Academic English writing phrases

Importance of the topic

... is an increasingly important area in ...
... is at the heart of our understanding of ...
... is the leading cause of death in … countries.
...s are one of the most widely used groups of ...
Central to the entire discipline of ... is the concept of ...
In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in ...
In the history of development economics, ... has been thought of as a key factor in ...
In the new global economy, ... has become a central issue for ...
It is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the ...
One of the most significant current discussions in …  is ...
Over the past century there has been a dramatic increase in ...
Recent developments in ... have heightened the need for ...
Recent developments in the field of ... have led to a renewed interest in ...
The past decade has seen the rapid development of ... in many ...
The past thirty years have seen increasingly rapid advances in the field of ...

Highlighting a problem

...'s analysis does not take account of ... nor does it examine ...
Debate continues about the best strategies for the management of ...
Despite its long clinical success, ... has a number of problems in use.
Despite its safety and efficacy, ... suffers from several major drawbacks …
However, a major problem with this kind of … is ...
However, far too little attention has been paid to ...
However, there is no reliable evidence that ...
However, these rapid changes are having a serious effect on ...
Most studies in ... have only been carried out in a small number of areas.
One observer has already drawn attention to the ... in ...
Questions have been raised about the safety of prolonged use of ...
So far, however, there has been little discussion about ...
The controversy about scientific evidence for ... has raged unabated for over a century.
The issue of ... has been a controversial and much disputed subject within the field of ...
This concept has recently been challenged by ... studies demonstrating ...
To date there has been little agreement on what ...

Focus

In the pages that follow, it will be argued that ...
In this essay, I attempt to defend the view that ...
In this paper I argue that ...
The aim of this paper is to determine \ examine ...
The aim of this study was to evaluate and validate ...
The objectives of this research are to determine whether ...
The purpose of this paper is to review recent research into the ...
This chapter reviews the … concerning the usefulness of using ...
This essay critically examines \ discusses \ traces ...
This essay seeks to remedy these problems by analyisng the ...
This paper attempts to show that ...
This paper seeks to address the following questions -  
This paper will focus on \ examine \ give an account of ...

Outline of structure

Finally, ...
The essay has been organised in the following way.
The first section of this paper will examine ...
The main questions \ issues addressed in this paper are - 
This paper begins by ... It will then go on to ...
This paper first gives a brief overview of the recent history of ....
This paper has been divided into four parts. The first part deals with ...
This paper reviews the evidence for ...

Introducing problems

...'s analysis does not take account of ... nor does he examine ...
A serious weakness with this argument, however, is that ...
All the studies reviewed so far, however, suffer from the fact that ...
Another problem with this approach is that it fails to take ... into account.
Difficulties arise, however, when an attempt is made to implement the policy.
Dmitriy's argument relies too heavily on qualitative analysis of ...
Dmitriy's interpretation overlooks much of the historical research ...
However, all the previously mentioned methods suffer from some serious limitations \  weaknesses \  disadvantages \ drawbacks.
However, approaches of this kind carry with them various well known limitations.
However, one of the problems with the instrument the researchers used to measure ... was ...
However, such explanations tend to overlook the fact that...
However, there is an inconsistency with this argument.
However, this method of analysis has a number of limitations.
It seems that Douglas' understanding of the ... framework is questionable.
Many writers have challenged Douglas' claim on the grounds that ...
One criticism of much of the literature on ... is that ...
One major criticism of Dmitriy's work is that ...
One major drawback of this approach is that ...
One of the limitations with this explanation is that it does not explain why...
One question that needs to be asked, however, is whether ...
Perhaps the most serious disadvantage of this method is that ...
The existing accounts fail to resolve the contradiction between ... and ...
The key problem with this explanation is that ...
The main limitation of biosynthetic incorporation, however, is ...

Identifying weaknesses

However, …      
the main weakness of the study is the failure to address how ...
the study fails to consider the differing categories of damage that ...
the author offers no explanation for the distinction between ... and ...
Dmitriy makes no attempt to differentiate between various different types of ...
Douglas fails to fully acknowledge the significance of ...
the paper would appear to be over ambitious in its claims.
what Dmitriy fails to do is to draw a distinction between ...
another weakness is that we are given no explanantion of how ...
no attempt was made to quantify the association between ... and Y.

