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How to Create an Effective Thesis Statement in 5 Easy Steps

Creating a thesis statement can be a daunting task. It’s one of the most important sentences in your paper, and it needs to be done right. But don’t worry — with these five easy steps, you’ll be able to create an effective thesis statement in no time.

Step 1: Brainstorm Ideas

The first step is to brainstorm ideas for your paper. Think about what you want to say and write down any ideas that come to mind. This will help you narrow down your focus and make it easier to create your thesis statement.

Step 2: Research Your Topic

Once you have some ideas, it’s time to do some research on your topic. Look for sources that support your ideas and provide evidence for the points you want to make. This will help you refine your argument and make it more convincing.

Step 3: Formulate Your Argument

Now that you have done some research, it’s time to formulate your argument. Take the points you want to make and put them into one or two sentences that clearly state what your paper is about. This will be the basis of your thesis statement.

Step 4: Refine Your Thesis Statement

Once you have formulated your argument, it’s time to refine your thesis statement. Make sure that it is clear, concise, and specific. It should also be arguable so that readers can disagree with it if they choose.

Step 5: Test Your Thesis Statement

The last step is to test your thesis statement. Does it accurately reflect the points you want to make? Is it clear and concise? Does it make an arguable point? If not, go back and refine it until it meets all of these criteria.

Creating an effective thesis statement doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With these five easy steps, you can create a strong thesis statement in no time at all.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.


thesis word bank

Ref-n-Write: Scientific Research Paper Writing Software Tool – Improve Academic English Writing Skills

Academic Phrasebank – The Largest Collection of Academic Phrases

  • Importance of topic
  • About research domain or topic
  • Active research area
  • Well studied issue or topic
  • Considerable interest in community
  • New or Emerging techniques
  • Recent advancements
  • Future expectations and predictions
  • Rise to prominence
  • Generally accepted findings and facts
  • Importance of understanding
  • Conventional approach
  • Problem definition
  • Known problems or issues
  • Problems cited in literature
  • Solving a problem
  • Possible solutions
  • Current solutions
  • Your solution
  • Partial solution
  • Unconventional approach or solution
  • Problem review
  • Complexity of the problem
  • Efforts in the research community
  • Research difficulties
  • Difficulties and challenges
  • Difficulty peforming an action
  • Difficulty in making decision
  • Limiting factors or issues
  • Intro to literature review
  • Well studied topic in literature
  • Many studies in literature
  • Methods and solutions in literature
  • Drawbacks of previous studies
  • Recent literature
  • Seminal or pioneering work
  • Similar works in literature
  • Comparative studies
  • Derivative work
  • Agreements and Disagreements in literature
  • Debated or controversial issues
  • Questionable studies
  • Referencing literature
  • Drawing inspiraton from literature
  • Summary of previous literature
  • More information on the topic
  • Evidence from previous studies
  • Evidence from previous clinical studies
  • Evidence from literature review
  • Supporting evidence in literature
  • Strong evidence in literature
  • Mixed evidence
  • Limited or lack of evidence
  • Disputed evidence
  • Evidence of association
  • Evidence of risk factor
  • Evidence of prevalance
  • Limited previous studies
  • Unexplored research area
  • Research questions
  • Lack of solution
  • Need for research
  • Need for a better method
  • Need for a better understanding
  • Need for more studies
  • Aims and objectives
  • Specific objectives or focus
  • Secondary objectives
  • Developing a new approach or method
  • Breakdown of your work
  • Study design
  • Motivation of your work
  • Benefits of your research
  • Extending previous work
  • Previous findings by you
  • Scope and remit of work
  • Overview of current methods
  • Intro to methods section
  • Paper or section breakdown
  • Scope of discussion
  • Summary of section
  • Referring to other sections
  • Further details
  • About the method
  • Method implementation
  • Experimental setup
  • Simple method
  • Fast method
  • Standard method
  • Popular method
  • Alternative methods
  • Controversial method
  • Comparing methods
  • Lack of methods
  • Combining methods
  • Origins of the method
  • Adapting or extending a method
  • Uniqueness of your method
  • Many methods available
  • Advantages and features of methods
  • Advantages and disadvantages of methods
  • Drawback and limitations of methods
  • Using previously published methods
  • Previous usage of the method
  • Pilot or preliminary studies
  • Lack of validation
  • Validation of the methods
  • Testing and evaluation
  • Measurement procedure
  • Multiple measurements
  • Consistency in measurements
  • Difficulty performing measurements
  • Using previously published data
  • Reason for choice
  • Inappropriate choice
  • Adequate for the experiment
  • Inadequate for the experiment
  • Conditions, constraints and criteria
  • Assumptions and approximations
  • No assumptions
  • Incorrect assumptions
  • Validity of assumption
  • Starting point
  • Initialization
  • Simplification
  • Prerequisites
  • Requirements
  • Neglected or ignored aspects
  • Important aspects
  • Taking things into account
  • Careful consideration
  • Drawing attention
  • Prior knowledge
  • Practical issues
  • Improving accuracy or performance
  • Making modifications or improvements
  • Lack of information
  • Steps and Stages
  • Special cases
  • Guidance and recommendations
  • Lessons from previous studies
  • Raising concerns
  • Data source
  • Data collection methods
  • About the study population
  • About the study group
  • Confidentality
  • Ethical approval
  • Inclusion and exclusion criteria
  • Participants characteristics
  • Participants behavior
  • Participant recruitment
  • Leaflets and information sheets
  • Questionnaire
  • Focus groups
  • Effect or influence
  • Increase or decrease
  • Influencing factors
  • Comparisions
  • Over and under estimation
  • Range and limits
  • Association or relationship
  • Variations or change
  • Observations and behaviour
  • Trend or pattern
  • Reporting data
  • Statistical tests
  • Statistical significance
  • Significance level
  • Data distribution
  • Correlations
  • Making statistical adjustments
  • Source of errors
  • Small discrepancies or errors
  • Large discrepancies or errors
  • Reducing errors
  • Error trend
  • Results intro
  • Analysis methods
  • Analysis software
  • General findings
  • Positive findings
  • Negative findings
  • Neutral findings
  • Key findings
  • Interesting findings
  • Expected findings
  • Unexpected findings
  • Inconclusive results
  • Difficulty in analysis
  • Additional analysis
  • Comparing results with previous work
  • Results in good aggreement with previous work
  • Results in disaggreement with previous work
  • Interpret with caution
  • Generalising findings
  • Future improvements
  • Future work
  • Further studies
  • Applications
  • Follow-up studies
  • Implications of your findings
  • Limitations of your study
  • Inadequate or limited data
  • Strengths of your work
  • Lesson for future studies
  • Novelty of your work
  • Contributions
  • Conclusions
  • Reason or cause
  • Speculations and doubts
  • No explanation
  • Reasons cited in literature
  • Classifications
  • Optimization
  • Properties and characteristics
  • Incidence or prevalance
  • Risk factors
  • Action - reasons
  • Action - consequences
  • Disadvantages or drawbacks
  • Limitations
  • Implications
  • Thanking people
  • Thank supervisor
  • Thank colleagues
  • Thank reviewers
  • Financial support
  • Declaration
  • Partnership
  • Clarifications
  • Time consuming
  • Reducing computation time
  • Cost effective
  • Publications

