33 Transition Words and Phrases

Transitional terms give writers the opportunity to prepare readers for a new idea, connecting the previous sentence to the next one.

Many transitional words are nearly synonymous: words that broadly indicate that “this follows logically from the preceding” include accordingly, therefore, and consequently . Words that mean “in addition to” include moreover, besides, and further . Words that mean “contrary to what was just stated” include however, nevertheless , and nonetheless .

as a result : THEREFORE : CONSEQUENTLY

The executive’s flight was delayed and they accordingly arrived late.

in or by way of addition : FURTHERMORE

The mountain has many marked hiking trails; additionally, there are several unmarked trails that lead to the summit.

at a later or succeeding time : SUBSEQUENTLY, THEREAFTER

Afterward, she got a promotion.

even though : ALTHOUGH

She appeared as a guest star on the show, albeit briefly.

in spite of the fact that : even though —used when making a statement that differs from or contrasts with a statement you have just made

They are good friends, although they don't see each other very often.

in addition to what has been said : MOREOVER, FURTHERMORE

I can't go, and besides, I wouldn't go if I could.

as a result : in view of the foregoing : ACCORDINGLY

The words are often confused and are consequently misused.

in a contrasting or opposite way —used to introduce a statement that contrasts with a previous statement or presents a differing interpretation or possibility

Large objects appear to be closer. Conversely, small objects seem farther away.

used to introduce a statement that is somehow different from what has just been said

These problems are not as bad as they were. Even so, there is much more work to be done.

used as a stronger way to say "though" or "although"

I'm planning to go even though it may rain.

in addition : MOREOVER

I had some money to invest, and, further, I realized that the risk was small.

in addition to what precedes : BESIDES —used to introduce a statement that supports or adds to a previous statement

These findings seem plausible. Furthermore, several studies have confirmed them.

because of a preceding fact or premise : for this reason : THEREFORE

He was a newcomer and hence had no close friends here.

from this point on : starting now

She announced that henceforth she would be running the company.

in spite of that : on the other hand —used when you are saying something that is different from or contrasts with a previous statement

I'd like to go; however, I'd better not.

as something more : BESIDES —used for adding information to a statement

The city has the largest population in the country and in addition is a major shipping port.

all things considered : as a matter of fact —used when making a statement that adds to or strengthens a previous statement

He likes to have things his own way; indeed, he can be very stubborn.

for fear that —often used after an expression denoting fear or apprehension

He was concerned lest anyone think that he was guilty.

in addition : ALSO —often used to introduce a statement that adds to and is related to a previous statement

She is an acclaimed painter who is likewise a sculptor.

at or during the same time : in the meantime

You can set the table. Meanwhile, I'll start making dinner.

BESIDES, FURTHER : in addition to what has been said —used to introduce a statement that supports or adds to a previous statement

It probably wouldn't work. Moreover, it would be very expensive to try it.

in spite of that : HOWEVER

It was a predictable, but nevertheless funny, story.

in spite of what has just been said : NEVERTHELESS

The hike was difficult, but fun nonetheless.

without being prevented by (something) : despite—used to say that something happens or is true even though there is something that might prevent it from happening or being true

Notwithstanding their youth and inexperience, the team won the championship.

if not : or else

Finish your dinner. Otherwise, you won't get any dessert.

more correctly speaking —used to introduce a statement that corrects what you have just said

We can take the car, or rather, the van.

in spite of that —used to say that something happens or is true even though there is something that might prevent it from happening or being true

I tried again and still I failed.

by that : by that means

He signed the contract, thereby forfeiting his right to the property.

for that reason : because of that

This tablet is thin and light and therefore very convenient to carry around.

immediately after that

The committee reviewed the documents and thereupon decided to accept the proposal.

because of this or that : HENCE, CONSEQUENTLY

This detergent is highly concentrated and thus you will need to dilute it.

while on the contrary —used to make a statement that describes how two people, groups, etc., are different

Some of these species have flourished, whereas others have struggled.

NEVERTHELESS, HOWEVER —used to introduce a statement that adds something to a previous statement and usually contrasts with it in some way

It was pouring rain out, yet his clothes didn’t seem very wet.

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Transitional Words and Phrases

One of your primary goals as a writer is to present ideas in a clear and understandable way. To help readers move through your complex ideas, you want to be intentional about how you structure your paper as a whole as well as how you form the individual paragraphs that comprise it. In order to think through the challenges of presenting your ideas articulately, logically, and in ways that seem natural to your readers, check out some of these resources: Developing a Thesis Statement , Paragraphing , and Developing Strategic Transitions: Writing that Establishes Relationships and Connections Between Ideas.

While clear writing is mostly achieved through the deliberate sequencing of your ideas across your entire paper, you can guide readers through the connections you’re making by using transitional words in individual sentences. Transitional words and phrases can create powerful links between your ideas and can help your reader understand your paper’s logic.

In what follows, we’ve included a list of frequently used transitional words and phrases that can help you establish how your various ideas relate to each other. We’ve divided these words and phrases into categories based on the common kinds of relationships writers establish between ideas.

Two recommendations: Use these transitions strategically by making sure that the word or phrase you’re choosing matches the logic of the relationship you’re emphasizing or the connection you’re making. All of these words and phrases have different meanings, nuances, and connotations, so before using a particular transitional word in your paper, be sure you understand its meaning and usage completely, and be sure that it’s the right match for your paper’s logic. Use these transitional words and phrases sparingly because if you use too many of them, your readers might feel like you are overexplaining connections that are already clear.

Categories of Transition Words and Phrases

Causation Chronology Combinations Contrast Example

Importance Location Similarity Clarification Concession

Conclusion Intensification Purpose Summary

Transitions to help establish some of the most common kinds of relationships

Causation– Connecting instigator(s) to consequence(s).

accordingly as a result and so because

consequently for that reason hence on account of

since therefore thus

Chronology– Connecting what issues in regard to when they occur.

after afterwards always at length during earlier following immediately in the meantime

later never next now once simultaneously so far sometimes

soon subsequently then this time until now when whenever while

Combinations Lists– Connecting numerous events. Part/Whole– Connecting numerous elements that make up something bigger.

additionally again also and, or, not as a result besides even more

finally first, firstly further furthermore in addition in the first place in the second place

last, lastly moreover next second, secondly, etc. too

Contrast– Connecting two things by focusing on their differences.

after all although and yet at the same time but

despite however in contrast nevertheless nonetheless notwithstanding

on the contrary on the other hand otherwise though yet

Example– Connecting a general idea to a particular instance of this idea.

as an illustration e.g., (from a Latin abbreviation for “for example”)

for example for instance specifically that is

to demonstrate to illustrate

Importance– Connecting what is critical to what is more inconsequential.

chiefly critically

foundationally most importantly

of less importance primarily

Location– Connecting elements according to where they are placed in relationship to each other.

above adjacent to below beyond

centrally here nearby neighboring on

opposite to peripherally there wherever

Similarity– Connecting to things by suggesting that they are in some way alike.

by the same token in like manner

in similar fashion here in the same way

likewise wherever

Other kinds of transitional words and phrases Clarification

i.e., (from a Latin abbreviation for “that is”) in other words

that is that is to say to clarify to explain

to put it another way to rephrase it

granted it is true

naturally of course

finally lastly

in conclusion in the end

to conclude

Intensification

in fact indeed no

of course surely to repeat

undoubtedly without doubt yes

for this purpose in order that

so that to that end

to this end

in brief in sum

in summary in short

to sum up to summarize

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Connecting Ideas Through Transitions

Using Transitional Words and Phrases

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  • Transitions

Transitions help your readers move between ideas within a paragraph, between paragraphs, or between sections of your argument. When you are deciding how to transition from one idea to the next, your goal should be to help readers see how your ideas are connected—and how those ideas connect to the big picture.

One useful way to do this is to start with old information and then introduce new information. When you begin a sentence or a paragraph with information that is familiar to your readers, you help your readers make connections between your ideas. For example, consider the difference between these two pairs of sentences below:  

Sentence pair #1: Ineffective Transition  

Some experts argue that focusing on individual actions to combat climate change takes the focus away from the collective action required to keep carbon levels from rising. Change will not be effected, say some others, unless individual actions raise the necessary awareness.

While a reader can see the connection between the sentences above, it’s not immediately clear that the second sentence is providing a counterargument to the first. In the example below, key “old information” is repeated in the second sentence to help readers quickly see the connection. This makes the sequence of ideas easier to follow.  

Sentence pair #2: Effective Transition  

Some experts argue that focusing on individual actions to combat climate change takes the focus away from the collective action required to keep carbon levels from rising. Other experts argue that individual actions are key to raising the awareness necessary to effect change.