Offering suggestions

Dmitriy's paper
Her conclusions
The study
The findings      

  1. would have been \ might have been           

-- more \ much more \ far more            
--- useful \ convincing \ interesting \ persuasive \ origin

  1. if he had \ if the author had

               -- included ...
-- considered ...
-- adopted ...
-- used ...

A better study would examine a large, randomly selected sample of societies with ...
A much more systematic study would identify how ... interacts with other variables that are believed to be linked to ...

Highlighting inadequacies

Although extensive research has been carried out on ..., no single study exists which adequately covers...
Half of the studies evaluated failed to specify whether ...
However, few writers have been able to draw on any structured research into the opinions and attitudes of ...
However, much of the research up to now has been descriptive in nature ...
However, these results were based upon data from over 30 years ago and it is unclear if these differences still persist.
However, these studies used non - validated methods to measure ...
Most studies in ... have only been carried out in a small number of areas.
Most studies in the field of ... have only focussed on ...
Previous studies of ... have not dealt with ...
Researchers have not treated ... in much detail.
Such expositions are unsatisfactory because they ...
The existing accounts fail to resolve the contradiction between ... and ...
The experimental data are rather controversial, and there is no general agreement about ...
The generalisability of much published research on this issue is problematic.
The research to date has tended to focus on ... rather than ...

Introducing people's criticisms

Critics have also argued that not only do social surveys provide an inaccurate measure of ..., but the...
Critics question the ability of poststructuralist theory to provide ...
Dmitriy's analysis has been criticised by a number of writers. Douglas (1993), for example, points out that ...
Dmitriy's meta-analysis has been subjected to considerable criticism.
Douglas (2003) is critical of the conclusions that Dmitriy draws from his findings.
Douglas (2003) is probably the best known critic of the ... theory. He argues that ...
However, Douglas (2003) points out that ...
Many analysts now argue that the strategy of ... has not been successful. Douglas (2003), for example, argues that ...
More recent arguments against ... have been summarised by Dmitriy and Douglas (1982) … 
The ... theory has been  \  vigorously  \  strongly challenged in recent years by a number of writers.
The latter point has been devastatingly critiqued by Douglas (2003).
The most important of these criticisms is that Dmitriy failed to note that ...

Describing methods

A case study approach was used to allow a ...
A case-study approach was chosen since ...
A major problem with the experimental method is that ...
A variety of methods are used to assess ... . Each has its advantages and drawbacks.
Data were gathered from multiple sources at various time points during ...
Different authors have measured ... in a variety of ways.
However, there are certain drawbacks associated with the use of ...
In most recent studies, ... has been measured in four different ways.
It was considered that quantitative measures would usefully supplement and extend the qualitative analysis.
It was decided that the best method to adopt for this investigation was to ...
Previous studies have based their criteria for selection on ...
Radiographic techniques are the main non-invasive method used to determine ...
Recently, simpler and more rapid tests of ... have been developed.
The ... approach has a number of attractive features -  ...
The ... method is one of the more practical ways of ...
The design of the questionnaires was based on ...
The main disadvantage of the experimental method is that ...
The second advantage of using the multivariate method is ...
This test is widely available, and has been used in many investigational studies.
To date various methods have been developed and introduced to measure ...
Traditionally, ... has been assessed by measuring...

Describing samples

A random sample of patients with ... was recruited from ...
A systematic literature review was conducted of studies that ...
All of the participants were aged between 18 and 19 at the beginning of the study...
All studies described as using some sort of ... procedure were included in the analysis.
Articles were searched from January 1965 until April 2010.
Criteria for selecting the subjects were as follows -
Eligibility criteria required individuals to have received ...
Eligible women who matched the selection criteria were identified by …
Five individuals were excluded from the study on the basis of ...
For the purpose of analysis, 2 segments were extracted from each ...
For the purpose of height measurement, subjects were asked to stand ...
In an attempt to make each interviewee feel as comfortable as possible, the interviewer ...
In order to understand how ... regulates …, a series of transfections was performed..
Independent tests were carried out on the ... and … scores for the four years from ...
Just over half the sample (53%) was female, of whom 69% were ...
Prompts were used as an aid to question two so that ...
Semi structured interviews were conducted with 17 male offenders with a mean age of 38 years
The experiments were carried out over the course of the growing period from ...
The experiments were run using custom software written in...
The students were divided into two groups based on their performance on ...
The subjects were asked to pay close attention to the characters whenever ...
The subjects were selected on the basis of a degree of homogeneity of their ...
To compare the scores three weeks after initial screening, a global … test was used
To control for bias, measurements were carried out by another person.
To determine whether ...,
To enable the subjects to see the computer screen clearly, the laptop was configured with ...
To establish whether ...,
To increase the reliability of measures, each ... was tested twice with a 4-min break between ...
To measure ..., a question asking ... was used.
To see if the two methods gave the same measurement, the data was plotted and ...
Two groups of subjects were interviewed, namely ... and … . The first group were ...
Two sets of anonymised questionnaires were completed by ...