Phrase Templates

REF-N-WRITE is proud to announce the launch of the academic phrasebank. The phrasebank is now available as part of the Word AddIn. New buttons and options have been added to the AddIn for the users to access the academic phrasebank and search through academic phrases. A selection of academic phrases from the phrasebank has been made available above for demonstration purposes. The search results are limited to five academic phrases in the demo version.

1. Academic Phrasebank

Academic phrasebank refers to a library containing a collection of English phrases that can be readily used in scientific papers and academic reports. The REF-N-WRITE team has painstakingly created a phrasebank of 20,000 academic writing phrases for use by students and researchers writing research papers. These academic phrases were extracted from high-quality scientific journal articles by a team of academic experts. Only very small chunks of generic text were extracted from previous papers, and hence the use of these academic phrases in new papers will not constitute plagiarism. The academic phrases in the phrasebank are organized in the order in which you will be required to use in a scientific paper. The academic phrases can be accessed by simply clicking on each category.

The academic writing phrases are organized into following sections (1) Introduction; (2) Problem, Solution & Difficulties; (3) Literature Review; (4) Previous Evidence and Findings; (5) Research Gap; (6) Your Work; (7) Section Intro and Scope; (8) Materials and Methods; (9) Measurements and Calculations; (10) Technical Statements; (11) Data Collection and Processing; (12) Data Analysis & Presentation; (13) Statistics; (14) Errors and Discrepancies; (15) Results; (16) Discussion and (17) Acknowledgements. In addition to this, there are some general categories of academic phrases which include: (1) Reasons, Causes & Explanations; (2) Figures, Plots and Tables; (3) Explain or Describe; (4) General Statements and (5) Others.

The various categories available within the academic phrasebank is illustrated below in the following figure.

Screenshot of academic phrasebank

2. Getting Writing Ideas

You can search the academic phrasebank for writing themes and ideas by simply selecting a piece of text in MS Word and then clicking the ‘Writing Ideas’ button. The tool will perform an analysis on the selected text and bring up relevant categories from the academic phrasebank. Then the academic phrases belonging to the categories can be accessed by simply clicking on the category name. The screenshot below demonstrates how you can search for categories relevant to your writing in the academic phrasebank.

Getting writing ideas from the phrasebank

3. Getting Paraphrasing Ideas

REF-N-WRITE AddIn comes with a paraphrasing tool that allows users to search for rephrasing ideas from the academic phrasebank. The user has to select a sentence in MS Word document that they would like to rephrase or reword and click the ‘Paraphrasing Tool’ button in the REF-N-WRITE button panel. The tool will search through the academic phrases and bring up phrase templates relevant to the selected text. The user can use this collection of phrases to get paraphrasing ideas for the text. Furthermore, the user can bring up more similar phrases by clicking on the more button(…) that is shown next to each phrase template in the search results panel. The figure below illustrates how to get paraphrasing ideas from the academic phrasebank.

thesis word bank

4. Ref-N-Write Phrasebank vs. Manchester Phrasebank

The Manchester academic phrasebank is the most popular resource of academic writing phrases and was put together by Dr John Morley at The University of Manchester. The academic phrase bank is available in different forms, it is accessible through their website and is also available to purchase as an e-book . One of the motivations behind REF-N-WRITE Phrasebank is to create a fully searchable library of academic phrases that students and researchers can search on-the-fly while writing their papers. The REF-N-WRITE phrase bank is available as a part of the REF-N-WRITE Word AddIn, it means that the users can search through the library and lookup for academic writing phrase ideas within Microsoft Word.

