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

33 Transition Words and Phrases

Transitional terms give writers the opportunity to prepare readers for a new idea, connecting the previous sentence to the next one.

Many transitional words are nearly synonymous: words that broadly indicate that “this follows logically from the preceding” include accordingly, therefore, and consequently . Words that mean “in addition to” include moreover, besides, and further . Words that mean “contrary to what was just stated” include however, nevertheless , and nonetheless .

as a result : THEREFORE : CONSEQUENTLY

The executive’s flight was delayed and they accordingly arrived late.

in or by way of addition : FURTHERMORE

The mountain has many marked hiking trails; additionally, there are several unmarked trails that lead to the summit.

at a later or succeeding time : SUBSEQUENTLY, THEREAFTER

Afterward, she got a promotion.

even though : ALTHOUGH

She appeared as a guest star on the show, albeit briefly.

in spite of the fact that : even though —used when making a statement that differs from or contrasts with a statement you have just made

They are good friends, although they don't see each other very often.

in addition to what has been said : MOREOVER, FURTHERMORE

I can't go, and besides, I wouldn't go if I could.

as a result : in view of the foregoing : ACCORDINGLY

The words are often confused and are consequently misused.

in a contrasting or opposite way —used to introduce a statement that contrasts with a previous statement or presents a differing interpretation or possibility

Large objects appear to be closer. Conversely, small objects seem farther away.

used to introduce a statement that is somehow different from what has just been said

These problems are not as bad as they were. Even so, there is much more work to be done.

used as a stronger way to say "though" or "although"

I'm planning to go even though it may rain.

in addition : MOREOVER

I had some money to invest, and, further, I realized that the risk was small.

in addition to what precedes : BESIDES —used to introduce a statement that supports or adds to a previous statement

These findings seem plausible. Furthermore, several studies have confirmed them.

because of a preceding fact or premise : for this reason : THEREFORE

He was a newcomer and hence had no close friends here.

from this point on : starting now

She announced that henceforth she would be running the company.

in spite of that : on the other hand —used when you are saying something that is different from or contrasts with a previous statement

I'd like to go; however, I'd better not.

as something more : BESIDES —used for adding information to a statement

The city has the largest population in the country and in addition is a major shipping port.

all things considered : as a matter of fact —used when making a statement that adds to or strengthens a previous statement

He likes to have things his own way; indeed, he can be very stubborn.

for fear that —often used after an expression denoting fear or apprehension

He was concerned lest anyone think that he was guilty.

in addition : ALSO —often used to introduce a statement that adds to and is related to a previous statement

She is an acclaimed painter who is likewise a sculptor.

at or during the same time : in the meantime

You can set the table. Meanwhile, I'll start making dinner.

BESIDES, FURTHER : in addition to what has been said —used to introduce a statement that supports or adds to a previous statement

It probably wouldn't work. Moreover, it would be very expensive to try it.

in spite of that : HOWEVER

It was a predictable, but nevertheless funny, story.

in spite of what has just been said : NEVERTHELESS

The hike was difficult, but fun nonetheless.

without being prevented by (something) : despite—used to say that something happens or is true even though there is something that might prevent it from happening or being true

Notwithstanding their youth and inexperience, the team won the championship.

if not : or else

Finish your dinner. Otherwise, you won't get any dessert.

more correctly speaking —used to introduce a statement that corrects what you have just said

We can take the car, or rather, the van.

in spite of that —used to say that something happens or is true even though there is something that might prevent it from happening or being true

I tried again and still I failed.

by that : by that means

He signed the contract, thereby forfeiting his right to the property.

for that reason : because of that

This tablet is thin and light and therefore very convenient to carry around.

immediately after that

The committee reviewed the documents and thereupon decided to accept the proposal.

because of this or that : HENCE, CONSEQUENTLY

This detergent is highly concentrated and thus you will need to dilute it.

while on the contrary —used to make a statement that describes how two people, groups, etc., are different

Some of these species have flourished, whereas others have struggled.

NEVERTHELESS, HOWEVER —used to introduce a statement that adds something to a previous statement and usually contrasts with it in some way

It was pouring rain out, yet his clothes didn’t seem very wet.

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Transition words for essays - wordscoach.com

70+ Transition words for essays with examples

Transition words for essays.

Ever stared at a blank page, your thoughts swirling like a disorganized storm? Crafting a compelling essay often hinges on smooth transitions between ideas. Fear not, fellow writer! Here’s your guide to essential transition words , those linguistic gems that bridge the gaps in your essay and create a clear, logical flow.

List of Transition words for essays

  • Additionally
  • Furthermore
  • In addition
  • In the same way
  • In other words
  • That is to say
  • For example
  • For instance
  • Specifically
  • To illustrate
  • In particular
  • Without a doubt
  • Essentially
  • In conclusion
  • To conclude
  • On the whole
  • Consequently
  • Accordingly
  • As a result
  • For this reason
  • Because of this
  • Due to this
  • In light of this
  • Considering that
  • Seeing that
  • As a matter of fact
  • Nonetheless
  • Nevertheless
  • Even though
  • In spite of
  • On the contrary

Transition words for essays with examples

Here are examples of sentences using each of the transition words for cause:

  • Additionally : “She enjoys playing the piano. Additionally, she is proficient in playing the guitar.”
  • Furthermore : “The research indicated a positive correlation between exercise and mental health. Furthermore, it suggested that regular physical activity reduces stress levels.”
  • Moreover : “The company reported an increase in sales for the third quarter. Moreover, profits also saw a significant rise.”
  • In addition : “He enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking and camping. In addition, he is passionate about photography.”
  • Also : “He enjoys playing tennis. Also, he participates in swimming competitions.”
  • Likewise : “She volunteered at the local shelter. Likewise, her brother also dedicated his time to community service.”
  • Similarly : “The team implemented new strategies to improve productivity. Similarly, other departments adopted similar approaches.”
  • In the same way : “She excels in academics. In the same way, her siblings also achieve high grades.”
  • Equally : “Both candidates possess strong leadership skills. Equally, they demonstrate excellent communication abilities.”
  • Besides : “She enjoys reading novels. Besides, she also enjoys writing short stories.”
  • In other words : “The product received mixed reviews due to its functionality issues. In other words, customers experienced difficulties with its performance.”
  • That is to say : “She loves traveling to exotic destinations. That is to say, she prefers exploring off-the-beaten-path locations.”
  • Namely : “The research focused on several key areas, namely, customer satisfaction, product quality, and market trends.”
  • For example : “Many countries have implemented strict environmental policies. For example, Denmark has achieved significant progress in renewable energy.”
  • For instance : “Some popular social media platforms, for instance, Facebook and Instagram, have millions of active users.”
  • Specifically : “The training program focuses specifically on enhancing leadership skills and fostering teamwork.”
  • To illustrate : “To illustrate the concept further, let’s consider a real-life example.”
  • In particular : “The company aims to expand its operations globally. In particular, it plans to target emerging markets in Asia.”
  • In fact : “Contrary to popular belief, exercise is not only beneficial for physical health but also for mental well-being. In fact, it has been shown to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.”
  • Indeed : “The company’s efforts to promote diversity have yielded positive results. Indeed, diversity has been linked to increased innovation and creativity.”
  • Actually : “Contrary to what many people believe, the situation is actually quite different.”
  • Truly : “She was truly dedicated to her work and always gave her best effort.”
  • Certainly : “The results of the study certainly support the hypothesis.”
  • Of course : “Of course, you are welcome to join us for dinner.”
  • Without a doubt : “Without a doubt, she is one of the most talented musicians I’ve ever met.”
  • In essence : “The policy change, in essence, aims to improve customer satisfaction.”
  • Essentially : “The project, essentially, involves redesigning the user interface.”
  • In summary : “In summary, the findings suggest a need for further research in this area.”
  • In conclusion : “In conclusion, it is evident that climate change poses significant challenges.”
  • To sum up : “To sum up, the main points of the argument are as follows.”
  • In brief : “In brief, the report highlights key areas for improvement.”
  • To conclude : “To conclude, let’s consider the implications of these findings.”
  • Overall : “Overall, the project was a success.”
  • All in all : “All in all, it was a memorable experience.”
  • On the whole : “On the whole, the feedback has been positive.”
  • Therefore : “The traffic was heavy; therefore, they arrived late to the meeting.”
  • Thus : “The factory implemented new safety measures; thus, the number of accidents decreased.”
  • Hence : “The flight was canceled; hence, they had to make alternative travel arrangements.”
  • Consequently : “He missed the deadline; consequently, he faced disciplinary action.”
  • Accordingly : “The instructions were unclear; accordingly, many participants made mistakes.”
  • As a result : “The market demand increased; as a result, prices rose.”
  • For this reason : “She forgot her umbrella; for this reason, she got wet in the rain.”
  • Because of this : “He missed the train because of this, he couldn’t attend the meeting.”
  • Due to this : “Due to this unforeseen circumstance, the event had to be postponed.”
  • In light of this : “In light of this new information, we need to reconsider our strategy.”
  • Since : “Since it was raining heavily, they decided to stay indoors.”
  • Because : “He didn’t study for the exam because he was feeling unwell.”
  • For : “He received a promotion for his outstanding performance.”
  • As : “As the temperature dropped, people bundled up in warm clothing.”
  • Owing to : “Owing to his persistent efforts, he achieved success.”
  • Given that : “Given that she had prior experience, she was appointed as the team leader.”
  • Considering that : “Considering that it was his first attempt, he performed exceptionally well.”
  • Seeing that : “Seeing that the store was closing soon, they hurried to finish their shopping.”
  • In view of : “In view of the current situation, we need to take immediate action.”
  • As a matter of fact : “As a matter of fact, he was the first to arrive at the party.”
  • Regardless : “He continued with the project regardless of the challenges he faced.”
  • Nonetheless : “The weather was unfavorable; nonetheless, they decided to go ahead with the outdoor event.”
  • Nevertheless : “The plan faced criticism; nevertheless, it was implemented successfully.”
  • However : “She forgot her passport; however, she managed to board the flight with a temporary permit.”
  • Although : “Although it was raining, they decided to go for a walk.”
  • Though : “Though she was tired, she continued working late into the night.”
  • Even though : “Even though he was warned about the risks, he proceeded with the plan.”
  • Despite : “Despite the challenges, they remained committed to their goal.”
  • In spite of : “In spite of the obstacles, they persevered and succeeded.”
  • On the contrary : “The results were contrary to expectations; on the contrary, they were favorable.”
  • Conversely : “He expected to feel relieved; conversely, he felt even more anxious.”
  • But : “The weather was sunny, but they decided to cancel the picnic due to other commitments.”
  • Yet : “He had a busy schedule, yet he managed to find time for his hobbies.”
  • Whereas : “She preferred coffee, whereas her sister preferred tea.”

