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

good thesis transition words

Improving Your Writing Style

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Clear, Concise Sentences

Use the active voice

Put the action in the verb

Tidy up wordy phrases

Reduce wordy verbs

Reduce prepositional phrases

Reduce expletive constructions

Avoid using vague nouns

Avoid unneccessarily inflated words

Avoid noun strings

Connecting Ideas Through Transitions

Using Transitional Words and Phrases

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.

Word of the Day

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Games & Quizzes

Play Quordle: Guess all four words in a limited number of tries.  Each of your guesses must be a real 5-letter word.

Usage Notes

Prepositions, ending a sentence with, is 'irregardless' a real word, 8 more grammar terms you used to know: special verb edition, point of view: it's personal, 31 useful rhetorical devices, grammar & usage, 7 pairs of commonly confused words, did we change the definition of 'literally', more commonly mispronounced words, the tangled history of 'it's' and 'its', more commonly misspelled words, 10 bird names that sound like insults (and sometimes are), eavesdrop, fiasco, and 8 more words with surprising origins, 'when pigs fly' and other barnyard idioms, the words of the week - mar. 29, 10 scrabble words without any vowels.

Essay Writing Guide

Transition Words For Essays

Last updated on: Dec 19, 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.

Order Essay

Paper Due? Why Suffer? That's our Job!

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. You can also generate more essays with our AI powered essay writer to learn the art of transitioning smoothly from one paragraph to 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.

Was This Blog Helpful?

Keep reading.

  • How to Write an Essay - A Complete Guide with Examples

Transition Words for Essays

  • The Art of Effective Writing: Thesis Statements Examples and Tips

Transition Words for Essays

  • Writing a 500 Word Essay - Easy Guide

Transition Words for Essays

  • What is a Topic Sentence - An Easy Guide with Writing Steps & Examples

Transition Words for Essays

  • A Complete Essay Outline - Guidelines and Format

Transition Words for Essays

  • Essay Format: Detailed Writing Tips & Examples

Transition Words for Essays

  • How to Write a Conclusion - Examples & Tips

Transition Words for Essays

  • Essay Topics: 100+ Best Essay Topics for your Guidance

Transition Words for Essays

  • How to Title an Essay: A Step-by-Step Guide for Effective Titles

Transition Words for Essays

  • How to Write a Perfect 1000 Word Essay

Transition Words for Essays

  • How To Make An Essay Longer - Easy Guide For Beginners

Transition Words for Essays

  • Learn How to Start an Essay Effectively with Easy Guidelines

Transition Words for Essays

  • Types of Sentences With Examples

Transition Words for Essays

  • Hook Examples: How to Start Your Essay Effectively

Transition Words for Essays

  • Essay Writing Tips - Essential Do’s and Don’ts to Craft Better Essays

Transition Words for Essays

  • How To Write A Thesis Statement - A Step by Step Guide

Transition Words for Essays

  • Art Topics - 200+ Brilliant Ideas to Begin With

Transition Words for Essays

  • Writing Conventions and Tips for College Students

Transition Words for Essays

People Also Read

  • how to make an essay longer
  • literary analysis essay writing
  • research paper writing
  • expository essay writing
  • qualitative vs quantitative research

Burdened With Assignments?

Bottom Slider

Advertisement

  • Homework Services: Essay Topics Generator

© 2024 - All rights reserved

Facebook Social Icon

190 Good Transition Words for Essays

August 23, 2023

good transitions words for essays, college

Essay writing consists of two primary procedures: coming up with the content we want to include and structuring that content. These procedures might take place in either order or they could occur simultaneously. When writing an essay it is important to think about the ways that content and structure complement one another. The best essays join these two elements in thoughtful ways. Transition words for essays (including for college essays) are some of our most primary tools when it comes to structuring a piece of writing.

When beginning an essay it is often recommended to begin with a messy first draft. The purpose of this draft is to get everything out on the page. You should put down as many ideas and trajectories as you can without worrying too much about phrasing or whether they will make it into the final draft. The key here is to be loose—to get ahead of our self-editors and expel everything we can from our minds.

List of Good Transition Words for Essays (Continued)

While this is a good strategy for beginning an essay it will likely leave you unsure how everything fits together. This is where transition words come in. As you will see in this list (which is necessarily incomplete) the range of transition words for essays is vast. Each transition word implies a different relation, often in subtle ways. After accumulating content, the next step is to figure out how the elements fit together towards an overall goal (this could be but is not necessarily an “argument”). Consulting this list of transition words for essays can provide a shortcut for determining how one piece might lead into another. Along with transition words, rhetorical devices and literary devices are other tools to consider during this stage of essay writing.

Transition Words for College Essays

While this list will be a useful tool for all types of essay writing it will be particularly helpful when it comes to finding the right transition words for college essays . The goal of a college essay is to give a strong overall sense of its author in the tight space of 650 words. As you might imagine, it’s not easy to encompass a life or convey a complex personality in such a space. When writing a college essay you are working with a huge amount of potential content. Students often want to squeeze in as much as they can. To this end, transition words for college essays are essential tools to have at our disposal.

Here is our list of transition words for college essays and other essays. It is organized by the different types of transition words/phrases and their functions. While this organization should be convenient, keep in mind that there’s plenty of overlap. Many of these words can function in multiple ways.

1) Additive Transitions

These words function in an additive manner, accumulating content to build upon what has already been stated. They can be used to construct an argument or establish a scene through the accumulation of details.

  • Additionally
  • In addition to
  • Furthermore
  • Not to mention
  • In all honesty
  • To tell the truth
  • Not only…but also
  • As a matter of fact
  • To say nothing of
  • What’s more
  • Alternatively
  • To go a step further

 2) Comparative Transitions (Similarity)

  These transition words draw a parallel or bring out a similarity between images or ideas. They can be used not only in a straightforward sense but also to establish relations of similarity between objects or ideas that might appear to be dissonant.

  • In the same way
  • In a similar vein
  • Along the lines of
  • In the key of

 3) Comparative Transitions (Difference)

  While also functioning comparatively, the following words demonstrate difference between ideas or images. These transition words are useful when it comes to establishing contrasting points of view, an important component of any argument.

  • On the other hand
  • On the contrary
  • In contrast to
  • In contradiction
  • Nevertheless
  • Nonetheless
  • In any event
  • In any case
  • In either event

4) Sequential Transitions

  The following are particularly effective transition words for college essays. They will allow you to order ideas chronologically or in a sequence, providing a sense of continuity over time. This is particularly useful when an essay leans into something more creative or involves telling a story.

  • Subsequently
  • At the same time
  • Concurrently
  • In the beginning
  • At the start
  • At the outset
  • Off the bat

5) Spatial Transitions

Rather than organizing ideas or images in regards to sequence, these transitions indicate spatial relationships. They are particularly useful when it comes to painting a scene and/or describing objects, but they can also be used metaphorically. Consider, for example, how you might use the transition, “standing in […’s] shadow.”

  • Standing in […’s] shadow
  • In front of
  • In the middle
  • In the center
  • To the left
  • To the right
  • On the side
  • Adjacent to
  • Around the bend
  • On the outskirts
  • In the distance
  • On the horizon
  • In the foreground
  • In the background
  • Underground
  • Through the grapevine

 6) Causal Transitions

These transition words for essays indicate cause and effect relationships between ideas. They will be particularly useful when you are structuring a logical argument, i.e. using logos as a mode of persuasion . Causal transitions are an important element of academic, legal and scientific writing.

  • Accordingly
  • Resultingly
  • As a result
  • Consequently
  • In consequence
  • As a consequence
  • For this reason
  • So much that
  • Granting that
  • That being the case
  • Under those circumstances
  • With this in mind
  • For the purpose of
  • For all intents and purposes
  • In the event that
  • In the event of
  • In light of
  • On the condition that
  • To the extent that

7) Examples/Illustration/Supporting Transition

  These transition words for college essays can be used to introduce supporting evidence, emphasis, examples, and clarification. There is some overlap here with additive transitions and causal transitions. These transitions are also useful when it comes to building an argument. At the same time, they can signal a shift into a different linguistic register.

  • For example
  • For instance
  • In other words
  • As an illustration
  • To illustrate
  • To put it differently
  • To put it another way
  • That is to say
  • As the evidence illustrates
  • It’s important to realize
  • It’s important to understand
  • It must be remembered
  • To demonstrate
  • For clarity’s sake
  • To emphasize
  • To put it plainly
  • To enumerate
  • To speak metaphorically

8) Conclusory Transitions

These transition words for essays serve to bring an idea or story to a close. They offer a clear way of signaling the conclusion of a particular train of thought. They might be followed by a summary or a restatement of an essay’s argument. In this way they also provide emphasis, setting the reader up for what is about to come.

  • In conclusion
  • To summarize
  • To put it succinctly
  • To this end
  • At the end of the day
  • In the final analysis
  • By and large
  • On second thought
  • On first glance
  • That’s all to say
  • On the whole
  • All things considered
  • Generally speaking

List of Good Transition Words for Essays (Final Thoughts)

Even when elements appear to be disparate on first glance, transition words are a great tool for giving your essay a smooth flow. They can also create surprising juxtapositions, relationships, and equivalences. The way a reader will understand a transition word depends on the context in which they encounter it.

Individual words and phrases can be used in a wide variety of ways, ranging from the literal to the figurative to the colloquial or idiomatic. “Through the grapevine” is an example of the colloquial or idiomatic. When we encounter this phrase we don’t interpret it literally (as hearing something “through” a grapevine) but rather as hearing news secondhand. There are, of course, a vast number of idioms that are not included in this list but can also function as transitional phrases.

