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


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

college level essay transitions

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Connecting Ideas Through Transitions

Using Transitional Words and Phrases

The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


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.


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

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Common transition words and phrases.

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

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

Transitions by Category

1. addition.

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

2. Sequence/ Order

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

3. Contrast

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

4. Exception

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

5. Comparison

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

6. Illustration

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

7. Location

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

8. Cause and Effect

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

9. Emphasis

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

10. Summary or Conclusion

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

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

Writing Effective Sentence Transitions (Advanced)

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

Transition Signals

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

Review Words

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

Preview words

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

Transition Sentences

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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

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

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

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

Let's dive in!

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What are Transition Words?

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

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

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

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

Types of Transitions

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

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

For example:

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

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

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

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

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

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Types of Transition Words

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

Transition Words For Different Types of Essays

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

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

Transition Words for Argumentative Essay

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

Transition Words for Compare and Contrast Essay

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

Transition Words for Informative Essay

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

Transition Words for College Essays

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

Transition Words for Cause and Effect Essay

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

Transition Words for Expository Essay 

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

Transition Words for Different Parts of Essay

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

How Transitions work

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

Here's how transitions work:

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

Let's consider an example:

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

Tips to Use Transition Words in your Essay

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

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

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

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

If you still need assistance or have further inquiries, our team at 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.

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Transitional Words

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

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

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

To Compare:

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

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

To Show Exception:

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

To Show Time:

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

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

To Emphasize:

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

To Show Sequence:

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

To Give an Example:

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

To Summarize or Conclude:

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


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

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

Sentence pair #2: Effective Transition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • picture_as_pdf Transitions

Essay Writing Guide

Transition Words For Essays

Nova A.

Transition Words For Essays - The Ultimate List

11 min read

transition words for essays

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

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

Don't worry; we've got you covered! 

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

Arrow Down

  • 1. What are Good Transition Words for Essays?
  • 2. Examples of Different Types of Transition Words
  • 3.   Transition Words for Argumentative Essays
  • 4. Transition Words for Persuasive Essays
  • 5. Transition Words for Compare and Contrast Essays
  • 6. Transition Words for Informative Essays
  • 7. Transition Words for Expository Essays
  • 8. Transition Words for Cause and Effect Essays
  • 9. Transition Words for Synthesis Essays
  • 10. Transition Words for Analysis Essays
  • 11. Conclusion Transition Words for Essays
  • 12. Beginning Transition Words for Essays
  • 13. Paragraph Transition Words for Essays
  • 14. Transition Words for Quotes in Essays
  • 15. Transition Words for Essays Middle School
  • 16. Transition Words for Essays High School
  • 17. Transition Words for Essays College
  • 18. Do’s and Don’ts of Using Transition Words

What are Good Transition Words for Essays?

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

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

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

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

Purpose of Transition Words

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

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

Examples of Different Types of Transition Words

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

Addition Transitions

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

Comparison Transitions

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

Contrast Transitions

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

Cause and Effect Transitions

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

Time Transitions

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

Illustration Transitions

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

Emphasis Transitions

  • Undoubtedly
  • Without a doubt

Summary Transitions 

  • To summarize
  • To conclude

Sequence Transitions

Example transitions.

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

For Showing Exception

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

For Proving

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

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

  Transition Words for Argumentative Essays

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

Transition Words for Persuasive Essays

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

Transition Words for Essays PDF

Transition Words for Compare and Contrast Essays

  • Althoughyhtjyjum,u
  • Notwithstanding

Transition Words for Informative Essays

  •  After all
  • As can be expected
  • Obviously 

Transition Words for Expository Essays

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

Transition Words for Cause and Effect Essays

  • In order to
  • Provided that
  • Because of this

Transition Words for Synthesis Essays

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

Transition Words for Analysis Essays

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

Conclusion Transition Words for Essays

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

Beginning Transition Words for Essays

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

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

Paragraph Transition Words for Essays

  • To put it differently
  • Once and for all

Transition Words for Essay’s First Body Paragraph

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

Transition Words for Essay’s Second Body Paragraph 

  • In addition to this 
  • Furthermore 

Transition Words for Essay’s Last Body Paragraph

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

Transition Words for Quotes in Essays

  • Acknowledges

Transition Words for Essays Middle School

  • In conclusion 
  • For instance 

Transition Words for Essays High School

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

Transition Words for Essays College

Here are some college level transition words for essay:

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

Do’s and Don’ts of Using Transition Words

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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essay writing guide

Florida State University

FSU | Writing Resources

Writing Resources

The English Department

  • College Composition


Out of sequence: organization and transition exercise.

  • “AC/DC? No, AB/BC!”Out of Sequence: Organization and Transition Exercise

Picturing Transitions: Narrating Scene Shifts

Looking for connections between ideas, don’t take this exercise for granted: transitions.

