in essays.

We recommend using it to make your third (and often final) point. It’s a great way to close a list , allowing you to finalize your discussion. The reader will appreciate your clarity when using “third” to list three items.

Here are some examples to demonstrate how it works:

First, you need to understand the basics of the mechanism. Second, I will teach you how to change most fundamentals. Third , you will build your own mechanism with the knowledge you’ve gained.

11. Finally

“Finally” is an excellent way to close a list in an essay . It’s very final (hence the name) and shows that you have no more points to list .

Generally, “finally” allows you to explain the most important part of the list. “Finally” generally means you are touching on something that’s more important than everything that came before it.

For example:

First, thank you for reading my essay, as it will help me determine if I’m on to something. Next, I would like to start working on this immediately to see what I can learn. Finally , you will learn for yourself what it takes to complete a task like this.

12. To Wrap Up

Readers like closure. They will always look for ways to wrap up plot points and lists. So, “to wrap up” is a great phrase to include in your academic writing .

It shows that you are concluding a list , regardless of how many points came before it. Generally, “to wrap up” covers everything you’ve been through previously to ensure the reader follows everything you said.

To start with, I requested that we change venues to ensure optimal conditions. Following that, we moved on to the variables that might have the biggest impact. To wrap up , the experiment went as well as could be expected, with a few minor issues.

  • 10 Professional Ways to Say “I Appreciate It”
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  • 9 Other Ways to Say “I Look Forward to Speaking With You”
  • How to Write a Thank-You Email to Your Professor (Samples)

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Words to replace in an essay

She continually pities the fact that the moth continues to make the most of his desperate and futile situation: words to replace in an essay. Check out our list of words that we recommend you replace in your writing, and lists of replacement words you can use to make your essay stand out. Let's start by learning to identify and replace ten words that are often repeated in English. Writing well in English means using the right words: the right words for what you mean and including interesting and varied words. We offer 100% satisfaction guarantees for all of our services including dissertation writing, essay writing, and assignment help.

This free classification and essay example will help you draft an impactful essay to impress your instructors. ESSAY QUESTION #1 What existing IT and business skills do you bring to program and what skills do you hope to acquire? When you have them, you don't really - words to replace in an essay. Words to replace in an essay: why do we call it narrative? In other words, they are based upon the assumptions we have built up about various objects and people. We've divided these words and phrases into categories based on the common kinds of relationships writers establish between ideas. That's because, despite the thousands upon thousands of words we could use to express ourselves, we keep on insisting on using the same ones. The words that start a sentence are some of.

The Student's Companion to Excellent Essay Writing- Words to replace in an essay

The synonyms replace some words, but the overall passage doesn't have a unique tone. If we add some transition words at appropriate moments, the text reads more smoothly and the relationship among the events described becomes clearer. If you are bilingual you are more competitive in the workplace. You will be contacted by email if the admissions committee requires additional information from you. We embrace the 'Golden Rule' to treat others as we would want to be treated. We'd like to emphasize that the showcased.

Our customer support is working non-stop to give you the opportunity to contact us whenever you want. At Columbia, we are committed to fully supporting our transfer community. What are the most overused words to look out for? Moreover, I encourage you to use vocabulary tools to memorize alternatives for these words. Stitching together an impressive rhetorical analysis requires attention to detail, use of concise. Putting their poor calculus grade into context, articulating but not going overboard about their special circumstances, and demonstrating their fit for major undoubtedly played a major role in them gaining admission to UT. But if you're reading this, chances are you aren't one of these people. Extended Essay Topics on Biology What are the molecular and metabolic similarities of fungi with animals and plants?

Unlock Your Potential in Essay Writing- Words to replace personal pronouns in an essay

Words to replace personal pronouns in an essay - for instance, there have been incidents where a person tripped while running, fell, and the impact of their head's contact with the ground caused a concussion. There are many ways to avoid the use of personal pronouns in academic writing. There are three places where you would insert a pronoun, but only two where you would put a personal pronoun. Using personal pronouns sounds less assertive and weakens arguments. The course materials highlight the importance of motivation and commitment among employees that work for any organization (Cascio, 2015).

Words to replace i in an essay

Family members and friends randomly select a person in the city to be stoned to. Therefore, in this case, using the personal pronoun is unnatural; your audience will be excited with your personal touch that can convince them to explore your essay. Another reason to avoid personal language while coming up with an essay is to avoid sounding as if you have an urgent need to impress the reader through wording. One easy way to make sure that you are addressing both texts equally is to balance every point, example or quote from one text with an equivalent from the other. At the same time, the tone of such essays is show-off or bragging, especially if you are too subjective and blind to scholarly findings.

Navigating the Challenges of Academic Essay Writing: Words to replace to make essay longer

However, the problem with making them one is, no matter how they look they will still have their own individual personality traits that will come out in the end - words to replace to make essay longer. When you review your introductory paragraph, ask yourself this question: How can I make it better by expanding on the existing ideas or by adding more information to them? Write this example, we will hypothesis if the mean number of older siblings that the PSY students edu is tailed. Food insecurity is "a household-level economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food (USDA)." Students in colleges, not only hunger for knowledge. This is a very practical way of making an essay longer. Depending on what type of essay you are writing will determine which style you adopt. Though these tricks do increase page length, there are easier (and smarter) ways to write a longer, high-quality essay.

Creating Compelling Essays for Every Academic Occasion

The outline contains points from which you will expand or explain within the body of your essay. When looking back on the conclusion, make sure you've both summarized the main points within the essay and provided your reader with a solution to consider. Words to replace to make your essay longer, further, Paul was upset from losing his case at the time and may have just been making idle threats in anger. Many students try to solve this problem by rewriting the essay's sentences to make them wordier or splitting contractions. This is a very useful tip because it not only provides clarity to your readers but it also increases the length of your essay without breaking any writing conventions. This should also be avoided because there are specific instructions that should be followed when writing the essay. This way, you will meet the required word count and also enrich the contents of the essay. Whether it's brand new SEO copywriting or reoptimizing existing copy, you'll also need to produce content continuously to create value in the eyes of target audiences and search engines.

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What It Means To Be Asian in America

The lived experiences and perspectives of asian americans in their own words.

Asians are the fastest growing racial and ethnic group in the United States. More than 24 million Americans in the U.S. trace their roots to more than 20 countries in East and Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent.

The majority of Asian Americans are immigrants, coming to understand what they left behind and building their lives in the United States. At the same time, there is a fast growing, U.S.-born generation of Asian Americans who are navigating their own connections to familial heritage and their own experiences growing up in the U.S.

In a new Pew Research Center analysis based on dozens of focus groups, Asian American participants described the challenges of navigating their own identity in a nation where the label “Asian” brings expectations about their origins, behavior and physical self. Read on to see, in their own words, what it means to be Asian in America.

Table of Contents

Introduction, this is how i view my identity, this is how others see and treat me, this is what it means to be home in america, about this project, methodological note, acknowledgments.

No single experience defines what it means to be Asian in the United States today. Instead, Asian Americans’ lived experiences are in part shaped by where they were born, how connected they are to their family’s ethnic origins, and how others – both Asians and non-Asians – see and engage with them in their daily lives. Yet despite diverse experiences, backgrounds and origins, shared experiences and common themes emerged when we asked: “What does it mean to be Asian in America?”

In the fall of 2021, Pew Research Center undertook the largest focus group study it had ever conducted – 66 focus groups with 264 total participants – to hear Asian Americans talk about their lived experiences in America. The focus groups were organized into 18 distinct Asian ethnic origin groups, fielded in 18 languages and moderated by members of their own ethnic groups. Because of the pandemic, the focus groups were conducted virtually, allowing us to recruit participants from all parts of the United States. This approach allowed us to hear a diverse set of voices – especially from less populous Asian ethnic groups whose views, attitudes and opinions are seldom presented in traditional polling. The approach also allowed us to explore the reasons behind people’s opinions and choices about what it means to belong in America, beyond the preset response options of a traditional survey.

