I've written about this several times before, but people still ask me for lists of phrases for any essay. For example, I received this question the other day:
"Please send me some common phrases that I will write in many essays."
If you've followed my lessons on this blog, you'll know that "any essay" phrases are not the secret to getting a high score in IELTS writing. In fact, I recommend that you work on the opposite: vocabulary for specific topics like education, family, work or the environment. You can use linking words/phrases in any essay, but these only help your coherence and cohesion, not your vocabulary score. So please forget the idea of "phrases for any essay", and focus instead on vocabulary for topics.
PS. If you live in the UK and you want to spend a day working on IELTS writing with me and a small group of students, there are still some places on my course next weekend.