You can use this same technique to create clear transitions between paragraphs. Here’s an example:

Some experts argue that focusing on individual actions to combat climate change takes the focus away from the collective action required to keep carbon levels from rising. Other experts argue that individual actions are key to raising the awareness necessary to effect change. According to Annie Lowery, individual actions are important to making social change because when individuals take action, they can change values, which can lead to more people becoming invested in fighting climate change. She writes, “Researchers believe that these kinds of household-led trends can help avert climate catastrophe, even if government and corporate actions are far more important” (Lowery).

So, what’s an individual household supposed to do?

The repetition of the word “household” in the new paragraph helps readers see the connection between what has come before (a discussion of whether household actions matter) and what is about to come (a proposal for what types of actions households can take to combat climate change).

Sometimes, transitional words can help readers see how ideas are connected. But it’s not enough to just include a “therefore,” “moreover,” “also,” or “in addition.” You should choose these words carefully to show your readers what kind of connection you are making between your ideas.

To decide which transitional word to use, start by identifying the relationship between your ideas. For example, you might be

  • making a comparison or showing a contrast Transitional words that compare and contrast include also, in the same way, similarly, in contrast, yet, on the one hand, on the other hand. But before you signal comparison, ask these questions: Do your readers need another example of the same thing? Is there a new nuance in this next point that distinguishes it from the previous example? For those relationships between ideas, you might try this type of transition: While x may appear the same, it actually raises a new question in a slightly different way.
  • expressing agreement or disagreement When you are making an argument, you need to signal to readers where you stand in relation to other scholars and critics. You may agree with another person’s claim, you may want to concede some part of the argument even if you don’t agree with everything, or you may disagree. Transitional words that signal agreement, concession, and disagreement include however, nevertheless, actually, still, despite, admittedly, still, on the contrary, nonetheless .
  • showing cause and effect Transitional phrases that show cause and effect include therefore, hence, consequently, thus, so. Before you choose one of these words, make sure that what you are about to illustrate is really a causal link. Novice writers tend to add therefore and hence when they aren’t sure how to transition; you should reserve these words for when they accurately signal the progression of your ideas.
  • explaining or elaborating Transitions can signal to readers that you are going to expand on a point that you have just made or explain something further. Transitional words that signal explanation or elaboration include in other words, for example, for instance, in particular, that is, to illustrate, moreover .
  • drawing conclusions You can use transitions to signal to readers that you are moving from the body of your argument to your conclusions. Before you use transitional words to signal conclusions, consider whether you can write a stronger conclusion by creating a transition that shows the relationship between your ideas rather than by flagging the paragraph simply as a conclusion. Transitional words that signal a conclusion include in conclusion , as a result, ultimately, overall— but strong conclusions do not necessarily have to include those phrases.

If you’re not sure which transitional words to use—or whether to use one at all—see if you can explain the connection between your paragraphs or sentence either out loud or in the margins of your draft.

For example, if you write a paragraph in which you summarize physician Atul Gawande’s argument about the value of incremental care, and then you move on to a paragraph that challenges those ideas, you might write down something like this next to the first paragraph: “In this paragraph I summarize Gawande’s main claim.” Then, next to the second paragraph, you might write, “In this paragraph I present a challenge to Gawande’s main claim.” Now that you have identified the relationship between those two paragraphs, you can choose the most effective transition between them. Since the second paragraph in this example challenges the ideas in the first, you might begin with something like “but,” or “however,” to signal that shift for your readers.  

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Transitions

What this handout is about.

In this crazy, mixed-up world of ours, transitions glue our ideas and our essays together. This handout will introduce you to some useful transitional expressions and help you employ them effectively.

The function and importance of transitions

In both academic writing and professional writing, your goal is to convey information clearly and concisely, if not to convert the reader to your way of thinking. Transitions help you to achieve these goals by establishing logical connections between sentences, paragraphs, and sections of your papers. In other words, transitions tell readers what to do with the information you present to them. Whether single words, quick phrases, or full sentences, they function as signs that tell readers how to think about, organize, and react to old and new ideas as they read through what you have written.

Transitions signal relationships between ideas—relationships such as: “Another example coming up—stay alert!” or “Here’s an exception to my previous statement” or “Although this idea appears to be true, here’s the real story.” Basically, transitions provide the reader with directions for how to piece together your ideas into a logically coherent argument. Transitions are not just verbal decorations that embellish your paper by making it sound or read better. They are words with particular meanings that tell the reader to think and react in a particular way to your ideas. In providing the reader with these important cues, transitions help readers understand the logic of how your ideas fit together.

Signs that you might need to work on your transitions

How can you tell whether you need to work on your transitions? Here are some possible clues:

  • Your instructor has written comments like “choppy,” “jumpy,” “abrupt,” “flow,” “need signposts,” or “how is this related?” on your papers.
  • Your readers (instructors, friends, or classmates) tell you that they had trouble following your organization or train of thought.
  • You tend to write the way you think—and your brain often jumps from one idea to another pretty quickly.
  • You wrote your paper in several discrete “chunks” and then pasted them together.
  • You are working on a group paper; the draft you are working on was created by pasting pieces of several people’s writing together.

Organization

Since the clarity and effectiveness of your transitions will depend greatly on how well you have organized your paper, you may want to evaluate your paper’s organization before you work on transitions. In the margins of your draft, summarize in a word or short phrase what each paragraph is about or how it fits into your analysis as a whole. This exercise should help you to see the order of and connection between your ideas more clearly.

If after doing this exercise you find that you still have difficulty linking your ideas together in a coherent fashion, your problem may not be with transitions but with organization. For help in this area (and a more thorough explanation of the “reverse outlining” technique described in the previous paragraph), please see the Writing Center’s handout on organization .

How transitions work

The organization of your written work includes two elements: (1) the order in which you have chosen to present the different parts of your discussion or argument, and (2) the relationships you construct between these parts. Transitions cannot substitute for good organization, but they can make your organization clearer and easier to follow. Take a look at the following example:

El Pais , a Latin American country, has a new democratic government after having been a dictatorship for many years. Assume that you want to argue that El Pais is not as democratic as the conventional view would have us believe.

One way to effectively organize your argument would be to present the conventional view and then to provide the reader with your critical response to this view. So, in Paragraph A you would enumerate all the reasons that someone might consider El Pais highly democratic, while in Paragraph B you would refute these points. The transition that would establish the logical connection between these two key elements of your argument would indicate to the reader that the information in paragraph B contradicts the information in paragraph A. As a result, you might organize your argument, including the transition that links paragraph A with paragraph B, in the following manner:

Paragraph A: points that support the view that El Pais’s new government is very democratic.

Transition: Despite the previous arguments, there are many reasons to think that El Pais’s new government is not as democratic as typically believed.

Paragraph B: points that contradict the view that El Pais’s new government is very democratic.

In this case, the transition words “Despite the previous arguments,” suggest that the reader should not believe paragraph A and instead should consider the writer’s reasons for viewing El Pais’s democracy as suspect.

As the example suggests, transitions can help reinforce the underlying logic of your paper’s organization by providing the reader with essential information regarding the relationship between your ideas. In this way, transitions act as the glue that binds the components of your argument or discussion into a unified, coherent, and persuasive whole.

Types of transitions

Now that you have a general idea of how to go about developing effective transitions in your writing, let us briefly discuss the types of transitions your writing will use.

The types of transitions available to you are as diverse as the circumstances in which you need to use them. A transition can be a single word, a phrase, a sentence, or an entire paragraph. In each case, it functions the same way: First, the transition either directly summarizes the content of a preceding sentence, paragraph, or section or implies such a summary (by reminding the reader of what has come before). Then, it helps the reader anticipate or comprehend the new information that you wish to present.

  • Transitions between sections: Particularly in longer works, it may be necessary to include transitional paragraphs that summarize for the reader the information just covered and specify the relevance of this information to the discussion in the following section.
  • Transitions between paragraphs: If you have done a good job of arranging paragraphs so that the content of one leads logically to the next, the transition will highlight a relationship that already exists by summarizing the previous paragraph and suggesting something of the content of the paragraph that follows. A transition between paragraphs can be a word or two (however, for example, similarly), a phrase, or a sentence. Transitions can be at the end of the first paragraph, at the beginning of the second paragraph, or in both places.
  • Transitions within paragraphs: As with transitions between sections and paragraphs, transitions within paragraphs act as cues by helping readers to anticipate what is coming before they read it. Within paragraphs, transitions tend to be single words or short phrases.

Transitional expressions

Effectively constructing each transition often depends upon your ability to identify words or phrases that will indicate for the reader the kind of logical relationships you want to convey. The table below should make it easier for you to find these words or phrases. Whenever you have trouble finding a word, phrase, or sentence to serve as an effective transition, refer to the information in the table for assistance. Look in the left column of the table for the kind of logical relationship you are trying to express. Then look in the right column of the table for examples of words or phrases that express this logical relationship.

Keep in mind that each of these words or phrases may have a slightly different meaning. Consult a dictionary or writer’s handbook if you are unsure of the exact meaning of a word or phrase.

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Common transition words and phrases.

