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Transition Words

Transition Words


Transitional words and phrases are used to segway from one idea to the next. When writing a paper, it’s often helpful to use these words at the start of a new paragraph or within paragraphs to help your ideas move smoothly from one sentence to the next. Transitions help readers understand the logical flow of your ideas, and can help your paper go from a series of disjointed ideas to a unified whole.


Categories of transition words:


Addition: Use these words when you want to add another example or build off of a previous point

  • furthermore

  • moreover

  • also

  • in the second place

  • again

  • in addition

  • even more

  • next

  • further

  • last, lastly

  • finally

  • and, or, nor

Comparison: Use these words when you are comparing or contrasting two ideas

  • whereas

  • nevertheless

  • by the same token

  • similarly

  • likewise

  • on the other hand

  • conversely

Clarification: These words are used to explain or otherwise illustrate an idea

  • that is to say

  • in other words

  • to explain

  • to clarify

  • to rephrase

  • to put it another way

Emphasis: Use these words when you want to highlight an idea or make a strong statement

  • obviously

  • definitely

  • by all means

  • of course

  • undoubtedly

  • certainly

  • undeniably

  • in fact

  • surprisingly

  • surely

Time or Sequence: These words show the passage of time or demonstrate a sequence of ideas

  • while

  • immediately

  • previously

  • after

  • later, earlier

  • always

  • simultaneously

  • soon

  • whenever

  • meanwhile

  • sometimes

  • in the meantime

  • during

  • afterwards

  • now, until now

  • next

  • following

  • once

  • hence

  • at length

  • simultaneously

  • so far

  • this time

  • subsequently

Cause or Effect: Use these words to demonstrate cause or effect

  • because

  • since

  • on account of

  • consequently

  • accordingly

  • thus

  • hence

  • as a result

  • for that reason

Summary or Conclusion: These words are used to wrap up a particular thought or section of the essay

  • to summarize

  • in brief

  • to sum up

  • in short

  • therefore

  • as a result

  • finally

  • in conclusion

  • as I have shown

  • on the whole

Download the PDF: TransitionWords.pdf

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