This list of transition words for college essays (and really any form of writing you might be working on) is a resource that you can return to again and again in your life as a writer. Over years of writing we tend to fall into patterns when it comes to the transition words we use. Mixing things up can be exciting both as a writer and for your readers. Even if you don’t choose to stray from your trusted transitions, considering the alternatives (and why they don’t work for you) can offer a deeper understanding of what you are trying to say.

List of Good Transition Words for Essays (An Exercise)

As an exercise in self-understanding, you may want to try highlighting all of the transition words in a piece of your own writing. You can then compare this to the transition words in a piece of writing that you admire. Are they using similar transitions or others? Are they using them more or less often? What do you like or dislike about them? We all use transition words differently, creating different tonal effects. Keeping an eye out for them, not only as a writer but also as a reader, will help you develop your own aesthetic.

  • College Essay

' src=

Emmett Lewis

Emmett holds a BA in Philosophy from Vassar College and is currently completing an MFA in Writing at Columbia University. Previously, he served as a writing instructor within the Columbia Artists/Teachers community as well as a Creative Writing Teaching Fellow at Columbia, where he taught poetry workshops. In addition, Emmett is a member of the Poetry Board at the Columbia Journal , and his work has been published in HAD , Otoliths , and Some Kind of Opening , among others.

  • 2-Year Colleges
  • Application Strategies
  • Best Colleges by Major
  • Big Picture
  • Career & Personality Assessment
  • College Search/Knowledge
  • College Success
  • Costs & Financial Aid
  • Dental School Admissions
  • Extracurricular Activities
  • Graduate School Admissions
  • High School Success
  • High Schools
  • Law School Admissions
  • Medical School Admissions
  • Navigating the Admissions Process
  • Online Learning
  • Private High School Spotlight
  • Summer Program Spotlight
  • Summer Programs
  • Test Prep Provider Spotlight

College Transitions Sidebar Block Image

“Innovative and invaluable…use this book as your college lifeline.”

— Lynn O'Shaughnessy

Nationally Recognized College Expert

College Planning in Your Inbox

Join our information-packed monthly newsletter.

Sign Up Now

The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Make a Gift

Writing Studio

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

In order to access certain content on this page, you may need to download Adobe Acrobat Reader or an equivalent PDF viewer software.

  • Affiliate Program

Wordvice

  • UNITED STATES
  • 台灣 (TAIWAN)
  • TÜRKIYE (TURKEY)
  • Academic Editing Services
  • - Research Paper
  • - Journal Manuscript
  • - Dissertation
  • - College & University Assignments
  • Admissions Editing Services
  • - Application Essay
  • - Personal Statement
  • - Recommendation Letter
  • - Cover Letter
  • - CV/Resume
  • Business Editing Services
  • - Business Documents
  • - Report & Brochure
  • - Website & Blog
  • Writer Editing Services
  • - Script & Screenplay
  • Our Editors
  • Client Reviews
  • Editing & Proofreading Prices
  • Wordvice Points
  • Partner Discount
  • Plagiarism Checker
  • APA Citation Generator
  • MLA Citation Generator
  • Chicago Citation Generator
  • Vancouver Citation Generator
  • - APA Style
  • - MLA Style
  • - Chicago Style
  • - Vancouver Style
  • Writing & Editing Guide
  • Academic Resources
  • Admissions Resources

Effective Transition Words for Research Papers

good thesis transition words

What are transition words in academic writing?

A transition is a change from one idea to another idea in writing or speaking and can be achieved using transition terms or phrases. These transitions are usually placed at the beginning of sentences, independent clauses, and paragraphs and thus establish a specific relationship between ideas or groups of ideas. Transitions are used to enhance cohesion in your paper and make its logical development clearer to readers.

Types of Transition Words

Transitions accomplish many different objectives. We can divide all transitions into four basic categories:

  • Additive transitions  signal to the reader that you are adding or referencing information
  • Adversative transitions  indicate conflict or disagreement between pieces of information
  • Causal transitions  point to consequences and show cause-and-effect relationships
  • Sequential transitions  clarify the order and sequence of information and the overall structure of the paper

Additive Transitions

These terms signal that new information is being added (between both sentences and paragraphs), introduce or highlight information, refer to something that was just mentioned, add a similar situation, or identify certain information as important.

Adversative Transitions

These terms and phrases distinguish facts, arguments, and other information, whether by contrasting and showing differences; by conceding points or making counterarguments; by dismissing the importance of a fact or argument; or replacing and suggesting alternatives.

Causal Transitions

These terms and phrases signal the reasons, conditions, purposes, circumstances, and cause-and-effect relationships. These transitions often come after an important point in the research paper has been established or to explore hypothetical relationships or circumstances.

Sequential Transitions

These transition terms and phrases organize your paper by numerical sequence; by showing continuation in thought or action; by referring to previously-mentioned information; by indicating digressions; and, finally, by concluding and summing up your paper. Sequential transitions are essential to creating structure and helping the reader understand the logical development through your paper’s methods, results, and analysis.

How to Choose Transitions in Academic Writing

Transitions are commonplace elements in writing, but they are also powerful tools that can be abused or misapplied if one isn’t careful. Here are some ways to ensure you are using transitions effectively.

  • Check for overused, awkward, or absent transitions during the paper editing process. Don’t spend too much time trying to find the “perfect” transition while writing the paper.
  • When you find a suitable place where a transition could connect ideas, establish relationships, and make it easier for the reader to understand your point, use the list to find a suitable transition term or phrase.
  • Similarly, if you have repeated some terms again and again, find a substitute transition from the list and use that instead. This will help vary your writing and enhance the communication of ideas.
  • Read the beginning of each paragraph. Did you include a transition? If not, look at the information in that paragraph and the preceding paragraph and ask yourself: “How does this information connect?” Then locate the best transition from the list.
  • Check the structure of your paper—are your ideas clearly laid out in order? You should be able to locate sequence terms such as “first,” “second,” “following this,” “another,” “in addition,” “finally,” “in conclusion,” etc. These terms will help outline your paper for the reader.

For more helpful information on academic writing and the journal publication process, visit Wordvice’s  Academic Resources  Page. And be sure to check out Wordvice’s professional English editing services if you are looking for  paper editing and proofreading  after composing your academic document.

 Wordvice Tools

  • Wordvice APA Citation Generator
  • Wordvice MLA Citation Generator
  • Wordvice Chicago Citation Generator
  • Wordvice Vancouver Citation Generator
  • Wordvice Plagiarism Checker
  • Editing & Proofreading Guide

Wordvice Resources

  • How to Write the Best Journal Submissions Cover Letter
  • 100+ Strong Verbs That Will Make Your Research Writing Amazing
  • How to Write an Abstract
  • Which Tense to Use in Your Abstract
  • Active and Passive Voice in Research Papers
  • Common Phrases Used in Academic Writing

Other Resources Around the Web

  • MSU Writing Center.  Transition Words.
  • UW-Madison Writing Center.  Transition Words and Phrases.

Rafal Reyzer

  • Online Course

45 Best Transition Words and Phrases For Essays

Author: Rafal Reyzer

Your essay needs to be coherent and written in a way where one idea flows naturally to the other, and for that, you need transition words.

But how to make sure that everything ties together, and that you present your arguments in a logical, smooth manner? It’s simple. You do it by using transition words and phrases, which can turn your scattered thoughts into a well-organized, and neatly looking piece of prose. “Look on every exit as being an entrance somewhere else.” – Tom Stoppard It is common knowledge that the ability to write a great essay is tremendously helpful to those who are pursuing higher education. So, it wouldn’t hurt to add all the weapons you can find to your essay-writing arsenal, like these transition words.

What are transition words?

Transition words and phrases are a part of speech , and they’re used to create coherent relationships between ideas in the text. The ones you might be familiar with are ‘and’, ‘but’, ‘so’, and ‘because’. They’re applied to maintain a logical, uninterrupted stream of thought and a smooth flow of paragraphs and sentences. Their goal is to show your reader the relationship between phrases, sentences, or even paragraphs. When you use them, you make it easier for your readers to understand how your thoughts and ideas are connected. There are around 200 of them in the English language. Example: Regular exercise leads to improved cardiovascular performance. It improves the function of the brain.

Here are the main rules for the usage of transitional words:

5 rules of transition words

Using transitional words in essays

Your regular essay will comprise five paragraphs – an introduction, three paragraphs to present your points, and a conclusion. Your job is to make the prose consistent, and that’s why you need words and phrases to create links between the ideas. The words and phrases below are mostly used in persuasive (argumentative) essays where you need to convince the readers of your opinion confidently. But in fact, they’re useful in almost any type of writing (such as expository essays ) simply to keep the structure intact. If you use them well, they can emphasize contrast, highlight a similarity, and solidify your conclusion. Transition, a formal definition: the process of changing from one situation, form, or state to another.

Transition words are used at the beginning of each new paragraph. For Example:

  • To begin with
  • In the first place
  • To summarize

They can also be used when you present a new point in the same paragraph. For Example:

There’s a multitude of transition words that will contribute to a sleeker essay.

Many students make the mistake of repeating the same words repeatedly. This causes them to lose impact and meaning. Among grammarians, this phenomenon is called grammar saturation. The important thing to know is that there are several categories to transition words depending on the type of impact you’d like to create in your writing . Often, there are several words suitable for one transition. Just remember that they don’t always mean the same and you might need some practice to recognize the subtle differences between them. To avoid this, look up synonyms and never use the same transition word more than once in a single piece of prose (especially in the same paragraph). If you need a more in-depth course on this topic, you may read A Writer’s Guide To Transitional Words and Expressions.