  • Puzzle Pieces: Effective Transitions 

Purpose:  This activity challenges students to order paragraphs logically and create smooth transition sentences, teaching them to effectively organize their ideas and effectively transition from one idea to the next.

Description : This exercise asks students to reorder paragraphs and construct transitions using the essay  “Tied Together by Haunting”  by Teri Bruno, which can be found in  Our Own Words: A Students Guide to First Year Composition .

Suggested Time : 30 minutes


  • Provide each student with a copy of Bruno’s essay out of sequence (copied below). In a computer classroom, this may be done digitally.
  • Instruct the students to a) read the essay, b) evaluate its overall organization and renumber its paragraphs accordingly, and c) support this re-organization by writing transitional sentences. Tell students to continue one paragraph where another ends, highlighting key ideas, phrases and words from the previous paragraph in order to create a logical progression. Note: Obviously the introduction paragraph (once it has been identified) will not need a transition.
  • Give the students ample time to complete the exercise. Walk around and answer questions if necessary.
  • After students have finished, have them volunteer to share their results with the class via projector or doc cam. Compare/contrast results with original out-of-sequence essay. Discuss what changes were made and why.

“Tied Together by Haunting” by Teri Bruno

Paragraph 1,  but should be Paragraph ___

While first person perspective is very common in stories because it allows the author to step into the role of one character and give the readers intimate details, the point of view in “Lucky Chow Fun” is essential to lead the readers into the mind and thoughts of the main character, a round and unattractive teenage girl named Lollie. The readers can see the small town of Templeton through Lollie's eyes, and this especially important when the town is hit by a huge event, the discovery that the local restaurant called Lucky Chow Fun was a secretive whorehouse. When Lollie was in the parking lot of the restaurant one night before the event, she almost knocked into one of the many Chinese girls who worked there, simply mumbling and stepping away, not really looking at the girl she had almost trampled because “nobody in Templeton cared to figure out who the girls were” (8). Yet Lollie vividly describes the girls, saying the girls were like “ghosts in white uniforms chopping things, frying things, talking quietly to one another” (9). When she hears on the news the next day that one of the girls died, and this lead to the discovery of the whorehouse, Lollie is shocked and we see the impact that the tragedy has not only on her, but on the town. Her mother’s boyfriend had apparently been one of the names on the list to visit Lucky Chow Fun, and numbers of wives discovered their husbands’ unfaithfulness, leading to a scandal in the town and casting the Chinese girls as the enemies. Though Lollie admits that she forgot about the poor Lucky Chow Fun girls, years later she dreams about “the seven ghosts” and imagines the terrible events that they had to endure. It is important that Groff uses Lollie’s perspective in this story, the perspective of a girl the same age as the girls who were discovered to have been taken from their homes in China and placed into a whorehouse. In this way, the first person perspective serves to take the readers on the journey of a coming-of-age event that greatly impacts Lollie.

Paragraph 2,  but should be Paragraph ___  

Although second person narration is rare, it is absolutely vital to the story called “Watershed.” Often times, authors may limit their use of this point of view because it is an intimate perspective in which the story tells the reader what to think and feel. Yet this is Groff’s goal in this particular story. Celie, the narrator, recounts the details of her marriage to a specified “you,” who readers discover is her husband. With her profession in the story being a storyteller, it is fitting that Groff chose to use this point of view. As the story continues, Celie reveals that her husband is dead. After Celie starts an argument about how she hates the town and all the people in it, her husband leaves in a rain storm and ends up hydroplaning and crashing his truck into a tree which sticks a branch through his chest. He dies later in the hospital from Hydrocephalus. Groff’s use of the second person point of view turns the reader into the character of the dead husband, which is who Celie is ultimately addressing. She is retelling the tale to him, almost as if by his bedside, hoping he will wake up. Celie asks whether she imagined, “the tightening of your thumb on my palm” (Groff 186). It helps the reader understand Celie’s grief about the loss of her husband and the guilt that she feels. However, when Celie reveals later that “I see you now just leaving rooms I am in,” the reader can see that she is still haunted by the incident (188). By using this perspective, Groff allows the readers to fully grasp the vulnerable and stricken state of Celie, who is intimately recounting their relationship to her dead husband.

Paragraph 3,  but should be Paragraph ___

Overall, however, the reader wonders why Groff might have chosen birds as a major theme throughout her collection. As Connie Ogle states in the Miami Herald, “the women in Lauren Groff’s debut story collection exist in varying stages of unrest” (Ogle 1). These women are emotionally trapped and are struggling to break free and fly. Groff uses the birds to convey the point that all women go through experiences in which they must learn lessons and try to overcome challenges given to them.