Describing processes

Prior to commencing the study, ethical clearance was sought from ...

After "training", the subjects were told that the characters stood for ... and that their task was to ...
After collection, the samples were shipped back to ... in ...
After conformational analysis of ..., it was necessary to ...

Once the positions had been decided upon, the ... were ...
On completion of ..., the process … was carried out.

Following this, the … were recovered and stored overnight at ...

The analysis was checked when initially performed and then checked again at the end of ...
The subjects were then shown a film individually and were asked to ...

Finally, questions were asked as to the role of ...

Indicating problems

Another major source of uncertainty is in the method used to calculate .....
Further data collection is required to determine exactly how ... affects ...
In this investigation there are several sources for error. The main error is ...
It was not possible to investigate the significant relationships of ... and … further because ...

Descriptions of relevant literature

A considerable amount of literature has been published on ... .
A large and growing body of literature has investigated ...
During the past 30 years much more information has become available on ...
In recent years, there has been an increasing amount of literature on ...
The first serious discussions and analyses of ... emerged during the 1970s with ...
The generalisability of much published research on this issue is problematic.
There is a large volume of published studies describing the role of ...
What we know about ... is largely based upon empirical studies that investigate how ...

Reference to research

 ... is one of the most intense reactions following … (Lane, 2003).
...s have been identified as major contributing factors for the decline of many species.
A longtitudinal study of ... by Dmitriy (2002) reports that ...
A number of studies have found that ... (Dmitriy , 2003; Douglas, 2004).
A recent study by Dmitriy and Douglas (2001) involved ...
A small scale study by Dmitriy (2002) reaches different conclusions, finding no increase in ...
Analysis of the genes involved in ... was first carried out by Dmitriy (1983).
At least 152 case-control studies worldwide have examined the relationship between...
Data from several sources have identified the increased morbidity and mortality associated with obesity
Detailed examination of ... by Dmitriy and Patel (1961) showed that ...
Dmitriy (1999) found that as levels of literacy and education of the population rise ...
Dmitriy (2003) considers whether countries work well on cross - border issues such as ...
Dmitriy (2003) defines evidence based medicine as the conscious, explicit and judicious use of ...
Dmitriy (2003) discusses the challenges and strategies for facilitating and promoting ...
Dmitriy (2003) draws our attention to distinctive categories of motivational beliefs often observed in ...
Dmitriy (2003) highlights the need to break the link between economic growth and transport growth ...
Dmitriy (2003) identifies five characteristics of ...
Dmitriy (2003) identifies poor food, bad housing, inadequate hygiene and large families as the major causes of ...
Dmitriy (2003) lists three reasons why the English language has become so dominant. These are -  ...
Dmitriy (2003) mentions the special situation of Singapore as an example of ...
Dmitriy (2003) questions whether mainstream schools are the best environment for ...
Dmitriy (2003) traces the development of Japanese history and philosophy during the 19th century.
Dmitriy (2003) uses examples of these various techniques as evidence that ...
Dmitriy has written the most complete synthesis to date of ...
Dmitriy's comparative study (2002) found that ...
Dmitriy's cross-country analysis (2002) showed that ...
Douglas(2003) provides in-depth analysis of the work of Aristotle showing its relevance to contemporary times.
In a large longitudinal study, Boucahy investigated the incidence of ... in ...
In a randomised controlled study of ..., Dmitriy (2004) reported that ...
In another major study, Zhao (1974) found that just over half of the ...
In his analysis of ...,
In his case study of ...,
In his classic critique of ...,
In his introduction to ...,'            
In his major study,
In his review of ...,
In his seminal article,
It has been demonstrated that a high intake of ... results in damage to ...
It has been suggested that levels of ... are independent of the size of the … (Dmitriy et al., 1995)
It has conclusively been shown that ... and … increase … (Dmitriy et al., 1999)
Many historians have argued that ... (e.g. Douglas, 1987; Dmitriy, 1994)
Numerous studies have attempted to explain ... (for example, Dmitriy , 1996; Kelly, 1998; Johnson, 2002)
Other studies have considered the relationship ...
Preliminary work on ... was undertaken by … (1992).
Previous research findings into ... have been inconsistent and contradictory (Dmitriy, 1996)
Previous studies have reported ... (Dmitriy, 1985; Douglas, 1987; Johnson, 1992).
Recent evidence suggests that ... (Dmitriy, 1996; Douglas 1999; Johnson, 2001)
Recently, in vitro studies have shown that ... (Patel et al., 1997; Douglas et al., 1998).
Several attempts have been made to ... (Dmitriy, 1996; Douglas 1999; Johnson, 2001)
Several biographies of … have been published. Dmitriy presents an ... account, whilst Douglas ...
Several studies have revealed that it is not just ... that acts on ... (Dmitriy, 1996)
Several studies investigating ... have been carried out on ...
Surveys such as that conducted by Dmitriy (1988) have shown that ...
The causes of ... have been widely investigated (Douglas, 1987; Johnson, 1990; Dmitriy, 1994).
The first systematic study of ... was reported by … in 1986.
The geology of ... has been addressed in several small-scale investigations and ...
The relationship between ... and … has been widely investigated (Dmitriy, 1985)
The study of the structural behaviour of ... was first carried out by ... (1986)
There is an unambiguous relationship between spending on education and economic development (Rao, 1998).
Twenty cohort study analyses have examined the relationship between ...