The terms “Asian,” “Asians living in the United States” and “Asian American” are used interchangeably throughout this essay to refer to U.S. adults who self-identify as Asian, either alone or in combination with other races or Hispanic identity.

“The United States” and “the U.S.” are used interchangeably with “America” for variations in the writing.

Multiracial participants are those who indicate they are of two or more racial backgrounds (one of which is Asian). Multiethnic participants are those who indicate they are of two or more ethnicities, including those identified as Asian with Hispanic background.

U.S. born refers to people born in the 50 U.S. states or the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, or other U.S. territories.

Immigrant refers to people who were not U.S. citizens at birth – in other words, those born outside the U.S., Puerto Rico or other U.S. territories to parents who were not U.S. citizens. The terms “immigrant,” “first generation” and “foreign born” are used interchangeably in this report.  

Second generation refers to people born in the 50 states or the District of Columbia with at least one first-generation, or immigrant, parent.

The pan-ethnic term “Asian American” describes the population of about 22 million people living in the United States who trace their roots to more than 20 countries in East and Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent. The term was popularized by U.S. student activists in the 1960s and was eventually adopted by the U.S. Census Bureau. However, the “Asian” label masks the diverse demographics and wide economic disparities across the largest national origin groups (such as Chinese, Indian, Filipino) and the less populous ones (such as Bhutanese, Hmong and Nepalese) living in America. It also hides the varied circumstances of groups immigrated to the U.S. and how they started their lives there. The population’s diversity often presents challenges . Conventional survey methods typically reflect the voices of larger groups without fully capturing the broad range of views, attitudes, life starting points and perspectives experienced by Asian Americans. They can also limit understanding of the shared experiences across this diverse population.

A chart listing the 18 ethnic origins included in Pew Research Center's 66 focus groups, and the composition of the focus groups by income and birth place.

Across all focus groups, some common findings emerged. Participants highlighted how the pan-ethnic “Asian” label used in the U.S. represented only one part of how they think of themselves. For example, recently arrived Asian immigrant participants told us they are drawn more to their ethnic identity than to the more general, U.S.-created pan-ethnic Asian American identity. Meanwhile, U.S.-born Asian participants shared how they identified, at times, as Asian but also, at other times, by their ethnic origin and as Americans.

Another common finding among focus group participants is the disconnect they noted between how they see themselves and how others view them. Sometimes this led to maltreatment of them or their families, especially at heightened moments in American history such as during Japanese incarceration during World War II, the aftermath of 9/11 and, more recently, the COVID-19 pandemic. Beyond these specific moments, many in the focus groups offered their own experiences that had revealed other people’s assumptions or misconceptions about their identity.

Another shared finding is the multiple ways in which participants take and express pride in their cultural and ethnic backgrounds while also feeling at home in America, celebrating and blending their unique cultural traditions and practices with those of other Americans.

This focus group project is part of a broader research agenda about Asians living in the United States. The findings presented here offer a small glimpse of what participants told us, in their own words, about how they identify themselves, how others see and treat them, and more generally, what it means to be Asian in America.

Illustrations by Jing Li

Publications from the Being Asian in America project

  • Read the data essay: What It Means to Be Asian in America
  • Watch the documentary: Being Asian in America
  • Explore the interactive: In Their Own Words: The Diverse Perspectives of Being Asian in America
  • View expanded interviews: Extended Interviews: Being Asian in America
  • About this research project: More on the Being Asian in America project
  • Q&A: Why and how Pew Research Center conducted 66 focus groups with Asian Americans

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One of the topics covered in each focus group was how participants viewed their own racial or ethnic identity. Moderators asked them how they viewed themselves, and what experiences informed their views about their identity. These discussions not only highlighted differences in how participants thought about their own racial or ethnic background, but they also revealed how different settings can influence how they would choose to identify themselves. Across all focus groups, the general theme emerged that being Asian was only one part of how participants viewed themselves.

The pan-ethnic label ‘Asian’ is often used more in formal settings

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“I think when I think of the Asian Americans, I think that we’re all unique and different. We come from different cultures and backgrounds. We come from unique stories, not just as a group, but just as individual humans.” Mali , documentary participant

Many participants described a complicated relationship with the pan-ethnic labels “Asian” or “Asian American.” For some, using the term was less of an active choice and more of an imposed one, with participants discussing the disconnect between how they would like to identify themselves and the available choices often found in formal settings. For example, an immigrant Pakistani woman remarked how she typically sees “Asian American” on forms, but not more specific options. Similarly, an immigrant Burmese woman described her experience of applying for jobs and having to identify as “Asian,” as opposed to identifying by her ethnic background, because no other options were available. These experiences highlight the challenges organizations like government agencies and employers have in developing surveys or forms that ask respondents about their identity. A common sentiment is one like this:

“I guess … I feel like I just kind of check off ‘Asian’ [for] an application or the test forms. That’s the only time I would identify as Asian. But Asian is too broad. Asia is a big continent. Yeah, I feel like it’s just too broad. To specify things, you’re Taiwanese American, that’s exactly where you came from.”

–U.S.-born woman of Taiwanese origin in early 20s

Smaller ethnic groups default to ‘Asian’ since their groups are less recognizable

Other participants shared how their experiences in explaining the geographic location and culture of their origin country led them to prefer “Asian” when talking about themselves with others. This theme was especially prominent among those belonging to smaller origin groups such as Bangladeshis and Bhutanese. A Lao participant remarked she would initially say “Asian American” because people might not be familiar with “Lao.”

“​​[When I fill out] forms, I select ‘Asian American,’ and that’s why I consider myself as an Asian American. [It is difficult to identify as] Nepali American [since] there are no such options in forms. That’s why, Asian American is fine to me.”

–Immigrant woman of Nepalese origin in late 20s

“Coming to a big country like [the United States], when people ask where we are from … there are some people who have no idea about Bhutan, so we end up introducing ourselves as being Asian.”

–Immigrant woman of Bhutanese origin in late 40s

But for many, ‘Asian’ as a label or identity just doesn’t fit

Many participants felt that neither “Asian” nor “Asian American” truly captures how they view themselves and their identity. They argue that these labels are too broad or too ambiguous, as there are so many different groups included within these labels. For example, a U.S.-born Pakistani man remarked on how “Asian” lumps many groups together – that the term is not limited to South Asian groups such as Indian and Pakistani, but also includes East Asian groups. Similarly, an immigrant Nepalese man described how “Asian” often means Chinese for many Americans. A Filipino woman summed it up this way:

“Now I consider myself to be both Filipino and Asian American, but growing up in [Southern California] … I didn’t start to identify as Asian American until college because in [the Los Angeles suburb where I lived], it’s a big mix of everything – Black, Latino, Pacific Islander and Asian … when I would go into spaces where there were a lot of other Asians, especially East Asians, I didn’t feel like I belonged. … In media, right, like people still associate Asian with being East Asian.”

–U.S.-born woman of Filipino origin in mid-20s

Participants also noted they have encountered confusion or the tendency for others to view Asian Americans as people from mostly East Asian countries, such as China, Japan and Korea. For some, this confusion even extends to interactions with other Asian American groups. A Pakistani man remarked on how he rarely finds Pakistani or Indian brands when he visits Asian stores. Instead, he recalled mostly finding Vietnamese, Korean and Chinese items.

Among participants of South Asian descent, some identified with the label “South Asian” more than just “Asian.” There were other nuances, too, when it comes to the labels people choose. Some Indian participants, for example, said people sometimes group them with Native Americans who are also referred to as Indians in the United States. This Indian woman shared her experience at school:

“I love South Asian or ‘Desi’ only because up until recently … it’s fairly new to say South Asian. I’ve always said ‘Desi’ because growing up … I’ve had to say I’m the red dot Indian, not the feather Indian. So annoying, you know? … Always a distinction that I’ve had to make.”