Here’s a list of the best transition words that’ll come to your rescue:

When you want to indicate similarity or addition:.

  • Incidentally
  • More important
  • For instance
  • Furthermore
  • In addition
  • In the same fashion

Examples of use:

  • A diet based mostly on carbohydrates can cause massive weight gain. Furthermore, it can cause mental fog and a lack of energy in adult humans.
  • Small steps can lead to huge gains. For instance, if you write one page a day, you’ll have a whole book within one year.

When you want to indicate dissimilarity, contrast, or contradiction:

  • By contrast
  • On the other hand
  • On the contrary
  • All the same
  • At any rate
  • At the same time
  • Nonetheless
  • Despite this
  • By comparison
  • In comparison
  • In place of
  • Nevertheless
  • Notwithstanding
  • Unfortunately
  • A ban on the possession of firearms would vastly improve the safety of the civilian population. In spite of this, the politicians won’t push it through because of the powerful gun lobby.
  • Everyone knows that eating excessive amounts of sugar causes health problems. Yet, the consumption of “white poison” is higher than ever.

When you want to indicate similarity:

  • In the same way
  • In like manner
  • Learning computer languages serves as a competitive advantage in the job market. Likewise, the ability to speak Chinese or Japanese can be beneficial.
  • The cost of mobile devices around the world dropped significantly. In the same manner, laptops and TVs became more affordable.

When you want to indicate cause, effect, purpose, consequence, or result:

  • Accordingly
  • As a result
  • Knowing this
  • With this object
  • With this end
  • To this end
  • With this in mind
  • In many cases
  • In this way
  • Consequently
  • For this reason
  • Fortunately
  • In any case
  • Provided that
  • Excessive time spent at the desk at work can lead to coronary disease. Sitting for a long time is more harmful than the regular consumption of fast foods.
  • Becoming a self-employed digital nomad isn’t easy. Fortunately, there are many guides and forums on this topic.

When you want to emphasize something:

  • Specifically
  • In particular
  • More specifically
  • In other words
  • To illustrate
  • Drinking a lot of water raises your levels of energy. In particular, filtered and purified water is the best thing to drink.
  • The player dropped the ball at the very last moment. Truly, this was the reason the team was defeated.

When you want to indicate the time or sequence of events:

  • In the meantime
  • Immediately
  • In the same instant
  • Subsequently
  • At that point
  • The children were starving and without water. Finally, the international convoy came to help them.
  • The politician angered the crowds. Immediately, you could hear boos from every direction.

When you want to indicate spatial order or reference:

  • On the opposite side
  • On the right
  • On the left
  • In a corner
  • In front of
  • The huge mountain covered the horizon. Beneath it, there were kilometers of caverns.
  • The table stood in the center of the room. On the right, you could find a few scattered pieces of furniture.

How do these words relate to the format of your essay?

If you focus on academic writing you’ll need to adhere to a specific essay format. Use the following words to create comprehensive transitions between paragraphs:

Introductory transitions

These come in handy when you craft your first supporting paragraph (the one after the introductory one). Here you usually start building on your thesis and start giving arguments in its favor.

Words to use in an introductory paragraph:

  • The first reason

Connecting the second paragraph to the third:

  • Additionally
  • Another reason why
  • Pursuing this further

Connecting the third paragraph to the fourth:

  • Yet another reason why
  • One last reason why

Connecting the body to the conclusion:

  • In conclusion
  • To sum it all up
  • In the final analysis
  • You can see why
  • To wrap it all up

Pro tip: Words like ‘for’, ‘and’, ‘nor’, ‘but’, ‘or’, ‘yet’, and ‘since’ shouldn’t be used at the beginning of a sentence if you’re writing a formal essay. “The best part of your story is when it changes.” – Bella Bloom Bonus material – a printable PDF chart with link words (always keep it beside you): A complete list of transition words and conjunctions.

Now it’s your turn to use these transition words

Starting an essay is always challenging, even for advanced writers. Hopefully, by reading this article, I made your task easier by adding a valuable tool to your writer’s toolbox. Just remember to use these phrases originally, and without repetition. The last thing you want to do is to sound mechanical as if you’re writing from a template. Next up, you may want to check a list of amazing short pretty words in English .

AI marketing mastery cover

Digital marketing course: Join my full AI Marketing course, with over 6h and 30 minutes of video lessons and 5 bonuses and learn the skills necessary to thrive as a marketer in the digital era.

Rafal Reyzer

Rafal Reyzer

Hey there, welcome to my blog! I'm a full-time entrepreneur building two companies, a digital marketer, and a content creator with 10+ years of experience. I started RafalReyzer.com to provide you with great tools and strategies you can use to become a proficient digital marketer and achieve freedom through online creativity. My site is a one-stop shop for digital marketers, and content enthusiasts who want to be independent, earn more money, and create beautiful things. Explore my journey here , and don't miss out on my AI Marketing Mastery online course.

Writers' Center

Eastern Washington University

Writing Your Paper: Transitions

  • Brainstorming
  • Creating a Hook
  • Revising, Editing, and Proofreading

Transitions

  • Formal Writing
  • Active vs. Passive Voice
  • Peer Review
  • Point of View

Transitions are words and/or phrases used to indicate movement or show change throughout a piece of writing. Transitions generally come at the beginning or end of a paragraph and can do the following:

  • Alert readers of connections to, or further evidence for, the thesis
  • Function as the topic sentence of paragraphs
  • Guide readers through an argument
  • Help writers stay on task

Transitions sentences often indicate or signal:

  • Change to new topic
  • Connection/flow from previous topic
  • Continuity of overall argument/thesis

Transitions show connections between ideas. You must create these connections for the reader to move them along with your argument. Without transitions, you are building a house without nails. Things do not hold together.

Transition Words and Phrases

Transitions can signal change or relationship in these ways:

Time - order of events

Examples: while, immediately, never, after, later, earlier, always, soon, meanwhile, during, until now, next, following, once, then, simultaneously, so far

Contrast - show difference

Examples: yet, nevertheless, after all, but, however, though, otherwise, on the contrary, in contrast, on the other hand, at the same time

Compare - show similarity

Examples: in the same way, in like manner, similarly, likewise

Position - show spatial relationships

Examples: here, there, nearby, beyond, wherever, opposite to, above, below

Cause and effect

Examples: because, since, for that reason, therefore, consequently, accordingly, thus, as a result

Conclusion - wrap up/summarize the argument

Writing strong transitions often takes more than simply plugging in a transition word or phrase here and there. In a piece of academic writing, writers often need to use signposts, or transition sentences that signal the reader of connections to the thesis. To form a signpost, combine transition words, key terms from the thesis, and a mention of the previous topic and new topic.

Transition/signpost sentence structure: 

[Transition word/phrase] + [previous topic] + [brief restatement of or reference to thesis/argument] + [new topic]  = Signpost

  • Do not think of this as a hard and fast template, but a general guide to what is included in a good transition.
  • Transitions link the topic of the previous paragraph(s) to the topic of the present paragraph(s) and connect both to the overall goal/argument. You'll most often find signposts at the beginning of a paragraph, where they function as topic sentences .

Sample signpost using complimentary transition phrase:

According to [transition phrase] the same overall plan for first defeating Confederate forces in the field and then capturing major cities and rail hubs [overall thesis restated] that Grant followed by marching the Army of the Potomac into Virginia [previous topic] , Sherman likewise [transition word] advanced into Georgia to drive a dagger into the heart of the Confederacy [new topic] .

Contrasting ideas have the same essential format as complimentary but may use different transition words and phrases:

In contrast to [transition phrase] F.D.R., who maintained an ever-vigilant watchfulness over the Manhattan project [previous topic + reference to overall thesis] , Truman took over the presidency without any knowledge of the atomic bomb or its potential power [new topic] .

The overall structure of an essay with transitions may look something like this:

good thesis transition words

*Note how transitions may come at beginning or end of paragraphs, but either way they signal movement and change.

You can learn more about essay structure HERE .

[ Back to resource home ]

An image of writing consultants meeting with students.

[email protected] 509.359.2779

Cheney Campus   JFK Library Learning Commons

Spokane Campus Catalyst Building C451 and C452

Stay Connected! Instagram  Facebook

Transition Resources

Here are a couple of good sites with extensive lists of transition words and phrases:

  https://writing.wisc.edu/Handbook/Transitions.html   

 Academic Phrasebank  http://www.phrasebank.manchester.ac.uk

  • << Previous: Structure
  • Next: Formal Writing >>
  • Last Updated: Feb 26, 2024 12:42 PM
  • URL: https://research.ewu.edu/c.php?g=53658

English Language

Transition Words

As a "part of speech" transition words are used to link words, phrases or sentences. They help the reader to progress from one idea (expressed by the author) to the next idea. Thus, they help to build up coherent relationships within the text.

Transitional Words

This structured list of commonly used English transition words — approximately 200, can be considered as quasi complete. It can be used (by students and teachers alike) to find the right expression. English transition words are essential, since they not only connect ideas, but also can introduce a certain shift, contrast or opposition, emphasis or agreement, purpose, result or conclusion, etc. in the line of argument. The transition words and phrases have been assigned only once to somewhat artificial categories, although some words belong to more than one category.