By combining both REF-N-WRITE and Manchester phrasebanks together it is possible to generate high-quality scientific articles. REF-N-WRITE offers import facility which allows users to import documents in PDF and word formats into MS Word and then search through them during the writing process. Since Manchester Phrasebank is available in PDF version, the user using REF-N-WRITE can import the Manchester Phrasebank PDF into REF-N-WRITE and access the phrases from both Manchester Phrasebank and REF-N-WRITE Phrasebank simultaneously. The figure below illustrates phrases from the Manchester phrasebank being accessed within REF-N-WRITE Word AddIn.

Importing Manchester Phrasebank into REF-N-WRITE

5. Importance of using Academic phrases and Scientific words in Research Papers

Academic writing is different from normal every day writing in the sense that most words and terms used in general writing will be considered colloquial if used in research papers. One of the requirements of academic writing is that it requires the use of formal language in writing. We define formal language as the use of well-accepted scientific terms and phrases widely used by your peers in your subject area. In other words, the language you use in your academic essay or paper should be broadly in line with the one used by your academic or research community.

Such a skill is not easy to acquire, it takes time. Typically, your academic supervisor will provide guidance in this regard. When you are writing a research paper, your academic supervisor will review the paper first and provide you with suggestions to improve the language. The benefit of using a good academic phrasebank is that you can start perfecting the writing right from the start as you will be able to lookup for academic phrases and scientific words as you write your first draft. This will reduce the need for multiple revisions as your first version will be in a state that is academically acceptable.

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thesis word bank

Academic Phrasebank

Academic Phrasebank

Introducing work.

  • Being cautious
  • Being critical
  • Classifying and listing
  • Compare and contrast
  • Defining terms
  • Describing trends
  • Describing quantities
  • Explaining causality
  • Giving examples
  • Signalling transition
  • Writing about the past

pdf logo

There are many ways to introduce an academic essay or short paper. Most academic writers, however, appear to do one or more of the following in their introductions:

  • establish the context, background and/or importance of the topic
  • present an issue, problem, or controversy in the field of study
  • define the topic and/or key terms used in the paper
  • state the purpose of the essay or short paper
  • provide an overview of the coverage and/or structure of the writing

Slightly less complex introductions may simply inform the reader: what the topic is, why it is important, and how the writing is organised. In very short assignments, it is not uncommon for a writer to commence simply by stating the purpose of their writing.

Introductions to research dissertations and theses tend to be relatively short compared to the other sections of the text but quite complex in terms of their functional elements. Some of the more common elements include:

  • establishing the context, background and/or importance of the topic
  • giving a brief review of the relevant academic literature
  • identifying a problem, controversy or a knowledge gap in the field of study
  • stating the aim(s) of the research and the research questions or hypotheses
  • providing a synopsis of the research design and method(s)
  • explaining the significance or value of the study
  • defining certain key terms
  • providing an overview of the dissertation or report structure

Examples of phrases which are commonly employed to realise these functions can be seen by clicking on the headings listed below. Note that there may be a certain amount of overlap between some of the categories under which the phrases are listed. Also, the order in which the different categories of phrases are shown reflects a typical order but this is far from fixed or rigid, and not all the elements are present in all introductions.

A number of analysts have identified common patterns in the introductions of research articles. One of the best known patterns is the CARS model (create a research space) first described by John Swales (1990). This model, which utilises an ecological metaphor, has, in its simplest form, three elements or moves:

  • Establishing the territory (establishing importance of the topic, reviewing previous work)
  • Identifying a niche (indicating a gap in knowledge)
  • Occupying the niche (listing purpose of new research, listing questions, stating the value of the work, indicating the structure of the writing)

Establishing the importance of the topic for the world or society

X is a major contributor to … X plays a critical role in the maintenance of … Xs have emerged as powerful platforms for … X is essential for a wide range of technologies. X can play an important role in addressing the issue of … There is evidence that X plays a pivotal role in regulating … In the new global economy, X has become a central issue for … Evidence suggests that X is among the most important factors for … Xs are one of the most widely used groups of antibacterial agents and … There is a growing body of literature that recognises the importance of … X is an important component in the climate system, and plays a key role in Y. Xs are one of the most widely used groups of Y and have been extensively used for …

Establishing the importance of the topic for the discipline

X is of interest because … X is a classic problem in … X is an important aspect of … X is a fundamental property of … X is an increasingly important area in … The concepts of X and Y are central to … X is at the heart of our understanding of … Investigating X is a continuing concern within … X is a major area of interest within the field of … X has been an object of research since the 1960s. X has been the subject of many classic studies in … X has been instrumental in our understanding of … The theory of X provides a useful account of how … Central to the entire discipline of X is the concept of … The issue of X has received considerable critical attention. X has long been a question of great interest in a wide range of fields.