–U.S.-born woman of Indian origin in late 20s

Participants with multiethnic or multiracial backgrounds described their own unique experiences with their identity. Rather than choosing one racial or ethnic group over the other, some participants described identifying with both groups, since this more accurately describes how they see themselves. In some cases, this choice reflected the history of the Asian diaspora. For example, an immigrant Cambodian man described being both Khmer/Cambodian and Chinese, since his grandparents came from China. Some other participants recalled going through an “identity crisis” as they navigated between multiple identities. As one woman explained:

“I would say I went through an identity crisis. … It’s because of being multicultural. … There’s also French in the mix within my family, too. Because I don’t identify, speak or understand the language, I really can’t connect to the French roots … I’m in between like Cambodian and Thai, and then Chinese and then French … I finally lumped it up. I’m just an Asian American and proud of all my roots.”

–U.S.-born woman of Cambodian origin in mid-30s

In other cases, the choice reflected U.S. patterns of intermarriage. Asian newlyweds have the highest intermarriage rate of any racial or ethnic group in the country. One Japanese-origin man with Hispanic roots noted:

“So I would like to see myself as a Hispanic Asian American. I want to say Hispanic first because I have more of my mom’s culture in me than my dad’s culture. In fact, I actually have more American culture than my dad’s culture for what I do normally. So I guess, Hispanic American Asian.”

–U.S.-born man of Hispanic and Japanese origin in early 40s

Other identities beyond race or ethnicity are also important

Focus group participants also talked about their identity beyond the racial or ethnic dimension. For example, one Chinese woman noted that the best term to describe her would be “immigrant.” Faith and religious ties were also important to some. One immigrant participant talked about his love of Pakistani values and how religion is intermingled into Pakistani culture. Another woman explained:

“[Japanese language and culture] are very important to me and ingrained in me because they were always part of my life, and I felt them when I was growing up. Even the word itadakimasu reflects Japanese culture or the tradition. Shinto religion is a part of the culture. They are part of my identity, and they are very important to me.”

–Immigrant woman of Japanese origin in mid-30s

For some, gender is another important aspect of identity. One Korean participant emphasized that being a woman is an important part of her identity. For others, sexual orientation is an essential part of their overall identity. One U.S.-born Filipino participant described herself as “queer Asian American.” Another participant put it this way:

“I belong to the [LGBTQ] community … before, what we only know is gay and lesbian. We don’t know about being queer, nonbinary. [Here], my horizon of knowing what genders and gender roles is also expanded … in the Philippines, if you’ll be with same sex, you’re considered gay or lesbian. But here … what’s happening is so broad, on how you identify yourself.”

–Immigrant woman of Filipino origin in early 20s

Immigrant identity is tied to their ethnic heritage

A chart showing how participants in the focus groups described the differences between race-centered and ethnicity-centered identities.

Participants born outside the United States tended to link their identity with their ethnic heritage. Some felt strongly connected with their ethnic ties due to their citizenship status. For others, the lack of permanent residency or citizenship meant they have stronger ties to their ethnicity and birthplace. And in some cases, participants said they held on to their ethnic identity even after they became U.S. citizens. One woman emphasized that she will always be Taiwanese because she was born there, despite now living in the U.S.

For other participants, family origin played a central role in their identity, regardless of their status in the U.S. According to some of them, this attitude was heavily influenced by their memories and experiences in early childhood when they were still living in their countries of origin. These influences are so profound that even after decades of living in the U.S., some still feel the strong connection to their ethnic roots. And those with U.S.-born children talked about sending their kids to special educational programs in the U.S. to learn about their ethnic heritage.

“Yes, as for me, I hold that I am Khmer because our nationality cannot be deleted, our identity is Khmer as I hold that I am Khmer … so I try, even [with] my children today, I try to learn Khmer through Zoom through the so-called Khmer Parent Association.”

–Immigrant man of Cambodian origin in late 50s

Navigating life in America is an adjustment

Many participants pointed to cultural differences they have noticed between their ethnic culture and U.S. culture. One of the most distinct differences is in food. For some participants, their strong attachment to the unique dishes of their families and their countries of origin helps them maintain strong ties to their ethnic identity. One Sri Lankan participant shared that her roots are still in Sri Lanka, since she still follows Sri Lankan traditions in the U.S. such as preparing kiribath (rice with coconut milk) and celebrating Ramadan.

For other participants, interactions in social settings with those outside their own ethnic group circles highlighted cultural differences. One Bangladeshi woman talked about how Bengalis share personal stories and challenges with each other, while others in the U.S. like to have “small talk” about TV series or clothes.

Many immigrants in the focus groups have found it is easier to socialize when they are around others belonging to their ethnicity. When interacting with others who don’t share the same ethnicity, participants noted they must be more self-aware about cultural differences to avoid making mistakes in social interactions. Here, participants described the importance of learning to “fit in,” to avoid feeling left out or excluded. One Korean woman said:

“Every time I go to a party, I feel unwelcome. … In Korea, when I invite guests to my house and one person sits without talking, I come over and talk and treat them as a host. But in the United States, I have to go and mingle. I hate mingling so much. I have to talk and keep going through unimportant stories. In Korea, I am assigned to a dinner or gathering. I have a party with a sense of security. In America, I have nowhere to sit, and I don’t know where to go and who to talk to.”

–Immigrant woman of Korean origin in mid-40s

And a Bhutanese immigrant explained:

“In my case, I am not an American. I consider myself a Bhutanese. … I am a Bhutanese because I do not know American culture to consider myself as an American. It is very difficult to understand the sense of humor in America. So, we are pure Bhutanese in America.”

–Immigrant man of Bhutanese origin in early 40s

Language was also a key aspect of identity for the participants. Many immigrants in the focus groups said they speak a language other than English at home and in their daily lives. One Vietnamese man considered himself Vietnamese since his Vietnamese is better than his English. Others emphasized their English skills. A Bangladeshi participant felt that she was more accepted in the workplace when she does more “American” things and speaks fluent English, rather than sharing things from Bangladeshi culture. She felt that others in her workplace correlate her English fluency with her ability to do her job. For others born in the U.S., the language they speak at home influences their connection to their ethnic roots.

“Now if I go to my work and do show my Bengali culture and Asian culture, they are not going to take anything out of it. So, basically, I have to show something that they are interested in. I have to show that I am American, [that] I can speak English fluently. I can do whatever you give me as a responsibility. So, in those cases I can’t show anything about my culture.”

–Immigrant woman of Bangladeshi origin in late 20s

“Being bi-ethnic and tri-cultural creates so many unique dynamics, and … one of the dynamics has to do with … what it is to be Americanized. … One of the things that played a role into how I associate the identity is language. Now, my father never spoke Spanish to me … because he wanted me to develop a fluency in English, because for him, he struggled with English. What happened was three out of the four people that raised me were Khmer … they spoke to me in Khmer. We’d eat breakfast, lunch and dinner speaking Khmer. We’d go to the temple in Khmer with the language and we’d also watch videos and movies in Khmer. … Looking into why I strongly identify with the heritage, one of the reasons is [that] speaking that language connects to the home I used to have [as my families have passed away].”

–U.S.-born man of Cambodian origin in early 30s

Balancing between individualistic and collective thinking

For some immigrant participants, the main differences between themselves and others who are seen as “truly American” were less about cultural differences, or how people behave, and more about differences in “mindset,” or how people think . Those who identified strongly with their ethnicity discussed how their way of thinking is different from a “typical American.” To some, the “American mentality” is more individualistic, with less judgment on what one should do or how they should act . One immigrant Japanese man, for example, talked about how other Japanese-origin co-workers in the U.S. would work without taking breaks because it’s culturally inconsiderate to take a break while others continued working. However, he would speak up for himself and other workers when they are not taking any work breaks. He attributed this to his “American” way of thinking, which encourages people to stand up for themselves.