Transition words for essays - wordscoach.com

By mastering the art of transition words, you’ll transform your essay from a disjointed collection of ideas into a powerful and persuasive piece of writing. So, the next time you sit down to write, remember these transition words and watch your essay flow majestically!

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The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Transitions

What this handout is about.

In this crazy, mixed-up world of ours, transitions glue our ideas and our essays together. This handout will introduce you to some useful transitional expressions and help you employ them effectively.

The function and importance of transitions

In both academic writing and professional writing, your goal is to convey information clearly and concisely, if not to convert the reader to your way of thinking. Transitions help you to achieve these goals by establishing logical connections between sentences, paragraphs, and sections of your papers. In other words, transitions tell readers what to do with the information you present to them. Whether single words, quick phrases, or full sentences, they function as signs that tell readers how to think about, organize, and react to old and new ideas as they read through what you have written.

Transitions signal relationships between ideas—relationships such as: “Another example coming up—stay alert!” or “Here’s an exception to my previous statement” or “Although this idea appears to be true, here’s the real story.” Basically, transitions provide the reader with directions for how to piece together your ideas into a logically coherent argument. Transitions are not just verbal decorations that embellish your paper by making it sound or read better. They are words with particular meanings that tell the reader to think and react in a particular way to your ideas. In providing the reader with these important cues, transitions help readers understand the logic of how your ideas fit together.

Signs that you might need to work on your transitions

How can you tell whether you need to work on your transitions? Here are some possible clues:

  • Your instructor has written comments like “choppy,” “jumpy,” “abrupt,” “flow,” “need signposts,” or “how is this related?” on your papers.
  • Your readers (instructors, friends, or classmates) tell you that they had trouble following your organization or train of thought.
  • You tend to write the way you think—and your brain often jumps from one idea to another pretty quickly.
  • You wrote your paper in several discrete “chunks” and then pasted them together.
  • You are working on a group paper; the draft you are working on was created by pasting pieces of several people’s writing together.

Organization

Since the clarity and effectiveness of your transitions will depend greatly on how well you have organized your paper, you may want to evaluate your paper’s organization before you work on transitions. In the margins of your draft, summarize in a word or short phrase what each paragraph is about or how it fits into your analysis as a whole. This exercise should help you to see the order of and connection between your ideas more clearly.

If after doing this exercise you find that you still have difficulty linking your ideas together in a coherent fashion, your problem may not be with transitions but with organization. For help in this area (and a more thorough explanation of the “reverse outlining” technique described in the previous paragraph), please see the Writing Center’s handout on organization .

How transitions work

The organization of your written work includes two elements: (1) the order in which you have chosen to present the different parts of your discussion or argument, and (2) the relationships you construct between these parts. Transitions cannot substitute for good organization, but they can make your organization clearer and easier to follow. Take a look at the following example:

El Pais , a Latin American country, has a new democratic government after having been a dictatorship for many years. Assume that you want to argue that El Pais is not as democratic as the conventional view would have us believe.

One way to effectively organize your argument would be to present the conventional view and then to provide the reader with your critical response to this view. So, in Paragraph A you would enumerate all the reasons that someone might consider El Pais highly democratic, while in Paragraph B you would refute these points. The transition that would establish the logical connection between these two key elements of your argument would indicate to the reader that the information in paragraph B contradicts the information in paragraph A. As a result, you might organize your argument, including the transition that links paragraph A with paragraph B, in the following manner:

Paragraph A: points that support the view that El Pais’s new government is very democratic.

Transition: Despite the previous arguments, there are many reasons to think that El Pais’s new government is not as democratic as typically believed.

Paragraph B: points that contradict the view that El Pais’s new government is very democratic.

In this case, the transition words “Despite the previous arguments,” suggest that the reader should not believe paragraph A and instead should consider the writer’s reasons for viewing El Pais’s democracy as suspect.

As the example suggests, transitions can help reinforce the underlying logic of your paper’s organization by providing the reader with essential information regarding the relationship between your ideas. In this way, transitions act as the glue that binds the components of your argument or discussion into a unified, coherent, and persuasive whole.

Types of transitions

Now that you have a general idea of how to go about developing effective transitions in your writing, let us briefly discuss the types of transitions your writing will use.

The types of transitions available to you are as diverse as the circumstances in which you need to use them. A transition can be a single word, a phrase, a sentence, or an entire paragraph. In each case, it functions the same way: First, the transition either directly summarizes the content of a preceding sentence, paragraph, or section or implies such a summary (by reminding the reader of what has come before). Then, it helps the reader anticipate or comprehend the new information that you wish to present.

  • Transitions between sections: Particularly in longer works, it may be necessary to include transitional paragraphs that summarize for the reader the information just covered and specify the relevance of this information to the discussion in the following section.
  • Transitions between paragraphs: If you have done a good job of arranging paragraphs so that the content of one leads logically to the next, the transition will highlight a relationship that already exists by summarizing the previous paragraph and suggesting something of the content of the paragraph that follows. A transition between paragraphs can be a word or two (however, for example, similarly), a phrase, or a sentence. Transitions can be at the end of the first paragraph, at the beginning of the second paragraph, or in both places.
  • Transitions within paragraphs: As with transitions between sections and paragraphs, transitions within paragraphs act as cues by helping readers to anticipate what is coming before they read it. Within paragraphs, transitions tend to be single words or short phrases.

Transitional expressions

Effectively constructing each transition often depends upon your ability to identify words or phrases that will indicate for the reader the kind of logical relationships you want to convey. The table below should make it easier for you to find these words or phrases. Whenever you have trouble finding a word, phrase, or sentence to serve as an effective transition, refer to the information in the table for assistance. Look in the left column of the table for the kind of logical relationship you are trying to express. Then look in the right column of the table for examples of words or phrases that express this logical relationship.

Keep in mind that each of these words or phrases may have a slightly different meaning. Consult a dictionary or writer’s handbook if you are unsure of the exact meaning of a word or phrase.

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

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Writing Studio

Common transition words and phrases.

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

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

Transitions by Category

1. addition.

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

2. Sequence/ Order

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

3. Contrast

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

4. Exception

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

5. Comparison

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

6. Illustration

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

7. Location

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

8. Cause and Effect

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

9. Emphasis

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

10. Summary or Conclusion

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

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

Writing Effective Sentence Transitions (Advanced)

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

Transition Signals

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

Review Words

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

Preview words

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

Transition Sentences

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

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

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

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

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

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

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190 Good Transition Words for Essays

August 23, 2023

good transitions words for essays, college

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

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

List of Good Transition Words for Essays (Continued)

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

Transition Words for College Essays

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

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

1) Additive Transitions

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

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

 2) Comparative Transitions (Similarity)

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

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

 3) Comparative Transitions (Difference)

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

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

4) Sequential Transitions

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

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

5) Spatial Transitions

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

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

 6) Causal Transitions

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

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

7) Examples/Illustration/Supporting Transition

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

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

8) Conclusory Transitions

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

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

List of Good Transition Words for Essays (Final Thoughts)

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

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

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

List of Good Transition Words for Essays (An Exercise)

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

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Emmett Lewis

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

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Transitional Words and Phrases

One of your primary goals as a writer is to present ideas in a clear and understandable way. To help readers move through your complex ideas, you want to be intentional about how you structure your paper as a whole as well as how you form the individual paragraphs that comprise it. In order to think through the challenges of presenting your ideas articulately, logically, and in ways that seem natural to your readers, check out some of these resources: Developing a Thesis Statement , Paragraphing , and Developing Strategic Transitions: Writing that Establishes Relationships and Connections Between Ideas.

While clear writing is mostly achieved through the deliberate sequencing of your ideas across your entire paper, you can guide readers through the connections you’re making by using transitional words in individual sentences. Transitional words and phrases can create powerful links between your ideas and can help your reader understand your paper’s logic.

In what follows, we’ve included a list of frequently used transitional words and phrases that can help you establish how your various ideas relate to each other. We’ve divided these words and phrases into categories based on the common kinds of relationships writers establish between ideas.

Two recommendations: Use these transitions strategically by making sure that the word or phrase you’re choosing matches the logic of the relationship you’re emphasizing or the connection you’re making. All of these words and phrases have different meanings, nuances, and connotations, so before using a particular transitional word in your paper, be sure you understand its meaning and usage completely, and be sure that it’s the right match for your paper’s logic. Use these transitional words and phrases sparingly because if you use too many of them, your readers might feel like you are overexplaining connections that are already clear.

Categories of Transition Words and Phrases

Causation Chronology Combinations Contrast Example

Importance Location Similarity Clarification Concession

Conclusion Intensification Purpose Summary

Transitions to help establish some of the most common kinds of relationships

Causation– Connecting instigator(s) to consequence(s).

accordingly as a result and so because

consequently for that reason hence on account of

since therefore thus

Chronology– Connecting what issues in regard to when they occur.

after afterwards always at length during earlier following immediately in the meantime

later never next now once simultaneously so far sometimes

soon subsequently then this time until now when whenever while

Combinations Lists– Connecting numerous events. Part/Whole– Connecting numerous elements that make up something bigger.

additionally again also and, or, not as a result besides even more

finally first, firstly further furthermore in addition in the first place in the second place

last, lastly moreover next second, secondly, etc. too

Contrast– Connecting two things by focusing on their differences.

after all although and yet at the same time but

despite however in contrast nevertheless nonetheless notwithstanding

on the contrary on the other hand otherwise though yet

Example– Connecting a general idea to a particular instance of this idea.

as an illustration e.g., (from a Latin abbreviation for “for example”)

for example for instance specifically that is

to demonstrate to illustrate

Importance– Connecting what is critical to what is more inconsequential.

chiefly critically

foundationally most importantly

of less importance primarily

Location– Connecting elements according to where they are placed in relationship to each other.

above adjacent to below beyond

centrally here nearby neighboring on

opposite to peripherally there wherever

Similarity– Connecting to things by suggesting that they are in some way alike.

by the same token in like manner

in similar fashion here in the same way

likewise wherever

Other kinds of transitional words and phrases Clarification

i.e., (from a Latin abbreviation for “that is”) in other words

that is that is to say to clarify to explain

to put it another way to rephrase it

granted it is true

naturally of course

finally lastly

in conclusion in the end

to conclude

Intensification

in fact indeed no

of course surely to repeat

undoubtedly without doubt yes

for this purpose in order that

so that to that end

to this end

in brief in sum

in summary in short

to sum up to summarize

4 paragraph essay transition words

Improving Your Writing Style

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Use the active voice

Put the action in the verb

Tidy up wordy phrases

Reduce wordy verbs

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Avoid using vague nouns

Avoid unneccessarily inflated words

Avoid noun strings

Connecting Ideas Through Transitions

Using Transitional Words and Phrases

4 paragraph essay transition words

Transition Words (List for Essays, Paragraphs, and Writing)

transition words and phrases

In grammar , transition words play a very important role. If used correctly, they can link your ideas, make your paragraphs more coherent, and enhance your writing.

