Two sentences become a sentence, using transitions words or phrases that link sentences and paragraphs together smoothly so that there are no abrupt jumps or breaks between ideas. Here is a list of some common transition word that can be helpful for writer to use the word to link two sentences.
Click on the links below to take you to sample transition words and sample sentences
NOTE: the words that show transition are bold.
Words that ADD information:
Words that ADD informationalsoandanotherbesidefirst, second, third,...furthermorein additionmoreover
- The little girl put on her yellow shirt and brown overalls.
- Chris is on the basketball team this semester at Indiana School for the Deaf. In addition, he is on the soccer team.
- We will be here for one more week so we can finish up our work. Another reason we are staying longer is because we do not want to miss the Deaf Way conference.
- First of all, pour a half-cup of milk in the bowl; second, add two eggs; and third, stir the mixture.
- I admire I. King Jordan because he is the first deaf president of Gallaudet. Besides that, I admire him because he is a great long distance runner. Furthermore, he is a dedicated family man. All in all, there is not much to dislike about the man, except he is too perfect!
- Crystal likes camping in the mountains. Also, Crystal is an experienced hiker.
- Texas School for the Deaf is perfectly located. Moreover, it has a strong academic program. For example, the school has a preschool program where both deaf and hearing children learn together.
Words that show CONCLUSION:
Words that show CONCLUSIONfinallyin conclusionto concludeto sum up
- There were a lot of problems discussed at the meeting. Finally, after a few hours, we were able to prioritize the problems in the order we wanted to solve the problems.
- Many parents and students have been complaining about the program. For example, scores on the end-of-grade tests have gone down from last year; teachers are not very motivated; and everyone is frustrated. To sum up, some improvements in the middle school program need to be made.
- To conclude, I want to wish you all a very happy holiday season.
- There was a malfunction in the smoke machines and lights, the curtains would not open and close properly, and one of the actors was sick with no stand-in. In conclusion, the play was a disaster.
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Words that REPEAT information
Words that REPEAT informationin factin other wordsonce againto put it another wayto repeat
- That area is very dangerous for you to bike in. To repeat, I warn you not to go there.
- Lisa decided not to go to King Islands. In fact she told me, "No, way."
- I feel that our last Student Council meeting did not go well. In other words, it was a fine mess.
- Sally has lost an oar on her boat and she is in big trouble. To put it another way, Sally has to find a different method of rowing or she will sink!
Words that show COMPARISON:
Words that show COMPARISONas ... asin like manneras iflikeby comparisonlikewisein comparisonsimilarly
- At St. Rita School for the Deaf, a private school, there is a dress code that mandates how the students are to dress. The boys must wear a pair of pants and dress shirts. Similarly, the strict dress code requires plaid skirts and blouses for the girls.
- Like her grandmother, Sally loves the Gallaudet Homecoming football game.
- The news reported that Montana would be very cold this week. I said, "Likewise, Rochester will be, too."
- Ronda bought a new Saturn car; so in like manner the rest of her friends did the same thing.
- By comparison, Greensboro, N.C. is much smaller than Washington, D.C. is.
- The cat acts as if he is the boss of the house.
- The cat is as proud as a king.
- Bob loves to go to parties. In comparison, Sue loves to stay at home with her family.
- Compared to seven years ago when the printer worked well, it has been "ill" a great deal of the time in recent weeks.
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Words that show CONTRASTS or DIFFERENCES:
Words that show CONTRASTS or DIFFERENCESalthoughbuthoweverin contrastin spite ofneverthelessnonethelessrather thanthoughunlikeyet
- I am not able to go to the beach with you. Nevertheless, thanks for asking me.
- Karen's cat, Salem is so unlike Midnight. Midnight likes to nap a lot and Salem likes to play a lot.
- The idea of attending the play at Gallaudet is nice. However, the Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research conference is scheduled at the same time.
- He prefers to attend the play rather than attending the conference.
- Though I eat green beans because they are healthy, I hate them.
- Although Steven was extremely tired, he washed the dishes.
- The play was great, nonetheless, I was sick of seeing it after the fourth time.
- Amber, Sharon, and Megan went to Busch Gardens for the day. In spite of the cold weather, they enjoyed themselves.
- Sharon and Megan enjoyed the Loch Ness Monster ride, but Amber thought that Alpengist was faster and had more twists.
- Sharon has not visited the Land of the Dragons, yet if she had had a kid, she would have gone by now.
- Alexander Graham Bell believed in oral education for deaf children. This is in contrast to Edward Miner Gallaudet who believed in using American Sign Language to educate deaf children.
