10 Great Transition Words For Essays

The best stylists become masters at artfully placing transition words in pivotal positions—i.e., places where the sentence or paragraph meaning "shifts" slightly. What follows is a handy list of common transition words and their functions. If you open sentences appropriately with these words it will help your writing to flow. One caveat though: Always keep the literal meaning of a transition word in mind as you use it—therefore, do not use "for example" unless you are introducing an example that links to the preceding information; do not use "nevertheless" unless you are offering a contrasting point. Note how this paragraph has required a minimal use of transition words; they should not be forced in where they do not belong. When you do use them, keep their broader functions (i.e., "causality," "emphasis," etc.) directly in mind. 

CausalityEmphasisAmplification
AccordinglyAbove allAgain
ConsequentlyCertainlyAlso
For this reasonClearlyApparently
HenceIndeedBesides
ThereforeIn factEqually important
ThusIn shortFinally
ObviouslyFirst, Second, etc.
IntentionOf courseFurther
For this purposeIn addition
In order to do thisClosureMoreover
To this endIn conclusion
With this in mindIn sumDetail
On the wholeEspecially
LocationTo summarizeIn particular
BeyondIn regard to
HereSimilarityNamely
NearbyLikewiseSpecifically
OppositeSimilarlyTo enumerate
Overlying (underlying)
ThereTimeComparison/Contrast
To the right (left)AfterwardHowever
At the same timeIn contrast
ConcessionBeforeIn relation to
At any rateEarlierNevertheless
At leastEventuallyOn the other hand
In the meantimeStill
ExampleSometimes
For exampleLaterInterpretation
For instanceNextFortunately
To demonstratePreceding thisInterestingly
To illustrateSimultaneouslySignificantly
SoonSurprisingly

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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