But first – what exactly are transition words and how should you use them ?

What exactly are transition words?

Simply put, transition words are words that basically act as the powerful link that holds your sentences together. They are used to show the relationship between two (or more) phrases, sentences, and even paragraphs.

Transition words improve the flow of your writing, and make it more sensible and easier to read . Words like “and,” “additionally,” “because,” “therefore,” etc. are all transition words. Along with transition words, we also have transition phrases like “as well as,” “for example,” “after all,” etc.

Why are transition words used in a sentence?

1. they are link builders.

Using transition words helps you connect your ideas and thoughts clearly. It helps the reader understand how different ideas logically are related and not get confused. In addition, these words also prepare the readers for what they should expect next.

Let’s consider the following example:

  • Shannon couldn’t sleep well last night. Therefore , she drank two cups of coffee before starting her day.

Now, using the transition word “therefore” helped you achieve two things here:

  • It told the reader the cause-and-effect relationship between two things
  • It described how these sentences are connected and are a part of one process.

From the above example, the reader will understand that Shannon requires two cups of coffee because she couldn’t sleep well last night. These are two different sentences, but they are glued together with the transition word. Remove the transition word and both of these sentences will lose coherency.

2. Transition words help you put your thoughts in a logical order

Organized thoughts are essential elements of clear and concise writing. Writers should ensure that all the points mentioned in a sentence have a logical flow and there should not be any abrupt pauses between them.

Transition words help in introducing sequence or order to your writing. Here’s how:

  • First , we will go shopping. Then , we will go to a movie.

Here, we have used two transition words (“first” and “then”) at the beginning of two different sentences. They are used to denote a particular order in which two actions are to be performed.

3. Transition words make your work logical and easy to read

High-quality writing is always clear and easy to understand. It has a logical structure and helps the reader move from one thought to another effortlessly. The simpler the writing, the better the readability!

Transition words are the magic connectors that help you write in clear and plain English.

In both the above-mentioned examples, we have used the transition word at the beginning of the sentences. However, these words can also be used in the middle or at the end of a sense or phrase.

Consider the following sentence, for example:

  • I love watching the TV show F.R.I.E.N.D.S because it makes me laugh.

Here, the transition word “because” helps in joining two clauses . It helps the reader understand two things clearly:

  • Which TV show does the writer loves watching
  • Why do they love watching that particular show

Different categories of transition words

Depending upon their usage and the types of transition a writer wishes to make, transition words are usually divided into multiple categories. There are transition words to show contrast, similarity, examples, and whatnot!

Generally, we have more than one transition word for a particular situation/ transition and so writers can pick the ones according to their liking.

Most of the time, these words mean the same things. However, sometimes they have slightly different meanings. Thus, it is important to understand the meaning and use-case of these words before making your final choice.

Here are some transition word examples according to different categories:

Transition words (contrast)

When it comes to displaying contrast “but” is the most common transition word. However, it is not the only word. There are several other transition words that you can use to display contrast in your sentences. Some of the common words include:

  • On the contrary
  • On the other hand
  • Despite this
  • Nevertheless

More on in contrast transition words .

Transition words (example)

The following transition words should be used for showing examples:

  • For example
  • For instance
  • To illustrate
  • Specifically

Transition words (cause and effect)

Cause and effect

These transition words are used for denoting the cause-and-effect relationship between two sentences. The common transition words you can use for this are as follows:

  • Accordingly

Transition words (similarity)

Another common use of transition words is to show the similarity between sentences and phrases. Here are some commonly used transition words for denoting the similarity between two sentences:

  • In the same way

Transition words (time)

For showing different periods, the following transition words should be used:

  • Immediately
  • Subsequently

Transition words (sequence)

These transition words also define sequence or time. Here are some common sequence-based transition words that writers can include in their work:

Transition words (location)

These transition words are used to connect things based on their location or where they are placed to each other. Here are some of them:

  • Adjacent to

Transition words (emphasis)

As the name suggests, emphasis transition words help you in stressing an important point and accentuate your argument. Here are some common emphasis transition words:

These transition words offer huge help when you are drafting the conclusion of your work . Whether you are working on a school essay, summing up an idea, or working on your blog, conclusion transition words are an integral part of all kinds of writing.

Here are some common conclusion transition words that writers can use to simplify their writing:

  • In conclusion
  • To sum it up
  • On the whole

More on conclusion transition words .

Do transition words actually make a difference?

The main purpose of transition words is to make clunky, confusing, and disjointed sentences smooth , logical, and coherent. These words must be used to improve the flow of sentences and make your paper more engaging.

When trying to write in plain English, using appropriate transition words wherever possible can make a significant positive impact.

Writers must avoid making abrupt pauses or jumping from one sentence to another illogically. Instead, it is recommended to use transition words to establish an organizational flow in your work.

But the question is – do transition words actually work?

Let’s consider the following sentences – with and without the transition word – and see the difference:

  • Jess is going back home for three months. He needs two big bags to carry all his belongings.

While there is nothing wrong with these two sentences, they lack a logical flow. Here’s how using a transition word can improve it.

  • Jess is going back home for three months therefore he needs two big bags to carry all his belongings.
  • Robin decided to stop studying. She failed high school .

Again, while both of these sentences are grammatically correct, they neither sound good nor logical, There’s an abrupt pause between them. Let’s see how they’ll sound after adding a transition word.

  • Robin decided to stop studying. Consequently , she failed high school.
  • I could go home. I could stay at the office and finish my work.

Now, these two sentences don’t sound coherent at all. There is something off about them, they lack flow, and they don’t make any logical sense, right? However, once we add a simple transition word between them, they will become so much better. Here’s how:

  • I could go home, or I could stay at the office and finish my work.

By adding “or” (a contrast transition word), we linked the sentences. No need to rely on two awkward sentences that are better off as one.

How to use transition words correctly

In order to make a positive difference in your writing, the transition words must be used in a grammatically correct way.

When including transition words in their sentences, writers must remember the following important points:

1. The correct placement: When writing an essay, a blog, or an academic paper, the placement of the transition words plays a crucial role. Writers must plan where they want to place the transition words beforehand and then proceed with writing the sentences.

Generally, transition words can be placed –

  • At the beginning of the sentences
  • At the end of the sentences
  • In the middle of a sentence

2. Use a comma : When using a transition word in the middle of the sentence, it is important to always use a comma (,) before it. Doing so will separate the transition word from the rest of the sentence and give more clarity to your writing.

3. Consider the relationship between two sentences: It is another important tip that every writer must use while including transition words in their writing. Two sentences can have different kinds of relationships. They can be in agreement or disagreement with each other, there can be a cause-and-effect relationship, they can be in chronological order, etc.

Thus, it is crucial to have a clear idea about their relationship before deciding on a transition word.

Key takeaways

In English, using transition words can do wonders for your writing. It can make it more appealing, logical, and clear for the readers. Today, we have learned a lot about transition words and how writers should use them in their work.

Here is a quick summary of everything that we have learned in this article:

  • Transition words are words that are used when a writer is transitioning from one point to another.
  • They are commonly used as “linking words” that join two or more sentences, phrases, and paragraphs.
  • Some common and widely used transition words in English include “also,” “or,” “therefore,” and “thus.”
  • There are various categories of transition words and writers can use them depending on the relationship between sentences. Common categories of transition words include – cause-and-effect transition, similarity transition, emphasis transition, contrast transition, and more.

The 10 most commonly used transitional words include the following:

  • Furthermore
  • Consequently

When using transition words, it is important to strike the correct balance. Overusing transition words can make your work hard to read and reduce its quality.

While you can use multiple transition words in a paragraph, it is recommended to use just one transition word in a sentence.

With SEO becoming more and more important, using the right amount of transition words in your content has become all the more important. Following the best SEO practices and including the ideal amount of transition words in blogs and articles can help in increasing their Google ranking.

Ideally, a writer must ensure that at least 30% of their sentences include transition words. This will go a long way in improving the readability of their content and making it more engaging and simple.

There are several ways to write effective transition sentences . Here are some writing tips that can help writers write effective transition sentences:

  • Generally, it is advisable to use transition words at the beginning of your sentences. It helps you introduce the paragraph topic and logically connect the new sentence with the previous one.
  • As much as possible, it is advisable to avoid using the transition word “this.” It is because it can make your sentences confusing as it is not always clear what or who “this” refers to. Moreover, many people use pronouns like “this” or “that” as filler words.

The five most common types of transitions include the following:

  • Comparison – For example, “similarly”, “likewise,” “in the same way,” etc.
  • Contrast – For example, “on the contrary,” “or,” “otherwise,” “however,” etc.
  • Emphasis – For example, “in fact,” “above all,” etc.
  • Sequence – For example, “first,” “next,” “eventually,” etc.
  • Consequence – For example, “accordingly,” “as a result,” “consequently,” etc.
  • Wikipedia – Transition
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  • Your Dictionary – How do I include transition words in my essay
  • Writer’s Room – Transition words and phrases

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4 paragraph essay transition words

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4 paragraph essay transition words

About the author

Dalia Y.: Dalia is an English Major and linguistics expert with an additional degree in Psychology. Dalia has featured articles on Forbes, Inc, Fast Company, Grammarly, and many more. She covers English, ESL, and all things grammar on GrammarBrain.