Some U.S.-born participants who grew up in an immigrant family described the cultural clashes that happened between themselves and their immigrant parents. Participants talked about how the second generation (children of immigrant parents) struggles to pursue their own dreams while still living up to the traditional expectations of their immigrant parents.

“I feel like one of the biggest things I’ve seen, just like [my] Asian American friends overall, is the kind of family-individualistic clash … like wanting to do your own thing is like, is kind of instilled in you as an American, like go and … follow your dream. But then you just grow up with such a sense of like also wanting to be there for your family and to live up to those expectations, and I feel like that’s something that’s very pronounced in Asian cultures.”

–U.S.-born man of Indian origin in mid-20s

Discussions also highlighted differences about gender roles between growing up in America compared with elsewhere.

“As a woman or being a girl, because of your gender, you have to keep your mouth shut [and] wait so that they call on you for you to speak up. … I do respect our elders and I do respect hearing their guidance but I also want them to learn to hear from the younger person … because we have things to share that they might not know and that [are] important … so I like to challenge gender roles or traditional roles because it is something that [because] I was born and raised here [in America], I learn that we all have the equal rights to be able to speak and share our thoughts and ideas.”

U.S. born have mixed ties to their family’s heritage

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“I think being Hmong is somewhat of being free, but being free of others’ perceptions of you or of others’ attempts to assimilate you or attempts to put pressure on you. I feel like being Hmong is to resist, really.” Pa Houa , documentary participant

How U.S.-born participants identify themselves depends on their familiarity with their own heritage, whom they are talking with, where they are when asked about their identity and what the answer is used for. Some mentioned that they have stronger ethnic ties because they are very familiar with their family’s ethnic heritage. Others talked about how their eating habits and preferred dishes made them feel closer to their ethnic identity. For example, one Korean participant shared his journey of getting closer to his Korean heritage because of Korean food and customs. When some participants shared their reasons for feeling closer to their ethnic identity, they also expressed a strong sense of pride with their unique cultural and ethnic heritage.

“I definitely consider myself Japanese American. I mean I’m Japanese and American. Really, ever since I’ve grown up, I’ve really admired Japanese culture. I grew up watching a lot of anime and Japanese black and white films. Just learning about [it], I would hear about Japanese stuff from my grandparents … myself, and my family having blended Japanese culture and American culture together.”

–U.S.-born man of Japanese origin in late 20s

Meanwhile, participants who were not familiar with their family’s heritage showed less connection with their ethnic ties. One U.S.-born woman said she has a hard time calling herself Cambodian, as she is “not close to the Cambodian community.” Participants with stronger ethnic ties talked about relating to their specific ethnic group more than the broader Asian group. Another woman noted that being Vietnamese is “more specific and unique than just being Asian” and said that she didn’t feel she belonged with other Asians. Some participants also disliked being seen as or called “Asian,” in part because they want to distinguish themselves from other Asian groups. For example, one Taiwanese woman introduces herself as Taiwanese when she can, because she had frequently been seen as Chinese.

Some in the focus groups described how their views of their own identities shifted as they grew older. For example, some U.S.-born and immigrant participants who came to the U.S. at younger ages described how their experiences in high school and the need to “fit in” were important in shaping their own identities. A Chinese woman put it this way:

“So basically, all I know is that I was born in the United States. Again, when I came back, I didn’t feel any barrier with my other friends who are White or Black. … Then I got a little confused in high school when I had trouble self-identifying if I am Asian, Chinese American, like who am I. … Should I completely immerse myself in the American culture? Should I also keep my Chinese identity and stuff like that? So yeah, that was like the middle of that mist. Now, I’m pretty clear about myself. I think I am Chinese American, Asian American, whatever people want.”

–U.S.-born woman of Chinese origin in early 20s

Identity is influenced by birthplace

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“I identified myself first and foremost as American. Even on the forms that you fill out that says, you know, ‘Asian’ or ‘Chinese’ or ‘other,’ I would check the ‘other’ box, and I would put ‘American Chinese’ instead of ‘Chinese American.’” Brent , documentary participant

When talking about what it means to be “American,” participants offered their own definitions. For some, “American” is associated with acquiring a distinct identity alongside their ethnic or racial backgrounds, rather than replacing them. One Indian participant put it this way:

“I would also say [that I am] Indian American just because I find myself always bouncing between the two … it’s not even like dual identity, it just is one whole identity for me, like there’s not this separation. … I’m doing [both] Indian things [and] American things. … They use that term like ABCD … ‘American Born Confused Desi’ … I don’t feel that way anymore, although there are those moments … but I would say [that I am] Indian American for sure.”

–U.S.-born woman of Indian origin in early 30s

Meanwhile, some U.S.-born participants view being American as central to their identity while also valuing the culture of their family’s heritage.

Many immigrant participants associated the term “American” with immigration status or citizenship. One Taiwanese woman said she can’t call herself American since she doesn’t have a U.S. passport. Notably, U.S. citizenship is an important milestone for many immigrant participants, giving them a stronger sense of belonging and ultimately calling themselves American. A Bangladeshi participant shared that she hasn’t received U.S. citizenship yet, and she would call herself American after she receives her U.S. passport.

Other participants gave an even narrower definition, saying only those born and raised in the United States are truly American. One Taiwanese woman mentioned that her son would be American since he was born, raised and educated in the U.S. She added that while she has U.S. citizenship, she didn’t consider herself American since she didn’t grow up in the U.S. This narrower definition has implications for belonging. Some immigrants in the groups said they could never become truly American since the way they express themselves is so different from those who were born and raised in the U.S. A Japanese woman pointed out that Japanese people “are still very intimidated by authorities,” while those born and raised in America give their opinions without hesitation.

“As soon as I arrived, I called myself a Burmese immigrant. I had a green card, but I still wasn’t an American citizen. … Now I have become a U.S. citizen, so now I am a Burmese American.”

–Immigrant man of Burmese origin in mid-30s

“Since I was born … and raised here, I kind of always view myself as American first who just happened to be Asian or Chinese. So I actually don’t like the term Chinese American or Asian American. I’m American Asian or American Chinese. I view myself as American first.”

–U.S.-born man of Chinese origin in early 60s

“[I used to think of myself as] Filipino, but recently I started saying ‘Filipino American’ because I got [U.S.] citizenship. And it just sounds weird to say Filipino American, but I’m trying to … I want to accept it. I feel like it’s now marry-able to my identity.”

–Immigrant woman of Filipino origin in early 30s

For others, American identity is about the process of ‘becoming’ culturally American

A Venn diagram showing how participants in the focus group study described their racial or ethnic identity overlaps with their American identity

Immigrant participants also emphasized how their experiences and time living in America inform their views of being an “American.” As a result, some started to see themselves as Americans after spending more than a decade in the U.S. One Taiwanese man considered himself an American since he knows more about the U.S. than Taiwan after living in the U.S. for over 52 years.

But for other immigrant participants, the process of “becoming” American is not about how long they have lived in the U.S., but rather how familiar they are with American culture and their ability to speak English with little to no accent. This is especially true for those whose first language is not English, as learning and speaking it without an accent can be a big challenge for some. One Bangladeshi participant shared that his pronunciation of “hot water” was very different from American English, resulting in confusions in communication. By contrast, those who were more confident in their English skills felt they can better understand American culture and values as a result, leading them to a stronger connection with an American identity.

“[My friends and family tease me for being Americanized when I go back to Japan.] I think I seem a little different to people who live in Japan. I don’t think they mean anything bad, and they [were] just joking, because I already know that I seem a little different to people who live in Japan.”

–Immigrant man of Japanese origin in mid-40s

“I value my Hmong culture, and language, and ethnicity, but I also do acknowledge, again, that I was born here in America and I’m grateful that I was born here, and I was given opportunities that my parents weren’t given opportunities for.”