In an effort to make our handouts more accessible, we have begun converting our PDF handouts to web pages. Download this page as a PDF: Transitions Return to Writing Studio Handouts

Transitions clarify the logic of your argument by orienting your reader as you develop ideas between sentences and paragraphs. These tools should alert readers to shifts in your argument while and also maintain the smoothness and clarity of your prose. Below, you’ll find some of the most commonly used transition categories and examples of each. Depending on the example, these suggestions may be within sentences or at the beginning of sentences.

Transitions by Category

1. addition.

Use when presenting multiple ideas that flow in the same direction, under the same heading/ idea also, another, finally, first, first of all, for one thing, furthermore, in addition, last of all, likewise, moreover, next, and, second, the third reason

2. Sequence/ Order

Use to suggest a temporal relationship between ideas; places evidence in sequence first, second (etc.), next, last, finally, first of all, concurrently, immediately, prior to, then, at that time, at this point, previously, subsequently, and then, at this time, thereafter, previously, soon, before, after, followed by, after that, next, before, after, meanwhile, formerly, finally, during

3. Contrast

Use to demonstrate differences between ideas or change in argument direction but, however, in contrast, on the other hand, on the contrary, yet, differ, difference, balanced against, differing from, variation, still, on the contrary, unlike, conversely, otherwise, on the other hand, however

4. Exception

Use to introduce an opposing idea however, whereas, on the other hand, while, instead, in spite of, yet, despite, still, nevertheless, even though, in contrast, but, but one could also say…

5. Comparison

Use to demonstrate similarities between ideas that may not be under the same subject heading or within the same paragraph like, likewise, just, in a different way / sense, whereas, like, equally, in like manner, by comparison, similar to, in the same way, alike, similarity, similarly, just as, as in a similar fashion, conversely

6. Illustration

Use to develop or clarify an idea, to introduce examples, or to show that the second idea is subordinate to the first for example, to illustrate, on this occasion, this can be seen, in this case, specifically, once, to illustrate, when/where, for instance, such as, to demonstrate, take the case of, in this case

7. Location

Use to show spatial relations next to, above, below, beneath, left, right, behind, in front, on top, within

8. Cause and Effect

Use to show that one idea causes, or results from, the idea that follows or precedes it because, therefore, so that, cause, reason, effect, thus, consequently, since, as a result, if…then, result in

9. Emphasis

Use to suggest that an idea is particularly important to your argument important to note, most of all, a significant factor, a primary concern, a key feature, remember that, pay particular attention to, a central issue, the most substantial issue, the main value, a major event, the chief factor, a distinctive quality, especially valuable, the chief outcome, a vital force, especially relevant, most noteworthy, the principal item, above all, should be noted

10. Summary or Conclusion

Use to signal that what follows is summarizing or concluding the previous ideas; in humanities papers, use these phrases sparingly. to summarize, in short, in brief, in sum, in summary, to sum up, in conclusion, to conclude, finally

Some material adapted from Cal Poly Pomona College Reading Skills Program and “ Power Tools for Technical Communication .” 

Writing Effective Sentence Transitions (Advanced)

Transitions are the rhetorical tools that clarify the logic of your argument by orienting your reader as you develop ideas between sentences and paragraphs. The ability to integrate sentence transitions into your prose, rather than simply throwing in overt transition signals like “in addition,” indicates your mastery of the material. (Note: The visibility of transitions may vary by discipline; consult with your professor to get a better sense of discipline or assignment specific expectations.)

Transition Signals

Transition signals are words or phrases that indicate the logic connecting sets of information or ideas. Signals like therefore, on the other hand, for example, because, then, and afterwards can be good transition tools at the sentence and paragraph level. When using these signals, be conscious of the real meaning of these terms; they should reflect the actual relationship between ideas.

Review Words

Review words are transition tools that link groups of sentences or whole paragraphs. They condense preceding discussion into a brief word or phrase. For example: You’ve just completed a detailed discussion about the greenhouse effect. To transition to the next topic, you could use review words like “this heat-trapping process” to refer back to the green house effect discussion. The relative ability to determine a cogent set of review words might signal your own understanding of your work; think of review words as super-short summaries of key ideas.

Preview words

Preview words condense an upcoming discussion into a brief word or phrase. For example: You’ve just explained how heat is trapped in the earth’s atmosphere. Transitioning to the theory that humans are adding to that effect, you could use preview words like “sources of additional CO2 in the atmosphere include” to point forward to that discussion.

Transition Sentences

The strongest and most sophisticated tools, transition sentences indicate the connection between the preceding and upcoming pieces of your argument. They often contain one or more of the above transition tools. For example: You’ve just discussed how much CO2 humans have added to the atmosphere. You need to transition to a discussion of the effects. A strong set of transition sentences between the two sections might sound like this:

“These large amounts of CO2 added to the atmosphere may lead to a number of disastrous consequences for residents of planet earth. The rise in global temperature that accompanies the extra CO2 can yield effects as varied as glacial melting and species extinction.”

In the first sentence, the review words are “These large amounts of CO2 added to the atmosphere”; the preview words are “number of disastrous consequences”; the transition signals are “may lead to.” The topic sentence of the next paragraph indicates the specific “disastrous consequences” you will discuss.

If you don’t see a way to write a logical, effective transition between sentences, ideas or paragraphs, this might indicate organizational problems in your essay; you might consider revising your work.

Some material adapted from Cal Poly Pomona College Reading Skills Program  and “ Power Tools for Technical Communication .”

Last revised: 07/2008 | Adapted for web delivery: 05/2021

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A discussion of transition strategies and specific transitional devices.

Good transitions can connect paragraphs and turn disconnected writing into a unified whole. Instead of treating paragraphs as separate ideas, transitions can help readers understand how paragraphs work together, reference one another, and build to a larger point. The key to producing good transitions is highlighting connections between corresponding paragraphs. By referencing in one paragraph the relevant material from previous paragraphs, writers can develop important points for their readers.

It is a good idea to continue one paragraph where another leaves off. (Instances where this is especially challenging may suggest that the paragraphs don't belong together at all.) Picking up key phrases from the previous paragraph and highlighting them in the next can create an obvious progression for readers. Many times, it only takes a few words to draw these connections. Instead of writing transitions that could connect any paragraph to any other paragraph, write a transition that could only connect one specific paragraph to another specific paragraph.

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Transitional Words

Transitional words are like bridges between parts of your essay. They are cues that help the reader interpret your ideas. Transitional words or phrases help carry your thoughts forward from one sentence to another and one paragraph to another. Finally, transitional words link sentences and paragraphs together smoothly so that there are no abrupt jumps or breaks between ideas.

Here is a list of common transitional words and the categories to which they belong.

and, again, and then, besides, equally important, finally, further, furthermore, nor, too, next, lastly, what's more, moreover, in addition, first (second, etc.)

To Compare:

whereas, but, yet, on the other hand, however, nevertheless, on the contrary, by comparison, where, compared to, up against, balanced against, vis a vis, but, although, conversely, meanwhile, after all, in contrast, although this may be true

because, for, since, for the same reason, obviously, evidently, furthermore, moreover, besides, indeed, in fact, in addition, in any case, that is

To Show Exception:

yet, still, however, nevertheless, in spite of, despite, of course, once in a while, sometimes

To Show Time:

immediately, thereafter, soon, after a few hours, finally, then, later, previously, formerly, first (second, etc.), next, and then

in brief, as I have said, as I have noted, as has been noted

To Emphasize:

definitely, extremely, obviously, in fact, indeed, in any case, absolutely, positively, naturally, surprisingly, always, forever, perennially, eternally, never, emphatically, unquestionably, without a doubt, certainly, undeniably, without reservation

To Show Sequence:

first, second, third, and so forth, next, then, following this, at this time, now, at this point, after, afterward, subsequently, finally, consequently, previously, before this, simultaneously, concurrently, thus, therefore, hence, next, and then, soon

To Give an Example:

for example, for instance, in this case, in another case, on this occasion, in this situation, take the case of, to demonstrate, to illustrate, as an illustration

To Summarize or Conclude:

in brief, on the whole, summing up, to conclude, in conclusion, as I have shown, as I have said, hence, therefore, accordingly, thus, as a result, consequently

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  • Transition sentences | Tips & examples for clear writing

Transition Sentences | Tips & Examples for Clear Writing

Published on June 9, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.

Clear transitions are crucial to clear writing: They show the reader how different parts of your essay, paper, or thesis are connected. Transition sentences can be used to structure your text and link together paragraphs or sections.

… In this case, the researchers concluded that the method was unreliable.

However , evidence from a more recent study points to a different conclusion . …

Table of contents

Transitioning between paragraphs, transitioning to a new section, transitions within a paragraph, other interesting articles.

When you start a new paragraph , the first sentence should clearly express:

  • What this paragraph will discuss
  • How it relates to the previous paragraph

The examples below show some examples of transition sentences between paragraphs and what they express.

Placement of transition sentences

The beginning of a new paragraph is generally the right place for a transition sentence. Each paragraph should focus on one topic, so avoid spending time at the end of a paragraph explaining the theme of the next one.