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4 paragraph essay transition words

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4 paragraph essay transition words

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English Language

Transition Words

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

Transitional Words

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

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

Linking & Connecting Words — Part 1/2

Agreement / Addition / Similarity

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

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

in the first place

not only ... but also

as a matter of fact

in like manner

in addition

coupled with

in the same fashion / way

first, second, third

in the light of

not to mention

to say nothing of

equally important

by the same token

identically

together with

comparatively

correspondingly

furthermore

additionally

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

although this may be true

in contrast

different from

of course ..., but

on the other hand

on the contrary

at the same time

in spite of

even so / though

be that as it may

(and) still

even though

nevertheless

nonetheless

notwithstanding

These transitional phrases present specific conditions or intentions .

in the event that

granted (that)

as / so long as

on (the) condition (that)

for the purpose of

with this intention

with this in mind

in the hope that

to the end that

for fear that

in order to

seeing / being that

provided that

only / even if

inasmuch as

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

in other words

to put it differently

for one thing

as an illustration

in this case

for this reason

to put it another way

that is to say

with attention to

by all means

important to realize

another key point

first thing to remember

most compelling evidence

must be remembered

point often overlooked

to point out

on the positive side

on the negative side

specifically

surprisingly

significantly

particularly

in particular

for example

for instance

to demonstrate

to emphasize

to enumerate

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

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

as a result

under those circumstances

in that case

because the

consequently

accordingly

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

as can be seen

generally speaking

in the final analysis

all things considered

as shown above

in the long run

given these points

as has been noted

for the most part

in conclusion

to summarize

by and large

on the whole

in any event

in either case

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

at the present time

from time to time

sooner or later

up to the present time

to begin with

in due time

in the meantime

in a moment

without delay

all of a sudden

at this instant

first, second

immediately

straightaway

by the time

occasionally

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

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

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

in the middle

to the left/right

in front of

on this side

in the distance

here and there

in the foreground

in the background

in the center of

adjacent to

opposite to 

List of Transition Words

Transition Words & Phrases

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

Usage of Transition Words in Essays

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Essay Writing Guide

Transition Words For Essays

Last updated on: Dec 19, 2023

220 Best Transition Words for Essays

By: Nova A.

15 min read

Reviewed By: Jacklyn H.

Published on: Jul 9, 2019

Transition Words for Essays

Writing essays can be hard, and making sure your transitions are smooth is even harder. 

You've probably heard that good essays need good transitions, but what are they? How do you use them in your writing? Also, your essays are assessed according to particular criteria and it is your responsibility to ensure that it is being met.

But don't worry, we are here to help. This blog will give you transition words for essays, including how to choose the right ones and where to place them for maximum impact. Essay writing is a technical process that requires much more effort than simply pouring your thoughts on paper.

If you are new to the concept of transition words and phrases, deep dive into this article in order to find out the secret to improving your essays.

Transition Words for Essays

On this Page

What Are Transition Words 

Transition words are essential elements in essay writing that create smooth transitions between ideas. 

Think of a transition as a conjunction or a joining word. It helps create strong relationships between ideas, paragraphs, or sentences and assists the readers to understand the word phrases and sentences easily.

As writers, our goal is to communicate our thoughts and ideas in the most clear and logical manner. Especially when presenting complex ideas, we must ensure that they are being conveyed in the most understandable way.

To ensure that your paper is easy to understand, you can work on the sequencing of ideas. Break down your ideas into different sentences and paragraphs then use a transition word or phrase to guide them through these ideas.

Why Should You Use Transitions

The purpose of transition words goes beyond just connectivity. They create a cohesive narrative , allowing your ideas to flow seamlessly from one point to another. These words and phrases act as signposts and indicate relationships. 

These relations could include:

  • Cause and Effect
  • Comparison and Contrast
  • Addition and Emphasis
  • Sequence and Order
  • Illustration and Example
  • Concession and Contradiction
  • Summary and Conclusion

They form a bridge and tie sentences together, creating a logical connection. In addition to tying the entire paper together, they help demonstrate the writer’s agreement, disagreement, conclusion, or contrast.

However, keep in mind that just using or including transitional words isn’t enough to highlight relationships between ideas. The content of your paragraphs must support the relationship as well. So, you should avoid overusing them in a paper.

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Types of Transitions

Transitions in essays can be classified into different types based on the relationships they indicate between ideas. Each type serves a specific purpose in guiding readers through your arguments. 

Let's explore some common types of transitions and their examples:

Additive Transitions 

These transitions are used to add information or ideas. They help you expand on your points or provide additional supporting evidence. Examples:

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

Adversative Transitions

Adversative transitions show contrast or contradiction between ideas. They are used to present opposing viewpoints or highlight differences. Examples:

  • Nevertheless
  • On the other hand
  • In contrast

Causal Transitions

Causal transitions explain cause-and-effect relationships. They help you establish the reasons behind certain outcomes or actions. Examples:

  • As a result
  • Consequently
  • Resulting in
  • For this reason

Sequential Transitions

Sequential transitions indicate the order or sequence of events or ideas. They help you present your thoughts in a logical and organized manner. Examples: 

  • Subsequently
  • In the meantime
  • Simultaneously

Comparative Transitions

Comparative transitions highlight similarities or comparisons between ideas. They help you draw connections and illustrate relationships. Here are some transition words for essays examples: 

  • In the same way
  • Compared to
  • In comparison
  • Correspondingly
  • By the same token
  • Equally important
  • Analogous to

Getting started on your essay? Check out this insightful read on essay writing to make sure you ace it!

List of Good Transition Words for Essays

As mentioned above, there are different categories of transitions that serve a unique purpose. Understanding these different types will help you pick the most suitable word or phrase to communicate your message.

Here we have categorized the best transition words for essays so you can use them appropriately!

Transition Words for Argumentative Essays

In argumentative essays , the effective use of transition words is essential for presenting a well-structured and coherent argument. 

Transition Words for Compare and Contrast Essays

In compare and contrast essays , transition words play a crucial role in highlighting the similarities and differences between the subjects being compared. 

Here are a few transition words that are particularly useful in compare and contrast essays:

Transition Words for Cause and Effect Essays

In cause and effect essays , transition words help illustrate the relationships between causes and their corresponding effects. 

Here are a few transition words that are particularly useful in cause-and-effect essays:

Transition Words for Different Parts of Essays

Transition words are valuable tools that can be used throughout different parts of an essay to create a smooth and coherent flow. By understanding the appropriate transition words for each section, you can logically connect your ideas. 

Introduction Transition Words for Essays

Introductions are one of the most impactful parts of the essay. It's important that it connects logically with the rest of the essay. To do this, you can utilize different transition words for essays to start. Here are some starting transition words for essays:

Transition Words for Essays Body Paragraph

In an essay, body paragraphs play a crucial role in presenting and developing your ideas. To ensure a logical flow within each body paragraph, the strategic use of transition words is essential.

Here are lists of transitions for essays for different body paragraphs:

Transition Words for Essays for First Body Paragraph

Here is a list of transition words that you can use for the first body paragraph of an essay:

Transition Words for Essays Second Body Paragraph

Here is a list of transition words for the second body paragraph of an essay:

Transition Words for Essays Third Body Paragraph

Transition words for essays last body paragraph, transition words for essays conclusion .

Here is a list of ending transition words for essays:

Do’s and Don’ts of Using Essay Transitions

When it comes to using transitions in your essay, there are certain do's and don'ts that can help you effectively enhance the flow of your writing. Here are some key guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Add transitions only when introducing new ideas.
  • Go through the paper to make sure they make sense.
  • Start by creating an outline, so you know what ideas to share and how.
  • Use different transitions for each idea.
  • Don’t overuse them.
  • Don’t keep adding transitions in the same paragraph.
  • Don’t completely rely on transitions to signal relationships.
  • Don’t incorporate it into your content without understanding its usage.

By now, you have probably understood how transition words can save you from disjointed and directionless paragraphs. They are the missing piece that indicates how ideas are related to one another. You can also generate more essays with our AI powered essay writer to learn the art of transitioning smoothly from one paragraph to another. 

If you are still unable to distinguish transitions to open or conclude your essays, don’t be upset - these things require time and practice.

If you are looking for the perfect essay-writing service, get in touch with the expert writers at 5StarEssays.com. We will include the right transitions according to the type of paper, ensuring a coherent flow of ideas.

Just say ‘ write my essay ’ now and let our essay writer create quality content at the most pocket-friendly rates available.

Nova A.

As a Digital Content Strategist, Nova Allison has eight years of experience in writing both technical and scientific content. With a focus on developing online content plans that engage audiences, Nova strives to write pieces that are not only informative but captivating as well.

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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 MyPerfectWords.com.

If you have some write-up, our essay writing service will make it flow without changing the entire content. Or, if you wish to have 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 A.

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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Transition words for essays

Transition words for essays

The right transition words can transform a mediocre essay into a great paper. In this post, we discuss why effective transitions can substantially improve the quality and readability of your essay and provide examples of commonly used transition words.

What are transitions?

Transitions are the places in your paper where you move on to a new idea or paragraph. They may also be points at which you want to add to, expand upon, or conclude a previous statement.

The best transitions are signaled clearly by keywords and phrases that let the reader know that you’re moving on. Transition words typically occur at the beginning of a sentence.

How do transition words improve your essay?

Quality transitions are often the difference between a decent essay and a strong one. Transition words give clear signals to the reader that you are moving on to a new idea and this enables them to more easily follow your argument.

When a reader can efficiently follow the main threads of your paper, then they are more likely to be persuaded by your argument, which is the point of papers like argumentative essays .

Types of transition words

The transition words that you use in your paper will naturally depend on what kind of transition you’re making. In this section, we break down the main types of transitions that you might use in your essay and provide examples of common transition words.

Adding a point

There may be multiple times throughout a paper where you want to add to a point that you made or that came from one of your sources. To signal this, you might use one of the following phrases:

  • additionally
  • furthermore
  • in addition

Elaborating on a point

At other times, you may need to expand, or elaborate upon, a previously stated idea. In that case, you may utilize one of these keywords:

  • by extension
  • in other words
  • put differently

Introducing examples

Sometimes you may want to introduce an example that illustrates a previous point. To introduce examples, you can use one of the following phrases:

  • for example
  • for instance
  • specifically
  • to take a case in point

Indicating comparisons and contrasts

Some types of essays, like position papers, require you to introduce contrasting points of view. In order to transition from one perspective to another, you may want to use a transition word or phrase that signals a comparison or contrast:

Comparison :

  • along the same lines
  • in the same way
  • in the same vein
  • by contrast
  • even though
  • in contrast
  • nevertheless
  • nonetheless
  • on the contrary
  • on the other hand

Showing cause and effect

If you’re building an argument and you want to indicate that one point is dependent on another, you might want to employ one of these phrases to signal that transition:

  • accordingly
  • as a result
  • consequently

When you are ready to conclude a point or prepare your reader for your paper’s conclusion, it’s important to signal that you’re at that stage. Consider using one of these transition words to do so:

  • in conclusion
  • to summarize

If you are transitioning between your own words and borrowed material from secondary sources, be sure to properly cite any ideas that aren’t your own. You can use the BibGuru citation generator to create instant, accurate citations for a range of source types, including books , articles , and websites .