Paragraph 4,  but should be Paragraph ___

Throughout the story, water appears in many of the scenes. “Watershed” starts off with a diver telling a couple a story about how he once went down with a diving buddy, and upon realizing that his partner was falling down into an abyss, the diver saved him because he had never felt a purer love for a human being. Later in the story, however, when the woman is at the funeral for her husband, the diver approaches the woman again and retells the tale. The diver actually doesn’t save the man and just lets him go while he floated in the water suspended alone. In both occurrences, the diver’s story is parallel to the state of the couple. When they were together and in love, the diver saved the man. When the woman was left alone by the tragic death of her husband, the diver too had stood alone. However, as Claire Hopley states in the Washington Post, “his reminders of the people that may never have emerged from its depths are eerie and alarming” (Hopley 1). The revision to the diver’s story is a turning point for Celie. He says that the love was all true, but only after he couldn’t see him anymore, when he was “just staring down into that trench, just suspended there alone” (Groff 190). With the loss of her husband, Celie is alone as well, and the diver’s story is tied to hers not only in the deaths due to water, but also in their realization of the love they have for the people they lost. Groff uses water because of its unruly nature, and it parallels the major and unforeseen events that occur in Celie’s life. John Marshall, a book critic who wrote for the Seattle Post, describes Groff’s thematic specialty as “where her perceptive vision is focused - turns out to be turning-point moments, often for women characters - turning-point moments sometimes not recognized as that until it is too late” (Marshall 1).

Paragraph 5,  but should be Paragraph ___

Despite Groff’s varying perspectives on stories and use of themes to help convey her messages, there is one story in particular that weakens her collection. “Fugue” is a story that is very complex and takes time coming together. Groff presents three different sub-stories and then attempts to tie them all together at the end. To the reader, the story stretches out a bit too long, and the readers are in a circle of sub-stories, wondering what the point is. As John Marshall states, “ Groff’s arching ambition for the story results in too many details withheld in hopes of adding mystery, too many characters and their too complex personal stories, too much confusing artifice” (Marshall 1).

Paragraph 6,  but should be Paragraph ___

In the small town that the couple lives, it rains constantly. The husband dies because he hydroplaned while driving in his truck and a tree branch smashed through his chest. Ultimately, though, he dies of Hydrocephalus, otherwise known as “water in the brain.” When the woman is driving home during one of her college years, she hears on the radio that an old couple died by jumping into the Niagara Falls together. These themes of water tie into the concluding paragraph and the point of Groff’s story, that “there is no ending, no neatness in this story. There never really is, where water is concerned” (Groff 192). This ending is not necessarily described as a happy one in which the conflict is resolved with a simple solution or the conflict was simply an illusion or a dream. But it is satisfying in the sense that the readers can relate to how Celie has changed and is coping with the unfortunate events that have occurred in her life.

Paragraph 7,  but should be Paragraph ___

In “Watershed,” for example, when Celie’s husband says that he wants to build her a house before they get married, he states that “every bird needs her nest” (171). It is this sentence in particular that casts fear and doubt in Celie. As she looks back on this incident as she tells the story, she says that it was her fault she didn’t say what she should have, that she “wasn’t the bird type, or maybe the nest type” (172). It is clear from Celie’s thoughts that she fears being constrained and that she is different from the typical flock of birds. Instead, Celie tends to stray from the flock of birds that is the traditional small town in which she now lives with her new husband.

Paragraph 8,  but should be Paragraph ___

In “Delicate Edible Birds,” we also see the character of Bern struggle when she is presented with a delicacy of a tiny bird while eating dinner with her lover, the Mayor of Philadelphia, in France. While everyone else veiled their faces with napkins as they ate the birds, Bern wrapped the bird in a napkin and later dropped the carcass from the hotel balcony, “setting it free, she thought, though it dropped like a lead weight to the ground for some prowling beast to eat” (Groff 288). This occurrence is important because it helps the readers later understand why Bern, who is notorious for having affairs and sleeping with lots of men, refuses to have sex with the Fascist man who is keeping them hostage and will let everyone free if she complies. She too wants to be free, and holds to her choice of not having sex with their captive. Yet as the time nears when the Nazis might come and find them, the men start to urge Bern to comply with the man’s wishes. Bern is the bird, trying to set herself free, but who gets dropped to the ground like the lead weight and has sex with the prowling beast.

