Return to Writing Page Writing

Return to Language Arts Page:  Language Arts

Return to Home Page:   Geri Ashley's Home Page



Transitions are words or phrases that are like a bridge between your ideas. They keep the reader from getting lost and confused.  Transitions can appear between sentences or paragraphs. They build a bridge between ideas. You may not always need a transition. However, it is usually a good idea to use a transition between each paragraph. Transitional words and phrases most often appear at the beginning of a paragraph or sentence.

To improve your writing you need to make sure that your ideas, both in sentences and paragraphs, stick together or have sentence fluency and that the gap between ideas bridges smoothly. One way to do this is by using transitions - words or phrases or techniques that help bring two ideas together. Transitional words and phrases represent one way of gaining coherence/sentence fluency. Certain words help continue an idea, indicate a shift of though or contrast, or sum up a conclusion. Check the following list of words to find those that will pull your sentences and paragraphs together.

 For continuing a common line of reasoning:

consequently                          clearly, then                furthermore                additionally                 and
in addition                              moreover                    because                     besides that               also
in the same way                    following this             pursuing this               in the light of the…
                                                 further                       further                      it is easy to see

To change the line of reasoning (contrast):

however                                  but                               yet                               nevertheless
on the other hand                  on the contrary

For opening a paragraph initially or for general use:

admittedly                  assuredly                                certainly                      in this situation           no doubt
nobody denies           obviously                                of course                    to be sure                   true
undoubtedly               unquestionably                      in general                   at this level                 granted
unquestionably          at this level
generally speaking

For the final points of a paragraph or essay:

finally                           lastly

Transitional chains, to use in separating sections of a paragraph which is arranged chronologically:

first... second... third...
generally... furthermore... finally
in the first place... also... lastly
in the first place... pursuing this further... finally
to be sure... additionally... lastly
in the first place... just in the same way... finally
basically... similarly... as well 

To signal conclusion:

therefore                                 this                  hence              in final analysis                      in conclusion             
in final consideration indeed

To restate a point within a paragraph in another way or in a more exacting way:

in other words                        specifically                             point in fact 

Sequence or time

after                            afterwards                  as soon as                 at first                          at last
before                         before long                 finally                           first..second..third      in the first place
in the meantime         later                             meanwhile                  next                             soon