Words that show a TIME relationship:
Words that show a TIME relationshipafter so much timeafter thatat firstbeforebeginning, endingeventuallyearliereven whenever sincefollowingfrom then onfrom, toin timelastlatermeanwhilenear, farnextnowoversoonstillthe next day, nightthenwhile
- Stephen went to pick up Irene before he stopped by McDonald's for lunch.
- Karen was out with her friend last night.
- We need to wash our clothes, after that we can go to the Taste of D.C. festival.
- I can't wait to watch "NYPD," it is coming on soon. You can watch the rerun later this week.
- Finally, I will get to see Rick Schroder. He has not been acting much since he was a teenager.
- The beginning of the movie was sadder than the ending.
- After so much time waiting in the long line, the boys finally got their hamburgers.
- The Van Gogh art exhibit was shown earlier this month in Washington, D.C.
- Wait until tonight, then you will be able to see the full moon over Gallaudet's Chapel Hall.
- The show is not over until the actors take their final bows at the end.
- While Missy was driving to work, she saw a deer by the roadside. She slowed down to watch the deer for a short time, then continued on her way to work.
- Even when Sally was able to, she did not bother to finish her ASL project.
- Clerc met with Gallaudet to prepare for the Congressional meeting scheduled for the next day.
- The next night was very dark and stormy. Of course, it was Halloween night!
- "Next, please," the lady called when it was my turn to go up to the booth to have my paycheck cashed.
- Bobby's broken ankle will heal in time for the Maryland Deaf Festival.
- That house felt very creepy inside; meanwhile, it was sunny outside.
- Eventually, Sally got tired of John calling her on the TTY all the time since she was not interested in him.
- She was still asleep when I got back home from work.
- Now, please get this truck fixed because I need it to get to school on time!
- Schools for the deaf used Sign Language until the dreadful conference in Milan; from then on, most schools for the deaf employed the oral method.
- Super Kmart is near Landmark Mall, but Ames is far away from the mall. So it would be easier to shop at Super Kmart.
- It will take two hours to go from Point A to Point B. Can you figure out how many hours it is from Point A to Point C?
- At first, I thought it was a dead animal. As I walked closer, I saw it was only a worn-out coat on the ground.
- Looking beyond this month, I predict that funding will be much better for this program.
- Everyone hid out in the hall during the hurricane, hoping they would be safe.
- Rebecca has not eaten at Lone Star ever since she became sick from eating the food.
- Following "Friends" and "Mad about You," "ER" will be shown. "ER" is supposed to have two Deaf actresses on the show tonight.
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Words that LIMIT or PREPARE for an example:
Words that LIMIT or PREPARE for an examplefor examplefor instanceto illustratesuch as
- Not all birds eat berries. For example, vultures eat dead animals.
- Jeff is an interesting person to know. To illustrate, he knows a lot about the history of the Deaf community in Ireland.
- There are things that need to be done to improve the company. For instance, we can begin by organizing the files.
- I have a few things to take care of such as paying bills, cleaning the house, and going to the post office.
Words that show CAUSE (explain why):
Words that show CAUSE (explain why)becausebecause ofcaused by
- Midnight was not able to move around well because his hind legs were in casts. He broke them when he fell off the bookshelf.
- Did you see the tragic accident on I-85 south? It was caused by a drunk driver.
- Because it is raining today, the homecoming game and the food booths will be cancelled.
- I was late to work because of the heavy traffic.
Words that show EFFECT/RESULT:
Words that show EFFECT/RESULTSas a resultconsequentlyfor this/that reasonthat is whythereforethus
- It is raining today thus we are not going to the beach.
- The weather is supposed to be drizzly and chilly today; as a result, the Deaf Festival will be cancelled.
- I was too tired; therefore I decided not to go to the state fair last night.
- In 1903, William E. Hoy, a deaf baseball player, caught a fly ball in the ninth inning in spite of heavy fog. Consequently, Los Angles won the pennant for that year.
- Ricky worked all day, from 8am until 11pm. That is why he stayed home instead of going camping with us.
- The school bus broke down last week and has not been repaired yet. So for that reason, our dance group is unable to go to Washington, D.C. to perform at Kennedy Center.
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Words that ASSERT OBVIOUS TRUTH or GRANT OPPOSITION:
Words that ASSERT OBVIOUS TRUTH or GRANT OPPOSITIONcertainlyconceding thatgranted thatin factnaturallyno doubtof courseundoubtedlywithout a doubt
- There is no doubt that the dog buried the bone in the garden.
- Jeff told us an undoubtedly true story that was very scary.