Paragraph 9,  but should be Paragraph ___

Groff uses the third person omniscient perspective, another fairly rare point of view because the author can give the readers access into any characters’ thoughts and feelings. Though the majority of the story is in the perspective of the woman character, Bern, occasionally the story flips into the perspective of one of the four men. Groff puts us in the mind of all the four men at one point or another in the story. She does this for one reason in particular, which is so the readers can understand the various perspectives on the conflict with Bern. The five characters in the story, four men and one woman, are all journalists, with the exception of one who is a photographer. Set during World War II, the group is following news of the war, and their car breaks down just outside of Paris in front of a fascist man’s house, who demands that Bern have sex with him. When Bern refuses to have sex with him, the fascists man holds them hostage but will let everyone go if she complies. At first, all the men seem to understand. However, as the time draws nearer to when the Nazis will possibly come for them, Groff allows us into their minds and we understand why they start to change their perspective on Bern having sex with the man. While at first the men claimed that “nothing of the sort can happen, of course” and that there was “no question...for the principle of the thing” the men all have different reasons for wanting to be free from the threat of the oncoming Nazis (285). Parnell has a family back home in England, and Lucci has a wife who has disappeared, yet he still wants to live in hopes that she is alive. The men slowly start to believe that Bern, who is notorious for sleeping with numbers of men, should “just do it and get it over with” and when all of them turn their backs on her, she complies, crushed and confused as to what has changed their minds (286). Despite this all-knowing perspective, Groff only goes into the minds of others on a need-to-know basis. As Carolyn See states in a piece on point of view, an author should only go into a character’s mind “if they absolutely need to think or feel something…otherwise, let them alone” (See 151). Without the use of this all-knowing perspective, the readers wouldn’t have the insight into the men’s minds to understand their desperation and reasons why they eventually disregard Bern and all quietly agree that she needs to comply.

Paragraph 10,  but should be Paragraph ___

Birds also serve as an important theme in “Lucky Chow Fun.” Lollie’s younger sister, Pot, collects taxidermied birds that are scattered around her bedroom. However, Lollie avoids her room as much as possible because she had “one particular gyrfalcon perched on her dresser that seemed malicious, if not downright evil, ready to scratch at your jugular if you were to saunter innocently by” (3). Though the birds are an escape for Pot, they serve to parallel the girls who work at the whorehouse. Groff does not use real birds, but instead decides that Pot will have a collection of stuffed birds who sit on shelves, quiet, fake, and dead on the inside. In a similar way, Lollie describes the girls at Lucky Chow Fun as ghosts, yet they more so resemble the birds. The girls were always quiet, only speaking softly to each other, and though they were alive, they weren’t really living. Lollie later describes the girls as “wordless, as always” (39). Lollie’s reaction to the birds mirrors the girls. She tends to avoid them. On the outside, they resembled people, like the taxidermied birds resembled live birds, however on the inside, they too were stuffed and mind as well have been sitting on Pot’s shelf.

Paragraph 11,  but should be Paragraph ___

In many of the endings, the reader can infer from the various point of views that the characters will still be struggling. In “Watershed,” for example, the last few paragraphs no longer address Celie’s husband but instead focus on her coming to terms with his death. Celie’s husband is still dead, and she must come to the harsh reality that there are things in life that are out of her control. Groff shies away from taking the easy way out in her stories, and prefers to end the stories more realistically. In an ideal world, Bern probably would have held to her morals and not have slept with the Fascist, while Lucky Chow Fun wouldn’t have turned the small town of Templeton into a mass of scandal that broke families apart. However, Groff paints realistic characters by making them not always take the right path, by questioning their morals, and by not coming to a complete realization of who they are. In this way, Groff pulls empathy from her readers, and portrays situations and decisions that people can relate to. Lauren Groff best sums up her idea of happy endings in her first story, “Lucky Chow Fun”: and it is a happy ending, perhaps, in the way that myths and fairy tales have happy endings; only if one forgets the bloody, dark middles, the fifty dismembered girls in the vat, the parents who sent their children into the woods with only a crust of bread. I like to think it’s a happy ending, though it is the middle that haunts me (Groff 39). And though our own personal stories and lives have middles that are haunting, they are the very strings that Groff uses to tie our experiences to her stories, giving us reassurance that we are not alone in our challenges.

Paragraph 12,  but should be Paragraph ___  

Ever since I was young, whenever I cracked open a book or sat in front of the television watching a movie, I always wished for a happy ending. Anxiously, I would sit squeezing my fingers together, hoping the prince would save the princess, the animals would find their way back home, and the hero would conquer the villain. However, happy endings are rarely realistic and hardly convey the true resolutions to life’s messy conflicts. In Lauren Groff’s  Delicate Edible Birds , the author employs several methods of delivering perspective, while threading a constant theme throughout her stories in order to evoke empathy in the readers without simply supplying a happy ending. ­­­­­

Works Cited

Groff, Lauren. Delicate Edible Birds. New York: Hyperion, 2009.

Hopley, Claire. "Tales of Tough Women." 22 Feb. 2009. LexisNexis. 10 Nov. 2009.

Marshall, John. "Short Story Collection's Dazzling Variety Spans Decades and Continents." 02 Feb. 2009. LexisNexis. 10 Nov. 2009.

Ogle, Connie. "Female Characters Discover Hardships and Joys of Life." 01 Feb. 2009. LexisNexis. 10 Nov. 2009 .

See, Carolyn. Making a Literary Life. New York: Random House, 2002. Print.