Frequently Asked Questions about transition words for essays

Commonly used transition words include: additionally, although, as a result, for example, for instance, however, moreover, therefore, thus, and ultimately.

To link two points together, or to add to a previous point, you might use transition words like:

The most popular types of transitions are those that introduce examples or that add to, elaborate upon, compare or contrast, or conclude a previous point.

To signal a transition in an essay, use a transition word or phrase. Choose a phrase based on the kind of transition that you’re making.

Transition words give clear signals to the reader that you are moving on to a new idea and or that you want to add to, expand, or conclude a previous point. Transition words can also be used to introduce examples and to indicate a comparison or contrast.

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Transition Words and Phrases

Transitions are connecting words or phrases that strengthen the internal cohesion of your writing. Transition words tell the reader how one idea relates to another. Using them appropriately makes your argument more convincing because the reader is able to understand the flow between and within paragraphs, including the relationship between different ideas, evidence, and analysis. 

Types of Transition Words and Phrases

  • additionally
  • coupled with
  • furthermore
  • equally important
  • in addition

Cause and Effect

  • accordingly
  • as consequence
  • as a result
  • at that time
  • concurrently
  • consequently
  • followed by
  • for this purpose
  • for this reason
  • subsequently
  • comparatively
  • correspondingly
  • in the same way
  • on the one han
  • together with

Contrast/Exception/Concession

  • a different view is
  • alternatively
  • despite/in spite of (+ noun)
  • differing from
  • even though
  • in contrast
  • it could also be said that
  • nevertheless
  • notwithstanding (+ noun)
  • nonetheless
  • on the contrary
  • on (the) one hand
  • on the other hand
  • regardless of (+ noun)
  • in particular
  • particularly

Example/Illustration

  • as an example
  • as an illustration
  • for example
  • for instance
  • illustrated by
  • in the/this case
  • on this occasion
  • specifically
  • to demonstrate
  • to illustrate
  • all things considered
  • at the same time
  • in other words
  • on the whole
  • that is to say
  • to put it differently
  • first, second, third, etc.

Summary/Conclusion

  • by and large
  • in any case
  • in any event
  • in conclusion
  • to conclude
  • to summarize
  • at that/this point
  • at that/this time
  • immediately
  • in the future
  • in the meantime
  • in the past
  • simultaneously

Sample Transition Words

While (1) qualitative data is helpful in gauging graduate student responses to Boot Camp, it is also crucial that we undertake data-driven analysis to support the value of the four-day writing event.   Currently (2),   quantitative measures of satisfaction of Dissertation Boot Camp participants are tracked in two ways: through a formal survey posted through SurveyMonkey and an informal survey that is handwritten at the end of the Camp.   In fact (3),   to ensure reliable data for analysis, the SurveyMonkey questionnaire is filled out by students at three different times: before Camp, on the first day of Camp, and 30 days after Camp. The decision to send the survey at three different times was made in order to ensure that attitudes prior to Camp matched attitudes on the first day, and to then compare that to results after Camp.   However (4) the current survey questions are somewhat informal, and none have been psychometrically tested. In order to improve the reliability and usefulness of the collected data, we will need to revise some of our Likert-scale based questions using currently-available test questions from other indices.   Ultimately (5) , this combination of quantitative and qualitative data will help us to make decisions about the program as it is offered in subsequent semesters.

(1) Comparison

(3) Emphasis

(4) Contrast/Exception/Concession

(5) Summary/Conclusion

Complete List of Transition Words

100 Words and Phrases to Use Between Paragraphs

Viorika Prikhodko / E+ / Getty Images

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

Once you have completed the first draft of your paper, you will need to rewrite some of the introductory sentences at the beginning and the transition statements at the end of every paragraph . Transitions, which connect one idea to the next, may seem challenging at first, but they get easier once you consider the many possible methods for linking paragraphs together—even if they seem to be unrelated.

Transition words and phrases can help your paper move along, smoothly gliding from one topic to the next. If you have trouble thinking of a way to connect your paragraphs, consider a few of these 100 top transitions as inspiration. The type of transition words or phrases you use depends on the category of transition you need, as explained below.

Additive Transitions

Probably the most common type, additive transitions are those you use when you want to show that the current point is an addition to the previous one, notes  Edusson , a website that provides students with essay-writing tips and advice . Put another way, additive transitions signal to the reader that you are adding to an idea and/or your ideas are similar, says  Quizlet , an online teacher and student learning community. Some examples of additive transition words and phrases were compiled by Michigan State University  writing lab. Follow each transition word or phrase with a comma:

  • In the first place
  • Furthermore
  • Alternatively
  • As well (as this)
  • What is more
  • In addition (to this)
  • On the other hand
  • Either (neither)
  • As a matter of fact
  • Besides (this)
  • To say nothing of
  • Additionally
  • Not to mention (this)
  • Not only (this) but also (that) as well
  • In all honesty
  • To tell the truth

An example of additive transitions used in a sentence would be:

" In the first place , no 'burning' in the sense of combustion, as in the burning of wood, occurs in a volcano;  moreover , volcanoes are not necessarily mountains;  furthermore , the activity takes place not always at the summit but more commonly on the sides or flanks..." – Fred Bullard, "Volcanoes in History, in Theory, in Eruption"

In this and the examples of transitions in subsequent sections, the transition words or phrases are printed in italics to make them easier to find as you peruse the passages.

Adversative Transitions

Adversative transitions are used to signal conflict, contradiction, concession, and dismissal, says Michigan State University. Examples include:

  • In contrast
  • But even so
  • Nevertheless
  • Nonetheless
  • (And) still
  • In either case
  • (Or) at least
  • Whichever happens
  • Whatever happens
  • In either event

An example of an adversative transition phrase used in a sentence would be:

" On the other hand, professor Smith completely disagreed with the author's argument."

Causal Transitions

Causal transitions—also called cause-and-effect transitions—show how certain circumstances or events were caused by other factors, says Academic Help . The website that offers assistance with academic writing adds: "They [causal transitions] make it easier for the reader to follow the logic of the arguments and clauses represented in paper." Examples include:

  • Accordingly
  • As a result
  • Consequently
  • For this reason
  • Granting (that)
  • On the condition (that)
  • In the event that
  • As a result (of this)
  • Because (of this)
  • As a consequence
  • In consequence
  • So much (so) that
  • For the purpose of
  • With this intention
  • With this in mind
  • Under those circumstances
  • That being the case

An example of a causal transition used in a sentence would be:

"The study of human chromosomes is in its infancy,  and so  it has only recently become possible to study the effect of environmental factors upon them." –Rachel Carson, "Silent Spring"

Sequential Transitions

Sequential transitions express a numerical sequence, continuation, conclusion , digression , resumption, or summation, says Michigan State, which gives these examples:

  • In the (first, second, third, etc.) place
  • To begin with
  • To start with
  • Subsequently
  • To conclude with
  • As a final point
  • Last but not least
  • To change the topic
  • Incidentally
  • To get back to the point
  • As was previously stated

An example of a sequential transition would be:

"We should teach that words are not the things to which they refer. We should teach that words are best understood as convenient tools for handling reality... Finally , we should teach widely that new words can and should be invented if the need arises." –Karol Janicki, "Language Misconceived"

In sum , use transition words and phrases judiciously to keep your paper moving, hold your readers' attention, and retain your audience until the final word.

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ESLBUZZ

Mastering English Writing: Essential Transitional Words for Body Paragraphs

By: Author ESLBUZZ

Posted on Last updated: March 25, 2024

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In this article, we will cover a wide range of transitional words and phrases that you can use in your writing. We will provide you with examples of how to use them and explain their meanings. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced writer, this article will help you to improve your writing skills and take your writing to the next level. So, let’s get started and explore the world of transitional words!

Transitional Words for Body Paragraphs

Mastering English Writing: Essential Transitional Words for Body Paragraphs

Understanding Transitional Words

The importance of transitional words.

Transitional words play a vital role in making a text coherent and understandable for the reader. They help to connect different sentences and ideas within a paragraph, making it easier for the reader to follow the writer’s thought process. Without transitional words, the text can become disjointed, confusing, and difficult to comprehend.

Types of Transitional Words

There are different types of transitional words, and each type serves a specific function. Here are some of the most common types of transitional words:

Addition Words

Addition words are used to add more information to an existing idea. Some examples of addition words are:

Example: John likes to play football. Furthermore, he enjoys watching it on TV.

Contrast Words

Contrast words are used to show a difference or contrast between two ideas. Some examples of contrast words are:

Example: Sarah wanted to go to the beach; however, it was raining heavily.

Cause and Effect Words

Cause and effect words are used to show the relationship between two events or ideas. Some examples of cause and effect words are:

Example: Tom didn’t study for the exam; consequently, he failed.

How to Use Transitional Words Effectively

To use transitional words effectively, it is essential to understand their meaning and how they function within a sentence. Here are some tips for using transitional words effectively:

  • Use transitional words sparingly to avoid overusing them.
  • Choose transitional words that fit the context and meaning of the sentence.
  • Use transitional words to connect ideas within a paragraph, not just between paragraphs.
  • Use transitional words to create a smooth and logical flow of ideas for the reader.

Using Transitional Words in Body Paragraphs

First paragraph.

The first paragraph of a body paragraph should introduce the main idea or argument. Transitional words can be used to connect the introduction to the body paragraph. For example, words like “firstly,” “initially,” or “to begin with” can be used to introduce the first argument.

Here is a table of transitional words that can be used to introduce arguments:

Second Paragraph

In the second paragraph, transitional words can be used to connect the first and second arguments. Words like “secondly,” “in addition,” or “furthermore” can be used to introduce the second argument.

Here is a table of transitional words that can be used to introduce the second argument:

Third Paragraph

In the third paragraph, transitional words can be used to connect the second and third arguments. Words like “thirdly,” “moreover,” or “additionally” can be used to introduce the third argument.