–U.S.-born woman of Hmong origin in early 30s

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During the focus group discussions about identity, a recurring theme emerged about the difference between how participants saw themselves and how others see them. When asked to elaborate on their experiences and their points of view, some participants shared experiences they had with people misidentifying their race or ethnicity. Others talked about their frustration with being labeled the “model minority.” In all these discussions, participants shed light on the negative impacts that mistaken assumptions and labels had on their lives.

All people see is ‘Asian’

For many, interactions with others (non-Asians and Asians alike) often required explaining their backgrounds, reacting to stereotypes, and for those from smaller origin groups in particular, correcting the misconception that being “Asian” means you come from one of the larger Asian ethnic groups. Several participants remarked that in their own experiences, when others think about Asians, they tend to think of someone who is Chinese. As one immigrant Filipino woman put it, “Interacting with [non-Asians in the U.S.], it’s hard. … Well, first, I look Spanish. I mean, I don’t look Asian, so would you guess – it’s like they have a vision of what an Asian [should] look like.” Similarly, an immigrant Indonesian man remarked how Americans tended to see Asians primarily through their physical features, which not all Asian groups share.

Several participants also described how the tendency to view Asians as a monolithic group can be even more common in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The first [thing people think of me as] is just Chinese. ‘You guys are just Chinese.’ I’m not the only one who felt [this] after the COVID-19 outbreak. ‘Whether you’re Japanese, Korean, or Southeast Asian, you’re just Chinese [to Americans]. I should avoid you.’ I’ve felt this way before, but I think I’ve felt it a bit more after the COVID-19 outbreak.”

–Immigrant woman of Korean origin in early 30s

At the same time, other participants described their own experiences trying to convince others that they are Asian or Asian American. This was a common experience among Southeast Asian participants.

“I have to convince people I’m Asian, not Middle Eastern. … If you type in Asian or you say Asian, most people associate it with Chinese food, Japanese food, karate, and like all these things but then they don’t associate it with you.”

–U.S.-born man of Pakistani origin in early 30s

The model minority myth and its impact

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“I’ve never really done the best academically, compared to all my other Asian peers too. I never really excelled. I wasn’t in honors. … Those stereotypes, I think really [have] taken a toll on my self-esteem.” Diane , documentary participant

Across focus groups, immigrant and U.S.-born participants described the challenges of the seemingly positive stereotypes of Asians as intelligent, gifted in technical roles and hardworking. Participants often referred to this as the “model minority myth.”

The label “model minority” was coined in the 1960s and has been used to characterize Asian Americans as financially and educationally successful and hardworking when compared with other groups. However, for many Asians living in the United States, these characterizations do not align with their lived experiences or reflect their socioeconomic backgrounds. Indeed, among Asian origin groups in the U.S., there are wide differences in economic and social experiences. 

Academic research on the model minority myth has pointed to its impact beyond Asian Americans and towards other racial and ethnic groups, especially Black Americans, in the U.S. Some argue that the model minority myth has been used to justify policies that overlook the historical circumstances and impacts of colonialism, slavery, discrimination and segregation on other non-White racial and ethnic groups.

Many participants noted ways in which the model minority myth has been harmful. For some, expectations based on the myth didn’t match their own experiences of coming from impoverished communities. Some also recalled experiences at school when they struggled to meet their teachers’ expectations in math and science.

“As an Asian person, I feel like there’s that stereotype that Asian students are high achievers academically. They’re good at math and science. … I was a pretty mediocre student, and math and science were actually my weakest subjects, so I feel like it’s either way you lose. Teachers expect you to fit a certain stereotype and if you’re not, then you’re a disappointment, but at the same time, even if you are good at math and science, that just means that you’re fitting a stereotype. It’s [actually] your own achievement, but your teachers might think, ‘Oh, it’s because they’re Asian,’ and that diminishes your achievement.”

–U.S.-born woman of Korean origin in late 20s

Some participants felt that even when being Asian worked in their favor in the job market, they encountered stereotypes that “Asians can do quality work with less compensation” or that “Asians would not complain about anything at work.”

“There is a joke from foreigners and even Asian Americans that says, ‘No matter what you do, Asians always do the best.’ You need to get A, not just B-plus. Otherwise, you’ll be a disgrace to the family. … Even Silicon Valley hires Asian because [an] Asian’s wage is cheaper but [they] can work better. When [work] visa overflow happens, they hire Asians like Chinese and Indian to work in IT fields because we are good at this and do not complain about anything.”

–Immigrant man of Thai origin in early 40s

Others expressed frustration that people were placing them in the model minority box. One Indian woman put it this way:

“Indian people and Asian people, like … our parents or grandparents are the ones who immigrated here … against all odds. … A lot of Indian and Asian people have succeeded and have done really well for themselves because they’ve worked themselves to the bone. So now the expectations [of] the newer generations who were born here are incredibly unrealistic and high. And you get that not only from your family and the Indian community, but you’re also getting it from all of the American people around you, expecting you to be … insanely good at math, play an instrument, you know how to do this, you know how to do that, but it’s not true. And it’s just living with those expectations, it’s difficult.”

–U.S.-born woman of Indian origin in early 20s

Whether U.S. born or immigrants, Asians are often seen by others as foreigners

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“Being only not quite 10 years old, it was kind of exciting to ride on a bus to go someplace. But when we went to Pomona, the assembly center, we were stuck in one of the stalls they used for the animals.” Tokiko , documentary participant

Across all focus groups, participants highlighted a common question they are asked in America when meeting people for the first time: “Where are you really from?” For participants, this question implied that people think they are “foreigners,” even though they may be longtime residents or citizens of the United States or were born in the country. One man of Vietnamese origin shared his experience with strangers who assumed that he and his friends are North Korean. Perhaps even more hurtful, participants mentioned that this meant people had a preconceived notion of what an “American” is supposed to look like, sound like or act like. One Chinese woman said that White Americans treated people like herself as outsiders based on her skin color and appearance, even though she was raised in the U.S.

Many focus group participants also acknowledged the common stereotype of treating Asians as “forever foreigners.” Some immigrant participants said they felt exhausted from constantly being asked this question by people even when they speak perfect English with no accent. During the discussion, a Korean immigrant man recalled that someone had said to him, “You speak English well, but where are you from?” One Filipino participant shared her experience during the first six months in the U.S.:

“You know, I spoke English fine. But there were certain things that, you know, people constantly questioning you like, oh, where are you from? When did you come here? You know, just asking about your experience to the point where … you become fed up with it after a while.”

–Immigrant woman of Filipino origin in mid-30s

U.S.-born participants also talked about experiences when others asked where they are from. Many shared that they would not talk about their ethnic origin right away when answering such a question because it often led to misunderstandings and assumptions that they are immigrants.

“I always get that question of, you know, ‘Where are you from?’ and I’m like, ‘I’m from America.’ And then they’re like, ‘No. Where are you from-from ?’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah, my family is from Pakistan,’ so it’s like I always had like that dual identity even though it’s never attached to me because I am like, of Pakistani descent.”

–U.S.-born man of Pakistani origin in early 20s

One Korean woman born in the U.S. said that once people know she is Korean, they ask even more offensive questions such as “Are you from North or South Korea?” or “Do you still eat dogs?”

In a similar situation, this U.S.-born Indian woman shared her responses:

“I find that there’s a, ‘So but where are you from?’ Like even in professional settings when they feel comfortable enough to ask you. ‘So – so where are you from?’ ‘Oh, I was born in [names city], Colorado. Like at [the hospital], down the street.’ ‘No, but like where are you from?’ ‘My mother’s womb?’”