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“ac/dc no, ab/bc” arrangement for transition and emphasis.

Purpose:   This brief editorial exercise shows students how transitions are created through arrangement and how arrangement can be used to emphasize points. Since this exercise is based on arranging pieces, its best used when pieces are available—a paper’s paragraphs, a paragraph’s sentences, or even audio tracks. Students will practice arranging those pieces, “bonding” them to create transitions and emphasis. Completing this exercise provides practice with close-editing skills and teaches students to attend to arrangement.

Description:  This exercise requires, at minimum, paper and pencil for the student and a chalkboard for the instructor. Students will either bring a brief writing sample to class or write a short piece when class begins. The instructor will then explain the idea of “bonding” two units of text (paragraphs, sentences, etc.) by overlapping the content located in one’s ending and the other’s beginning. Students will then practice this concept by rearranging their writing sample in a similar manner.

Suggested Time:

  • 40 minutes (if sample is provided by instructor or is brought to class by students)
  • 50 minutes (if writing sample is written in class)
  • Two 20-minute periods over two days if the revision section is assigned as homework
  • Either assign students to bring a sample to class or begin class by having them write a short piece—minimum of 2 paragraphs with a total of at least 10 sentences. This minimum is necessary for students to practice arrangement of sentences as well as arrangement of paragraphs in a single session.
  • The instructor will explain the concept of “AB/BC” organization: Each sentence has two parts: the beginning content (A) and the end content (B). Like notation for a poem’s rhyme schemes, new content can be labeled with a new letter (A is B. C is not D.) with repeated content using the same letter (A is B. B is not C). To create emphasis and clear transition between the first sentence (1) and its following sentence (2), there should be some overlap and repeats in the content that ends the first sentence and begins the second. For example, in the following sample section the words “sentence” and “focus” repeat, emphasizing those words while at the same time creating transitions between the sentences:  The strongest part of a paragraph (1A) is at the end of the paragraph’s first sentence (1B). That sentence (2B) will set up the paragraphs' focus (2C). Focus (3C) is especially important when...
  • To visual this point, the instructor may show the students a short video clip and discuss how directors will often use the same cues when making large leaps. For example, towards the end of  Cast Away , Tom Hank’s character (1A) lays on his raft while a ship passes before him. He cries out his love’s name: “Lilly!” (1B) and the audience hears the ship’s rhythmic siren (1C). The scene then cuts to a kitchen, Close up on a phone. It’s ringing with a rhythm and pitch similar to the siren’s (1C). The camera pans back. There’s Lilly (1B). She answers the phone.
  • After the lecture on AB/BC arrangement, the students should be given 15 minutes to rearrange their writing sample’s sentences, rewriting sentences if necessary. After that, 5 minutes should be spent on rearranging the writing sample’s paragraphs, revising the beginning and ending sentences as necessary.
  • For the last 10 minutes of class, the instructor should lead a discussion in which the students discuss their challenges with the exercise. They should also share samples of their rearranged sentences, reading both the original and the revision.
  • Alternately, the instructor can collect the original and its revision and compile a selection of samples to show the class at the start of the next session. This way the instructor can use the assignment as a transition to the next class, practicing the lesson upon the framework of the class itself. Like showing the video, this draws attention to how many types of compositions, not just paragraphs and sentences, can be arranged with an awareness of overlapping beginnings and endings.

Additional Information:  The core exercise can be done in one 50 minute session: 10 minutes to write a brief piece; 10 minutes to establish the concept of AB/BC bonding; 15 minutes to rearrange the writing sample’s sentences; 5 minutes to rearrange the writing sample’s paragraphs, and 10 minutes of discussion. Alternately, if a 5-minute video is incorporated in the lecture portion of class, 5 minutes may be removed from the discussion portion.

Media-based and Peer-Review-based Variables:  This exercise can be incorporated into peer review sessions. (“Rearrange the sentences/paragraphs in your peer’s paper to create emphasis and/or transitions where needed.”) If using media such as audio files, rearrangement may take be assigned as homework. (“Rearrange these 5 music tracks to make a mix, paying attention to arrangement and how the songs transition. Write one double-spaced page that defines the playlist and explains the reasoning behind your chosen arrangement.”)

Purpose:   This activity will help students create effective transitions between paragraphs and topics in their writing. It should also get them to think about how transitions help to guide the reader through their work.

Description:  This activity forces students to think outside of the box and consider the function of transitions in their writing.

Suggested Time:  40-60 minutes

Procedure:  Divide your class into groups of 4-5 and bring in enough magazines for each group to have at least two (check the magazine racks around campus if you need extra copies). Also, bring in scissors so that they can cut pictures from the magazines.

This is a four part collaborative exercise: 1) cutting images out, 2) writing descriptions, 3) creating transitions, 4) sharing and discussing the work.