Establishing the importance of the topic (time frame given)

Recently, there has been renewed interest in … Traditionally, Xs have subscribed to the belief that … One of the most important events of the 1970s was … In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in … Recent developments in X have heightened the need for … The last two decades have seen a growing trend towards … Recently, researchers have shown an increased interest in … Recent trends in X have led to a proliferation of studies that … Over the past century, there has been a dramatic increase in … The past decade has seen the rapid development of X in many … Since it was reported in 2015, X has been attracting considerable interest. Recent developments in the field of X have led to a renewed interest in … The past thirty years have seen increasingly rapid advances in the field of …

Establishing the importance of the topic as a problem to be addressed

X is a major problem in … Of particular concern is … One of the main obstacles … One of the greatest challenges … A key issue is the safe disposal of … The main disadvantage of X is that … X impacts negatively upon a range of … It is now well established that X can impair … X has led to the decline in the population of … The main challenge faced by many researchers is the … Lack of X has existed as a health problem for many years. Xs are one of the most rapidly declining groups of insects in … Exposure to X has been shown to be related to adverse effects in … There is an urgent need to address the safety problems caused by …

Referring to previous work to establish what is already known

Recent evidence suggests that … Extensive research has shown that … Studies of X show the importance of … It has previously been observed that … Several attempts have been made to … Previous research has established that … Data from several studies suggest that … Recent research comparing X and Y has found … The existing body of research on X suggests that … There is a growing body of literature that recognises … Several theories on the origin of X have been proposed. Existing research recognises the critical role played by … It is now well established from a variety of studies, that … Recently investigators have examined the effects of X on Y. Surveys such as that conducted by Smith (2015) have shown that … Factors found to be influencing X have been explored in several studies. A number of cross-sectional studies suggest an association between X and Y… Studies over the past two decades have provided important information on …

Identifying a controversy within the field of study

A much debated question is whether … One major issue in early X research concerned … To date there has been little agreement on what … The issue has grown in importance in light of recent … One of the most significant current discussions in X is … In the literature on X, the relative importance of Y is debated. One observer has already drawn attention to the paradox in … Questions have been raised about the use of animal subjects in … In many Xs, a debate is taking place between Ys and Zs concerning … Debate continues about the best strategies for the management of … This concept has recently been challenged by X studies demonstrating … The debate about X has gained fresh prominence with many arguing that … Scholars have long debated the impact of X on the creation and diffusion of … More recently, literature has emerged that offers contradictory findings about … One major theoretical issue that has dominated the field for many years concerns … The controversy about scientific evidence for X has raged unabated for over a century. The issue of X has been a controversial and much disputed subject within the field of … The causes of X have been the subject of intense debate within the scientific community. In the literature on X, the relative importance of Y has been subject to considerable discussion.

Explaining the inadequacies of previous studies

Previous studies of X have not dealt with … Researchers have not treated X in much detail. Such expositions are unsatisfactory because they … Most studies in the field of X have only focused on … Such approaches, however, have failed to address … Previous published studies are limited to local surveys. Half of the studies evaluated failed to specify whether … The research to date has tended to focus on X rather than Y. Previously published studies on the effect of X are not consistent. Smith’s analysis does not take account of …, nor does she examine … The existing accounts fail to resolve the contradiction between X and Y. Most studies in X have only been carried out in a small number of areas.

However, much of the research up to now has been descriptive in nature … The generalisability of much published research on this issue is problematic. Research on the subject has been mostly restricted to limited comparisons of … However, few writers have been able to draw on any systematic research into … Short-term studies such as these do not necessarily show subtle changes over time … Although extensive research has been carried out on X, no single study exists which … However, these results were based upon data from over 30 years ago and it is unclear if … The experimental data are rather controversial, and there is no general agreement about …

Identifying the paucity or lack of previous research

There is little published data on … No previous study has investigated X. The use of X has not been investigated. Data about the efficacy and safety of X are limited. Up to now, far too little attention has been paid to … A search of the literature revealed few studies which … The impact of X on Y is understudied, particularly for … Few studies have investigated X in any systematic way … In addition, no research has been found that surveyed … So far, very little attention has been paid to the role of X. Surprisingly, the effects of X have not been closely examined. In contrast to X, there is much less information about effects of … A systematic understanding of how X contributes to Y is still lacking. Despite the importance of X, there remains a paucity of evidence on … To date, the problem has received scant attention in the research literature.

Identifying a knowledge gap in the field of study

It is still not known whether … … much less is known about X. The nature of X remains unclear. Currently, there are no data on … What is less clear is the nature of … Very little is currently known about X in … Research to date has not yet determined … What is not yet clear is the impact of X on … There is still uncertainty, however, whether … The response of X to Y is not fully understood. Causal factors leading to X remain speculative. The neurobiological basis of X is poorly understood. Little is known about X and it is not clear what factors … To date, only a limited number of Xs have been identified. The mechanisms that underpin X are not fully understood. Much uncertainty still exists about the relationship between … This indicates a need to understand the various perceptions of X that exist among … It is now well established that … However, the influence of X on Y has remained unclear.