There is some overlapping with prepositions and postpositions, but for the purpose of usage and completeness of this concise guide, I did not differentiate.

Linking & Connecting Words — Part 1/2

Agreement / Addition / Similarity

Opposition / limitation / contradiction, examples / support / emphasis, cause / condition / purpose, effect / consequence / result, conclusion / summary / restatement, time / chronology / sequence, space / location / place.

The transition words like also, in addition, and, likewise , add information , reinforce ideas , and express agreement with preceding material.

in the first place

not only ... but also

as a matter of fact

in like manner

in addition

coupled with

in the same fashion / way

first, second, third

in the light of

not to mention

to say nothing of

equally important

by the same token

identically

together with

comparatively

correspondingly

furthermore

additionally

Transition phrases like but , rather and or , express that there is evidence to the contrary or point out alternatives , and thus introduce a change the line of reasoning ( contrast ).

although this may be true

in contrast

different from

of course ..., but

on the other hand

on the contrary

at the same time

in spite of

even so / though

be that as it may

(and) still

even though

nevertheless

nonetheless

notwithstanding

These transitional phrases present specific conditions or intentions .

in the event that

granted (that)

as / so long as

on (the) condition (that)

for the purpose of

with this intention

with this in mind

in the hope that

to the end that

for fear that

in order to

seeing / being that

provided that

only / even if

inasmuch as

These transitional devices (like especially ) are used to introduce examples as support , to indicate importance or as an illustration so that an idea is cued to the reader.

in other words

to put it differently

for one thing

as an illustration

in this case

for this reason

to put it another way

that is to say

with attention to

by all means

important to realize

another key point

first thing to remember

most compelling evidence

must be remembered

point often overlooked

to point out

on the positive side

on the negative side

specifically

surprisingly

significantly

particularly

in particular

for example

for instance

to demonstrate

to emphasize

to enumerate

Some of these transition words ( thus, then, accordingly, consequently, therefore, henceforth ) are time words that are used to show that after a particular time there was a consequence or an effect .

Note that for and because are placed before the cause/reason. The other devices are placed before the consequences or effects.

as a result

under those circumstances

in that case

because the

consequently

accordingly

These transition words and phrases conclude , summarize and / or restate ideas, or indicate a final general statement . Also some words (like therefore ) from the Effect / Consequence category can be used to summarize.

as can be seen

generally speaking

in the final analysis

all things considered

as shown above

in the long run

given these points

as has been noted

for the most part

in conclusion

to summarize

by and large

on the whole

in any event

in either case

These transitional words (like finally ) have the function of limiting, restricting, and defining time . They can be used either alone or as part of adverbial expressions .

at the present time

from time to time

sooner or later

up to the present time

to begin with

in due time

in the meantime

in a moment

without delay

all of a sudden

at this instant

first, second

immediately

straightaway

by the time

occasionally

Many transition words in the time category ( consequently; first, second, third; further; hence; henceforth; since; then, when; and whenever ) have other uses.

Except for the numbers ( first, second, third ) and further they add a meaning of time in expressing conditions, qualifications, or reasons. The numbers are also used to add information or list examples . Further is also used to indicate added space as well as added time.

These transition words are often used as part of adverbial expressions and have the function to restrict, limit or qualify space . Quite a few of these are also found in the Time category and can be used to describe spatial order or spatial reference.

in the middle

to the left/right

in front of

on this side

in the distance

here and there

in the foreground

in the background

in the center of

adjacent to

opposite to 

List of Transition Words

Transition Words & Phrases

Transition Words are also sometimes called (or put in the category of) Connecting Words. Please feel free to download them via this link to the category page: Linking Words & Connecting Words as a PDF. It contains all the transition words listed on this site. The image to the left gives you an impression how it looks like.

Usage of Transition Words in Essays

Transition words and phrases are vital devices for essays , papers or other literary compositions. They improve the connections and transitions between sentences and paragraphs. They thus give the text a logical organization and structure (see also: a List of Synonyms ).

All English transition words and phrases (sometimes also called 'conjunctive adverbs') do the same work as coordinating conjunctions : they connect two words, phrases or clauses together and thus the text is easier to read and the coherence is improved.

Usage: transition words are used with a special rule for punctuation : a semicolon or a period is used after the first 'sentence', and a comma is almost always used to set off the transition word from the second 'sentence'.

Example 1: People use 43 muscles when they frown; however, they use only 28 muscles when they smile.

Example 2: however, transition words can also be placed at the beginning of a new paragraph or sentence - not only to indicate a step forward in the reasoning, but also to relate the new material to the preceding thoughts..

Use a semicolon to connect sentences, only if the group of words on either side of the semicolon is a complete sentence each (both must have a subject and a verb, and could thus stand alone as a complete thought).

Further helpful readings about expressions, writing and grammar: Compilation of Writing Tips How to write good   ¦   Correct Spelling Study by an English University

Are you using WORD for writing professional texts and essays? There are many easy Windows Shortcuts available which work (almost) system-wide (e.g. in every programm you use).

E-Mail and Address

My Speech Class

Public Speaking Tips & Speech Topics

A List of Transition Words to Use for Argumentative Essays

Photo of author

Amanda Green was born in a small town in the west of Scotland, where everyone knows everyone. I joined the Toastmasters 15 years ago, and I served in nearly every office in the club since then. I love helping others gain confidence and skills they can apply in every day life.

Writing an argumentative essay requires a lot of effort aside from research. Besides grammar and structure, you definitely need to make sure your essay is coherent by using transitions.

Argumentative essay transition words allow you to wrap up a piece of evidence to support your main point and then move on to another. Keep reading for tips and an exhaustive list of transition words I put together for your argumentative essays.

What Is a Transition Word?

good thesis transition words

A transition word is critical to producing quality content. Also known as linking words, transition words make basic connections between sentences and paragraphs to show a relationship between ideas.

A strong transition is crucial when writing an essay. It’s not enough that you provide complete information about your main points and supporting details. You also have to make your argument attractive and logical by using transitions in your academic essay.

The absence of transition words will make your paper less readable and understandable. But too many transitions can also ruin your piece. Use them in moderation to avoid confusion about your document.

Function and Importance of Transitions

The goal of transition words is to convey ideas clearly and concisely to your readers. If you’re writing an argumentative paper, you want to make logical connections in your document to prove your central point.

Transitional phrases and words help you produce a logical flow from one sentence or paragraph to another. In other words, they introduce what the following information will be. Some transitions come in single words, while others come in complete phrases and sentences.

Can We Write Your Speech?

Get your audience blown away with help from a professional speechwriter. Free proofreading and copy-editing included.

There are many categories of transitions, including those that present counterarguments and others that build on your arguments. Be careful about using the wrong transition. Otherwise, you won’t achieve your goal of clarity and conciseness. Consider these examples.

  • “ For instance , an anonymous TikTok user reports having a shorter attention span because of its over-swiping feature.” (In this sentence, for instance is used to provide an example).
  • “ Here’s an exception to my previous point. ” (This entire sentence is a transition, showing a logical connection between the previous and following sentences).

Transition can also be a sentence to a paragraph long. I’ll show you an example.

Paragraph A: A point that supports co-sleeping as a parenting method.

Transition: Despite this, there are many reasons that prove co-sleeping leads to sleep-related accidents.

Paragraph B: Points that oppose co-sleeping.

Types of Transition Words

There are several types of transitions you can use for making high-quality essays.

Transition Between Paragraphs

A type of transition required for a well-written essay is one you can find between paragraphs. Once you’ve arranged each paragraph according to your outline, it’s important to start each with an effective transition. This word or phrase is usually present in the topic sentence of the body.

Some examples include however, similarly, and for example. But these transition expressions cannot be a single sentence long. The initial sentence of every paragraph should be clear and substantial instead of simply connecting ideas.

Transition Within Paragraphs

Creating a powerful transition within every paragraph of your academic papers avoids choppy sentences. It provides a sense of connection between complex ideas to help readers anticipate what is coming.

These are usually single words or short phrases like in addition, since, and if.

Transition Between Sections

The last type of transition phrases and sentences are those between sections. You’ll find them all over the entire paper to summarize the information. They can be restatements of arguments or a short closing sentence to ensure the flow of ideas.

What Is an Argumentative Essay?

It’s a type of essay that requires you to research a subject matter and establish a position for or against it.

Aside from researching and evaluating evidence, showing a relationship between sentences and sections is essential when writing a paper. This will allow you to wrap up an idea and then start another. You must cite different sources to support your point of view, then show counterarguments.

The entire essay should include an introduction, a conclusion, and at least three body paragraphs.

How Do You Start an Argumentative Essay?

Every type of paper starts with an introduction, which usually includes a hook, background, and thesis statement.

The common essay introduction piques the reader’s interest through a surprising statistic or an interesting question. Provide readers with a background of your entire content piece, then state your main argument in a clear sentence.

Transition expressions are not yet essential in this stage of essay writing. Focus on setting up your point and discussing how you will argue it throughout the paper.

Common Transitions for Argumentative Essay Writing

Take a look at this list of transitional words and phrases commonly used to make strong arguments.

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

Counterargument Transition Words

Here’s a transition word list for essays showing different sides of an argument.

  • While it is true that
  • Nevertheless
  • Despite this
  • On the other hand
  • Be that as it may
  • Even though
  • Although this may be true

Transition Words and Phrases for Comparing and Contrasting

Here’s a breakdown of transition words and phrases you can use when comparing and contrasting.