–U.S.-born woman of Indian origin in early 40s

Ignorance and misinformation about Asian identity can lead to contentious encounters

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“I have dealt with kids who just gave up on their Sikh identity, cut their hair and groomed their beard and everything. They just wanted to fit in and not have to deal with it, especially [those] who are victim or bullied in any incident.” Surinder , documentary participant

In some cases, ignorance and misinformation about Asians in the U.S. lead to inappropriate comments or questions and uncomfortable or dangerous situations. Participants shared their frustration when others asked about their country of origin, and they then had to explain their identity or correct misunderstandings or stereotypes about their background. At other times, some participants faced ignorant comments about their ethnicity, which sometimes led to more contentious encounters. For example, some Indian or Pakistani participants talked about the attacks or verbal abuse they experienced from others blaming them for the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Others discussed the racial slurs directed toward them since the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Some Japanese participants recalled their families losing everything and being incarcerated during World War II and the long-term effect it had on their lives.

“I think like right now with the coronavirus, I think we’re just Chinese, Chinese American, well, just Asian American or Asians in general, you’re just going through the same struggles right now. Like everyone is just blaming whoever looks Asian about the virus. You don’t feel safe.”

–U.S.-born man of Chinese origin in early 30s

“At the beginning of the pandemic, a friend and I went to celebrate her birthday at a club and like these guys just kept calling us COVID.”

–U.S.-born woman of Korean origin in early 20s

“There [were] a lot of instances after 9/11. One day, somebody put a poster about 9/11 [in front of] my business. He was wearing a gun. … On the poster, it was written ‘you Arabs, go back to your country.’ And then someone came inside. He pointed his gun at me and said ‘Go back to your country.’”

–Immigrant man of Pakistani origin in mid-60s

“[My parents went through the] internment camps during World War II. And my dad, he was in high school, so he was – they were building the camps and then he was put into the Santa Anita horse track place, the stables there. And then they were sent – all the Japanese Americans were sent to different camps, right, during World War II and – in California. Yeah, and they lost everything, yeah.”

–U.S.-born woman of Japanese origin in mid-60s

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As focus group participants contemplated their identity during the discussions, many talked about their sense of belonging in America. Although some felt frustrated with people misunderstanding their ethnic heritage, they didn’t take a negative view of life in America. Instead, many participants – both immigrant and U.S. born – took pride in their unique cultural and ethnic backgrounds. In these discussions, people gave their own definitions of America as a place with a diverse set of cultures, with their ethnic heritage being a part of it.

Taking pride in their unique cultures

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“Being a Pakistani American, I’m proud. … Because I work hard, and I make true my dreams from here.” Shahid , documentary participant

Despite the challenges of adapting to life in America for immigrant participants or of navigating their dual cultural identity for U.S.-born ones, focus group participants called America their home. And while participants talked about their identities in different ways – ethnic identity, racial (Asian) identity, and being American – they take pride in their unique cultures. Many also expressed a strong sense of responsibility to give back or support their community, sharing their cultural heritage with others on their own terms.

“Right now it has been a little difficult. I think it has been for all Asians because of the COVID issue … but I’m glad that we’re all here [in America]. I think we should be proud to be here. I’m glad that our families have traveled here, and we can help make life better for communities, our families and ourselves. I think that’s really a wonderful thing. We can be those role models for a lot of the future, the younger folks. I hope that something I did in the last years will have impacted either my family, friends or students that I taught in other community things that I’ve done. So you hope that it helps someplace along the line.”

“I am very proud of my culture. … There is not a single Bengali at my workplace, but people know the name of my country. Maybe many years [later] – educated people know all about the country. So, I don’t have to explain that there is a small country next to India and Nepal. It’s beyond saying. People after all know Bangladesh. And there are so many Bengali present here as well. So, I am very proud to be a Bangladeshi.”

Where home is

When asked about the definition of home, some immigrant participants said home is where their families are located. Immigrants in the focus groups came to the United States by various paths, whether through work opportunities, reuniting with family or seeking a safe haven as refugees. Along their journey, some received support from family members, their local community or other individuals, while others overcame challenges by themselves. Either way, they take pride in establishing their home in America and can feel hurt when someone tells them to “go back to your country.” In response, one Laotian woman in her mid-40s said, “This is my home. My country. Go away.”

“If you ask me personally, I view my home as my house … then I would say my house is with my family because wherever I go, I cannot marry if I do not have my family so that is how I would answer.”

–Immigrant man of Hmong origin in late 30s

“[If somebody yelled at me ‘go back to your country’] I’d feel angry because this is my country! I live here. America is my country. I grew up here and worked here … I’d say, ‘This is my country! You go back to your country! … I will not go anywhere. This is my home. I will live here.’ That’s what I’d say.”

–Immigrant woman of Laotian origin in early 50s

‘American’ means to blend their unique cultural and ethnic heritage with that in the U.S.

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“I want to teach my children two traditions – one American and one Vietnamese – so they can compare and choose for themselves the best route in life.” Helen , documentary participant (translated from Vietnamese)

Both U.S.-born and immigrant participants in the focus groups shared their experiences of navigating a dual cultural environment between their ethnic heritage and American culture. A common thread that emerged was that being Asian in America is a process of blending two or more identities as one.

“Yeah, I want to say that’s how I feel – because like thinking about it, I would call my dad Lao but I would call myself Laotian American because I think I’m a little more integrated in the American society and I’ve also been a little more Americanized, compared to my dad. So that’s how I would see it.”

–U.S.-born man of Laotian origin in late 20s

“I mean, Bangladeshi Americans who are here, we are carrying Bangladeshi culture, religion, food. I am also trying to be Americanized like the Americans. Regarding language, eating habits.”

–Immigrant man of Bangladeshi origin in mid-50s

“Just like there is Chinese American, Mexican American, Japanese American, Italian American, so there is Indian American. I don’t want to give up Indianness. I am American by nationality, but I am Indian by birth. So whenever I talk, I try to show both the flags as well, both Indian and American flags. Just because you make new relatives but don’t forget the old relatives.”

–Immigrant man of Indian origin in late 40s

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Pew Research Center designed these focus groups to better understand how members of an ethnically diverse Asian population think about their place in America and life here. By including participants of different languages, immigration or refugee experiences, educational backgrounds, and income levels, this focus group study aimed to capture in people’s own words what it means to be Asian in America. The discussions in these groups may or may not resonate with all Asians living in the United States. Browse excerpts from our focus groups with the interactive quote sorter below, view a video documentary focused on the topics discussed in the focus groups, or tell us your story of belonging in America via social media. The focus group project is part of a broader research project studying the diverse experiences of Asians living in the U.S.

Read sortable quotes from our focus groups

Browse excerpts in the interactive quote sorter from focus group participants in response to the question “What does it mean to be [Vietnamese, Thai, Sri Lankan, Hmong, etc.] like yourself in America?” This interactive allows you to sort quotes from focus group participants by ethnic origin, nativity (U.S. born or born in another country), gender and age.

Video documentary

Videos throughout the data essay illustrate what focus group participants discussed. Those recorded in these videos did not participate in the focus groups but were sampled to have similar demographic characteristics and thematically relevant stories.

Watch the full video documentary and watch additional shorter video clips related to the themes of this data essay.

Share the story of your family and your identity

Did the voices in this data essay resonate? Share your story of what it means to be Asian in America with @pewresearch. Tell us your story by using the hashtag #BeingAsianInAmerica and @pewidentity on Twitter, as well as #BeingAsianInAmerica and @pewresearch on Instagram.

This cross-ethnic, comparative qualitative research project explores the identity, economic mobility, representation, and experiences of immigration and discrimination among the Asian population in the United States. The analysis is based on 66 focus groups we conducted virtually in the fall of 2021 and included 264 participants from across the U.S. More information about the groups and analysis can be found in this appendix .

Pew Research Center is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts, its primary funder. This data essay was funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, with generous support from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative DAF, an advised fund of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation; the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; the Henry Luce Foundation; The Wallace H. Coulter Foundation; The Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation; The Long Family Foundation; Lu-Hebert Fund; Gee Family Foundation; Joseph Cotchett; the Julian Abdey and Sabrina Moyle Charitable Fund; and Nanci Nishimura.