Explain that they will be working on developing effective transitions by connecting different scenes that possess no direct relationship with one another. They will cut out pictures from a magazine, generate short descriptions of the scenes, and then link them with one another by constructing effective conclusions and introductions that weave the scenes together. However, instead of one group doing all three processes, groups will pass the work they do for one part of the assignment to a neighboring group so that a different group is engaged in each phase of the process. The fact that other groups will be completing the work should encourage students to come up with out of the box images and/or descriptions, fueling creativity and a sense of competition. Inform them that what they create will be shared with their peers.

  • Have students cut out four pictures. Tell them to try and find the most unrelated, crazy images possible (10 minutes). Note: Reduce the images to three if you are under significant time constraints.
  • Have them pass their images to the right and then ask each group to create a short narrative of the scene (what is going on, etc.). However, also ask them to take a specific, unified rhetorical approach. For example, they might take a narrative approach and write from a single character's perspective or write from a specific analytical perspective and treat it like a research paper or expository piece (e.g. famous vacation spots or best spots around town). Tell them not to spend too much time on writing for one image and to write only three-four sentences for each. (10-15 minutes)
  • Have them pass the images and descriptions to the right and ask each group to create introductory and conclusion sentences that weave together each scene. Be sure to tell them not to become too clichéd in their process and to avoid redundancy (e.g. simply writing next I went to the mall and now I'm at the mall when someone is traveling from a beach scene is not acceptable). Encourage creativity and critical writing. (10-15 minutes)
  • Share what students have written. Everyone should enjoy seeing how the scenes they picked out were described and how their descriptions were linked to each other. After each reading, discuss what was strong and weak about each piece (in a constructive, positive manner, of course). If necessary, this last part can be delayed until the following class, giving you time to look over the responses. (10-20 Minutes)

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Purpose:  This exercise aims to teach students how to construct effective transitions in their writing and look for connections between ideas where a natural link might not be obvious.

Description:  Transitions asks students to link unrelated ideas and discovery new and creative ways of tying together concepts in their writings.

Suggested Time:  About 20 minutes

  • Tell them to divide a sheet of paper in half, making two columns. In the left column, have them list what they like about Tallahassee. In the right column, what they dislike. Give them time to make a fairly decent sized list, at least seven or eight in each column. I write my own list on the board.
  • Have them randomly circle two ideas in the like column, then two ideas in the dislike column.
  • Have them number these four ideas, starting with a like, then a dislike, then back to a like again. e.g. 1) rainbows 2) bloody noses 3) warm soup 4) pop quizzes
  • Now begin a discussion about transitions. Ask them if they understand what teachers mean by rough transitions. I explain that the difficulty often arises in people's inability to see the connections between ideas, and one way to get better at that is to practice looking for those connections between ideas which don't seem naturally related.
  • Tell them to write, to move from subject one to two to three to four. I explain that a bad transition is one which just jumps suddenly from one idea to another with no idea logically connecting the two. It will probably also be beneficial to explain that good transitions also do not stray too far from the main idea of the writing (i.e. don't just ramble).
  • (optional) When they have worked on this for a while, have some people read their pieces out loud. The first people done will probably be the ramblers. Discuss what could be done to tie all of their ideas together.

Purpose:  This exercise encourages students to explore ways of employing effective detail-driven transitions within their writing. By finding common threads, they’ll be able to unify ideas within their papers.

Description:  Students will work to combine significant events, people, or beliefs with effective transitions. This can either be done in groups or individually, depending on how much time you would like to spend. Both ways can benefit from reading Meagan C. Arrastia's "The One I Took for Granted” (2004-2005 McCrimmon Award Winner).

Suggested Time:  For both methods, about 35-40 minutes will suffice.

For Group Paper:

 1. Divide the class into groups of three or four and have them brainstorm on common  themes in their life (ex: "overcoming adversity," "growing pains,"  "influential people," "trips," "beliefs," etc).  2. The students will then list as many important moments or ideas that have defined their lives and that they feel circle around this common theme.  3. The groups will select one event from each member’s list, based on which event sounds the most interesting and that they'd all like to hear more about. It doesn't matter how disparate the events or moments are. As a matter of fact, students should be encouraged to choose events that don't tie together in obvious ways to make their group paper more interesting.  4. Each group member will then freewrite on his or her topic. After 10 minutes,  group members will come back together and share what they have written and try  to figure out how they can string the story together. Ideally, they will work  out ways to transition between the snapshots of the lives of different group  members in an engaging way.