The first dissenter to consider is …

However, several scholars dissent from this consensus. The first one to consider is …

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essays paragraph transition words

While transitions between paragraphs are generally a single sentence, when you start a new section in a longer text, you may need an entire transition paragraph. Transitioning to a new section involves summarizing the content of the previous section and expressing how the new one will build upon or depart from it.

For example, the following sentences might be an effective transition for a new section in a literary analysis essay.

Having established that the subjective experience of time is one of Mann’s key concerns in The Magic Mountain , it is now possible to explore how this theme facilitates the novel’s connection with World War I. The war itself is not narrated in the book, but rather hinted at as something awaiting Castorp beyond the final pages. In this way, Mann links his protagonist’s subjective experience of time to more than just his illness; it is also used to explore the period leading up to the outbreak of war.

As in academic writing generally, aim to be as concise as you can while maintaining clarity: If you can transition to a new section clearly with a single sentence, do so, but use more when necessary.

It’s also important to use effective transitions within each paragraph you write, leading the reader through your arguments efficiently and avoiding ambiguity.

The known-new contract

The order of information within each of your sentences is important to the cohesion of your text. The known-new contract , a useful writing concept, states that a new sentence should generally begin with some reference to information from the previous sentence, and then go on to connect it to new information.

In the following example, the second sentence doesn’t follow very clearly from the first. The connection only becomes clear when we reach the end.

By reordering the information in the second sentence so that it begins with a reference to the first, we can help the reader follow our argument more smoothly.

Note that the known-new contract is just a general guideline. Not every sentence needs to be structured this way, but it’s a useful technique if you’re struggling to make your sentences cohere.

Transition words and phrases

Using appropriate transition words helps show your reader connections within and between sentences. Transition words and phrases come in four main types:

  • Additive transitions, which introduce new information or examples
  • Adversative transitions, which signal a contrast or departure from the previous text
  • Causal transitions, which are used to describe cause and effect
  • Sequential transitions, which indicate a sequence

The table below gives a few examples for each type:

Grouping similar information

While transition words and phrases are essential, and every essay will contain at least some of them, it’s also important to avoid overusing them. One way to do this is by grouping similar information together so that fewer transitions are needed.

For example, the following text uses three transition words and jumps back and forth between ideas. This makes it repetitive and difficult to follow.

Rewriting it to group similar information allows us to use just one transition, making the text more concise and readable.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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Complete List of Transition Words

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Once you have completed the first draft of your paper, you will need to rewrite some of the introductory sentences at the beginning and the transition statements at the end of every paragraph . Transitions, which connect one idea to the next, may seem challenging at first, but they get easier once you consider the many possible methods for linking paragraphs together—even if they seem to be unrelated.

Transition words and phrases can help your paper move along, smoothly gliding from one topic to the next. If you have trouble thinking of a way to connect your paragraphs, consider a few of these 100 top transitions as inspiration. The type of transition words or phrases you use depends on the category of transition you need, as explained below.

Additive Transitions

Probably the most common type, additive transitions are those you use when you want to show that the current point is an addition to the previous one, notes  Edusson , a website that provides students with essay-writing tips and advice . Put another way, additive transitions signal to the reader that you are adding to an idea and/or your ideas are similar, says  Quizlet , an online teacher and student learning community. Some examples of additive transition words and phrases were compiled by Michigan State University  writing lab. Follow each transition word or phrase with a comma:

  • In the first place
  • Furthermore
  • Alternatively
  • As well (as this)
  • What is more
  • In addition (to this)
  • On the other hand
  • Either (neither)
  • As a matter of fact
  • Besides (this)
  • To say nothing of
  • Additionally
  • Not to mention (this)
  • Not only (this) but also (that) as well
  • In all honesty
  • To tell the truth

An example of additive transitions used in a sentence would be:

" In the first place , no 'burning' in the sense of combustion, as in the burning of wood, occurs in a volcano;  moreover , volcanoes are not necessarily mountains;  furthermore , the activity takes place not always at the summit but more commonly on the sides or flanks..." – Fred Bullard, "Volcanoes in History, in Theory, in Eruption"

In this and the examples of transitions in subsequent sections, the transition words or phrases are printed in italics to make them easier to find as you peruse the passages.

Adversative Transitions

Adversative transitions are used to signal conflict, contradiction, concession, and dismissal, says Michigan State University. Examples include:

  • In contrast
  • But even so
  • Nevertheless
  • Nonetheless
  • (And) still
  • In either case
  • (Or) at least
  • Whichever happens
  • Whatever happens
  • In either event

An example of an adversative transition phrase used in a sentence would be:

" On the other hand, professor Smith completely disagreed with the author's argument."

Causal Transitions

Causal transitions—also called cause-and-effect transitions—show how certain circumstances or events were caused by other factors, says Academic Help . The website that offers assistance with academic writing adds: "They [causal transitions] make it easier for the reader to follow the logic of the arguments and clauses represented in paper." Examples include:

  • Accordingly
  • As a result
  • Consequently
  • For this reason
  • Granting (that)
  • On the condition (that)
  • In the event that
  • As a result (of this)
  • Because (of this)
  • As a consequence
  • In consequence
  • So much (so) that
  • For the purpose of
  • With this intention
  • With this in mind
  • Under those circumstances
  • That being the case

An example of a causal transition used in a sentence would be:

"The study of human chromosomes is in its infancy,  and so  it has only recently become possible to study the effect of environmental factors upon them." –Rachel Carson, "Silent Spring"

Sequential Transitions

Sequential transitions express a numerical sequence, continuation, conclusion , digression , resumption, or summation, says Michigan State, which gives these examples:

  • In the (first, second, third, etc.) place
  • To begin with
  • To start with
  • Subsequently
  • To conclude with
  • As a final point
  • Last but not least
  • To change the topic
  • Incidentally
  • To get back to the point
  • As was previously stated

An example of a sequential transition would be:

"We should teach that words are not the things to which they refer. We should teach that words are best understood as convenient tools for handling reality... Finally , we should teach widely that new words can and should be invented if the need arises." –Karol Janicki, "Language Misconceived"

In sum , use transition words and phrases judiciously to keep your paper moving, hold your readers' attention, and retain your audience until the final word.

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Essay Writing Guide

Transition Words For Essays

Nova A.

Transition Words For Essays - The Ultimate List

11 min read

Published on: Oct 30, 2017

Last updated on: Oct 22, 2023

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Do you find it challenging to make your essays flow smoothly and hold your readers' attention from start to finish? Are your paragraphs disjointed, leaving your writing feeling unpolished?

It can be frustrating when your ideas don't connect seamlessly. You might wonder how to make your writing shine and ensure it leaves a lasting impression on your professors.

Don't worry; we've got you covered! 

In this guide, we'll introduce you to transition words for essays. These words are your secret weapon for crafting well-structured, compelling essays that will impress your teachers and elevate your writing game.  Let's get started!

On This Page On This Page

What are Good Transition Words for Essays?

Transition words are essential tools in essay writing , providing a clear path for your readers to follow. They serve the crucial purpose of connecting words, phrases, sentences, or even entire paragraphs. 

By using these transitions effectively, you can effortlessly convey your ideas and thoughts in a coherent and easily understandable manner.

However, it's crucial to exercise moderation when using transition words. Overusing them can clutter your essay, making it confusing and difficult to read. 

On the other hand, omitting them entirely can result in a piece that lacks flow and direction. Striking the right balance ensures that your essay is both engaging and comprehensible.

Purpose of Transition Words

Let’s take a look at the purpose of using transitions in essays:

  • Enhance Readability: Transition words improve the overall flow and coherence of your writing.
  • Clarify Relationships: They signal connections between ideas, whether it's adding, contrasting, or summarizing.
  • Improve Comprehension: Readers can follow your argument or narrative more easily.
  • Smooth Transitions: They act as bridges, seamlessly guiding your audience from one point to the next.
  • Manage Change: They prepare the reader for shifts in topic or perspective.
  • Enhance Engagement: Well-placed transitions keep readers interested and invested in your content.
  • Encourage Flow: They maintain a logical progression, aiding in the overall structure of your work.

Examples of Different Types of Transition Words

Here are some common types of transitions for essays that can be used in almost any situation. 

Addition Transitions

  • Furthermore
  • Additionally
  • In addition
  • Not only...but also

Comparison Transitions

  • In the same way
  • Comparable to
  • Correspondingly
  • In comparison
  • By the same token

Contrast Transitions

  • On the other hand
  • In contrast
  • Nevertheless
  • Nonetheless
  • Even though

Cause and Effect Transitions

  • Consequently
  • As a result
  • For this reason
  • Accordingly

Time Transitions

  • Simultaneously
  • In the meantime
  • Subsequently
  • At the same time

Illustration Transitions

  • For example
  • For instance
  • Specifically
  • To illustrate
  • In particular
  • In this case
  • As an illustration

Emphasis Transitions

  • Undoubtedly
  • Without a doubt

Summary Transitions 

  • To summarize
  • To conclude

Sequence Transitions

Example transitions.