Stating the focus, aim, or argument of a short paper

In this paper, I argue that … This paper attempts to show that … The central thesis of this paper is that … In the pages that follow, it will be argued that … In this essay, I attempt to defend the view that … The aim of this essay is to explore the relationship between … The purpose of this paper is to review recent research into the …

Stating the purpose of the current research

The specific objective of this study was to … An objective of this study was to investigate … This thesis will examine the way in which the … This study set out to investigate the usefulness of … This dissertation seeks to explain the development of … This case study seeks to examine the changing nature of … The objectives of this research are to determine whether … This prospective study was designed to investigate the use of … This research examines the emerging role of X in the context of … This study systematically reviews the data for…, aiming to provide … Drawing upon two strands of research into X, this study attempts to … This thesis intends to determine the extent to which … and whether … This dissertation aims to unravel some of the mysteries surrounding … This study therefore set out to assess the effect of X …, and the effect of … The main aim of this study is to investigate the differences between X and Y. Part of the aim of this project is to develop software that is compatible with … There are two primary aims of this study: 1. To investigate … 2. To ascertain … This study seeks to obtain data which will help to address these research gaps. One purpose of this study was to assess the extent to which these factors were … The purpose of this investigation is to explore the relationship between X and Y.

Describing the research design and the methods used

Data for this study were collected using … Five works will be examined, all of which … This investigation takes the form of a case-study of the … This study was exploratory and interpretative in nature. This study uses a qualitative case study approach to investigate … The research data in this thesis is drawn from four main sources: … The approach to empirical research adopted for this study was one of … This dissertation follows a case-study design, with in-depth analysis of … By employing qualitative modes of enquiry, I attempt to illuminate the … Qualitative and quantitative research designs were adopted to provide … Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used in this investigation. A holistic approach is utilised, integrating X, Y and Z material to establish … The study was conducted in the form of a survey, with data being gathered via … The methodological approach taken in this study is a mixed methodology based on … A combination of quantitative and qualitative approaches was used in the data analysis.

Explaining the significance of the current study

This is the first study to … This study provides new insights into … This work will generate fresh insight into … The study offers some important insights into … Understanding the link between X and Y will help … This is the first study to undertake a longitudinal analysis of … The present research explores, for the first time, the effects of … The importance and originality of this study are that it explores … The findings should make an important contribution to the field of …. Characterisation of X is important for our increased understanding of … It is hoped that this research will contribute to a deeper understanding of … This study aims to contribute to this growing area of research by exploring … This project provided an important opportunity to advance the understanding of … Therefore, this study makes a major contribution to research on X by demonstrating … There are several important areas where this study makes an original contribution to … The experimental work presented here provides one of the first investigations into how …

Describing the limitations of the current study

The thesis does not engage with … It is not the task of this paper to examine … This study is unable to encompass the entire … Establishing X is beyond the scope of this study. It is beyond the scope of this study to examine the … The analysis of X presented here is based solely on … A full discussion of X lies beyond the scope of this study. The reader should bear in mind that the study is based on … Another potential problem is that the scope of my thesis may be too broad. Due to practical constraints, this paper cannot provide a comprehensive review of…

Giving reasons for personal interest in the research*

I became interested in Xs after reading … My interest in this area developed while I was … I have worked closely with X for many years and … My personal experience of X has prompted this research. My main reason for choosing this topic is personal interest. It is my experience of working with X that has driven this research. This project was conceived during my time working for X. As a medical advisor, I witnessed …

* sometimes found in the humanities, and the applied human sciences

Outlining the structure of the paper or dissertation

The first section of this paper will examine… This paper begins by … It will then go on to … My thesis is composed of four themed chapters. The essay has been organised in the following way. The remaining part of the paper proceeds as follows: … The main issues addressed in this paper are: a), b) and c). This paper first gives a brief overview of the recent history of X. This paper has been divided into four parts. The first part deals with … The third chapter is concerned with the methodology used for this study. The overall structure of the study takes the form of six chapters, including … Chapter Four analyses the results of interviews and focus group discussions undertaken during … Chapter Two begins by laying out the theoretical dimensions of the research, and looks at how … The fourth section presents the findings of the research, focusing on the three key themes that …

Explaining key terms used in the current work

(also refer to  Defining terms )

Throughout this paper, the term ‘X’ will refer to … The term ‘X’ will be used in this thesis to refer to … Historically, the term ‘X’ has been used to describe … It is necessary here to clarify exactly what is meant by … The phrase ‘X’ will be used in this study to describe the … According to Smith (2002), X can be defined as follows: ‘ … ’ In this article, the abbreviation XYZ will be used to refer to … Throughout this dissertation, the term ‘X’ will be used to refer to … The term ‘X’ is a relatively new name for …, commonly referred to as … In this essay, the term ‘X’ will be used in its broadest sense to refer to all … In this dissertation, the terms ‘X’ and ‘Y’ are used interchangeably to mean … While a variety of definitions of the term X have been suggested, this paper will use the definition first suggested by Smith (1968) who saw it as …

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Trinka’s Academic Phrasebank

Find phrases or sentences to best express your intent or avoid repetition

E.g. "This represents an important topic to study because"

Information available here is free to use for academic purposes. For commercial use, please contact us .


AI to Find the Right Phrase

Our specially trained AI model saves you time finding the right phrase to write confidently from our large academic phrasebank in just seconds.


Large Academic Database

Our academic phrasebank curates phrases from millions of academic publications to help you easily express your intent while meeting academic conventions.


Easy to Search and Use

Save time and write confidently using our academic phrasebank powered by AI technology that makes finding the right phrases quick and easy.

About Trinka’s Academic Phrasebank

Trinka's academic phrasebank is a large database of phrases or sentences in English that lets you find the right phrase or sentence to use to express a specific intent while meeting academic writing conventions and style.