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

Transition Words to Include in Your College Essay

Here are some examples of transition words you can use when applying for college admission or scholarship.

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

Transition Words for Cause and Effect

Consider this transition word list when showing cause and effect.

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

Transition Words for Essay Paragraphs

  • At the present time
  • In due time
  • To begin with
  • All of a sudden
  • Immediately
  • In a moment

Transitions to Emphasize a Point

  • Most of all
  • The main problem/issue is
  • Without question
  • More importantly
  • Most important of all

Transition Words for Additional Support or Evidence

Transition words for sequence or order, transition words for space or place.

  • In the middle of
  • In the distance
  • In the background
  • Here and there
  • On the side

To Cite a Source or Paraphrase

  • According to
  • This means that
  • Put it more simply

Transition Words to Begin a Body Paragraph

  • What is more
  • Beyond that

Transition Words to Introduce Details

  • For example
  • As an example
  • For instance
  • A case in point
  • Specifically
  • In particular
  • More specifically

Transition Words for Conclusion

  • As can be seen
  • By and large
  • On the whole
  • To summarize
  • In the final analysis
  • Generally speaking

More Transition Words

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

Tips for Using Argumentative Essay Transitions

good thesis transition words

Follow these tips to improve your use of transitions in your essay.

Know What the Transitions Mean

Non-native speakers may need help knowing the meaning of every transition expression, so research every term before using it.

There are also many categories of transition words. You can use them to summarize points, show contradictions, express sequence, or begin a paragraph.

Start Your Essay with an Outline

Writing an outline will make it easier to map your ideas and move them around. This strategy will help you transition between paragraphs.

Don’t Overuse Transitions

The last mistake you shouldn’t make is overuse. Instead of making connections between sentences, you’ll make your paper more difficult to read. It creates more incoherence and distraction in your writing, contradicting its intended purpose in your paper.

Use Transition Words Properly

Now you know how to use transition words and phrases for your argumentative essay through this guide and list. These expressions will help you produce a coherent relationship between every idea.

Mastering transitions for your essay may not be a piece of cake, but practice makes perfect. Don’t forget to revise and proofread your argumentative before submitting it to your professor.

Mother of the Groom Speech – Best Tips & Examples

How to Write the Best Commencement Speech – Tips & Examples

Leave a Comment

I accept the Privacy Policy

Reach out to us for sponsorship opportunities

Vivamus integer non suscipit taciti mus etiam at primis tempor sagittis euismod libero facilisi.

© 2024 My Speech Class

Illustration

  • Essay Guides
  • Basics of Essay Writing

Transition Words for Essays and How to Use Them: Guide with Examples

  • Speech Topics
  • Essay Topics
  • Other Essays
  • Main Academic Essays
  • Research Paper Topics
  • Basics of Research Paper Writing
  • Miscellaneous
  • Chicago/ Turabian
  • Data & Statistics
  • Methodology
  • Admission Writing Tips
  • Admission Advice
  • Other Guides
  • Student Life
  • Studying Tips
  • Understanding Plagiarism
  • Academic Writing Tips
  • Basics of Dissertation & Thesis Writing

Illustration

  • Research Paper Guides
  • Formatting Guides
  • Basics of Research Process
  • Admission Guides
  • Dissertation & Thesis Guides

Transition words for essays

Table of contents

Illustration

Use our free Readability checker

Transition words are words or phrases that help establish connections between different ideas, sentences, or paragraphs within an essay. They act as bridges, guiding the reader smoothly from one thought to another. There are different types of transitions words that serve various functions such as creating a compare and contrast, making addition or showing caise and effect.

Transitions are essential for your essay. It is not something you can argue with. Think about this statement as a fixed factor that shall never change. These little phrases smooth your writing and help you to nail the overall flow. Isn't it wonderful? Sure, of course, it is. We cannot avoid using these magical words, and there are plenty of reasons why. Do you want to know them all and learn how to use them in your writing? It is your lucky day. Continue reading, and you will master transition like never before.

What Are Transition Words for Essays?

Transitions for essays secure the logic of your text. They help to determine how various ideas relate to each other. Believe it or not but what is clear for you, other people do not necessarily understand. Therefore, we use these mysterious phrases to connect everything together. It’s like painting a picture and adding key details. We cannot properly connect sentences without these key elements. It is like looking at your friend and not understanding their mood. Who would want that? Thus, don't forget to use them between important sections of an essay. And if you have noticed, even we use them. Can you find a  transition  in this paragraph?  

Why and Where Should I Use Transition Sentences?

Good transitions are used in the places where we want to show the logical connection between body paragraph or sentences. Anywhere where you might want to underline the relationships between certain parts. We also have mentioned that these words are key elements that help the reader understand your paper better. But here are also other reasons to use connectors:  

  • Improve logical flow.
  • Make sure the readers understand your main idea.
  • Connect sentences.
  • Underline the relationship between ideas, thought, and sections.
  • Increase word count. Just kidding! This is a huge no-no and our word count tool can help you stay on track.

Without connections, we do not always understand the meaning of the sentence. For example: here, in particular, we can use a connector to highlight contrast:

I am busy writing essays. Therefore, I cannot go out.

If you are juggling many assignments and want to save time, reach out to StudyCrumb for essay writing help . 

Types of Transitions Words

There are several types of transitions. Why would you ask? Well, because all words fit a particular situation. It is like picking an ice cream flavor for a particular mood. Thus, some of them show contrast; others will signify a new section. And if you’re looking for a list of those helpful transitions, then you can find them all below!

Transitions Between Sections

Essay transition words are often used in sections that summarize something. Hence, transitional paragraphs are great when it comes to connecting several ideas together. They also allow readers to keep up! Therefore, they are used to still secure the flow, grab attention, and synthesize what was said. So you shouldn't shy away from using them when it is appropriate.  

Essay Transitions Between Paragraphs

What are transitions for paragraphs and, of course, between them? They are connectors, phrases, or words that we use when we want to provide a smooth transition between our paragraphs. As a result of using them, we don't have a mess that we call writing. For example, there are types of writing that allow free flow without a necessary connection. But here, our audience must understand what is even happening. The same can be said about connecting sentences. However, we will return to this later.  

Transitions Within Paragraphs

Transition words for sentences are truly magical if used properly. To understand them, we should know the importance of social cues. There are times when people just can't take a hint. The same can be noticed within writing, especially an academic one. How can you let your readers know what they should expect? How to use written cues? It is easy, really. You can use the list of all phrases and words that fit your required position and meaning. By putting them in our writing, we can let readers know what part of your writing they are reading. For example, we will present a conclusion, and everyone will believe it is one of the  topic sentences  because it lacks proper connections.  

How to Create Perfect Transitions in Writing

Good transition words for essays were already creed before. You don't really have to do your own words to succeed. Writing is pretty easy, having examples, lists, and explanations. How to use such phrases and where?  

  • When one must show any connection.
  • Underline contrast.
  • Ensure flow from one section to another.
  • Remind the readers of the previous idea.
  • Make one's analysis easy to understand and comprehensive.
  • Nail logic and show all your thoughts on paper without leaving questions.

Just remember that you shouldn't overuse them. Several phrases and words will be enough. But in more detail below!

1. Look Back to Your Outline When Writing Transitions

Transitions in essays can be written from the very start. Where do we usually begin or, more likely, with what? An outline! So you can draft your transition from the moment you start on your  essay outline template . Look back at all your sections and ask yourself the following questions:  

  • How are your parts connected?
  • Can you come up with one word or a short phrase to describe this relationship between them?
  • Can you use this one word to summarize the main idea and not lose any meaning?

By answering those questions, you will be able to choose the best possible transition.

2. Choose Placement for Your Transitions

Smooth transitions are called so for a reason. Sadly, you cannot simply use them anywhere they please you. So nailing their location is your first task. Take a look at your phrase and think about whether it is necessary.

  • Does it show any connections or relationships?
  • If you delete it, does this change anything?
  • Would you understand your own text with it?
  • Are you sure you haven't used it to increase your word count?
  • Does it clarify or, in contrast, confuse the reader?

3. Use Essay Transitions Sparingly

Transitions for paragraphs cannot be placed in every sentence. Trust us; it is tempting to just put them everywhere. Indeed, they look fancy, increase your word count and definitely sound academic. Why not start each statement with a smooth connection? Because:

  • Readers will find it excessive.
  • Too many transitional phrases do not allow to write clearly.
  • It will make it harder to understand the main idea.
  • Lastly, excessive transitions can distract from evidence and key arguments.

The last and most important tip is to make a draft writing . It will help simplify all that process. Here, perhaps, less is more. Use them sparingly, and their force will be with you!

List of Transitions

We have finally come to the list of essay transitions. Do you remember that they all serve their unique purposes? That's right. They were made to serve their particular parts of a paragraph or section. As they are excellent in making summaries, one word is enough to set certain relationships. Some of them add some contradict and others show contracts. But enough talking for now. Read further to get the best list of transitions, and don't forget to save it for your future essay!  

1. Addition

The best transition words for an essay will fit their important purpose. We wouldn't be using them otherwise. Therefore, our first step towards conquering connections is addition. They are those words and phrases that add some new information to our topic. That is why we call them 'additions.' So in case this is exactly what you need, here is a list to choose from:

  • What is more;
  • Furthermore;
  • In addition;
  • Additionally;
  • It is essential to add that.

2. Contradiction

Transition sentences can also be used to show other relationships. For example, they are excellent when it comes to highlighting certain differences between subjects or information. The key here is still to use them sparingly. But you will also notice that you cannot hide from them. Even this paragraph has some. Still, a more comprehensive list you can find down below. Save it and make your essay more academic!