The accompanying video clips and video documentary were made possible by The Pew Charitable Trusts, with generous support from The Sobrato Family Foundation and The Long Family Foundation.

We would also like to thank the Leaders Forum for its thought leadership and valuable assistance in helping make this study possible. This is a collaborative effort based on the input and analysis of a number of individuals and experts at Pew Research Center and outside experts.

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Guest Essay

What Sentencing Could Look Like if Trump Is Found Guilty

A black-and-white photo of Donald Trump, standing behind a metal barricade.

By Norman L. Eisen

Mr. Eisen is the author of “Trying Trump: A Guide to His First Election Interference Criminal Trial.”

For all the attention to and debate over the unfolding trial of Donald Trump in Manhattan, there has been surprisingly little of it paid to a key element: its possible outcome and, specifically, the prospect that a former and potentially future president could be sentenced to prison time.

The case — brought by Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney, against Mr. Trump — represents the first time in our nation’s history that a former president is a defendant in a criminal trial. As such, it has generated lots of debate about the case’s legal strength and integrity, as well as its potential impact on Mr. Trump’s efforts to win back the White House.

A review of thousands of cases in New York that charged the same felony suggests something striking: If Mr. Trump is found guilty, incarceration is an actual possibility. It’s not certain, of course, but it is plausible.

Jury selection has begun, and it’s not too soon to talk about what the possibility of a sentence, including a prison sentence, would look like for Mr. Trump, for the election and for the country — including what would happen if he is re-elected.

The case focuses on alleged interference in the 2016 election, which consisted of a hush-money payment Michael Cohen, the former president’s fixer at the time, made in 2016 to a porn star, Stormy Daniels, who said she had an affair with Mr. Trump. Mr. Bragg is arguing that the cover-up cheated voters of the chance to fully assess Mr. Trump’s candidacy.

This may be the first criminal trial of a former president in American history, but if convicted, Mr. Trump’s fate is likely to be determined by the same core factors that guide the sentencing of every criminal defendant in New York State Court.

Comparable cases. The first factor is the base line against which judges measure all sentences: how other defendants have been treated for similar offenses. My research encompassed almost 10,000 cases of felony falsifying business records that have been prosecuted across the state of New York since 2015. Over a similar period, the Manhattan D.A. has charged over 400 of these cases . In roughly the first year of Mr. Bragg’s tenure, his team alone filed 166 felony counts for falsifying business records against 34 people or companies.

Contrary to claims that there will be no sentence of incarceration for falsifying business records, when a felony conviction involves serious misconduct, defendants can be sentenced to some prison time. My analysis of the most recent data indicates that approximately one in 10 cases in which the most serious charge at arraignment is falsifying business records in the first degree and in which the court ultimately imposes a sentence, results in a term of imprisonment.

To be clear, these cases generally differ from Mr. Trump’s case in one important respect: They typically involve additional charges besides just falsifying records. That clearly complicates what we might expect if Mr. Trump is convicted.

Nevertheless, there are many previous cases involving falsifying business records along with other charges where the conduct was less serious than is alleged against Mr. Trump and prison time was imposed. For instance, Richard Luthmann was accused of attempting to deceive voters — in his case, impersonating New York political figures on social media in an attempt to influence campaigns. He pleaded guilty to three counts of falsifying business records in the first degree (as well as to other charges). He received a sentence of incarceration on the felony falsification counts (although the sentence was not solely attributable to the plea).

A defendant in another case was accused of stealing in excess of $50,000 from her employer and, like in this case, falsifying one or more invoices as part of the scheme. She was indicted on a single grand larceny charge and ultimately pleaded guilty to one felony count of business record falsification for a false invoice of just under $10,000. She received 364 days in prison.

To be sure, for a typical first-time offender charged only with run-of-the-mill business record falsification, a prison sentence would be unlikely. On the other hand, Mr. Trump is being prosecuted for 34 counts of conduct that might have changed the course of American history.

Seriousness of the crime. Mr. Bragg alleges that Mr. Trump concealed critical information from voters (paying hush money to suppress an extramarital relationship) that could have harmed his campaign, particularly if it came to light after the revelation of another scandal — the “Access Hollywood” tape . If proved, that could be seen not just as unfortunate personal judgment but also, as Justice Juan Merchan has described it, an attempt “to unlawfully influence the 2016 presidential election.”

History and character. To date, Mr. Trump has been unrepentant about the events alleged in this case. There is every reason to believe that will not change even if he is convicted, and lack of remorse is a negative at sentencing. Justice Merchan’s evaluation of Mr. Trump’s history and character may also be informed by the other judgments against him, including Justice Arthur Engoron’s ruling that Mr. Trump engaged in repeated and persistent business fraud, a jury finding that he sexually abused and defamed E. Jean Carroll and a related defamation verdict by a second jury.

Justice Merchan may also weigh the fact that Mr. Trump has been repeatedly held in contempt , warned , fined and gagged by state and federal judges. That includes for statements he made that exposed witnesses, individuals in the judicial system and their families to danger. More recently, Mr. Trump made personal attacks on Justice Merchan’s daughter, resulting in an extension of the gag order in the case. He now stands accused of violating it again by commenting on witnesses.

What this all suggests is that a term of imprisonment for Mr. Trump, while far from certain for a former president, is not off the table. If he receives a sentence of incarceration, perhaps the likeliest term is six months, although he could face up to four years, particularly if Mr. Trump chooses to testify, as he said he intends to do , and the judge believes he lied on the stand . Probation is also available, as are more flexible approaches like a sentence of spending every weekend in jail for a year.

We will probably know what the judge will do within 30 to 60 days of the end of the trial, which could run into mid-June. If there is a conviction, that would mean a late summer or early fall sentencing.

Justice Merchan would have to wrestle in the middle of an election year with the potential impact of sentencing a former president and current candidate.

If Mr. Trump is sentenced to a period of incarceration, the reaction of the American public will probably be as polarized as our divided electorate itself. Yet as some polls suggest — with the caveat that we should always be cautious of polls early in the race posing hypothetical questions — many key swing state voters said they would not vote for a felon.

If Mr. Trump is convicted and then loses the presidential election, he will probably be granted bail, pending an appeal, which will take about a year. That means if any appeals are unsuccessful, he will most likely have to serve any sentence starting sometime next year. He will be sequestered with his Secret Service protection; if it is less than a year, probably in Rikers Island. His protective detail will probably be his main company, since Mr. Trump will surely be isolated from other inmates for his safety.

If Mr. Trump wins the presidential election, he can’t pardon himself because it is a state case. He will be likely to order the Justice Department to challenge his sentence, and department opinions have concluded that a sitting president could not be imprisoned, since that would prevent the president from fulfilling the constitutional duties of the office. The courts have never had to address the question, but they could well agree with the Justice Department.

So if Mr. Trump is convicted and sentenced to a period of incarceration, its ultimate significance is probably this: When the American people go to the polls in November, they will be voting on whether Mr. Trump should be held accountable for his original election interference.

What questions do you have about Trump’s Manhattan criminal trial so far?

Please submit them below. Our trial experts will respond to a selection of readers in a future piece.

Norman L. Eisen investigated the 2016 voter deception allegations as counsel for the first impeachment and trial of Donald Trump and is the author of “Trying Trump: A Guide to His First Election Interference Criminal Trial.”

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips . And here’s our email: [email protected] .

Follow the New York Times Opinion section on Facebook , Instagram , TikTok , WhatsApp , X and Threads .

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Brooke Baldwin Reveals Toxic Exit From CNN, Relationship Breakdowns: 'Jeff [Zucker] Never Spoke to Me Again'

B rooke Baldwin, the CNN anchor who left in 2021, says she was coldly sidelined by then-network chief Jeff Zucker after she developed a contentious relationship with her executive producer and complained about it.