Here is a table of transitional words that can be used to introduce the third argument:

In conclusion, transitional words are essential in writing body paragraphs. They help to connect ideas and arguments, making the text more coherent and easy to read. Using transitional words also helps the reader to understand the purpose and order of the arguments.

Here is a table of transitional words that can be used to conclude an argument:

For example, “In conclusion, transitional words are essential in writing body paragraphs. Therefore, it is important to use them to connect ideas and arguments. Thus, the reader can understand the purpose and order of the arguments. As a result, the text becomes more coherent and easy to read.”

Common Transitional Words and Phrases

Transitional words and phrases are essential for making your writing coherent and easy to read. They help you connect your ideas and guide your readers through your text. In this section, we will cover some of the most common transitional words and phrases that you can use in your body paragraphs.

Adding Information

When you want to add information to your text, you can use the following transitional words and phrases:

Example: Not only did she finish her project on time, but she also got an A+.

Contrasting Ideas

When you want to contrast two ideas, you can use the following transitional words and phrases:

Example: He is a great athlete. However, he is not good at math.

Showing Cause and Effect

When you want to show the relationship between two ideas, you can use the following transitional words and phrases:

Example: She forgot her keys. Therefore, she couldn’t enter her house.

Providing Examples

When you want to provide examples to support your ideas, you can use the following transitional words and phrases:

Example: There are many sports that you can practice, such as soccer, basketball, and tennis.

Summarizing

When you want to summarize your ideas, you can use the following transitional words and phrases:

Example: In conclusion, learning a new language can be challenging, but it’s also very rewarding.

Transitional words and phrases are essential for making your writing clear and easy to read. By using them, you can guide your readers through your text and connect your ideas. Remember to use them appropriately and sparingly, as overusing them can make your writing sound unnatural.

Transitional Words to Show Time and Order

Showing sequence.

When writing about a series of events, it is important to use transitional words that show the sequence. Here are some examples:

Example: First, we went to the park. Second, we had a picnic. Third, we played frisbee. Next, we went for a walk. Then, we watched the sunset. Finally, we went home.

Showing Time

Transitional words that show time are useful for indicating when events occurred. Here are some examples:

Example: After we finished dinner, we watched a movie. While we were watching the movie, it started to rain. Next, we decided to play a board game. Then, we made popcorn. Now, we are ready to start the game. Afterward, we will go to bed.

Transitional Words for Emphasis and Addition

Emphasis words.

Emphasis words are used to highlight important points and ideas in your writing. They help to draw the reader’s attention to the most significant aspects of your argument. Some of the most commonly used emphasis words include:

Example: Indeed, the results of the study clearly demonstrate the need for further research in this area.

Addition words are used to provide additional information and support to your argument. They help to create a cohesive flow between sentences and paragraphs. Some of the most commonly used addition words include:

Example: Furthermore, the study also found that there was a significant correlation between the use of social media and increased levels of anxiety among young people.

Transitional Words for Contrast and Comparison

Contrast words are used to show differences between two or more things. Here are some examples of contrast words and phrases:

Here are some example sentences using contrast words:

  • I love pizza. However , my sister hates it.
  • We had a great time at the beach. On the contrary , our trip to the mountains was a disaster .
  • Although it was raining, we still went for a walk.
  • I’m not a big fan of horror movies. Nevertheless , I decided to watch one last night.

Comparison words are used to show similarities between two or more things. Here are some examples of comparison words and phrases:

Here are some example sentences using comparison words:

  • My sister and I both love chocolate. Similarly , we both hate olives.
  • My best friend and I both love hiking. Likewise , we both enjoy camping.
  • In the same way that I love reading books, my dad loves watching movies.

In conclusion, using transitional words and phrases can greatly improve the flow and coherence of your writing. By using contrast and comparison words, you can guide your reader through your ideas and help them understand the similarities and differences between different points.

Transitional Words for Cause and Effect

Cause and effect.

Cause and effect are two concepts that are closely related. A cause is an event or action that leads to a particular outcome, while an effect is the outcome itself. When writing about cause and effect, it is important to establish a clear relationship between the two. Transitional words can help to achieve this.

Transitional Words for Cause

Transitional words for cause help to establish the relationship between an event or action and its outcome. Some of the most common transitional words for cause include:

Example sentences:

  • Because of the heavy rain, the match was cancelled.
  • Since he left the company, sales have dropped significantly.
  • As a result of the strike, the company lost a lot of money.
  • The delay was due to a technical problem with the equipment.
  • The cancellation was owing to a lack of interest from the public.

Transitional Words for Effect

Transitional words for effect help to establish the relationship between an outcome and its cause. Some of the most common transitional words for effect include:

  • The heavy rain caused flooding in the area. Consequently , many homes were damaged.
  • The company has been losing money for months. Therefore , it has decided to lay off some employees.
  • The new policy has been implemented successfully. Thus , productivity has increased.
  • The strike caused a lot of disruption. As a result , many customers took their business elsewhere.
  • The company has been struggling financially. Hence , it has decided to restructure its operations.

Using Transitional Words for Summary and Conclusion

When writing body paragraphs, it is important to use transitional words to connect ideas and create a cohesive flow of information. This is especially important when it comes to writing a summary or conclusion, as these sections serve as a final wrap-up of your ideas. In this section, we will explore some of the most useful transitional words and phrases to use when summarizing or concluding your writing.

A summary is a brief overview of the main points discussed in your writing. It is important to use transitional words to signal to the reader that you are summarizing your ideas. Here are some examples of transitional words and phrases to use when summarizing:

  • In summary, we can see that the main causes of climate change are human activities such as burning fossil fuels and deforestation.
  • Overall, it is clear that technology has had a significant impact on our daily lives.
  • To sum up, the key takeaway from this discussion is that communication is essential for building strong relationships.
  • All in all, we have seen that there are many benefits to regular exercise, including improved physical and mental health.

A conclusion is the final section of your writing, where you bring together all of your ideas and provide a final thought or recommendation. It is important to use transitional words to signal to the reader that you are concluding your writing. Here are some examples of transitional words and phrases to use when concluding:

  • In conclusion, it is clear that education is the key to reducing poverty and improving quality of life.
  • To summarize, we have seen that there are many benefits to studying abroad, including increased cultural awareness and language proficiency.
  • Ultimately, the success of any business depends on the quality of its products and services.
  • In brief, it is important to remember that honesty and integrity are essential for building trust and credibility.

By using these transitional words and phrases, you can create a smooth and effective summary or conclusion that leaves a lasting impression on your reader.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some effective transition words to begin a new paragraph?

To begin a new paragraph, we find that words like “Firstly,” “Additionally,” and “Conversely” are instrumental. They cue the reader to a shift in focus or a continuation of thought.

How can I smoothly transition between paragraphs within an essay?

We prefer to use transitional phrases like “In the same vein,” or “Building upon this idea,” to provide a seamless flow between paragraphs.

Could you provide examples of sentences that serve as good transitions?

A good transition might be, “Given these points, it is clear that…” or “Despite the previous arguments, it is important to consider…”. These guide readers through our thought process.

What is the role of transitional devices within paragraph structure?

Transitional devices act as bridges between our ideas, ensuring that each point naturally follows the last, making our writing easy to follow and understand.

How can I best introduce the first body paragraph in an essay?

Our team often starts the first body paragraph with transitions like “To begin with,” “Initially,” or “To lay the foundation,” to effectively introduce the main idea of the essay.

Can you suggest transition words that would fit well in the conclusion of a body paragraph?

To wrap up a body paragraph, we might employ transitions such as “In conclusion,” “To sum up,” or “Ultimately,” helping us signal closure on a particular point before moving forward.

Transitional words help to connect ideas within and between paragraphs. Some examples of transitional words for body paragraphs include \"furthermore,\" \"in addition,\" \"however,\" \"on the other hand,\" \"similarly,\" and \"finally.\"

"}},{"@type":"Question","name":"How can transitional words improve the flow of my essay?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"

Transitional words help to create a logical flow between ideas and paragraphs, making it easier for the reader to follow your argument. They also help to signal the relationships between ideas, such as adding information, contrasting ideas, or summarizing key points.

"}},{"@type":"Question","name":"What are some common transition words used in academic writing?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"

Academic writing often requires the use of transitional words to create a clear and coherent argument. Some common transition words used in academic writing include \"therefore,\" \"consequently,\" \"in conclusion,\" \"moreover,\" \"nevertheless,\" and \"in contrast.\"

"}},{"@type":"Question","name":"How do I choose the right transitional word for my essay?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"

When choosing a transitional word, consider the relationship between the ideas you are connecting. Is it a contrast, a comparison, a cause and effect relationship, or a summary of key points? Use a transitional word that accurately reflects the relationship between the ideas.

"}},{"@type":"Question","name":"What is the purpose of using transitional words in writing?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"

The purpose of using transitional words is to create a smooth and logical flow between ideas and paragraphs, helping the reader to follow your argument and understand the relationships between different ideas.

"}},{"@type":"Question","name":"Can you provide a list of transitional words for different types of essays?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"

Yes, here is a list of transitional words for different types of essays:

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How Long Is an Essay? A Guide to Understanding Essay Length

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So, “How long is an essay?” Well, that’s a question for many. The length of an essay depends on various factors, such as the student’s degree, essay topic, and type. Essays assigned to school students are quite short compared to any college essay. However, there is a thin line that should be maintained while writing an essay.

Well, this is an actual area of concern, which is why students get essay help , just like they get research paper help , custom dissertation writing , and help with other assignments. Read the full blog to learn how long an essay should be and everything related to it.

How Long is Each Part of an Essay?

Every college essay length has a basic structure that it needs to fit in. Here is what it typically involves:

  • Introduction: Your essay’s start should create the scene, pique the reader’s interest, and supply pertinent background information. Your thesis statement, which sums up the primary contention or goal of your essay, ought to be included as well. Generally speaking, an essay’s introduction can also have transition words to keep it interesting and introduce all the plots.
  • Paragraphs: The body paragraphs introduce and develop the major elements of your argument. One paragraph should talk about your topic; the other should concentrate on a specific instance or relationship. Examples, data, or analysis should back this up. An essay may have two or three body paragraphs, with a new paragraph having a connection with the previous statement. Don’t forget to introduce the major theme of each paragraph with a topic sentence.
  • Conclusion: Finally, the conclusion wraps up your essay by summarizing the main points and restating the thesis in different words. It should also provide closure and leave the reader with a final thought or reflection. Like the introduction, the conclusion in a word essay might be around 1 or 1 and half pages.