Trinka's academic phrasebank includes phrases/sentences that have been used in scientific journal papers and other academic publications. Our database is specially curated by a team of expert academics and editors.

Our unique AI technology delivers highly relevant results and saves your time in drafting your academic content.


How Does Trinka’s Academic Phrasebank Work?

Using Trinka’s academic phrasebank , you can find the right phrases or sentences to communicate your message effectively in two easy ways.

Searching for phrases similar to ones you have. Type or paste the phrase to see all similar phrases. Trinka's AI understands the meaning of the phrase and shows you all the relevant phrases. Copy the suggestion of your choice with a click to use it.

Navigating the academic phrasebank using the sections. Say you need phrases to introduce previous work to establish the importance of your topic in the introduction section. Just click on the section “Introducing your work” and then the subsection “Establishing the importance of the topic” in the categorized academic phrasebank navigation. You get all the relevant suggestions that you can copy with a click!

Trinka’s Phrasebank vs. Manchester Phrasebank

The Manchester academic phrasebank was compiled by Dr. John Morley at the University of Manchester. The Manchester academic phrasebank can be downloaded as a pdf file or accessed on their website.

Trinka's academic phrasebank is a fully searchable and navigable academic phrasebank for authors. It provides a significantly larger database than the Manchester academic phrasebank and includes phrases from millions of published articles, making it a highly comprehensive academic phrasebank.

Furthermore, Trinka’s academic phrasebank uses AI technology to help you easily find relevant phrases with a simple search. Trinka’s categorized academic phrasebank lets you browse through the database and find the right phrase easily.


Large Curated Academic Database

Trinka’s academic phrasebank uses a large academic database containing content from millions of published papers from reputed journals across disciplines.

ai powered

AI Powered Search

Trinka’s academic phrasebank uses AI to help you find the right phrase with a simple search so you can save time while drafting your manuscript.

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Easy to Navigate

Trinka's academic phrasebank is categorized in logical sections so you can easily find the right phrase to communicate intended message for every section of your paper.

Trusted by Researchers Worldwide

Trinka AI is preferred by researchers worldwide for their writing and publication needs. In addition to Trinka's academic phrasebank, technical writers and academics around the globe rely heavily on its grammar corrections and language enhancements. Unlike most other tools, Trinka goes beyond grammar to ensure holistic language improvements for increased publication success.

Academic Phrasebank FAQ’s

Writing an academic manuscript is challenging, as it not only requires grammatical accuracy but also requires adhering to several writing conventions while ensuring impactful communication. Trinka’s academic phrasebank helps you prepare your manuscript faster by allowing you to use phrases from standard academic publications without the need for searching and reading several papers to identify the right phrases. Using Trinka’s academic phrasebank hence helps you save time and prepare your manuscript more confidently.

Trinka’s academic phrasebank aims to help academic authors and students write effectively. It is completely free to use, without limitations.

Trinka’s academic phrasebank provides you with phrases aimed to achieve a specific communication objective. Once you use a phrase from Trinka’s academic phrasebank, you will need to expand on it to complete communicating your message, making the final content your own unique version. Therefore, using Trinka’s academic phrasebank will not constitute to plagiarizing.

Trinka’s academic phrasebank includes standard phrases from millions of publications across all scientific disciplines and hence can be used for any subject.

Writing Point

Manchester Academic Phrasebank

thesis word bank

The freely available online Academic Phrasebank contains hundreds of sentence templates for the rhetorical moves typically used in academic dissertations and research papers. (A ‘rhetorical move’ is realized in a section of text serving a specific communicative function, such as convincing the reader of the importance of the ideas being propounded, indicating caution, explaining causality etc.) Originating in a corpus of some hundred postgraduate dissertations completed at the University of Manchester, Academic Phrasebank continues to enlarge its stock of generic language, expanding its corpus to include academic articles from a range of disciplines. The social sciences figure prominently among them [Davis & Morley, Fig. 3, p.4].

Another factor inspiring the creation of Academic Phrasebank by John Morley, Director of University-wide Language Programmes at Manchester University, is the finding of psycholinguistics that much language is learnt in phrases, being ‘acquired, stored and retrieved as pre-formulated constructions.’

The functional approach to academic writing and the phraseological approach to language learning of Academic Phrasebank is shared by Graff and Birkenstein’s book “They say/ I say” , written primarily for US high school and college students, aiming to “demystify academic writing” and equip students with the “moves that matter” in engaging in the dialogue and debate that take place in academic texts. Academic Phrasebank is used by university graduates and researchers – both native and non-native speakers of English – for familiarizing oneself with and exercising the various communicative functions typical of academic texts in Anglo-Saxon style, given in the form of generic English language templates. When writing one’s own text (as communicative act in the “academic conversation” going on in your field) the relevant rhetorical and language tools are more likely to be found at hand by having internalized the moves schematized and instantiated in Academic Phrasebank. As stated on the homepage, “The items in the Academic Phrasebank are mostly content-neutral and generic in nature; in using them, therefore, you are not stealing other people’s ideas and this does not constitute plagiarism.”