Baldwin wrote about her resignation in an essay for Vanity Fair , detailing the reasons she ultimately left the network, saying that after she brought the issue of developing discord to executives, then-CEO "Jeff [Zucker] wanted me out."

When announcing her departure from the network in 2021, Baldwin said, "There is just more I need to do outside the walls of this place," also hinting in an interview that there were other reasons for her exit, referring to CNN as a "male-dominated network."

"When I signed off from CNN Newsroom on April 16, 2021, I couldn't tell the whole truth," Baldwin writes. "I wasn't allowed to -- and probably still am not."

Baldwin said she was on her best "yes-girl behavior," agreeing to take on anything the network threw at her, which eventually "snowballed" into a tense situation.

"CNN moved me from Atlanta to New York, but my producing team stayed behind; we would work long-distance," Baldwin said. "I could feel my tether to my executive producer begin to fray."

After her move, their "working relationship started to take a drastic turn," Baldwin noted, adding that her producer "made me feel as though I couldn't do heavy-hitting interviews without him."

"The word 'gaslighting' has become so cliché, but that's what it felt like," she continued. "Manipulation. Bullying."

Baldwin also noted that sometimes her producer would "go dark during my live broadcasts."

"There would be days when I'd get on set, clip on my microphone, and slip my earpiece into my right ear. No 'Hello.' No check-in. Instead, I'd be greeted by someone less seasoned," Baldwin recounted. 

When Baldwin finally decided it was time to address the issue head-on, she told Zucker that she wanted the producer off her team. Her request was denied. 

Baldwin recalled Zucker saying to her "I could give your show to someone in Washington tomorrow. " [ Long pause ] "But I won't ... because I believe you're the best broadcaster on this network."

During the following year, Baldwin was taken off air "for the two months leading up to and including Election Day 2020."

"In January 2021, the morning Trump was impeached for a second time, my cell phone rang. It wasn't my boss --rather, it was my agent," Baldwin said. 

"Jeff wanted me out. No explanation. Just out," she added. 

Baldwin noted that "Jeff never spoke to me again. Neither did my former executive producer, who ended up getting moved to another show for COVID-protocol reasons and then eventually promoted."

After being with the network for 10 years, Baldwin says she received "crickets" after her exit.

"And the worst part? I had to lie to my team, my friends and family, and my viewers," she writes. 

CNN declined TheWrap's request for comment.

The post Brooke Baldwin Reveals Toxic Exit From CNN, Relationship Breakdowns: 'Jeff [Zucker] Never Spoke to Me Again' appeared first on TheWrap .

Brooke Baldwin


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    Transition Words for Essays for First Body Paragraph. Here is a list of transition words that you can use for the first body paragraph of an essay: Firstly. To start off. Primarily. Another important factor is. To begin with. In the beginning. Above all.

  9. Formal synonyms of 'so'

    Formal synonyms of 'SO'. Below are the formal and polite equivalents (synonyms) of ' so ' which you can use in your business or professional pieces of writing. 'So' has a number of different meanings. Below are synonyms for it which are used when you want to give or explain what the consequences or the results of something happening are or will be.

  10. Words to Use in an Essay: 300 Essay Words

    If you're struggling to choose the right words for your essay, don't worry—you've come to the right place! In this article, we've compiled a list of over 300 words and phrases to use in the introduction, body, and conclusion of your essay. Contents: Words to Use in the Essay Introduction. Words to Use in the Body of the Essay.

  11. word choice

    1. Myself and most of my colleagues have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, so we're extra cautious. If you only want to replace 'so' in original sentence by an alternative conjunction: Myself and most of my colleagues have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, we're extra cautious. (Instead of 'coronavirus', I'd use a ...

  12. Is it correct to write "..., so..."? Is it formal to use "so" in

    Including "and" is a touch more formal than "so" by itself. You are handsome and so you are appreciated. Besides the already suggested "therefore" and "because", "hence" is another less commonly used option. You are handsome, hence you are appreciated. A few phrases are also possible: "and for that", "and as a result"

  13. How to Replace That-Clauses with 'So'

    Step 2: Replacing that-clauses. Now let's move to step two - how to replace that-clauses with "so.". There are a few kinds of that-clauses in English, and not all can be replaced with ...

  14. Overused Words to Replace in Your English Writing

    Like is a word that is shockingly overused in speech, but it is also creeping in more and more to English writing, which is a cause of major frustration to language purists, and those who like language to be clear. Because like just isn't. Like has multiple meanings, but almost all of them can be better expressed in other ways.

  15. 13 Synonyms for "They"

    Keep reading to learn better words to replace "they" in an essay or email. We've touched on the best two options to give you a better idea of what can work well. Also, you can read the final section to learn whether "they" is correct. Then, you'll have a better understanding as to whether you should use it in your writing. People

  16. Easy Ways to Replace Second‐Person Pronouns: 8 Steps

    Try, "Somebody could say that the timeline is too short.". 5. Add in "the reader" or "the viewer" to address the audience. There may be moments in your writing that you actually do want to talk to your reader directly. Using "you" is a little too informal, so you can replace it with "the reader" or "the viewer," instead.

  17. 13 Formal Synonyms for "Like"

    You can also write "respect" as a fancy word for "like.". This is a one-word alternative that'll help you to spice things up in your writing. For the most part, it remains formal. It's also sincere, which goes a long way in professional emails. If you respect something, it suggests that you like it and can understand why someone is ...

  18. 60+ Ways to Replace "That": A Word List for Writers

    This post continues my series about the most repeated words in writing. Today's culprit is that.. If that is a word that plagues your WIP, I'm here to tell you that there are methods that you can use to cure that plague.. The That vs.Which Controversy. One way to trim a few occurrences is to replace that with which.. You may have encountered the following guideline: If a clause is ...

  19. 9 Words to Use Instead of "And" to Start a Sentence

    1. Additionally. One of the most common ways to replace "and" at the start of a sentence is "additionally.". You can use this to keep things formal and direct. It shows you have something to add to a sentence, but you feel it's worthy of a new sentence before adding it. For the most part, this keeps the reader engaged.

  20. How to replace is, are, am, was, were, be, been and to be

    The problem is that the verb "to be" rarely has strong synonyms. As a linking verb it can sometimes be replaced with another linking verb. "He is sick" can become "He looks sick" or "He feels sick" or "He seems sick.". But none of those replacements is much stronger than the original verb, "is.". An excerpt of a third ...

  21. 12 Alternatives to "Firstly, Secondly, Thirdly" in an Essay

    What to Say Instead of "Firstly, Secondly, Thirdly". 1. First of All. "First of all" is a great way to replace "firstly" at the start of a list. We recommend using it to show that you have more points to make. Usually, it implies you start with the most important point. Here are some examples to show you how it works:

  22. Words to replace in an essay

    Check out our list of words that we recommend you replace in your writing, and lists of replacement words you can use to make your essay stand out. Let's start by learning to identify and replace ten words that are often repeated in English. Writing well in English means using the right words: the right words for what you mean and including ...

  23. Taylor Swift's 'The Tortured Poets Department' Arrives

    Indeed, "So Long" is an epic breakup tune, with lines like "You left me at the house by the heath" and "I'm pissed off you let me give you all that youth for free."

  24. Pew Research Center

    Pew Research Center

  25. What Sentencing Could Look Like if Trump Is Found Guilty

    Bragg is arguing that the cover-up cheated voters of the chance to fully assess Mr. Trump's candidacy. This may be the first criminal trial of a former president in American history, but if ...

  26. Brooke Baldwin Reveals Toxic Exit From CNN, Relationship ...

    Brooke Baldwin, the CNN anchor who left in 2021, says she was coldly sidelined by then-network chief Jeff Zucker after she developed a contentious relationship with her executive producer and ...