  • Nevertheless;
  • On the other hand (There should be 'on one hand' too);
  • Nonetheless;
  • In contrast;
  • When comparing;

3. Condition

Transition words for sentences have plenty of purposes to study. Truly, whatever is your case, we promise, there is a word that can perfectly describe it. In our viewpoint, our language is a magical tool for that. For example, we can use it to highlight conditions. Why struggle to try to explain something when we have ideal words for that meaning? Conditions look much better if they are framed with these words:

  • Granted that;
  • Because of;
  • In that case;
  • Given this;

4. Emphasis

Good transition words for essays can also help your readers understand what the most important part of the section is. Not everything has the same level of importance. Of course, you will rank your particular ideas. But it is not all you can do to help your readers navigate your text. Use transitional helpers and highlight what truly matters and avoid undermining your message.

  • Undoubtedly;
  • Admittedly;
  • Particularly / in particular;
  • Indubitably;
  • There is no doubt that;
  • Unquestionably.

5. Similarity

Transition words and phrases for essays do not always show contrast. They also can be used in showcasing similarities. The majority of your ideas are connected and related to one another. So how can you show their equality and similarity? By using connectors, of course. Here's our list of top phrases that will be your absolute go-to's:  

  • Similar to;
  • In the same manner;
  • Correspondingly;
  • In the same way;

Are you still with us on this journey through transition words? Good. We still have several steps to take. But the finish is close, so bear with us for a bit. There are plenty of interesting things to come. Now we want to talk more about the results, although not necessarily about what you have concluded in your paper. Here we must link a statement or fact with its outcome. Think about it as a cause and effect relationship. The list is below:

  • As a consequence;
  • Consequently;
  • In this fashion;
  • As a result;

7. Conclusion Transitions

Transitions for essays vary depending on the section they are used in. Naturally, our introduction, essay conclusion , and body paragraphs will all have different connectors. In this case, we focus on concluding sections. Remember that it contains the following elements:

  • Summary of our previously mentioned facts;
  • Restatement of thesis.

Now that we have settled this point, we can continue further with our list:

  • In conclusion;
  • To summarize;
  • In other words;
  • It was established that;
  • To warp up;
  • Concluding;

8. Sequence

There are two last steps to nail transitions in our writing. Not all articles must provide bullet-proof evidence. Some of them present sequences of certain events. Here we should focus on correct order as all events come one by one. We can also say that getting our time and chronology right will increase our chances of being understood. Like we always do, here's a list:

  • First/ firstly;
  • Second/ secondly;
  • Third/ thirdly;
  • Lastly and most importantly;
  • Last but not least;
  • Originally;
  • Ultimately;
  • Sequentially.

9. Location

And here, we see the final steps towards conquering transitions in our essay. You know practically everything there is. We only have a location left. First, what do we even mean by saying location?

So what words can we use to show our placement and spatial characteristics?

  • Approximately;
  • Underneath;
  • In the bottom;
  • In the back.

Imagine that you are drawing a map. But here, you should use your words and not brushes or other utensils.

Transition Words for Essays: Bottom Line

What a journey that was all through essay transitions! But we are definitely more than ready to start the actual writing now. Just a quick reminder: use connectors sparingly. If you fill your text with an excessive amount of such phrases, then the reader can get lost. We don't want that. So less is more.

Illustration

On this note, if you still struggle with academic writing, check our writing service. Our writers are known for nailing deadlines, immaculate quality, and the use of transitions. Hence, we hope to see you there, and we wish you luck with testing our presented information in practice.  

Daniel_Howard_1_1_2da08f03b5.jpg

Daniel Howard is an Essay Writing guru. He helps students create essays that will strike a chord with the readers.

Illustration

You may also like

thumbnail@2x.png

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: Jan 30, 2024

transition words for essays

People also read

How To Write An Essay - "The Secret To Craft an A+ Essay"

Learn How to Title an Essay Like a Professional Writer

How to Write an Essay Outline Like a Pro

Essay Format - An Easy Guide & Examples

What is a Thesis Statement, and How is it Written? - Know Here

Arguable and Strong Thesis Statement Examples for Your Essay

200+ Creative Hook Examples: Ready, Set, Hook

A Guide to Writing a 1000 Word Essay for School or College

All You Need to Know About a 500-word Essay

Different Types of Essay: Definition With Best Examples

Writing an Essay Introduction - Step by Step Guide

Jumpstart Your Writing with These Proven Strategies on How to Start an Essay

Learn How to Write a Topic Sentence that Stands Out

A Guide to Crafting an Impactful Conclusion for Your Essay

Amazing Essay Topics & Ideas for Your Next Project (2024)

Explore the Different Types of Sentences with Examples

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!

On This Page On This Page -->

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..."

Order Essay

Paper Due? Why Suffer? That's our Job!

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 legit 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.

Paper Due? Why Suffer? That’s our Job!

Get Help

Keep reading

transition words for essays

  • Privacy Policy
  • Cookies Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Refunds & Cancellations
  • Our Writers
  • Success Stories
  • Our Guarantees
  • Affiliate Program
  • Referral Program
  • AI Essay Writer

Disclaimer: All client orders are completed by our team of highly qualified human writers. The essays and papers provided by us are not to be used for submission but rather as learning models only.

good thesis transition words

How To Write An Essay

Transition Words For Essays

Last updated on: Dec 19, 2023

Good Transition Words for Essays - A Detailed 2024 List

By: Cordon J.

10 min read

Reviewed By: Melisa C.

Published on: Mar 22, 2023

Transition words for essays

Writing an essay is all about expressing ideas. But ideas must be logically connected to each other to make sense.

That’s where transition words come in!

Transition words and phrases are used to maintain a coherent relationship between ideas.

Students with excellent skills often fail to present their ideas effectively. It is because they do not use transitional phrases and words properly.

But worry no more! Here’s a comprehensive list of transition words for essays that will help you out!

Read on to find a list of useful transition words and create well-written content.

Transition words for essays

On this Page

What are Transition Words for Essays? 

Transition words are linking words used to connect ideas and thoughts cohesively. They are important to maintain a logical flow within the content. Moreover, they are written to show the relationship between ideas and thoughts.

While writing the essay, transitioning from one idea to another using linking phrases makes it easier for the readers to understand. 

If a paper is written without these sentence connectors, it would be difficult for people to know how ideas fit together. 

They can either make or break the entire essay. However, overusing these transitions can make the document even more confusing. It can also cause the audience to lose direction.

Below is a comprehensive list of transition words to help you out!

Transition Words for Parts of Essay

Transition words and phrases connect different parts of an essay together. These phrases enable the essay to act as a whole. Below is a list of transition words that will help you connect different parts of an essay.

Beginning Transition Words for Essays

These introduction transition words for essays will help you start your essay effectively.

  • In the first place
  • First of all
  • To begin with
  • For the most part
  • On one hand  
  • To start off 
  • Initially 
  • In the beginning 
  • Primarily 
  • To introduce the topic 

Transition Words for Essays First Body Paragraph

  • In the beginning
  • To start with
  • For starters
  • At first glance
  • At the outset
  • First and foremost

Transition Words for Essays Second Body Paragraph

  • Additionally 
  • Furthermore 
  • Besides 
  • Moreover 
  • In addition 
  • Likewise 
  • Similarly 
  • Not only...but also  
  • As well as  
  • Apart from that.

Transition Words for Essays Third Body Paragraph 

  • Furthermore
  • Consequently
  • Subsequently
  • Accordingly
  • Specifically

Transition Words for Essays Conclusion

Here’s a list of conclusion transition words for essays to help you writing an efficient conclusion.

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

Transition Words According to Purpose

Transition words and phrases can be used for various purposes. The following are the common transition words and phrases that have different meanings according to their purpose:

Transition Words for Sequence / Order 

  • First of all 
  • Secondly 
  • In the second place 
  • Subsequently 
  • Afterward/Afterwards  
  • Thirdly/Finally   
  • To conclude 
  • Ultimately  
  • In the end  
  • Prior to this/that 
  • Thereafter 
  • At this point  

Transition Words for Similarity 

  • By the same yoken 
  • In like manner 
  • Just as much 
  • Not unlike 
  • Correspondingly 
  • In the same way 
  • Identically 
  • Equally Ss 
  • Equivalently  
  • Analogously  
  • As with 

Transition Words Used for Contradiction / Opposition

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

Transition Words Used for Cause and Effect 

  • For the reason that
  • On account of 
  • Owing to 
  • As a result of
  • As a consequence of 

Transition Words Used for Emphasis 

  • Notably 
  • Specifically 
  • In particular 
  • Above all  
  • Indeed  
  • Obviously  
  • Certainly  
  • Positively 
  • Unquestionably  
  • Absolutely  
  • Unambiguously  
  • Emphatically  
  • Definitely  
  • Importantly

List of Transition Words for Different Types of Essays 

You must be wondering, “ What are some good transition words for an essay? ” Here we have categorized a list of best transition words for essays. So continue reading on!