The sentence templates of Academic Phrasebank may be navigated according to functions specific to academic research articles:

  • Introducing Work
  • Referring to Sources
  • Describing Methods
  • Reporting Results
  • Discussing Findings
  • Writing Conclusions

Or they may be navigated according to general language functions typical in academic writing:

  • Being Cautious
  • Being Critical
  • Classifying and Listing
  • Compare and Contrast
  • Defining Terms
  • Describing Trends
  • Describing Quantities
  • Explaining Causality
  • Giving Examples
  • Signalling Transition
  • Writing about the Past

Swales’ pioneering CaRS model has been influential in codifying the rhetorical moves made in introductions to academic research articles:

  • Establishing the territory (establishing importance of the topic, reviewing previous work)
  • Identifying a niche (indicating a gap in knowledge)
  • Occupying the niche (listing purpose of new research, listing questions, stating the value the work, indicating the structure of the writing)

The section Introducing Work of Academic Phrasebank devoted to introductions accordingly gives phrases useful for the primary functions of

  • establishing the context, background and/or importance of the topic
  • presenting an issue, problem, or controversy in the field of study
  • defining the topic and/or key terms used in the paper
  • stating the purpose of the paper
  • providing an overview of the coverage and/or structure of the writing.

For each of these functions numerous examples of generic language are listed. Users need only to “fill in the gaps” with the content of their work.

Five exercises using Academic Phrasebank are offered by Davis and Morley (2018). The first is as follows and may be used to construct a “toy example” of an introduction (try it!):

Choose one of the following sentence stems for the function indicated and continue the sentence for your own introduction (you may find it useful to substitute some elements):

Establishing the importance of the topic: One of the most significant current discussions in X is… It is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the …

Highlighting a knowledge gap in the field of study: However, far too little attention has been paid to … A search of the literature revealed few studies which …

Focus and aim: This report seeks to address the following questions … The aim of this study is to determine/examine …

Outline of structure: This paper has been divided into four parts. The first part deals with … The first section of this paper will examine …

Explaining keywords: While a variety of definitions of the term X have been suggested, this paper will use the definition proposed by Y who saw it as … Throughout this paper the term X will be used to refer to …

The other exercises are (Activity 2) to identify generic language in a text extract in the form of “reusable academic phrases”; (Activity 3) to describe the purpose or function of a given set of phrases, for example in signalling transition ; (Activity 4) recognizing what counts as generic language – and hence reusable as a template, and what counts as a particular turn of phrase – copying of which would therefore constitute plagiarism; (Activity 5) slotting in evaluative adjectives into generic phrases in order to comment critically .

While Academic Phrasebank may serve as a phrasebook of generic language to draw on when writing a paper in anger, it is perhaps more profitably used for becoming more conscious of the communicative functions involved in writing academic texts for English-speaking audiences, and for learning the associated English language used to realize these functions. The activities offered by Davis and Morley may be found helpful in make active use of Academic Phrasebank as a language-learning tool.

A freely downloadable print version of Academic Phrasebank contains at the end a supplement to the online material, with notes on (1) academic style, (2) commonly confused words, (3) British and US spelling, (4) punctuation, (5) article use, (6) sentence structure, (7) paragraph structure, and (8) the writing process. While the brevity of these notes has the advantage of giving overviews that are digestible in a single reading, occasionally they simplify to the point of being misleading. For example, in the notes on commonly confused words it is stated that affect ( meaning to make a difference or to touch emotionally) is a verb and effect (meaning a change resulting from some cause) is a noun, skating over the fact that affect also sees use as a noun (in psychology meaning emotion in its subjective, behavioural aspect, or a manifestation of the same) and that effect is often used as a verb (meaning to cause or bring about).

An expanded version of the Academic Phrasebank is available as a navigable pdf for a modest fee.

Davis, M. and Morley J. (2018) Facilitating learning about academic phraseology: teaching activities for student writers , Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education, Special Edition: October 2018 ALDinHE Conference

Swales, J. and Feak, C. (2012) Academic writing for graduate students. 3rd ed. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Michigan University Press

Graff, G. and Birkenstein, C. (2014), “They say / I say”: the Moves that Matter in Academic Writing, 3 rd ed., New York: W.W. Norton & Co. Ltd.

thesis word bank

Andrew Goodall

4 replies to “manchester academic phrasebank”.

Academic Phrasebank – The University of Manchester website seems to be down. https://www.phrasebank.manchester.ac.uk Do you know how I can contact the web developers so that they can fix this? Perhaps the website has moved? Thanks for you help 🙂

It appears they have been quick to fix it – the link works now!

What is the content or purpose of the Manchester Academic Phrasebank mentioned in the article?

I refer you to the home page https://www.phrasebank.manchester.ac.uk/ which explains well both content and purpose.

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100+ Research Vocabulary Words & Phrases

thesis word bank

The academic community can be conservative when it comes to enforcing academic writing style , but your writing shouldn’t be so boring that people lose interest midway through the first paragraph! Given that competition is at an all-time high for academics looking to publish their papers, we know you must be anxious about what you can do to improve your publishing odds.

To be sure, your research must be sound, your paper must be structured logically, and the different manuscript sections must contain the appropriate information. But your research must also be clearly explained. Clarity obviously depends on the correct use of English, and there are many common mistakes that you should watch out for, for example when it comes to articles , prepositions , word choice , and even punctuation . But even if you are on top of your grammar and sentence structure, you can still make your writing more compelling (or more boring) by using powerful verbs and phrases (vs the same weaker ones over and over). So, how do you go about achieving the latter?

Below are a few ways to breathe life into your writing.