For Individual Paper:  1. Students are asked to choose "a significant person," "a significant  event," and "a significant belief," and list them on a clean sheet of paper. Below each "significant" header, students choose and list three scenes or incidents that are especially vivid about that person, event, or belief. They are encouraged to choose scenes that are far apart in  time and place and perhaps don't seem to connect in obvious ways.  2. Students then trade their paper with classmates; at least six or seven other people. Each classmate votes for which topic sounds the most interesting, based on the "scenes" listed. With that many opinions, they can see where the reader's interests lie.  3. When students get their sheets back, they are tied to the topic that received  the most "reader votes." For each scene in that topic, they start listing the personal emotions they felt, the adjectives that describe the person, event, or belief as well as their state of mind. The goal is to keep them from tying their paper together in a simple chronological way, and to order it ideationally. Hopefully, they find that in many of these scenes they were in a similar state  of mind.  4. Have students begin freewriting one of the scenes, and as soon as they find themselves expounding on one of the adjectives or emotions that help tie the scene together, they’ll jump to the next scene (they can always come back later to flesh out the scene fully, but they have the ever-important and ever-missing from freshman writing – transition). They do this until they've tied together all their scenes, and they have the bare bones of a personal experience paper.

Additional Information:  For other ways of "making connections," students could also look at Becky Godlasky's essay "Using Metaphor to Make Connections," which is in The Inkwell. Also look at the Raymond Carver's poem "Sunday Night," in Bishop's  On Writing . (As Bishop writes, "what small, overlooked elements might loom large in your composition?" In other words, how can find unique connections in the minute details of your stories?)

Puzzle Pieces: Effective Transitions

Purpose:  This activity should help students identify effective and creative transitions in the essay by restructuring the final draft. It should also show them how to allow the connecting ideas to serve as the transition in an essay vs. only using one-word transitions. Use with “Adaptations, Limitations, and Imitations,” OOW 2006-2007.

Description:  The author of “Adaptations, Limitations, and Imitations” wrote in a process memo that he/she initially encountered difficulty trying to organize the paper logically, but the final draft was structured beautifully. By cutting up this essay into individual paragraphs, students are forced to seek out connecting ideas as they try to organize the essay in a logical way. Students also see how different organizational structures can significantly change an essay.

Suggested Time:  30-40 minutes

 1. Before class, make five copies of the essay and cut them up, separating the different paragraphs. (Numbering the paragraphs out of order may help in discussion).  2. Divide the class into no more than five groups, with 4-5 students in each group. Give each group one dismantled essay and ask them to put the pieces together in “logical” order. This may take up to 20 minutes.  3. Students should discuss amongst themselves (1) the essay’s progression, (2) what the transitions are, and (3) the lack of “obvious” conclusion (In brief, In Conclusion).  4. As a class, ask students how they organized the essay and why. (This is where the prior numbering would come in handy. For example, the group would be able to easily say “We think paragraph D goes first, etc). Ask them to identify the connecting ideas for each paragraph of the essay (i.e. the second paragraph connects to the introduction because it continues the anecdote about the writer’s sophomore year of high school). If the different groups disagree about where the paragraphs go, ask them to explain why they think.

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Your chance of acceptance, your chancing factors, extracurriculars, how to write strong essay transitions.

I'm working on my college essays and I've noticed that my transitions between paragraphs aren't the best. Does anyone have any advice or tips on how to write strong transitions that make my essay flow better? Would really appreciate some help!

Great question! Having strong transitions in your college essays is important to ensure a smooth reading experience and maintain the flow of your ideas. Here are some tips to help you improve your essay transitions:

1. Use transition words and phrases: Such as "however," "on the other hand," "moreover," "in addition," "likewise," "conversely," and "similarly." These words help signal to the reader that you're switching topics or expanding on a point.

2. Repeat key words and phrases: Repeating a word or phrase from the previous paragraph in the opening sentence of the next paragraph connects the two ideas and helps guide the reader through your essay. Just be careful not to overdo it!

3. Parallel structure: Use parallel sentence structures to link two related ideas. For example, you can use a series of phrases or clauses that have the same grammatical structure.

4. Make sure your ideas have a logical order: Ensure that your paragraphs are organized in a way that allows thoughts to flow naturally from one to the next. This might involve rearranging some paragraphs or modifying your points slightly.

5. Start with a topic sentence: Each paragraph should start with a clear topic sentence that summarizes the main idea you'll be discussing in the paragraph. This helps guide the reader and sets the stage for the transition.

6. Focus on themes or ideas: Rather than just moving from one specific example to another, use broader themes or ideas to connect your paragraphs. This can help create a smooth transition between paragraphs that may be discussing different examples.

7. Use questions or statements to introduce new ideas: Sometimes, a rhetorical question or a short statement can be a powerful way to transition between paragraphs and provide a sense of anticipation for the upcoming argument.

8. Revise and edit: Writing is a process, and often our first drafts don't have the strongest transitions. Keep revising and editing your essay to spot areas where you could improve the flow between paragraphs.

9. Read your essay out loud: Sometimes, reading your work aloud can help you pick up on awkward transitions or areas where more clarity is needed. This can help you get a sense of how your arguments connect and how they might be improved.