Transition Words for Argumentative Essays 

  • By contrast
  • One alternative is
  • To put more simply
  • At the same time
  • On the contrary
  • With this in mind
  • All things considered
  • As a result
  • Generally speaking
  • That is to say
  • Yet another

Transition Words for Expository Essays 

  • For one thing
  • In addition
  • Equally important
  • Another reason
  • Not long after that
  • Looking back 

Transition Words for Analysis Essays

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

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 Cause and Effect Essays 

  • In order to
  • Provided that
  • Because of this

Transition Words for Informative Essays

  • As can be expected
  • Obviously 

Transition Words for Compare and Contrast Essays 

  • In the same way
  • Notwithstanding

Transition Words for Persuasive Essays 

  • furthermore 
  • Additionally
  • Because 
  • Besides that
  • Pursuing this further

Transition Words for Various Academic Levels

The following transition words and phrases are divided into different academic levels. 

Good Transition Words for Essays - Middle School

  • In conclusion 
  • For instance 

Transition Words for Essays - High School 

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

Transition Words for Essays College 

Here are some college-level transition words for essays.

  • To begin with 
  • That is 
  • The next step
  • There is no doubt 
  • Therefore 
  • Thereupon 
  • Usually 
  • Wherefore 
  • While 
  • Especially 
  • Corresponding to 
  • In the long run 

Professional Tips for Using Transition Words & Phrases

It is highly important to choose the right transition word while writing any type of essay or paper. Therefore, a writer must analyze how and where to use these transitions. Here are a few professional tips for using transition words effectively: 

Pay Attention to Context: 

Transition words should be used in a way that makes sense within the context of a sentence or paragraph. When transitioning from one idea to another, using a transition can help make clear how the ideas are related. 

Use Transition Words to Create Flow: 

Transition words can help create smooth transitions between ideas in a text. By using these words, writers can show how their ideas are connected and make the text flow better. This can help readers understand the overall point more clearly. 

Vary Your Transition Word Usage: 

Using the same word too often can make a text sound repetitive and monotonous. To avoid this, try to mix up the transitions you use and look for different ones that could fit with your ideas. 

Insert Transition Words in the Appropriate Place: 

Placement of transition words is important. Moreover, avoid overusing transition sentences.

Proofread for Correct Usage: 

Always double-check your text when you have finished to make sure that all transition words are used correctly. This can help ensure that your text is well-structured and flows smoothly.

The list of transitional words mentioned above will give you an idea to organize your thoughts logically. It might take some time for you to learn to use these words. But if you still feel that the essay is not conveying the information properly, hire a professional essay writing service at MyPerfectPaper.net.

The team of experts will help you guide through the necessary steps to write a perfect paper without any confusion. Reach out to us today and let our essay writer fulfill your " paper for me " request for you in no time. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the 5 examples of transitions.

Although there are many transition words, 5 major types are:

  • Addition - also, moreover, in addition to, etc. 
  • Comparison - similarly, similar to, in the same way, etc. 
  • Concession - granted, provided, given that, etc. 
  • Sequence - firstly, secondly, finally, etc. 
  • Example - for instance, for example, etc. 

How do you transition to a new paragraph?

You can transition to a new paragraph by adding a transition word or transitional phrase at the start or end of the topic sentence. It may or may not be added to the topic sentence of all paragraphs. Some can make a logical transition as well.

Cordon J.

Literature, Marketing

Cordon. is a published author and writing specialist. He has worked in the publishing industry for many years, providing writing services and digital content. His own writing career began with a focus on literature and linguistics, which he continues to pursue. Cordon is an engaging and professional individual, always looking to help others achieve their goals.

Was This Blog Helpful?

Keep reading.

  • How to Write an Essay - 8 Easy to Follow Steps

Transition words for essays

  • What is a Topic Sentence - Definition, Guidelines & Examples

Transition words for essays

  • Essay Format Essentials: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

Transition words for essays

  • Get Readers Hooked: Tips and Tricks For Starting Your Essay

Transition words for essays

  • Types of Sentences Based on Structure and Function

Transition words for essays

  • Common Types of Essay Writing - Definition & Examples

Transition words for essays

  • All that You Need to Know About a Thesis Statement

Transition words for essays

  • Learn How to Write a 500 Word Essay With Examples

Transition words for essays

  • 150+ Easy to Write College Essay Topics for Students

Transition words for essays

  • Get Creative: 180+ Unique Essay Topics for Every Student

Transition words for essays

  • 14 Must-Read Essay Examples to Boost Your Writing

Transition words for essays

  • The Basics of Writing an Essay Outline: Tips and Examples

Transition words for essays

People Also Read

  • reflective essay topics
  • research paper example
  • what is a topic sentence
  • descriptive essay writing
  • analytical essay writing

Burdened With Assignments?

Bottom Slider

Advertisement

  • LEGAL Privacy Policy

© 2024 - All rights reserved

Complete List of Transition Words

100 Words and Phrases to Use Between Paragraphs

Viorika Prikhodko / E+ / Getty Images

  • Writing Essays
  • Writing Research Papers
  • English Grammar
  • M.Ed., Education Administration, University of Georgia
  • B.A., History, Armstrong State University

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.

  • Definition and Examples of a Transition in Composition
  • How to Teach Topic Sentences Using Models
  • Cohesion Strategies: A List of Transitional Words and Phrases
  • Make Your Paragraphs Flow to Improve Writing
  • What You Need to Know About Conjunctive Adverbs
  • Transitive and Intransitive Verbs in Spanish
  • Conjugating the Verb 'To Be'
  • Paragraph Transition: Definition and Examples
  • Beef Up Critical Thinking and Writing Skills: Comparison Essays
  • Persuasive Writing: For and Against
  • How to Say "And" in Chinese
  • The Ultimate Guide to the 5-Paragraph Essay
  • Revising a Paper
  • Definition and Examples of Paragraphing in Essays
  • Paragraph Writing
  • Objects in English Grammar
  • Jump to menu
  • Student Home
  • Accept your offer
  • How to enrol
  • Student ID card
  • Set up your IT
  • Orientation Week
  • Fees & payment
  • Academic calendar
  • Special consideration
  • Transcripts
  • The Nucleus: Student Hub
  • Referencing
  • Essay writing
  • Learning abroad & exchange
  • Professional development & UNSW Advantage
  • Employability
  • Financial assistance
  • International students
  • Equitable learning
  • Postgraduate research
  • Health Service
  • Events & activities
  • Emergencies
  • Volunteering
  • Clubs and societies
  • Accommodation
  • Health services
  • Sport and gym
  • Arc student organisation
  • Security on campus
  • Maps of campus
  • Careers portal
  • Change password
  • Transition words

good thesis transition words

When you use transition words you are showing your reader that you can see the connections between ideas. You are also making these connections clear for your reader.

Transition words include words and phrases such as:

  • furthermore
  • as a result

You can go to transition words  for an extensive list.

Examples of transition words in Engineering and Science theses

Due to the importance of ground water as a resource its protection from contamination is essential… In the past, …ground water has been contaminated due to poor planning, deliberate actions and accidents. As a result there is presently a need for reliable and efficient remediation technologies (Dasey, 1996, p.1).

Antibiotic resistance poses a serious problem worldwide and leads to difficulties in implementing effective treatment of bacterial infections. Furthermore , infections caused by resistant pathogens are associated with higher rates of morbidity and mortality (Jones, 2004, p.10).

Although Ohtsuka et al. were able to achieve high efficiency for photolithographic DSBC structures that have back surface field (BSF) made from BN solid sources, the p+ region was only a small area of the whole solar cell structure. Therefore the bulk minority carrier lifetime degradation was greatly reduced by limiting the diffusion to a small area (Chen, 2003, p.2-15).

The following exercise gives a (non-scientific) look at the difference that transition words can make to a piece of writing. Compare the two versions of the text. See how the use of transition words in Example 2 shows the connections between ideas.

Example 1: No transition words

The cat sat on the mat. The mat’s fibres were flattened. The mat was less comfortable. The mat's appearance was spoiled. The owner gave the mat to the dog to lie on. The dog was greatly pleased by the new mat. The cat was very resentful. There was tension between the cat and the dog. They had been good companions for years. They fought over the mat. The cat had tactical superiority. The dog had greater physical strength. The dog killed the cat. The owner wrapped the cat's body in the mat. The owner buried it in the yard. The dog died of grief.

Example 2: Transition words

The cat sat on the mat.  As a result , the mat’s fibres were flattened.  The consequence of this  was to make the mat less comfortable.  Furthermore , the mat’s appearance was also spoiled. The owner  therefore gave the mat to the dog to lie on.  Although  the dog was greatly pleased by the new mat, the cat was very resentful.  The result of this  was to create tension between the cat and the dog,  despite the fact that they had been good companions for years.  Ultimately , they fought over the mat.  Unfortunately, in spite of the cat’s tactical superiority, the dog had greater physical strength  and  killed the cat. The owner  then wrapped the cat’s body in the mat and buried it in the yard.  Subsequently , the dog died of grief.

Engineering & science

  • Report writing
  • Technical writing
  • Writing lab reports
  • Thesis structure
  • Levels of linking ideas
  • Repetition of Key Information
  • Old/New Information
  • Using Pronouns
  • Writing problems
  • Support centres
  • Case study report in (engineering)
  • ^ More support

Study Hacks Workshops | All the hacks you need! 7 Feb – 10 Apr 2024

Have a language expert improve your writing

Run a free plagiarism check in 10 minutes, generate accurate citations for free.

  • Knowledge Base
  • How to Write a Thesis Statement | 4 Steps & Examples

How to Write a Thesis Statement | 4 Steps & Examples

Published on January 11, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on August 15, 2023 by Eoghan Ryan.

A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . It usually comes near the end of your introduction .

Your thesis will look a bit different depending on the type of essay you’re writing. But the thesis statement should always clearly state the main idea you want to get across. Everything else in your essay should relate back to this idea.