  • As an example
  • To demonstrate
  • For one thing
  • As evidence
  • As an instance

For Showing Exception

  • At The Same Time 
  • Nevertheless  
  • On The Other Hand 
  • But At The Same Time 
  • Conversely 

For Proving

  • For This Reason 
  • Certainly 
  • To Demonstrate
  • In Fact 
  • Clearly 
  • As A Result

This transition words for essays list will make it easier for you to understand what words to use in which kind of essay or for which purpose. 

  Transition Words for Argumentative Essays

  • To begin with
  • By contrast
  • One alternative is
  • To put more simply
  • On the contrary
  • With this in mind
  • All things considered
  • Generally speaking
  • That is to say
  • Yet another

Transition Words for Persuasive Essays

Consequently In addition Then furthermore  Clearly Additionally Moreover  Because  Besides that In the same way Pursuing this further 

Transition Words for Essays PDF

Transition Words for Compare and Contrast Essays

  • Althoughyhtjyjum,u
  • Notwithstanding

Transition Words for Informative Essays

  •  After all
  • As can be expected
  • Obviously 

Transition Words for Expository Essays

  • Equally important
  • Another reason
  • Not long after that
  • Looking back

Transition Words for Cause and Effect Essays

  • In order to
  • Provided that
  • Because of this

Transition Words for Synthesis Essays

  • As noted earlier
  • Consequently 
  • Whereas 
  • This leads to 
  • Another factor 
  • This lead to 
  • The underlying concept 
  • In this respect 

Transition Words for Analysis Essays

  • (once) again 
  • Primarily 
  • Due to 
  • Accordingly 
  • That is to say 
  • Subsequently 
  • To demonstrate 
  • However 

Conclusion Transition Words for Essays

  • In any event
  • As mentioned
  • In other words
  • As you can see

Beginning Transition Words for Essays

These are some introduction transition words for essays to start writing: 

  • In the first place
  • First of all
  • For the most part
  • On one hand
  • As a rule 

Paragraph Transition Words for Essays

  • To put it differently
  • Once and for all

Transition Words for Essay’s First Body Paragraph

  • To start with
  • First and foremost
  • In the beginning

Transition Words for Essay’s Second Body Paragraph 

  • In addition to this 
  • Furthermore 

Transition Words for Essay’s Last Body Paragraph

  • In conclusion
  • Finally 
  • Last but not least 
  • To sum up 
  • Altogether 

Transition Words for Quotes in Essays

  • Acknowledges

Transition Words for Essays Middle School

  • In conclusion 
  • For instance 

Transition Words for Essays High School

  • Today 
  • In addition 
  • To summarize 
  • On the other hand 
  • As well as 
  • Although 

Transition Words for Essays College

Here are some college level transition words for essay:

  • Pursuing this
  • Similarly 
  • What’s more 
  • As much as 
  • In a like manner
  • In the same fashion

Do’s and Don’ts of Using Transition Words

So, now you have some strong transition words for essays at hand. But how do you use these transition words? 

Here are the basic dos and don’ts of using transition words for essays. 

  • Understand that these terms are an important part of any type of essay or paper, adding to its overall flow and readability. 
  • Use these words when you are presenting a new idea. For example, start a new paragraph with these phrases, followed by a comma. 
  • Do not overuse transition words. It is one of the most common essay writing problems that students end up with. It is important to only use those words required to convey your message clearly. It is good to sound smart by using these words but don’t overdo it. 
  • Avoid using these words at the start and in the middle. Always try to use transition words only a few times where it is necessary to make it easy for the readers to follow the ideas.

So, now you have an extensive list of transition words. These are some of the best transition words for essays that you can add to your essays.

If your essay seems redundant because you used similar transition words, you can always have a look at this list to find some good replacements. 

So, whenever you’re writing an essay, refer back to this list and let your words flow!

If you still feel that your essay is not properly conveying your ideas, turn to our expert essay writers at MyPerfectWords.com.

If you have some write-up, our essay writing service will make it flow without changing the entire content. Or, if you wish to have an essay from scratch, we will write a paper for you!

Simply contact us and place your order now. Our writers will take care of everything to help you ace your assignment. 

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Nova Allison is a Digital Content Strategist with over eight years of experience. Nova has also worked as a technical and scientific writer. She is majorly involved in developing and reviewing online content plans that engage and resonate with audiences. Nova has a passion for writing that engages and informs her readers.

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Essay Writing Guide

Transition Words For Essays

Last updated on: Jun 13, 2023

220 Best Transition Words for Essays

By: Nova A.

15 min read

Reviewed By: Jacklyn H.

Published on: Jul 9, 2019

Transition Words for Essays

Writing essays can be hard, and making sure your transitions are smooth is even harder. 

You've probably heard that good essays need good transitions, but what are they? How do you use them in your writing? Also, your essays are assessed according to particular criteria and it is your responsibility to ensure that it is being met.

But don't worry, we are here to help. This blog will give you transition words for essays, including how to choose the right ones and where to place them for maximum impact. Essay writing is a technical process that requires much more effort than simply pouring your thoughts on paper.

If you are new to the concept of transition words and phrases, deep dive into this article in order to find out the secret to improving your essays.

Transition Words for Essays

On this Page

What Are Transition Words 

Transition words are essential elements in essay writing that create smooth transitions between ideas. 

Think of a transition as a conjunction or a joining word. It helps create strong relationships between ideas, paragraphs, or sentences and assists the readers to understand the word phrases and sentences easily.

As writers, our goal is to communicate our thoughts and ideas in the most clear and logical manner. Especially when presenting complex ideas, we must ensure that they are being conveyed in the most understandable way.

To ensure that your paper is easy to understand, you can work on the sequencing of ideas. Break down your ideas into different sentences and paragraphs then use a transition word or phrase to guide them through these ideas.

Why Should You Use Transitions

The purpose of transition words goes beyond just connectivity. They create a cohesive narrative , allowing your ideas to flow seamlessly from one point to another. These words and phrases act as signposts and indicate relationships. 

These relations could include:

  • Cause and Effect
  • Comparison and Contrast
  • Addition and Emphasis
  • Sequence and Order
  • Illustration and Example
  • Concession and Contradiction
  • Summary and Conclusion

They form a bridge and tie sentences together, creating a logical connection. In addition to tying the entire paper together, they help demonstrate the writer’s agreement, disagreement, conclusion, or contrast.

However, keep in mind that just using or including transitional words isn’t enough to highlight relationships between ideas. The content of your paragraphs must support the relationship as well. So, you should avoid overusing them in a paper.

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Types of Transitions

Transitions in essays can be classified into different types based on the relationships they indicate between ideas. Each type serves a specific purpose in guiding readers through your arguments. 

Let's explore some common types of transitions and their examples:

Additive Transitions 

These transitions are used to add information or ideas. They help you expand on your points or provide additional supporting evidence. Examples:

  • In addition
  • Furthermore
  • Additionally
  • Not only... but also
  • Coupled with

Adversative Transitions

Adversative transitions show contrast or contradiction between ideas. They are used to present opposing viewpoints or highlight differences. Examples:

  • Nevertheless
  • On the other hand
  • In contrast

Causal Transitions

Causal transitions explain cause-and-effect relationships. They help you establish the reasons behind certain outcomes or actions. Examples:

  • As a result
  • Consequently
  • Resulting in
  • For this reason

Sequential Transitions

Sequential transitions indicate the order or sequence of events or ideas. They help you present your thoughts in a logical and organized manner. Examples: 

  • Subsequently
  • In the meantime
  • Simultaneously

Comparative Transitions

Comparative transitions highlight similarities or comparisons between ideas. They help you draw connections and illustrate relationships. Here are some transition words for essays examples: 

  • In the same way
  • Compared to
  • In comparison
  • Correspondingly
  • By the same token
  • Equally important
  • Analogous to

Getting started on your essay? Check out this insightful read on essay writing to make sure you ace it!

List of Good Transition Words for Essays

As mentioned above, there are different categories of transitions that serve a unique purpose. Understanding these different types will help you pick the most suitable word or phrase to communicate your message.

Here we have categorized the best transition words for essays so you can use them appropriately!

Transition Words for Argumentative Essays

In argumentative essays , the effective use of transition words is essential for presenting a well-structured and coherent argument. 

Transition Words for Compare and Contrast Essays

In compare and contrast essays , transition words play a crucial role in highlighting the similarities and differences between the subjects being compared. 

Here are a few transition words that are particularly useful in compare and contrast essays:

Transition Words for Cause and Effect Essays

In cause and effect essays , transition words help illustrate the relationships between causes and their corresponding effects. 

Here are a few transition words that are particularly useful in cause-and-effect essays:

Transition Words for Different Parts of Essays

Transition words are valuable tools that can be used throughout different parts of an essay to create a smooth and coherent flow. By understanding the appropriate transition words for each section, you can logically connect your ideas. 

