Transitions Words In A Essay

Transitional Words and Phrases
Updated lists by Joanna Taraba
(printable version here)

This page only provides a list of transitional words; be certain you understand their meanings before you use them. Often, there exists a slight, but significant, difference between two apparently similar words. Also remember that while transitions describe relationships between ideas, they do not automatically create relationships between ideas for your reader. Use transitions with enough context in a sentence or paragraph to make the relationships clear.

Example of unclear transition:

The characters in Book A face a moral dilemma. In the same way, the characters in Book B face a similar problem.

Improved transition:

The characters in Book A face a moral dilemma, a contested inheritance. Although the inheritance in Book B consists of an old house and not a pile of money, the nature of the problem is quite similar.

Examples of Transitions:

Illustration

Thus, for example, for instance, namely, to illustrate, in other words, in particular, specifically, such as.

Contrast

On the contrary, contrarily, notwithstanding, but, however, nevertheless, in spite of, in contrast, yet, on one hand, on the other hand, rather, or, nor, conversely, at the same time, while this may be true.

Addition

And, in addition to, furthermore, moreover, besides, than, too, also, both-and, another, equally important, first, second, etc., again, further, last, finally, not only-but also, as well as, in the second place, next, likewise, similarly, in fact, as a result, consequently, in the same way, for example, for instance, however, thus, therefore, otherwise.

Time

After, afterward, before, then, once, next, last, at last, at length, first, second, etc., at first, formerly, rarely, usually, another, finally, soon, meanwhile, at the same time, for a minute, hour, day, etc., during the morning, day, week, etc., most important, later, ordinarily, to begin with, afterwards, generally, in order to, subsequently, previously, in the meantime, immediately, eventually, concurrently, simultaneously.

Space

At the left, at the right, in the center, on the side, along the edge, on top, below, beneath, under, around, above, over, straight ahead, at the top, at the bottom, surrounding, opposite, at the rear, at the front, in front of, beside, behind, next to, nearby, in the distance, beyond, in the forefront, in the foreground, within sight, out of sight, across, under, nearer, adjacent, in the background.

Concession

Although, at any rate, at least, still, thought, even though, granted that, while it may be true, in spite of, of course.

Similarity or Comparison

Similarly, likewise, in like fashion, in like manner, analogous to.

Emphasis

Above all, indeed, truly, of course, certainly, surely, in fact, really, in truth, again, besides, also, furthermore, in addition.

Details

Specifically, especially, in particular, to explain, to list, to enumerate, in detail, namely, including.

Examples

For example, for instance, to illustrate, thus, in other words, as an illustration, in particular.

Consequence or Result

So that, with the result that, thus, consequently, hence, accordingly, for this reason, therefore, so, because, since, due to, as a result, in other words, then.

Summary

Therefore, finally, consequently, thus, in short, in conclusion, in brief, as a result, accordingly.

Suggestion

For this purpose, to this end, with this in mind, with this purpose in mind, therefore.

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Transitional Words and Phrases

 

Transitional words and phrases can create powerful links between ideas in your paper and can help your reader understand the logic of your paper.

However, these words all have different meanings, nuances, and connotations.

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 the logic in your paper.

Addition

  • furthermore
  • moreover
  • too
  • also
  • in the second place
  • again
  • in addition
  • even more
  • next
  • further
  • last, lastly
  • finally
  • besides
  • and, or, nor
  • first
  • second, secondly, etc.

Time

  • while
  • immediately
  • never
  • after
  • later, earlier
  • always
  • when
  • soon
  • whenever
  • meanwhile
  • sometimes
  • in the meantime
  • during
  • afterwards
  • now, until now
  • next
  • following
  • once
  • then
  • at length
  • simultaneously
  • so far
  • this time
  • subsequently

Place

  • here
  • there
  • nearby
  • beyond
  • wherever
  • opposite to
  • adjacent to
  • neighboring on
  • above, below

Exemplification or Illustration

  • to illustrate
  • to demonstrate
  • specifically
  • for instance
  • as an illustration
  • e.g., (for example)
  • for example

Comparison

  • in the same way
  • by the same token
  • similarly
  • in like manner
  • likewise
  • in similar fashion

Contrast

  • yet
  • and yet
  • nevertheless
  • nonetheless
  • after all
  • but
  • however
  • though
  • otherwise
  • on the contrary
  • in contrast
  • notwithstanding
  • on the other hand
  • at the same time

Clarification

  • that is to say
  • in other words
  • to explain
  • i.e., (that is)
  • to clarify
  • to rephrase it
  • to put it another way

Cause

  • because
  • since
  • on account of
  • for that reason

Effect

  • therefore
  • consequently
  • accordingly
  • thus
  • hence
  • as a result

Purpose

  • in order that
  • so that
  • to that end, to this end
  • for this purpose

Qualification

  • almost
  • nearly
  • probably
  • never
  • always
  • frequently
  • perhaps
  • maybe
  • although

Intensification

  • indeed
  • to repeat
  • by all means
  • of course
  • doubtedly
  • certainly
  • without doubt
  • yes, no
  • undoubtedly
  • in fact
  • surely
  • in fact

Concession

  • to be sure
  • granted
  • of course, it is true

Summary

  • to summarize
  • in sum
  • in brief
  • to sum up
  • in short
  • in summary

Conclusion

  • in conclusion
  • to conclude
  • finally

Demonstratives acting as transitions

Pronouns serving as links to clearly refer to a specific word or phrase

  • his
  • its
  • theirs
  • it
  • their
  • your
  • her
  • they
  • our

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