You can write your thesis statement by following four simple steps:

  • Start with a question
  • Write your initial answer
  • Develop your answer
  • Refine your thesis statement

Instantly correct all language mistakes in your text

Upload your document to correct all your mistakes in minutes

upload-your-document-ai-proofreader

Table of contents

What is a thesis statement, placement of the thesis statement, step 1: start with a question, step 2: write your initial answer, step 3: develop your answer, step 4: refine your thesis statement, types of thesis statements, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about thesis statements.

A thesis statement summarizes the central points of your essay. It is a signpost telling the reader what the essay will argue and why.

The best thesis statements are:

  • Concise: A good thesis statement is short and sweet—don’t use more words than necessary. State your point clearly and directly in one or two sentences.
  • Contentious: Your thesis shouldn’t be a simple statement of fact that everyone already knows. A good thesis statement is a claim that requires further evidence or analysis to back it up.
  • Coherent: Everything mentioned in your thesis statement must be supported and explained in the rest of your paper.

Here's why students love Scribbr's proofreading services

Discover proofreading & editing

The thesis statement generally appears at the end of your essay introduction or research paper introduction .

The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education. The use of the internet in academic contexts and among young people more generally is hotly debated. For many who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. This concern, while understandable, is misguided. The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its many benefits for education: the internet facilitates easier access to information, exposure to different perspectives, and a flexible learning environment for both students and teachers.

You should come up with an initial thesis, sometimes called a working thesis , early in the writing process . As soon as you’ve decided on your essay topic , you need to work out what you want to say about it—a clear thesis will give your essay direction and structure.

You might already have a question in your assignment, but if not, try to come up with your own. What would you like to find out or decide about your topic?

For example, you might ask:

After some initial research, you can formulate a tentative answer to this question. At this stage it can be simple, and it should guide the research process and writing process .

Receive feedback on language, structure, and formatting

Professional editors proofread and edit your paper by focusing on:

  • Academic style
  • Vague sentences
  • Style consistency

See an example

good thesis transition words

Now you need to consider why this is your answer and how you will convince your reader to agree with you. As you read more about your topic and begin writing, your answer should get more detailed.

In your essay about the internet and education, the thesis states your position and sketches out the key arguments you’ll use to support it.

The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its many benefits for education because it facilitates easier access to information.

In your essay about braille, the thesis statement summarizes the key historical development that you’ll explain.

The invention of braille in the 19th century transformed the lives of blind people, allowing them to participate more actively in public life.

A strong thesis statement should tell the reader:

  • Why you hold this position
  • What they’ll learn from your essay
  • The key points of your argument or narrative

The final thesis statement doesn’t just state your position, but summarizes your overall argument or the entire topic you’re going to explain. To strengthen a weak thesis statement, it can help to consider the broader context of your topic.

These examples are more specific and show that you’ll explore your topic in depth.

Your thesis statement should match the goals of your essay, which vary depending on the type of essay you’re writing:

  • In an argumentative essay , your thesis statement should take a strong position. Your aim in the essay is to convince your reader of this thesis based on evidence and logical reasoning.
  • In an expository essay , you’ll aim to explain the facts of a topic or process. Your thesis statement doesn’t have to include a strong opinion in this case, but it should clearly state the central point you want to make, and mention the key elements you’ll explain.

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!

  • Ad hominem fallacy
  • Post hoc fallacy
  • Appeal to authority fallacy
  • False cause fallacy
  • Sunk cost fallacy

College essays

  • Choosing Essay Topic
  • Write a College Essay
  • Write a Diversity Essay
  • College Essay Format & Structure
  • Comparing and Contrasting in an Essay

 (AI) Tools

  • Grammar Checker
  • Paraphrasing Tool
  • Text Summarizer
  • AI Detector
  • Plagiarism Checker
  • Citation Generator

A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . Everything else you write should relate to this key idea.

The thesis statement is essential in any academic essay or research paper for two main reasons:

  • It gives your writing direction and focus.
  • It gives the reader a concise summary of your main point.

Without a clear thesis statement, an essay can end up rambling and unfocused, leaving your reader unsure of exactly what you want to say.

Follow these four steps to come up with a thesis statement :

  • Ask a question about your topic .
  • Write your initial answer.
  • Develop your answer by including reasons.
  • Refine your answer, adding more detail and nuance.

The thesis statement should be placed at the end of your essay introduction .

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

McCombes, S. (2023, August 15). How to Write a Thesis Statement | 4 Steps & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved April 1, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/academic-essay/thesis-statement/

Is this article helpful?

Shona McCombes

Shona McCombes

Other students also liked, how to write an essay introduction | 4 steps & examples, how to write topic sentences | 4 steps, examples & purpose, academic paragraph structure | step-by-step guide & examples, unlimited academic ai-proofreading.

✔ Document error-free in 5minutes ✔ Unlimited document corrections ✔ Specialized in correcting academic texts

We've detected unusual activity from your computer network

To continue, please click the box below to let us know you're not a robot.

Why did this happen?

Please make sure your browser supports JavaScript and cookies and that you are not blocking them from loading. For more information you can review our Terms of Service and Cookie Policy .

For inquiries related to this message please contact our support team and provide the reference ID below.

COMMENTS

  1. 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…

  2. Transition Words & Phrases

    Example sentence. Transition words and phrases. Addition. We found that the mixture was effective. Moreover, it appeared to have additional effects we had not predicted. indeed, furthermore, moreover, additionally, and, also, both x and y, not only x but also y, besides x, in fact. Introduction.

  3. 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. Many transitional words are nearly synonymous: words that broadly indicate that ...

  4. 220 Good Transition Words for Essays by Experts

    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: Firstly. To start off. Primarily. Another important factor is. To begin with. In the beginning. Above all.

  5. 190 Good Transition Words for Essays

    List of Good Transition Words for Essays (Final Thoughts) Even when elements appear to be disparate on first glance, transition words are a great tool for giving your essay a smooth flow. They can also create surprising juxtapositions, relationships, and equivalences. The way a reader will understand a transition word depends on the context in ...

  6. Transition Sentences

    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. Example of a transition sentence for a new paragraph. In this case, the researchers concluded that the method ...

  7. Transitions

    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 ...

  8. Transitions

    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.

  9. Common Transition Words and Phrases

    Common Transition Words and Phrases. ... 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 ...

  10. Effective Transition Words for Research Papers

    These transitions are usually placed at the beginning of sentences, independent clauses, and paragraphs and thus establish a specific relationship between ideas or groups of ideas. Transitions are used to enhance cohesion in your paper and make its logical development clearer to readers. Types of Transition Words. Transitions accomplish many ...

  11. 45 Best Transition Words and Phrases For Essays

    All in all. Pro tip: Words like 'for', 'and', 'nor', 'but', 'or', 'yet', and 'since' shouldn't be used at the beginning of a sentence if you're writing a formal essay. "The best part of your story is when it changes.". - Bella Bloom Bonus material - a printable PDF chart with link words (always keep it ...

  12. Writing Your Paper: Transitions

    Writing strong transitions often takes more than simply plugging in a transition word or phrase here and there. In a piece of academic writing, writers often need to use signposts, or transition sentences that signal the reader of connections to the thesis. To form a signpost, combine transition words, key terms from the thesis, and a mention of the previous topic and new topic.

  13. Transition Words & Phrases

    These transitional words (like finally) have the function of limiting, restricting, and defining time. They can be used either alone or as part of adverbial expressions. at the present time. from time to time. sooner or later. at the same time. up to the present time. to begin with.

  14. A List of Transition Words to Use for Argumentative Essays

    Transition can also be a sentence to a paragraph long. I'll show you an example. Paragraph A: A point that supports co-sleeping as a parenting method. Transition: Despite this, there are many reasons that prove co-sleeping leads to sleep-related accidents. Paragraph B: Points that oppose co-sleeping.

  15. Transition Words for Essays: Ultimate Guide & Examples

    Transition words are words or phrases that help establish connections between different ideas, sentences, or paragraphs within an essay. They act as bridges, guiding the reader smoothly from one thought to another. There are different types of transitions words that serve various functions such as creating a compare and contrast, making addition or showing caise and effect.

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

    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 ...

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

    The last thing you want is your transition words to feel trite and uninspired. Discover what these words are and a variety of examples for your writing here. ... Since you're such a good student, you'll get into a good college. Therefore, you can get a job you like. ... the thesis is clear. It follows logically that the answer results from the ...

  18. Good Transition Words for Essays

    Beginning Transition Words for Essays. These introduction transition words for essays will help you start your essay effectively. In the first place. First of all. To begin with. Generally. For the most part. On one hand. To begin with.

  19. Complete List of Transition Words

    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.

  20. Transition words

    The following exercise gives a (non-scientific) look at the difference that transition words can make to a piece of writing. Compare the two versions of the text. See how the use of transition words in Example 2 shows the connections between ideas. Example 1: No transition words. The cat sat on the mat. The mat's fibres were flattened.

  21. How to Write a Thesis Statement

    Step 2: Write your initial answer. After some initial research, you can formulate a tentative answer to this question. At this stage it can be simple, and it should guide the research process and writing process. The internet has had more of a positive than a negative effect on education.

  22. Watch Bloomberg Daybreak: Europe 04/02/2024

    00:00 Good morning. This is Bloomberg Daybreak Europe. ... So all eyes on that March jobs report on Friday ably makes your thesis. Thank you for that update. ... What system we need to transition ...