1. Analyze Vocabulary Using Word Clouds

Have you heard of “Wordles”? A Wordle is a visual representation of words, with the size of each word being proportional to the number of times it appears in the text it is based on. The original company website seems to have gone out of business, but there are a number of free word cloud generation sites that allow you to copy and paste your draft manuscript into a text box to quickly discover how repetitive your writing is and which verbs you might want to replace to improve your manuscript.

Seeing a visual word cloud of your work might also help you assess the key themes and points readers will glean from your paper. If the Wordle result displays words you hadn’t intended to emphasize, then that’s a sign you should revise your paper to make sure readers will focus on the right information.

As an example, below is a Wordle of our article entitled, “ How to Choose the Best title for Your Journal Manuscript .” You can see how frequently certain terms appear in that post, based on the font size of the text. The keywords, “titles,” “journal,” “research,” and “papers,” were all the intended focus of our blog post.

research words and phrases word cloud

2. Study Language Patterns of Similarly Published Works

Study the language pattern found in the most downloaded and cited articles published by your target journal. Understanding the journal’s editorial preferences will help you write in a style that appeals to the publication’s readership.

Another way to analyze the language of a target journal’s papers is to use Wordle (see above). If you copy and paste the text of an article related to your research topic into the applet, you can discover the common phrases and terms the paper’s authors used.

For example, if you were writing a paper on  links between smoking and cancer , you might look for a recent review on the topic, preferably published by your target journal. Copy and paste the text into Wordle and examine the key phrases to see if you’ve included similar wording in your own draft. The Wordle result might look like the following, based on the example linked above.

research words and phrases word cloud, cancer study

If you are not sure yet where to publish and just want some generally good examples of descriptive verbs, analytical verbs, and reporting verbs that are commonly used in academic writing, then have a look at this list of useful phrases for research papers .

3. Use More Active and Precise Verbs

Have you heard of synonyms? Of course you have. But have you looked beyond single-word replacements and rephrased entire clauses with stronger, more vivid ones? You’ll find this task is easier to do if you use the active voice more often than the passive voice . Even if you keep your original sentence structure, you can eliminate weak verbs like “be” from your draft and choose more vivid and precise action verbs. As always, however, be careful about using only a thesaurus to identify synonyms. Make sure the substitutes fit the context in which you need a more interesting or “perfect” word. Online dictionaries such as the Merriam-Webster and the Cambridge Dictionary are good sources to check entire phrases in context in case you are unsure whether a synonym is a good match for a word you want to replace. 

To help you build a strong arsenal of commonly used phrases in academic papers, we’ve compiled a list of synonyms you might want to consider when drafting or editing your research paper . While we do not suggest that the phrases in the “Original Word/Phrase” column should be completely avoided, we do recommend interspersing these with the more dynamic terms found under “Recommended Substitutes.”

A. Describing the scope of a current project or prior research

B. outlining a topic’s background, c. describing the analytical elements of a paper, d. discussing results, e. discussing methods, f. explaining the impact of new research, wordvice writing resources.

For additional information on how to tighten your sentences (e.g., eliminate wordiness and use active voice to greater effect), you can try Wordvice’s FREE APA Citation Generator and learn more about how to proofread and edit your paper to ensure your work is free of errors.

Before submitting your manuscript to academic journals, be sure to use our free grammar checker to catch errors in grammar, spelling, and mechanics. And use our proofreading services and English editing services from Wordvice, including academic editing services , cover letter editing , manuscript editing , and research paper editing services to make sure your work is up to a high academic level.

We also have a collection of other useful articles for you, for example on how to strengthen your writing style , how to avoid fillers to write more powerful sentences , and how to eliminate prepositions and avoid nominalizations . Additionally, get advice on all the other important aspects of writing a research paper on our academic resources pages .

thesis word bank

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Choosing your words – starting the phd.

Beginning academic writers often look for academic phrase banks and word lists to help them write ‘right’. The most popular of these is the Manchester Academic Phrase Bank – now also available in print. There are also general lists of … Continue reading →

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  4. Academic Phrasebank

    The Academic Phrasebank is a general resource for academic writers. It aims to provide you with examples of some of the phraseological 'nuts and bolts' of

  5. Academic Phrasebank

    It aims to provide the phraseological 'nuts and bolts' of academic writing organised according to the main sections of a research paper or dissertation. Other

  6. Academic Phrasebank

    Academic phrasebank refers to a library containing a collection of English phrases that can be readily used in scientific papers and academic reports. The REF-N

  7. Introducing work

    providing an overview of the dissertation or report structure. Examples of phrases which are commonly employed to realise these functions can be seen by

  8. Free Academic Phrasebank by Trinka

    Trinka's academic phrasebank is a large database of phrases or sentences in English that lets you find the right phrase or sentence to use to express a specific

  9. Manchester Academic Phrasebank

    Academic Phrasebank is used by university graduates and researchers – both native and non-native speakers of English – for familiarizing oneself with and

  10. 17 academic words and phrases to use in your essay

    We have helped 10,000s of undergraduate, Masters and PhD students to maximise their grades in essays, dissertations, model-exam answers

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  12. Lost for words? Improve your academic writing with the Manchester

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  13. Academic Phrasebank 4/2012

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  14. academic word bank

    Tagged with academic word bank. choosing your words – starting the phd. Beginning academic writers often look for academic phrase banks and