Vocabulary for Explanations

Learn about explanation vocabulary!

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When writing explanation texts, it’s important to use clear, formal language. However, using formal language in writing can be challenging for young writers, whose early language is often informal and colloquial.

There are two areas of formal language that can be especially useful for explanation writing: linking sentences/words, and cause and effect words. Let’s talk about vocabulary for explanations!

What type of vocabulary should be used in explanation writing?

It is important to use formal vocabulary when writing an explanation text. In explanation writing, formal language is helpful because it’s the clearest way to explain your points to your readers. Without the use of formal language, your writing may not be as easily understood. Two types of formal language that are helpful to use in explanation writing are linking sentences and cause and effect words.

Linking sentences help to transition between ideas. They can be useful in all types of writing but are especially useful for explanation writing. Linking sentences usually begin with transitional phrases. Some examples of transitional phrases include finally, to begin with, next, secondly, and additionally. Refer to our page on linking words and sentences to learn more.

Cause and effect words show connections between ideas. They are useful in explanation writing to help readers understand how different ideas are related to each other. Cause and effect words include words like therefore, as a result of, because of this, and since. Refer to our page on cause and effect words to learn more.

Activity & Resource

Formal language is extremely important in explanation writing. If your child needs a refresher on the two types of formal language we reviewed today, we encourage them to reference the resource page we’ve included for them.

Useful Vocabulary activity

Get this resource as a PDF


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