It’s essential to remember that these are general guidelines, and the exact lengths of each part may vary depending on the specific requirements of your assignment and the complexity of your topic. Moving ahead, we explain other important details that should be considered to determine essay length.

Is Essay Length Important?

Every essay comes with certain requirements. Transition sentences, data, and insights on the topic can be some of the causes. Here are some things to keep in mind that determine essay length:

  • Meeting Requirements: In academic settings, essays often have specific length requirements set by instructors or guidelines. Respecting these guidelines is essential to proving that you can follow directions and offer a thorough enough analysis in the given space.
  • Depth of Analysis: Longer essays typically permit a deeper examination and investigation of concepts. They provide you greater space to formulate claims, back them up with facts, and carefully weigh the arguments put forth by others. Nonetheless, the capacity to present a thorough argument in a shorter amount of time indicates concision and strong communication abilities.
  • Interaction of the Reader: Shorter essays may occasionally be more interesting to readers, particularly if they are clear and simple. Essays that are too long run the danger of boring the reader if they get too wordy or repetitive.
  • Topic Complexity: The complexity of the topic may also influence the appropriate length of the essay. More complex topics often require more space to address all aspects and nuances adequately.
  • Purpose of the Essay: Consider the purpose of the essay. Is it meant to provide a comprehensive analysis, persuade the reader of a specific viewpoint, or simply inform? The intended purpose can help determine the appropriate length.
  • Quality over Quantity: Ultimately, the quality of the content is more important than the length of the essay. A well-written, concise essay that effectively communicates its arguments and engages the reader will generally be more successful than a longer essay that is unfocused or poorly organized.

How Long Should an Introduction Be?

The first sentence of your essay writing marks your introduction. This very first paragraph needs to tickmark certain details to create a strong impression. Here are some writing ideas for you: 

1) Hook or Attention Grabber

Start with a vivid image or description of your topic. Start your essay with a captivating scene or description that pulls the reader in and highlights your theme. Here are some ways to do it:

  • Ask a Thought-Provoking Question: Use transition sentences to ask questions and break the monotony of statements. Make sure your query grabs the reader’s attention and compels them to continue reading in order to find out the solution.
  • Give a Fascinating Fact or Figure : Provide a fact or statistic about your central theme that is exciting or surprising to draw the reader in and pique their curiosity.
  • Use a Relevant Quote: In the beginning include a pertinent quotation that strikes a chord with your readers and establishes the tone for your essay. It can come from a famous person or other source.
  • Give a Quick Anecdote: Give a brief, gripping story or anecdote that effectively conveys the main idea or point of your essay.
  • Create Contrast or Conflict: Draw attention to a conflict or contrast relevant to your subject. Use real-life examples or events to build the hype.

2) Background Data

Background information must be presented concisely and pertinently. It entails giving pertinent background information or historical context to set the stage for the main subject. This material should be thorough but compact. It provides essential data without tiring out the reader. Explain an overview of pertinent events, facts, or ideas. The author lays the groundwork for comprehension of the debate that follows.

It is essential to prioritize the background knowledge that is most relevant to the topic at hand. This guarantees that readers understand the wider context without detracting from the story’s primary focus. This promotes a deeper understanding of the subject.

3) Thesis Statement

A thesis statement needs to be clear and precise in order to be written. It should provide the reader with a clear direction by briefly summarizing the essay’s key argument or central premise. A strong thesis statement directs the development of ideas and supporting details across the entire work, acting as its cornerstone.

The thesis statement ought to be precise, arguable, and pertinent to the subject at hand to encourage more research and conversation. It enticingly draws the reader in by briefly outlining the author’s position or point of view and highlighting the importance and goal of the essay.

How Long is a Body Paragraph in an Essay?

The length of a body paragraph in an essay can vary depending on factors. This depends on topic analysis, transition words and phrases used, research done, and more. Here’s a breakdown:

1) Topic Sentence

A topic sentence must be coherent and clear. It should lay out the major points of the new paragraph and serve as a guide for the debate that follows. The topic sentence directs the reader’s comprehension and expectations by briefly stating the main idea and goal of the paragraph.

It should be brief yet thorough, summarizing the main points of the next conversation without going into too much detail. A strong topic sentence ensures relevancy throughout the paragraph by acting as a foundation upon which it is constructed. In the end, it serves as a lighthouse, drawing the reader’s attention to the main idea or contention.

2) Analyses or Supporting Data

Selectivity and conciseness are required when incorporating supporting data or analysis. This entails supporting the major point or assertion with pertinent data, examples, or professional opinions. By offering hard data or perceptive commentary, the author enhances the legitimacy and persuasiveness of their claims. Every piece of supporting information should be carefully picked to support the main idea and add coherence to the story.

A careful examination of the example also shows critical thinking abilities and deepens knowledge. Supporting evidence and analysis add depth and substance to the writer’s claims. This enhances the conversation through careful selection and interpretation.

3) Justification or Analysis

Commentary or explanation must be concise and understandable. It entails offering insights, interpretations, or context to improve comprehension of the main argument or supporting evidence. Through concise explanations or commentary, the writer clarifies complex concepts, offers alternative perspectives, or highlights implications.

This commentary may include connections to broader themes, historical context, or real-world applications, enriching the reader’s comprehension and appreciation of the topic. By offering thoughtful analysis or commentary, the writer demonstrates depth of understanding and critical thinking skills. This invites readers to engage more deeply with the subject matter and foster a richer discourse.

4) Transition Sentences

A transition sentence necessitates fluidity and coherence between ideas or paragraphs. Transition words smoothly guide the reader from one point to the next. A good transition sentence helps to maintain the logical progression of the narrative. Effective transition sentences can take various forms, such as words, phrases, or sentences that signal shifts in focus, introduce new topics, or reinforce connections between concepts.

Transition sentences seamlessly link ideas to ensure continuity of thought and prevent abrupt jumps in the narrative. They enhance the flow of the writing, allowing readers to follow the progression of thought effortlessly and facilitating a more cohesive and enjoyable reading experience.

How Many Body Paragraphs Should Be in an Essay?

Wondering, “How many paragraphs should be in the body?” The number of body paragraphs in an essay can vary depending on factors such as the complexity of the topic, the depth of analysis required, and the specific requirements of the assignment.

Here’s a general guideline:

  • Two Body Paragraphs: You might choose to have two body paragraphs, each around 100-150 words. This allows for a concise discussion of two main points or arguments related to your thesis statement.
  • Three Body Paragraphs: Another option is to have three body paragraphs, each around 80-100 words. This allows for a slightly more detailed discussion, with each paragraph focusing on a specific aspect or sub-argument related to your thesis.

How Long Should a Conclusion Be?

Irrespective of the word count of the essay, the conclusion should typically be concise while effectively summarizing the main points and providing closure to the essay. Here’s a guideline for the length of a conclusion:

1) Summary of Main Points

In summarizing the main points, the focus lies on distilling key information concisely. This involves condensing the essence of the topic and emphasizing essential details while omitting superfluous information. This task sharpens critical thinking and synthesis skills, enabling effective communication in various contexts.

A well-crafted summary encapsulates the core ideas, offering a clear understanding without overwhelming the reader with unnecessary details. Mastery of this skill proves valuable in academic, professional, and personal spheres. This facilitates efficient comprehension and communication. Ultimately, summarizing the main points in a brief paragraph enhances one’s ability to distil complex information effectively.

2) Restate the Thesis Statement

Restating a thesis statement succinctly involves reaffirming the central argument while avoiding redundancy. The goal is to encapsulate the main idea and its significance within a concise paragraph. This restatement should mirror the original thesis’s essence while offering a fresh perspective or emphasizing its relevance.

The restated thesis reinforces the overarching message of the essay or paper by summarizing the core argument clearly and impactfully. It ensures consistency and supports the writer’s perspective by reminding the reader of the work’s main focus and purpose. Therefore, restating the thesis statement briefly and effectively captures the major points of the argument.

3) Last Words

A closing idea or contemplation helps to bring the story to a rich and meaningful close. It provides a chance to summarize important discoveries or provide a unique viewpoint on the subject at hand. The main ideas or takeaways from the conversation should be summarized in this reflective statement. This also encourages readers to think more deeply or analyze the consequences. A concluding idea gives the story a conclusion and ensures that the listener is left with a lasting impression.

Whether it’s a thought-provoking question, a call to action, or a poignant observation, this concluding reflection ensures that the significance of the discussion resonates beyond the written text. This leads to deeper engagement and contemplation.

4) Conclusion Sentence

Crafting a concluding sentence requires precision and clarity. It should encapsulate the main points discussed, reiterate the thesis statement, and offer a sense of closure. By succinctly summarizing the key arguments and insights presented, the conclusion sentence reinforces the significance of the topic.

You can even use transition sentences here. This sentence can also hint at potential implications or future avenues for exploration, leaving the reader with a lasting impression. Ultimately, a well-crafted conclusion sentence solidifies the central message of the text and leaves the reader with a sense of fulfilment and understanding.

Hopefully, this blog gave you an idea of how long your next essay should be. If you are still facing any issues, make sure you connect with our experts. We offer excellent essays within the word count, along with other services like homework help, research proposal writing service , and more.

Lachlan Nguyen

Lachlan Nguyen

Hi, my name is Lachlan Nguyen. I have been an English writing expert for myassignmenthelp.com for the past seven years. I have loved English and Literature all my life. That’s the reason I pursued a PhD in English and made a career in the same. I’ve written a couple of blogs on English writing for some of the most prominent academic websites. You can find some of my write-ups published on sites like ABC, LMN, and VFX. There’s one more thing that excites me just like English and Literature - Photography. When I am not working, you can probably find me clicking at some breathtaking destination. 

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Joseph I. Lieberman, Senator and Vice-Presidential Nominee, Dies at 82

He served four terms in the Senate from Connecticut and was chosen by Al Gore as his running mate in the 2000 election. He was the first Jewish candidate on a major-party ticket.

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Senator Joe Lieberman, a formally dressed man with white hair, stands with other similarly dressed men in front of an American flag.

By Robert D. McFadden

Joseph I. Lieberman, Connecticut’s four-term United States senator and Vice President Al Gore’s Democratic running mate in the 2000 presidential election, which was won by George W. Bush and Dick Cheney when the Supreme Court halted a Florida ballot recount, died on Wednesday in Manhattan. He was 82.

His family said in a statement that the cause was complications of a fall. His brother-in-law Ary Freilich said that Mr. Lieberman’s fall occurred at his home in the Riverdale section of the Bronx and that he died at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in Upper Manhattan.