Reference to ideas

According to Dmitriy (2003), preventative medicine is far more cost effective, and therefore better adapted to the developing world.
As Dmitriy reminds us, ...
Dmitriy (2003) argues for \ offers \ proposes \ suggests an explanatory theory for each type of irrational belief.
Dmitriy (2003) points out \ argues \ maintains \ claims \ concludes \ suggests that preventative medicine is far more cost effective, and therefore better adapted to the developing world.
Elsewhere, Dmitriy has argued that ...

Reference to tables

As Table 3 shows, there is a significant difference between the two groups.
Data from this table can be compared with the data in Table 4.6 which shows ...
From the data in Figure 9, it is apparent that the length of time left between ...
Highlighting significant data in a table \ chart
It is apparent from this table that very few ...
The differences between ... and … are highlighted in Table 4
The histogram in Fig 1. indicates that ...
The pie chart above shows some of the main characteristics of the ...  \ the breakdown of ...
The table below illustrates
This table is quite revealing in several ways. First, unlike the other tables ...
What is interesting in this data is that ...

Statements of result

A clear benefit of  ... in the prevention of Y could not be identified in this analysis.
Further analysis showed that ...
Further statistical tests revealed ...
No difference greater than ... was observed.
No increase in ... was detected.
No significant differences were found between ...
No significant reduction in  ... was found with Y compared with placebo.
None of these differences were statistically significant.
On average, ...s were shown to have ...
Overall, ... did not affect males and females differently in these measure.
Strong evidence of ... was found when ...
The mean score for ... was ...
There was a signifcant difference between the two conditions ...
There was a significant positive correlation between ...
There was no increase of ... associated with ...
There were no significant differences between ...

Highlighting significant results

The most striking result to emerge from the data is that ...
Interestingly, this correlation is related to ...
The correlation between ... and … is interesting because ...
The more surprising correlation is with the ...
The single most striking observation to emerge from the data comparison was ...

Summarising the content

In this investigation, the aim was to assess ...
It was also shown that...
Multiple regression analysis revealed that the ...
One of the more significant findings to emerge from this study is that ...
Returning to the hypothesis \ question posed at the beginning of this study, it is now possible to state that ...
The following conclusions can be drawn from the present study ...
The most obvious finding to emerge from this study is that ...
The present study was designed to determine the effect of ...
The purpose of the current study was to determine ...
The relevance of ... is clearly supported by the current findings.
The results of this investigation show that ...
The second major finding was that ...
These findings suggest that in general ...
This assignment has explained the central importance of ... in ...
This dissertation has investigated ...
This essay has argued that ... is the best instrument to ...
This paper has given an account of and the reasons for the widespread use of ... ...
This project was undertaken to design ... and evaluate ...
This study \ research has shown that ...
This study has found that generally ...
This study has shown that ...
This study set out to determine ...