It's essential to be mindful of the overall flow and cohesion of your essay. Transitions not only improve readability but also help your reader follow your train of thought. Paying close attention to these elements will ultimately strengthen your essay and make it more compelling. Good luck!

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How To Stand Out In The Ivy League During Your Freshman Year

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Harvard College

This spring, many students felt the relief and exuberance that comes with an acceptance letter from one’s dream school. Many students attending Ivy League and other top universities are valedictorians and leaders in their high school communities; they excelled throughout their high school careers and graduated with the accolades to prove it. Yet, these students are often in for a rude awakening when they arrive on campus. Though they were exceptional at their high schools, they are a dime a dozen in the Ivy League. This realization can cause many students to feel imposter syndrome and wonder how they can stand out and make an impression on their professors and peers in such a competitive environment.

The more that students prepare themselves for this adjustment, the better. Standing out in college is a different endeavor than standing out in high school—it requires time, intentionality, and a willingness to be uncomfortable and challenge yourself. Most importantly, it takes practice, and if students seek to hone this skill from their first semester on campus, they will set themselves up for success for the next four years.

For students preparing for their first semester in college, here are five strategies to navigate the transition into the Ivy League with confidence, purpose, and distinction:

1. Make your voice heard in the classroom

At Ivy League and many other top schools, faculty-to-student ratios and class sizes tend to be small, allowing greater opportunity for you to establish yourself in the classroom and engage with your professors directly. Many students are weighed down by self-doubt and the desire to avoid making mistakes in their first semester, and as such, they are reluctant to raise their hands or offer their input. But one of the best ways to establish connections with professors is to use your voice in the classroom—college is about learning and growing, so don’t be afraid to get a question wrong or develop your ideas through conversation. Doing so will allow you to connect with others in class, build your intellectual skill set, and demonstrate your curiosity and earnest desire to learn.

2. Engage in activities outside of the classroom

Beyond academics, the Ivy League is known for vibrant opportunities to learn and connect with others outside of the classroom. Whether you're interested in student government, the performing arts, guest lectures, community service, or intramural athletics, there’s an opportunity to explore your passions. Join clubs and organizations that align with your interests and values, and consider taking on leadership roles to showcase your initiative and organizational skills. Engaging in extracurricular activities will not only enrich your college experience but also afford you the opportunity to get to know people outside of your major or residence hall.

Ghost Of Tsushima Is Already Flooded With Negative Reviews On Steam

Wwe smackdown results winners and grades with stratton vs belair, biden-trump debates: what to know as trump pushes for 2 more faceoffs, 3. cultivate your network.

One of the most valuable assets you'll gain during your time in the Ivy League is your network of peers, professors, and mentors. Take the time to connect with your classmates and professors, attend faculty office hours, and engage in meaningful discussions. One of the best ways to build your network is to simply put yourself out there—a student’s college years are the prime opportunity to connect with even the most distinguished scholars in their field, as they not only likely have connections through their institution, but professors (even at other universities) are more likely to respond to students who reach out for their advice. If one knowledgeable person doesn’t respond or have the bandwidth to advise you on a particular project or query, move on to the next person on your list!

4. Pursue Research, Internship, and Study Abroad Opportunities

The Ivy League offers unparalleled access to research, internship, and study abroad opportunities that can complement your academic studies and expand your horizons. For instance, Harvard offers a multitude of distinguished research positions for undergraduates, ranging from thesis research to research assistantships. The University of Pennsylvania sent students to 48 countries through their study abroad offerings in the 2022-2023 academic year. Meanwhile, Princeton offers more than 400 programs in 140 countries through which students may study abroad. Whether conducting groundbreaking research in your field of study or gaining real-world experience through internships, the plethora of opportunities available to you at an Ivy League university will not only enhance your resume but also deepen your understanding of your chosen field and prepare you for future success.

5. Carve out your niche

Finally, just as high school is a time to hone your passions and demonstrate them in action in your community, college is a more rigorous opportunity to identify and make a name for yourself within a niche industry or discipline. The best way to begin doing so is to have conversations with professors, graduate students, and older students in your field. Ask them questions like: Where do you see the field expanding or moving in the next five years? What are the most significant recent developments in this profession/field? What subjects do you think have been largely unexplored? What advice would you give to emerging scholars in this discipline? While pursuing a subject of true interest to you is indeed important, it is also important to consider how you will contribute uniquely to your subject of interest, and thereby maximize your odds of success in the job market.

Finally, keep in mind that you can (and should) begin practicing these skills in high school. The more you engage in these activities, the more natural they will be when you are on campus at a top university.

Christopher Rim

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    1. Make your voice heard in the classroom. At Ivy League and many other top schools, faculty-to-student ratios and class sizes tend to be small, allowing greater opportunity for you to establish ...