Introduction Transition Words for Essays

Introductions are one of the most impactful parts of the essay. It's important that it connects logically with the rest of the essay. To do this, you can utilize different transition words for essays to start. Here are some starting transition words for essays:

Transition Words for Essays Body Paragraph

In an essay, body paragraphs play a crucial role in presenting and developing your ideas. To ensure a logical flow within each body paragraph, the strategic use of transition words is essential.

Here are lists of transitions for essays for different body paragraphs:

Transition Words for Essays for First Body Paragraph

Here is a list of transition words that you can use for the first body paragraph of an essay:

Transition Words for Essays Second Body Paragraph

Here is a list of transition words for the second body paragraph of an essay:

Transition Words for Essays Third Body Paragraph

Transition words for essays last body paragraph, transition words for essays conclusion .

Here is a list of ending transition words for essays:

Do’s and Don’ts of Using Essay Transitions

When it comes to using transitions in your essay, there are certain do's and don'ts that can help you effectively enhance the flow of your writing. Here are some key guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Add transitions only when introducing new ideas.
  • Go through the paper to make sure they make sense.
  • Start by creating an outline, so you know what ideas to share and how.
  • Use different transitions for each idea.
  • Don’t overuse them.
  • Don’t keep adding transitions in the same paragraph.
  • Don’t completely rely on transitions to signal relationships.
  • Don’t incorporate it into your content without understanding its usage.

By now, you have probably understood how transition words can save you from disjointed and directionless paragraphs. They are the missing piece that indicates how ideas are related to one another.

If you are still unable to distinguish transitions to open or conclude your essays, don’t be upset - these things require time and practice.

If you are looking for the perfect essay-writing service, get in touch with the expert writers at 5StarEssays.com. We will include the right transitions according to the type of paper, ensuring a coherent flow of ideas.

Just say ‘ write my essay ’ now and let our essay writer create quality content at the most pocket-friendly rates available.

Nova A.

As a Digital Content Strategist, Nova Allison has eight years of experience in writing both technical and scientific content. With a focus on developing online content plans that engage audiences, Nova strives to write pieces that are not only informative but captivating as well.

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54 Best Transition Words for Paragraphs

transition words for paragraphs

Good transition words for starting a paragraph include addition phrases like ‘furthermore’, cause and effect words like ‘consequently’, and contradiction words like ‘however’. Scroll down for a full table of transition words.

Using transition words in your writing can help you improve the readability and flow of your paragraph to the next.

These words help your text flow seamlessly into the next idea, which shows your readers the relationship between paragraphs and phrases.

What are Transition Words?

Transition words for beginning paragraphs help writers to introduce a shift, opposition, contrast, agreement, emphasis, purpose, result, or conclusion from what was previously written. They are essential in argumentative essays.

Transition words are like bridges between the different paragraphs in your pieces. They serve as the cues that help your reader understand your ideas. They carry your ideas from one sentence to the next and one paragraph to the next.

Transitional words and phrases link an idea from a sentence to the following paragraph, so your work is read smoothly without abrupt jumps or sudden breaks between concepts.

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Types of Transition Words for Starting a Paragraph

Transition words can fall into more than one category based on what type of transition in your paragraph you’re planning to make.

For example, you’d want a different transition word if your second paragraph contradicts your first than if it supports it. Take the following examples:

Here is a list of transition words and what category they fall under.

  • Addition – A transition that combines two or more ideas and shows their relationship. Examples include, what’s more, equally important, again, also, and, furthermore, moreover, besides .
  • Cause and Effect – When one idea triggers another. This lets the reader know that they are directly connected. Examples include, consequently, hence, therefore, thus, next, as a result .
  • Clarification – This is to rephrase what was said to clarify a statement and provide emphasis. Examples include, in other words, that is to say, to clarify.
  • Compare and Contrast – This shows a relationship between two ideas that are compared based on differences or similarities. Examples are, after all, although this may be true, in contrast, likewise, on the contrary, similarly, whereas, yet.
  • Emphasis (Boosting) – This shows certainty. Examples include, emphatically, in fact, surprisingly, undeniably, in any case, indeed, never, without a doubt.
  • Providing examples : For example, for instance, as illustrated by, take the following case in point.
  • Exception or Contradiction – This happens when an action with a pre-conceived notion ends with a different action. Examples are, however, nevertheless, in spite of, of course, once in a while, despite.
  • Summarize or conclude – This signals the reader that they are at the end of the paragraph. Examples are, as this essay has shown, as a result, In conclusion, therefore, thus, hence, in short, in brief.
  • Sequential – This expresses a numerical sequence, conclusion, continuation, resumption, or summation. Examples are to change the topic, to conclude with, afterward, incidentally, by the way, initially.

List of Transition Words for New Paragraphs

Transition words to avoid.

I recommend avoiding the following transition words:

Examples in Sentences

The best way to understand transition words is to provide examples. Let’s look at this sentence:

“Amy did not study for her test. Therefore, she did not get a good result.”

When you see the word ‘therefore,’ the reader knows that this is a cause and effect. What happened in the first sentence caused a resulting action.

The transition word provided a seamless flow into the next sentence that describes this effect.

Using the transitional word, ‘therefore,’ shows that the two sentences are part of one idea/process. Even with skimming, the reader can guess what’s the resulting action. This is how transition words hold your ideas together. Without them, it’s like your piece is just a jumble of coherent words.

Transition words don’t have to be placed at the start of a sentence. Let’s look at this sentence:

“Many people came to the event. Cristine, Emily, and David, for instance.”

In this sentence, ‘for instance’ is at the end of the sentence. However, it still gives the reader the necessary information to see how the two sentences are linked.

Why use Transition Words

Proper communication of your ideas through paragraphs is important in writing. In order for your reader to read your piece with a thorough understanding of each idea and point conveyed in the piece, you have to use transition words and phrases.

With the examples provided, you would see that transitions string together your ideas by establishing a clear connection between the sentences and paragraphs.

Without transition words, your work may seem daunting and stressful to read, and the reader will not understand the idea you’re trying to convey.

Transitional phrases are especially important when writing an essay or thesis statement , as each paragraph has to connect ideas effortlessly.

Therefore, when a paragraph ends, the next idea must have some link to the previous one, which is why transition words play an important role.

Where Else to use Transition Words in an Essay

Transition words are important English devices for essays and papers. They enhance the transitions and connections between the sentences and paragraphs, giving your essay a flowing structure and logical thought.

Transition terms may seem easy to remember; however, placing them in the incorrect manner can cause your essay to fall flat.

Here are some places where essays transition words may fit:

  • To show a connection between evidence and the ending
  • To flow into the next paragraph, use your closing statement at the conclusion of each one
  • At the start of the first body paragraph
  • At the start of the second body paragraph
  • In some of the starting sections of your summary or introductory paragraphs
  • In an overview of your opinions/solutions in the conclusion

When adding your transition words and phrases in your essay, make sure not to accidentally form an incomplete or fragmented sentence. This is common with transitions, such as, if, although, and since .

While transition words are important in any writing piece, you have to make sure that the word or phrase you choose matches the logic of the paragraph or point you’re making. Use these words and phrases in moderation, as too much of them can also heavily bring the quality of your work down.

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How To Write An Essay

Transition Words For Essays

Barbara P

Transition Words for Essays - An Ultimate List

12 min read

Published on: Jan 1, 2021

Last updated on: Jul 21, 2023

transition words for essays

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Share this article

Are you tired of reading essays that feel disjointed and difficult to follow? Do you find yourself struggling to connect your ideas smoothly and effectively? 

If so, then you're in luck, because today we're going to take a closer look at the magic of transition words.

In this blog, we'll cover different types of transition words and their precise usage, and how they can elevate your writing. By the end, you'll have the tools to captivate your readers and leave a lasting impression. 

Let's dive in!

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What are Transition Words?

Transition words are linking words used to connect sentences and ideas in the content. They help the audience move from one idea to another, building a coherent relationship within the document.

When  writing an essay , it is essential to make sure that the information provided is readable and understandable by the readers. For this purpose, explicit language, transition words, and phrases are used.

Moreover, these words set a base for the idea that is going to be discussed next.

Transition words can either make or break the entire essay. It is mandatory to keep in view that not every sentence in your essay needs a transitional phrase. 

Types of Transitions

Generally, there are three types of transitions that are used while drafting a piece of document. Depending on the length, complexity, and kind of text, transitions can take the following form:

  • Transition Between Sections - When your document is lengthy, transition paragraphs are used to summarize a particular section for the readers. In addition to this, it also links the information that is to be shared next.

For example:

"In the following section..." "Moving on to..." "Now, let's explore..." "Turning our attention to..." "To delve deeper, we will now examine..."

  • Transition Between Paragraphs -  The transition between paragraphs is when you logically connect the two paragraphs. This connection summarizes the paragraph’s primary concern and links it to the next idea of the other paragraph.