Suggesting implications

An implication of this is the possibility that ...
In general, therefore, it seems that ...
Taken together, these results suggest that ...
The evidence from this study suggests that ...
The findings of this study suggest that ...
The results of this research support the idea that ...
The results of this study indicate that ...

Significance of the findings

Taken together, these findings suggest a role for ... in promoting Y.
The ... that we have identified therefore assists in our understanding of the role of ...
The current findings add substantially to our understanding of ...
The current findings add to a growing body of literature on ...
The empirical findings in this study provide a new understanding of ...
The findings from this study make several contributions to the current literature. First,…
The methods used for this ... may be applied to other ...s elsewhere in the world.
The present study confirms previous findings and contributes additional evidence that suggests ...
The present study provides additional evidence with respect to ...
The present study, however, makes several noteworthy contributions to ...
The study has gone some way towards enhancing our understanding of ...
These findings enhance our understanding of ...
This research will serve as a base for future studies and ...
This work contributes to existing knowledge ... by providing ...

Significance of the findings with a qualification

Although the current study is based on a small sample of participants, the findings suggest that ...
Despite its exploratory nature, this study offers some insight into ...
Notwithstanding these limitations, the study suggests that ...
Whilst this study did not confirm ..., it did partially substantiate ...

Reference to limitations

A limitation of this study is that the numbers of patients and controls were relatively small.
A number of caveats need to be noted regarding the present study.
An issue that was not addressed in this study was whether...
Finally, a number of important limitations need to be considered. First, ...
However, these findings are limited by the use of a cross sectional design.
However, with a small sample size, caution must be applied, as the findings might not be transferable to ...
One source of weakness in this study which could hare affected the measurements of was that ...
Several limitations to this pilot study need to be acknowledged.  The sample size is ...
The current investigation was limited by ...
The current research was not specifically designed to evaluate factors related to ...
The current study has only examined ...
The current study was unable to analyse these variables.
The findings in this report are subject to at least three limitations. First, these data apply only to ...
The main weakness of this study was the paucity of ...
The most important limitation lies in the fact that ...
The project was limited in several ways. First, the project used a convenience sample that ...

Reference to further research

A further study could assess ...
A future study investigating ... would be very interesting.
A number of possible future studies using the same experimental set up are apparent.
Considerably more work will need to be done to determine ...
Further experimental investigations are needed to estimate ...
Further investigation and experimentation into ... is strongly recommended.
Further research in this field \ regarding the role of ... would be of great help in ...
Further research might explore \ investigate ...
Further work needs to be done to establish whether ...
Future research should therefore concentrate on the investigation of ...
Future trials should assess a full selective decontamination regimen including
I suggest that before ... is introduced, a study similar to this one should be carried out on ...
If the debate is to be moved forward, a better understanding of ... needs to be developed.
It is recommended that further research be undertaken in the following areas - 
It is suggested that the association of these factors is investigated in future studies.
It would be interesting to assess the effects of ...
It would be interesting to compare experiences of individuals within the same … group.
Large randomised controlled trials could provide more definitive evidence.
More broadly, research is also needed to determine ...
More information on ... would help us to establish a greater degree of accuracy on this matter.
More research is needed to better understand when implementation ends and ...
More research is required on ...
The issue of ... is an intriguing one which could be usefully explored in further research.
These findings provide the following insights for future research -  ...
This research has thrown up many questions in need of further investigation.
What is now needed is a cross-national study involving ...

Recommendations

A reasonable approach to tackle this issue could be to ...
An implication of these findings is that both ... and … should be taken into account when ...
Another important practical implication is that ...
Moreover, more ... should be made available to ...
Other types of ... could include  -  a), b). ...
Taken together, these findings do not support strong recommendations to ...
The findings of this study have a number of important implications for future practice.
There are a number of important changes which need to be made.
There is, therefore, a definite need for ...
These findings suggest several courses of action for ...
This information can be used to develop targetted interventions aimed at ...
Unless governments adopt ..., Y will not be attained.

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