At his political peak, on the threshold of the vice presidency, Mr. Lieberman — a national voice of morality as the first major Democrat to rebuke President Bill Clinton for his sexual relationship with the White House intern Monica Lewinsky — was named Mr. Gore’s running mate at the Democratic National Convention that August in Los Angeles. He became the nation’s first Jewish candidate on a major-party presidential ticket.

In the ensuing campaign, the Gore-Lieberman team stressed themes of integrity to sidestep the Clinton administration’ scandals, and Mr. Lieberman urged Americans to bring religion and faith more prominently into public life.

The ticket won a narrow plurality of the popular votes — a half-million more than the Bush-Cheney Republican ticket. But on the evening of Election Day, no clear winner had emerged in the Electoral College, and an intense legal struggle took center stage.

After weeks of dispute, it came down to the results in Florida, where fewer than 600 votes appeared to separate the opposing candidates. In an unsigned landmark decision on Dec. 12, the United States Supreme Court ruled, 5-4, that different standards of recounting in different counties had violated the equal protection clause of the Constitution and ordered an end to the recounts. The decision effectively awarded Florida’s 25 electoral votes, and the presidency, to Mr. Bush.

“It was a miscarriage of justice on two levels,” Mr. Lieberman said in a 2023 interview for this obituary. “One was that the Florida Supreme Court had already ruled in our favor to continue the recounts, and the other was that it was an extrajudicial political decision made in the crisis of a transition of power, and out of line with precedents of the Supreme Court.”

Mr. Lieberman sought the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination but lost multiple primaries and withdrew from the race in February. He believed his support for the war in Iraq had doomed his candidacy.

Even his standing with Connecticut voters had slipped. Running for a fourth Senate term in 2006, he lost the Democratic primary to an antiwar candidate but won in a stunning upset in the general election as a third-party independent on the “Connecticut for Lieberman” ballot line.

With his presidential hopes in tatters, Mr. Lieberman in 2008 attended the Republican National Convention and endorsed his friend, Senator John McCain of Arizona, for the presidency. Mr. McCain had Senator Lieberman vetted as a possible running mate but ultimately chose Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska and lost the election to Senator Barack Obama.

Mr. Lieberman, a virtual outcast in his own party, had stopped attending Democratic Senate caucuses. But after a humbling meeting with the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid , he was allowed to keep his Homeland Security Committee chairmanship and resumed caucusing with the party.

Approaching Senate retirement, he endorsed no one in the 2012 presidential election, but he supported Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in her presidential run against Donald J. Trump in 2016 and Vice President Joseph R. Biden’s victory over Mr. Trump in 2020.

During his Senate tenure from 1989 to 2013, Mr. Lieberman was an independent who wore no labels easily. He called himself a reform, centrist and moderate Democrat, but he generally sided with the Democrats on domestic issues, like abortion choices and civil rights, and with the Republicans on foreign and defense policies.

He supported Israel and called himself an “observant” Jew but not an Orthodox one because he did not follow strict Orthodox practices. His family kept a kosher home and attended Sabbath services. To avoid conveyances on a Sabbath, he once walked across town to the Capitol to block a Republican filibuster after attending services in Georgetown.

Many Democrats criticized Mr. Lieberman’s support for the war in Iraq, but admirers said his strengths with voters lay in his rectitude, his religious faith and his willingness to compromise.

“He may be a thoroughgoing moderate in his politics, but he is a true conservative in temperament and style,” The New Yorker said in a 2002 profile. “His world is an orderly place where people wait in line, take their turns and generally behave themselves.”

After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Mr. Lieberman led the Senate effort to create a new Department of Homeland Security, a cabinet agency that consolidated 22 federal entities to counter terrorism and coordinate responses to natural disasters. He was named chairman of the new Senate Committee on Homeland Security in 2003.

He also cast the 60th and deciding vote under Senate rules to pass Mr. Obama’s Affordable Care Act in 2010 — the most important package of health care legislation since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965.

“As a Democrat, Joe wasn’t afraid to engage with Senators from across the aisle and worked hard to earn votes from outside his party,” Mr. Bush said in a statement after Mr. Lieberman’s death. “He engaged in serious and thoughtful debate with opposing voices on important issues.”

A Yale-educated lawyer, Mr. Lieberman began his political career in 1970 by unseating Ed Marcus, the Connecticut State Senate’s Democratic majority leader. He credited a young Yale law student on his staff, Bill Clinton, with engineering his crucial primary victory.

After a decade in the State Senate, the last six years of which he was the Democratic majority leader, Mr. Lieberman lost a race for a seat in the House of Representatives in 1980. Two years later, he was elected attorney general of Connecticut, the first to hold the post full-time. In that office, he defended consumer and environmental protections and was re-elected in 1986, but he left the job after winning his first Senate race in 1988.

In the Senate, he supported free trade and unions and led a campaign against sex and violence in video games. The effort generated a video ratings system in the 1990s and national publicity for Mr. Lieberman.

His campaign for a second term in 1994 scored the largest landslide ever in a Connecticut Senate race: He collected 67 percent of the ballots and buried his foe by 350,000 votes. For six years, he was chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council. And in 1998, when Bill Clinton’s affair with Ms. Lewinsky broke, Mr. Lieberman chastised the president publicly.

“It was a very hard thing for me to do because I liked him,” he told Bill Kristol, the neoconservative commentator. “But I really felt what he did was awful.” A remorseful Mr. Clinton later called Mr. Lieberman, saying, “I just want you to know that there’s nothing you said in that speech that I disagree with.”

In 2000, while running for the vice presidency on Mr. Gore’s ticket, Mr. Lieberman simultaneously won a third term in the Senate handily, with 64 percent of the vote, turning back a challenge from the Republican Philip Giordano. But six years later, Mr. Lieberman hit a wall seeking a fourth term. Ned Lamont, a Greenwich businessman and critic of the Iraq war, won 52 percent of the vote in a primary.

Ordinarily, losing a primary is a death knell: Campaign donations dry up, colleagues and the press turn away, and the loser drops out or runs as an independent.

But Mr. Lieberman refused to give up. Many voters saw the race as a referendum on President Bush, whose claims that President Saddam Hussein of Iraq had weapons of mass destruction had been disproved, suggesting that he had taken the nation to war under false pretenses. With wide Republican endorsements, Mr. Lieberman easily defeated Mr. Lamont in the general election for one last Senate term. (Mr. Lamont became Connecticut’s governor in 2019.)

Mr. Lieberman was also instrumental in Mr. Obama’s successful 2010 effort to repeal a 17-year-old “Don’t ask, don’t tell” Armed Forces policy, which had forced gay and lesbian service members to be closeted or face discharges.

On Jan. 2, 2013, Mr. Lieberman gave a parting address in the Senate. “It was a lonely farewell,” The Washington Post said. “As Mr. Lieberman plodded through his speech, thanking everybody from his wife to the Capitol maintenance crews, a few longtime friends trickled in.” They included Senators Susan Collins, John Kerry and John McCain.

“The sparse attendance wasn’t unusual for a farewell speech,” The Post said, “but it was a sad send-off for a man who was very close in 2000 to becoming a major figure in American political history as the first Jew on a major party’s national ticket. He was denied the vice presidency not by the voters but by the Supreme Court.”

Joseph Isadore Lieberman was born in Stamford, Conn., on Feb. 24, 1942, the oldest of three children of Henry and Marcia (Manger) Lieberman. His father owned a liquor store while his mother managed the home.

Joe and his sisters, Rietta and Ellen, grew up in a working-class section of Stamford. He attended Burdick Junior High School and Stamford High School, where he was elected president of his sophomore and senior classes, joined a debating club and was salutatorian of the class of 1960.

At Yale, he majored in political science and economics, joined the N.A.A.C.P. and the Democratic Party and was the editor, chairman and chief editorial writer of The Yale Daily News, writing about defending the civil rights of Black Southerners. He graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in 1964 and received his law degree from Yale in 1967.

While attending Yale in 1963, Mr. Lieberman became part of the first large group of Northern white students to travel south for the cause of civil rights, joining a caravan of more than 65 young people on a 1,300-mile trip from New Haven to Mississippi, where they encouraged Black residents there to register to vote, all while enduring harassment by white segregationists.

The episode became a rich part of his political biography during the 2000 campaign with Mr. Gore, and Mr. Gore referred to it in a statement on Wednesday evening, saying of Mr. Lieberman: “When he was about to travel to the South to join the civil rights movement in the 1960s, he wrote: ‘I am going because there is much work to be done. I am an American. And this is one nation, or it is nothing.’ Those are the words of a champion of civil rights and a true patriot, which is why I shared that quote when I announced Joe as my running mate.”

Mr. Lieberman’s marriage in 1965 to Betty Haas ended in divorce in 1982. That same year, he married Hadassah Freilich Tucker, a daughter of Holocaust survivors. He is survived by his wife; two children from his first marriage, Matthew and Rebecca Lieberman; a daughter from his second marriage, Hana Lowenstein; a stepson from his second marriage, Ethan Tucker; two sisters, Rietta Miller and Ellen Lieberman; and 13 grandchildren.

After leaving the Senate in 2013, Mr. Lieberman moved to Riverdale and joined the Manhattan law firm Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman, which specialized in white-collar defense. Its clients included Mr. Trump during his years as a bankruptcy-troubled casino magnate.

In recent years Mr. Lieberman helped lead the bipartisan political organization No Labels as its founding chairman and recently as its co-chairman.

In 2017, Mr. Trump interviewed Mr. Lieberman for the position of F.B.I. director, to replace the fired James Comey, but Mr. Lieberman withdrew from consideration. He criticized Mr. Trump’s retreat from the Paris climate-change accords and his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. After Mr. Trump lost his 2020 re-election bid, Mr. Lieberman rejected the former president’s false claims that he had won.

In an interview with CNN weeks later, Mr. Lieberman denounced Mr. Trump as a threat to democracy. “Trump lost by seven million votes, and he’s hurting our democracy, and frankly hurting himself with this crazy business,” Mr. Lieberman said. “It’s a terrible thing he’s doing. There is no evidence of fraud.”

Anastasia Marks contributed reporting.

An earlier version of this obituary misstated the surname of one of Mr. Lieberman’s daughters. She is Hana Lowenstein, not Lieberman.

How we handle corrections

Robert D. McFadden is a Times reporter who writes advance obituaries of notable people. More about Robert D. McFadden

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