"Furthermore..." "On the other hand..." "Similarly..." "In contrast..." "Moreover..." "Additionally..." "In addition to..." "Conversely..." "Likewise..." "In a similar vein...

  • Transition Within Paragraphs -  They act as cues for the readers to prepare them for what is coming next. They are usually single words or small phrases.

"For instance..." "In particular..." "To illustrate..." "Additionally..." "Moreover..." "Furthermore..." "On the contrary..." "However..." "In contrast..." "In other words..."

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Types of Transition Words

Here's a table showcasing different types of transition words and their corresponding functions:

Transition Words For Different Types of Essays

Transitional words depend on the relationship you want to convey to the audience about the ideas and paragraphs. Below is a list of words and phrases that can be used to link different sentences, paragraphs, and sections.

Identify which transition expression you want to share for your logical relationship.

Transition Words for Argumentative Essay

  • In the same way
  • Equally important
  • Furthermore
  • Comparatively
  • Additionally
  • In addition
  • Not only...but also

Transition Words for Compare and Contrast Essay

  • In contrast
  • Different from
  • On the contrary
  • In spite of

Transition Words for Informative Essay

  • Provided that
  • With this in mind
  • For the purpose of
  • In the hope that
  • In order to
  • With this intention

Transition Words for College Essays

  • In other words
  • By all means
  • To demonstrate
  • As in illustration
  • To put it another way

Transition Words for Cause and Effect Essay

  • As a result
  • For this reason
  • Because the
  • Under those circumstances
  • Accordingly
  • Consequently

Transition Words for Expository Essay 

  • Not long after that
  • Specifically
  • To begin with
  • Without doubt
  • Undoubtedly
  • Due to circumstances
  • In similar fashion

Transition Words for Different Parts of Essay

Here's a table listing transition words for different parts of an essay:

How Transitions work

Transitions work by creating a bridge between ideas, sentences, paragraphs, or sections in your essay. They help to establish logical connections and guide the reader through the flow of your writing. 

Here's how transitions work:

  • Coherence : Transitions create smooth connections between ideas, ensuring a coherent flow in your writing.
  • Signal Relationships: Transitions clarify how ideas are related, such as cause and effect, comparison, contrast, or sequence.
  • Guide the Reader: It acts as signpost, guiding readers through your essay and indicating the direction of your thoughts.
  • Enhance Clarity: Transitions improve clarity by organizing ideas and helping readers understand logical progression.
  • Improve Flow: It ensures a seamless flow between sentences, paragraphs, and sections, preventing choppiness.
  • Emphasize Key Points: Transitions can be used strategically to highlight important ideas and make them more impactful.

Let's consider an example:

In the above example, transitions like " one such source " connect the idea of solar power to renewable energy sources. " Similarly " then introduces the concept of wind power, creating a logical progression. These transitions help readers follow the flow of ideas and understand the relationships between different energy sources.

Tips to Use Transition Words in your Essay

Here are some tips to effectively use transition words in your essay:

  • Understand the Purpose: Familiarize yourself with the different types and functions of transition words, phrases, or sentences. Recognize how they connect ideas, provide structure, and indicate relationships between different parts of your essay.
  • Plan your Essay Structure: Before you start writing, outline the main sections, paragraphs, and points you want to cover. Consider where transition words can be used to improve the flow and coherence of your essay.
  • Use Transition Words Appropriately: Ensure that the transition word you choose accurately reflects the relationship between ideas. Don't force a transition where it doesn't fit naturally.
  • Vary Transition Words: Avoid repetitive or excessive use of the same transition word throughout your essay. Use a variety of transition words to maintain reader interest and enhance overall readability.
  • Pay Attention to Placement: Place transition words at the beginning, middle, or end of sentences, depending on the desired effect. Consider the logical flow of your ideas and choose the appropriate placement for each transition word.
  • Use Transitional Phrases: Instead of using single transition words, consider incorporating transitional phrases or clauses. These can provide more context and clarity, strengthening the connection between ideas.
  • Revise and Edit: After completing your essay, review it for the effectiveness and smoothness of transitions. Ensure that they serve their purpose in guiding the reader and enhancing the overall coherence of your writing.
  • Seek Feedback: Share your essay with others and ask for feedback, specifically on the use of transition words. Others' perspectives can help you identify any areas that need improvement or where transitions could be strengthened.

To sum it up! While mastering transition words may require time and practice, it is a skill well worth developing. These words are crucial for creating coherence and flow in your essays. Throughout this blog, we have explored various transition words and phrases that can greatly enhance your writing.

Remember, practice makes perfect, so don't hesitate to apply these newfound skills in your future essays. You can utilize an AI essay writer to enhance and refine your writing skills.

If you still need assistance or have further inquiries, our team at CollegeEssay.org is available to provide professional essay writing service . 

Contact us today, and let us be a part of your journey toward academic excellence!

Barbara P (Literature, Marketing)

Barbara is a highly educated and qualified author with a Ph.D. in public health from an Ivy League university. She has spent a significant amount of time working in the medical field, conducting a thorough study on a variety of health issues. Her work has been published in several major publications.

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Transition Generator for Essays

Are you looking for an effective transition words generator? Try our free online tool and create relevant transitions for your research paper or essay. All you have to do is paste the text if you want transitional words to be added. Another option is to get a list of transitional words relevant to your goals.

  • 🔢 How to Use the Tool?
  • 🤩 The 5 Benefits
  • 🖇 What Are Transitions?

🤔 Do I Need to Work on My Transitions?

  • 📝 Tips to Use Transitions
  • 🔤 Common Transition Words

🔎 References

🔢 transition generator: how to use it.

To use the tool, you’ll need to take the following steps:

  • Choose what you want the tool to do for you . Do you need to add transitional words to your essay, or do you want the tool to provide you with a list of transitions that will suit your goals?
  • Paste the text . If you want the tool to add transitions to your text, input the piece in question.
  • Add the data . Choose what kind of transitions you need to get a perfect result.

🤩 Transition Words Generator: The 5 Benefits

This online transition generator for essays has numerous benefits:

🖇 What Are Transitions in an Essay?

Transitions are words or phrases that link ideas together in an essay. These words create logical links between sentences or paragraphs . Transitions are also known as connecting words since they reveal the relationship with other paragraphs or sections in an academic paper.

The picture defines transitions in academic writing.

In other words:

Transitions guide the readers to follow through with your essay easily while understanding the flow of ideas. Usually, the transitions are in the form of words, phrases, or full sentences.

The primary importance of transitions is to lead readers in the right direction .

These words:

  • Assist readers in linking your ideas logically from the introduction to the conclusion.
  • Make your essay sound better.
  • Have a specific meaning that guides the reader’s thinking or reaction to your ideas, whether you’re working on an argumentative or persuasive essay .

By providing the readers with these important cues, the transitions help the readers understand the connection of your essay ideas.

As a student, you must understand the essay writing process. You might know how to start an essay , but connecting your ideas and ensuring the essay flows logically can be challenging. Your tutor might award low grades with comments that your work is not well-written.

So, what are the signs that you need to work on your transitions?

UNC suggests the following possible signs:

  • Your tutor has commented on your paper using these words: “jumpy,” “choppy sentences,” “put signposts,” “abrupt,” or “how is it related?”
  • Your readers inform you that they had difficulties understanding your essay or the flow of ideas.
  • You can’t write your ideas logically, and your brain keeps jumping quickly from one idea to another without proper organization.
  • You crafted chunks of paragraphs separately and compiled them together.
  • Taking other people’s work and pasting it into your essay might lead to disconnected ideas.

Essay writing is a process that requires time and effort to research and compile ideas logically. Thus, incorporating the right transitions is crucial to ensuring your ideas are related to form a unified composition. Besides using an online transition generator to get relevant connecting words, you can also use a transition checker tool to know if you have used the right words or phrases.

📝 Tips to Use Transition Words

For starters:

You must understand what transitions are to be able to use them in your essay. One of the main objectives of a student is to present their thoughts in a clear and comprehensible way.

You should be intentional about your content and essay structuring approach if you want your readers to understand your ideas. Clear writing is vital and needs an articulate and logical flow of ideas in a natural manner. Thus, using transitions in sentences and paragraphs will guide your readers to follow your train of thought seamlessly:

The picture lists the tips to use transition words in a paper.

Below are tips you can apply when using transitions in your paper:

  • Strategically . Use the transitions in a strategic manner by ensuring the words align with the connection you want to emphasize. You must understand the meaning and usage of the transitions you want to use in your paper.
  • Sparingly . You must use the transition words or phrases sparingly to avoid having too many linking words. Your readers might feel you are forcing connections in an already clear essay.

🔤 Most Common Transition Words

Transition words are important connections that link sections of your essay. These cues allow readers to understand your ideas effortlessly. Transitional words unify your thoughts seamlessly through the sentences and paragraphs to avoid breaking your ideas.

