signposting language for essays

One of the most relevant aspects of the structure of an essay is signposting: giving clear indications about the content of your essay not just in the introduction, but in every section. Imagine you were giving indications to a driver to prevent them from getting lost: that is the function of signposting language. That way, your essay will be much easier to read, much clearer. Here you have a more detailed explanation.


street signpost in Eton, Berkshire (England) [my own photograph]

You can find below some possible expressions you can use to that effect:


Screenshot 2019-11-30 at 18.17.28

Click on the image to download the file

You can also have a look at these links, especially the first one, a very thorough guide to academic writing:

As an exercise, you can read these two sample essays (argumentative and discursive).

Screenshot 2019-12-02 at 22.28.51

Can you highlight….?

  • any signposting language you can find.
  • the linking words you can find to join paragraphs and to join sentences within paragraphs.
  • WOW language (grammar and vocabulary which stand out as really good).
  • any other positive aspects that may call your attention. 

You can find below the same essays with some of these aspects highlighted:

Related posts:


writing- useful expressions for an essay

The expressions on the chart below can be useful when writing an essay:

Click on the picture to download the file.

Sample topics for a discursive essay / topic presentation

At B2 / C1 level, you may be required to either write a discursive essay or come up with a discursive topic presentation, that is, a topic which presents two sides of the argument, that can be debated…You can read more about it, and about the difference between discursive and argumentative essays here.

You can find support for many pro/con discussions here:

You can find below some more ideas for controversial topics, which may inspire debates and discussions:

  • Should takeaways/ fast food shops near schools be banned? 

By reading and / or listening to those materials, you will gain access to vocabulary and expressions you can use to discuss the topics, which will make your productions sound / read more cultured, as well as help you sustain your arguments in a clearer way.

Related posts:

(Updated 01.06.2019)

expressions you can use when writing an opinion essay (B2-C1)

You may download this handout with some writing frames on how to write an opinion essay.

Screenshot 2019-05-18 at 10.46.12