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How to Use Transition Words in Essays

How to Use Transition Words in Essays

By StudentShareRelease Year: 2018

Transition Words: Definition

Transition words and phrases are used to create or improve the connections between words, sentences or paragraphs. It is the best way to give the text the logical order and structurize the ideas you write down.

Opposed to the outline, which creates a general structure for the future essay, transition words and phrases are small elements, that help to build sentences and paragraphs.

Smart use of transition words helps the reader to proceed from one idea expressed in the text to the next one. So, they are mainly used to create the coherent relations within the text.

We are writing this guide to provide you with a solid explanation of different functions each group of transition words has in the text.

What are the types of transition words in the essay?

The list of transition words for essays can be divided into four major groups, due to the kind of transition they make in the text. We’d call them:

i. Additive
ii. Adversative
iii. Causal
iv. Sequential

Before you start using any of the transition words and phrases for essays, make sure you have gained a solid understanding of each type, and its functions in the text. We will help you here with a detailed explanation of each type. Also, we will provide you with the list of transition words for college essays.

Additive transitions

Additive transitions are used primarily to demonstrate addition or similarity to other ideas. You can also see them as openings of a sentence, creating an introduction to a particular thought. They might also be used for identification or clarification of an idea.

To show addition, you may use:

  • Further
  • Moreover
  • Furthermore
  • In fact
  • Let alone
  • Alternatively
  • As well (as this)
  • What is more
  • In addition (to this)
  • Actually
  • Much less
  • On the other hand
  • Either (Neither)
  • As a matter of fact
  • Besides (this)
  • To say nothing of
  • Additionally
  • Not to mention (this)
  • Not only (this) but also (that) as well
  • In all honesty
  • To tell the truth

As an introduction use:

  • Such as
  • For example
  • For instance
  • As
  • Like
  • Especially
  • Particularly
  • In particular
  • Notably
  • Including
  • For one thing
  • By way of example
  • As an illustration
  • To illustrate

Best words to create a reference are:

  • Speaking about (this)
  • As for (this)
  • Considering (this)
  • Concerning (this)
  • Regarding (this)
  • The fact that
  • With regards to (this)
  • On the subject of (this)
  • To define similarity
  • Similarly
  • Equally
  • In the same way
  • Likewise
  • In a like manner

To clarify your point of view

  • That is (to say)
  • I mean
  • (To) put (it) another way
  • In other words

Also, this might be not the fullest list of additive transitions, but those for sure are the most used.

Adversative transitions

Adversative transitions are used in the text when you need to show conflict or contradiction. When you compare or contrast two objects, or if you need to create emphasis or dismissal.

So, to state a conflict use

  • But
  • however
  • In contrast
  • By the way of contrast
  • (And) yet
  • When in fact
  • While
  • Whereas
  • Conversely
  • On the other hand
  • Still

For emphasis, there are words like

  • Even more
  • Above all
  • Indeed
  • More importantly
  • Besides

In case you need a concession

  • But even so
  • Nevertheless
  • However
  • (And) still
  • (And) yet
  • Although
  • Though
  • Even though
  • Despite (this)
  • In spite of (this)
  • On the other hand
  • Regardless (of this)
  • Admittedly
  • Albeit

For a dismissal use

  • Either way
  • In either case
  • All the same
  • In either event
  • In any case
  • In any event
  • At any rate

If you want a replacement, try using

  • (or) at least
  • (or) rather
  • instead

Causal transitions

Causal transitions are used when you need to create a cause-effect situation in the sentence or depict a reason-result relation between two issues. They can also signal purpose, consequence, or a particular condition.

For cause-reason relation use

  • Because (of the fact)
  • Due to (the fact that)
  • Being that
  • In that
  • For
  • As
  • Since
  • Owing to (the fact)

If you need to describe a condition

  • On (the) condition that
  • in the event that
  • granting (that)
  • as/s0 long as
  • providing that
  • if
  • unless
  • even if
  • in case
  • given that
  • only if
  • provided that

For a sentence with the effect-result

  • As a result (of this)
  • because (of this)
  • as a consequence
  • consequently
  • in consequence
  • so much (so) that
  • hence
  • so that
  • so
  • for this reason
  • accordingly
  • therefore
  • thus

To state a purpose

  • for the purpose of
  • with this intention
  • with this in mind
  • in the hope that
  • to the end that
  • in order that
  • in order to
  • so as to
  • so that
  • lest
  • so

To show the consequence

  • Under those circumstances
  • that being the case
  • then
  • if so
  • in that case
  • otherwise
  • if not

Sequential transitions

Sequential transitions are used to indicate the chronological or logical sequence. Also, they might be used in cases of digression, resumption, conclusion, summation and so on.

Numerical transitions are also in this category

  • In the first (second, and so on) place
  • to begin with
  • initially
  • at first
  • to start with
  • for a start
  • first of all
  • secondly
  • thirdly

To state continuation use

  • Subsequently
  • before (this)
  • previously
  • afterward
  • eventually
  • after (this)

For conclusion, resumption or summation go with any of those:

  • To conclude (with)
  • as a final point
  • in the end
  • eventually
  • finally
  • at last
  • lastly
  • to resume
  • anyhow
  • anyway
  • at any rate
  • so
  • thus
  • consequently
  • as I have said
  • in summary
  • to sum up
  • all in all
  • overall
  • to summarize
  • in conclusion
  • altogether
  • therefore
  • in short
  • in a word
  • briefly
  • given these points
  • as has been noted
  • to put it briefly
  • hence
  • in sum

What are actually good transition words for essays?

What you have seen above is a massive list of various transition words one can use to write a perfect academic essay. But let’s take a step back and think, whether all of them are suitable.

It is always the most significant issue among students. Finding good transition words for essays is not that easy, especially if you are new to it.

Let’s imagine you are writing an essay. You started the first paragraph with a hook, used some additive transition words to proceed with your thought. But then comes the second paragraph. You need to decide how to start it, so it would naturally continue the previous one.

What are best transition words for paragraphs in essays?

Here it depends on what you are about to do. And on the essay type, of course.

So, if you are about to compare two objects, like it is usually done in compare and contrast essays, use any of adversative transitions.

If you are about to reason your point of view, you can go with additive or causal transitions.

If you are looking for good transition words for essays between paragraphs, I would say, you need the openings we already mentioned in this guide. You can use them as an introduction to the paragraph:

  • Such as
  • For example
  • For instance
  • As
  • Like
  • Especially
  • Particularly
  • In particular
  • Notably
  • Including
  • For one thing
  • By way of example
  • As an illustration
  • To illustrate

Whatever you are about to use in your essay, make sure it logically fits the context, structure and so on.

Good luck!

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  • How to Use Transition Words in Essays
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