Here are examples of common transition words.

There are many other transition words you can find to suit your composition. But if you need more ideas, you can use our online tool to generate relevant transitions for your essay.

Thank you for reading this article! If you need to work on transition phrases or sentences in your paper, please check our transition phrases and transition sentences generators.

❓ Transition Words Generator FAQ

❓ what is a transition in an essay.

A transition is a word that links one idea to another. Transitions can be words, phrases, or sentences that can be used within a paragraph or the entire essay. These linking words show the readers the relationship between sentences or paragraphs.

❓ How do you write a good transition in an essay?

Writing a good transition involves emphasizing the connection between paragraphs. Develop vital points that connect one paragraph to another to help the readers understand the entire essay. You should connect your ideas in one paragraph and reference relevant material in the next paragraph to unify your paper.

❓ How do you transition between paragraphs in an essay?

You can incorporate one or two sentences at the end or beginning of each paragraph to reveal a connection between the two paragraphs.

❓ How does this transition words generator work?

This transition generator is AI-powered, offering a list of random transition words. You can download the list and pick the relevant transitions or re-generate another list until you find what works for your essay.

  • Transitional Words and Phrases - UW-Madison Writing Center
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  3. 003 Transition Words Phrases2 In College Essays Essay ~ Thatsnotus

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  4. Narrative Essay: Transition paragraph in cause and effect essay

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  5. 009 Transition Words Essay Example Sentences Examples For Essays Transitional Paragraph 6

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  6. Good habits and My hobby essays words Short Note paragraph Speech animation calligraphy BFU

COMMENTS

  1. 92 Essay Transition Words to Know, With Examples

    Matt Ellis Updated on November 7, 2023 Students Abruptly switching topics in essays can be jarring; however, transition words can smooth the change for the convenience of the reader. Moreover, you can use essay transition words to start a paragraph, sentence, or clause more naturally.

  2. 33 Transition Words for Essays

    33 Transition Words and Phrases 'Besides,' 'furthermore,' 'although,' and other words to help you jump from one idea to the next. Transitional terms give writers the opportunity to prepare readers for a new idea, connecting the previous sentence to the next one.

  3. Transitional Words and Phrases

    Transitional Words and Phrases One of your primary goals as a writer is to present ideas in a clear and understandable way. To help readers move through your complex ideas, you want to be intentional about how you structure your paper as a whole as well as how you form the individual paragraphs that comprise it.

  4. Transition Words & Phrases

    Transition words and phrases (also called linking words, connecting words, or transitional words) are used to link together different ideas in your text. They help the reader to follow your arguments by expressing the relationships between different sentences or parts of a sentence. Transition words example

  5. Transition Words and Phrases to Improve Your Writing

    Transition words are words that help writing move smoothly from one topic to another without confusing the reader. Words like however, next, or in conclusion prepare the reader by signaling that the topic is shifting.

  6. Transitions

    Transitional words that signal agreement, concession, and disagreement include however, nevertheless, actually, still, despite, admittedly, still, on the contrary, nonetheless. showing cause and effect

  7. PDF 7th Edition Transitions Quick Guide

    There are two kinds of transitions: (a) transitional words and phrases that are used at the start of a sentence to show how the sentence connects with the previous sentence and (b) transitional sentences that are used at the start of a paragraph to show how the paragraph logically connects with the previous paragraph.

  8. Transitions

    What this handout is about In this crazy, mixed-up world of ours, transitions glue our ideas and our essays together. This handout will introduce you to some useful transitional expressions and help you employ them effectively. The function and importance of transitions

  9. Common Transition Words and Phrases

    Common Transition Words and Phrases. In an effort to make our handouts more accessible, we have begun converting our PDF handouts to web pages. Download this page as a PDF: Transitions. Return to Writing Studio Handouts. Transitions clarify the logic of your argument by orienting your reader as you develop ideas between sentences and paragraphs.

  10. Transitions

    Good transitions can connect paragraphs and turn disconnected writing into a unified whole. Instead of treating paragraphs as separate ideas, transitions can help readers understand how paragraphs work together, reference one another, and build to a larger point. The key to producing good transitions is highlighting connections between ...

  11. Transitional Words

    Transitional words are like bridges between parts of your essay. They are cues that help the reader interpret your ideas. Transitional words or phrases help carry your thoughts forward from one sentence to another and one paragraph to another. Finally, transitional words link sentences and paragraphs together smoothly so that there are no abrupt jumps or breaks between ideas.

  12. Transition Sentences

    Published on June 9, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023. Clear transitions are crucial to clear writing: They show the reader how different parts of your essay, paper, or thesis are connected. Transition sentences can be used to structure your text and link together paragraphs or sections.

  13. Complete List of Transition Words

    Follow each transition word or phrase with a comma: Indeed In the first place And Or Too Nor Further Moreover Furthermore In fact Let alone Alternatively As well (as this) What is more In addition (to this) Actually Much less On the other hand Either (neither) As a matter of fact Besides (this) To say nothing of

  14. A List of 200+ Transition Words For Essays

    1. What are Good Transition Words for Essays? 2. Examples of Different Types of Transition Words 3. Transition Words for Argumentative Essays 4. Transition Words for Persuasive Essays 5. Transition Words for Compare and Contrast Essays 6. Transition Words for Informative Essays 7. Transition Words for Expository Essays 8.

  15. 220 Good Transition Words for Essays by Experts

    220 Best Transition Words for Essays By: Nova A. 15 min read Reviewed By: Jacklyn H. Published on: Jul 9, 2019 Writing essays can be hard, and making sure your transitions are smooth is even harder. You've probably heard that good essays need good transitions, but what are they? How do you use them in your writing?

  16. Transition Words: Examples In Sentences, Paragraphs & Essays

    Transition words are important within a sentence or paragraph because they allow your arguments to flow seamlessly from one sentence or thought to another. When introducing transition words, the most basic transition words are conjunctions that join words, phrases or clauses together.

  17. 54 Best Transition Words for Paragraphs (2023)

    Transition words for beginning paragraphs help writers to introduce a shift, opposition, contrast, agreement, emphasis, purpose, result, or conclusion from what was previously written. They are essential in argumentative essays. Transition words are like bridges between the different paragraphs in your pieces.

  18. A Complete List of 200+ Transition Words for Essays

    Transition Words For Essays Written by Barbara P Transition Words for Essays - An Ultimate List 12 min read Published on: Jan 1, 2021 Last updated on: Jul 21, 2023 Are you tired of reading essays that feel disjointed and difficult to follow? Do you find yourself struggling to connect your ideas smoothly and effectively?

  19. Transition Words (List for Essays, Paragraphs, and Writing)

    Transition Words (List for Essays, Paragraphs, and Writing) | GrammarBrain Home / Words / November 4, 2022 Transition Words (List for Essays, Paragraphs, and Writing) In grammar, transition words play a very important role. If used correctly, they can link your ideas, make your paragraphs more coherent, and enhance your writing.

  20. Effective Transition Words for Structured, Flowing Essays

    The role of transition words is to facilitate the clarity, coherence, and impact of your writing. They adapt to the unique needs of each body paragraph, ensuring a smooth and logical progression of ideas. Transition words for body paragraph one wear the hat of introducers. They step onto the stage as "Firstly," "To begin with," or "Initially ...

  21. 190 Good Transition Words for Essays

    190 Good Transition Words for Essays - College Transitions August 23, 2023 bookmark College Essay Emmett Lewis Emmett holds a BA in Philosophy from Vassar College and is currently completing an MFA in Writing at Columbia University.

  22. Transition Words, Phrases & Sentences

    Transitions can exist between paragraphs, between sections in an essay, or even within paragraphs themselves. Within a paragraph, transitions can create a greater coherence and make the writing ...

  23. Transition Generator for Essays

    🔤 Most Common Transition Words. Transition words are important connections that link sections of your essay. These cues allow readers to understand your ideas effortlessly. Transitional words unify your thoughts seamlessly through the sentences and paragraphs to avoid breaking your ideas. Here are examples of common transition words.

  24. In an essay, which word or phrase would create a logical transition

    A. writing that attempts to convince the reader to accept a position or argument B. writing that tells a story C. writing that uses facts to explain D. writing that creates a vivid picture of someone or something. The writer explains facts through an expository text. This is the main objective of the text.

  25. Choose seven transitional words used to aid coherence in this paragraph

    Explanation: Transitional words have the function of connect ideas in a text, helping to bring coherence; these words can also showm contrast, emphasis, conclusion, purpose, etc. The words First, Second, Next, Since and Finally are used to define time . The word Indeed expresses emphasis, and the word Therefore is used show consequence or result.

  26. Writing a paragraph

    Writing a paragraph - WordReference English dictionary, questions, discussion and forums. All Free. WordReference.com | Online Language Dictionaries. ... WordReference can't find this exact phrase, but click on each word to see its meaning: Writing a paragraph ⓘ One or more forum threads is an exact match of your searched term ...