- The judge, without a doubt, thinks capital punishment is wrong.
- Of course, Sarah is going to the beach this weekend with her parents. She needs a break from Gallaudet.
- Naturally Steven is not going to agree with that plan. In fact, he thinks that the idea of setting up a business selling scarves on K Street would surely fail.
- Certainly, you may borrow my book on the history of the American Deaf Community. But, be sure to return it to me next week.
- Granted that Bob promised to send some money to help with the bills, yet this doesn't mean that he will.
- Conceding that Sally is a strong skater, Rachel still believes she will be able to beat her in the Olympics. Rachel wants to become the first deaf ice skater to receive a gold medal.
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A transition is a “passage from one state, stage, subject, or place to another.” At least that’s what Merriam-Webster’s dictionary says. But that thing’s only been around for like 184 years or so, so I’d like to amend it a bit.
Instead, let’s say a transition is “a passage from one state, stage, subject, place, or IDEA to another.” That’s what we do when we transition in our essays. We transition between ideas that are usually related to one subject.
We do this from section to section, from paragraph to paragraph, from sentence to sentence, and often, within individual sentences.
On the macro level (sections and paragraphs), we often use whole paragraphs or sentences to transition from one idea to the next. However, on the micro level (between and within sentences), we use transition words.
Politicians use transitions all the time when they’re presented with an undesirable question and prefer to spin to another subject.
Well, some are better at it than others.
For better or worse, we’re focusing on these little gems today: transition words for essays. Why? Because they’re oh-so-important when it comes to moving from one idea to another and melding those ideas into one cohesive whole within your essay.
Without transition words, you can lose your direction. But their overuse, or misuse, can lead to a clunky, redundant mess of transitional madness.
So today, let’s tackle what you need to know about using transition words for essays.
What Exactly Are Transition Words, and Why Are They Important?
If you’re reading this, then you’re probably all too used to writing essays. I don’t need to explain to you the essay’s prevalence in just about every level of the education system.
You already understand the different types of essays that require you to analyze, interpret, compare and contrast, and break down any number of subjects.
When writing any essay, it’s important that all of your ideas progress in a clear and concise direction. It’s also important that you present them in a logical order. After all, we can only focus on one idea at a time.
What makes transition words so important? They allow us, as writers, to seamlessly move from one idea to the next. They also let us do so in a way that’s almost imperceptible to the reader.
Let’s take this quote as an example:
“Times of transition are strenuous, but I love them. They are an opportunity to purge, rethink priorities, and be intentional about new habits.” —Kristin Armstrong
In this quote, we see the speaker uses the transition word “but” to shift from the difficulty related to life transitions to the positives that can come from them. It flows so well that you don’t even notice the word.
In contrast, imagine if she said, “Times of transition are strenuous. I love them.” This would give the reader pause as the connection isn’t clear. Instead, by using “but,” Armstrong effectively transitions you to the positive aspects of her thinking, which she then elaborates on.
As you can see, neglecting to use transition words entirely will result in writing that’s disconnected and difficult to read and understand. Transition words are vital to establishing flow and fluency in your paper. That flow and fluency allows your reader to seamlessly identify and connect to your ideas.
However, when transitions are overused or misused, they can be counter-productive.
What Are Some Common Transition Mistakes?
Learning to use transitions is easy, but learning to use them fluidly is more difficult. It’s kind of like dancing. Anyone can hold on to another person and move his feet. Doing it gracefully is another story.
So let’s take a look at some of the most common mistakes I see with the use of transition words for essays.
Transition by numbers
“Firstly, smoking is bad for your lungs. Second, smoking can discolor your teeth. Third, smoking is bad for the people around you. In the fourth place, smoking is very expensive.”
Often when writing an essay, we’re asked to present several arguments or pieces of evidence. So numbering each of the points as we present them seems logical. However, this isn’t a list. It’s an essay. Try to avoid using “first,” “second,” and “third” exclusively when transitioning to a new point.
The broken record
“Exercise can improve your cardiovascular function. In addition, it can increase your self-esteem. Additionally, exercise can be a great way to meet new people. Plus, exercise can extend your life and make you feel younger.”
Some transition words will be used more than others, and that’s fine. However, a big part of writing is finding the right balance. You may have a favorite transition word, but try to show some restraint in using it. Switch it up from time to time. Avoid overusing transitions that essentially all mean the same thing.
Starting with ands and buts
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been taught that it’s a sin to start a sentence with “and” or “but.” And being the rebel writer I am, I love to break this rule (<– see?). But I have to admit, doing it continuously is less than ideal (<– see?).
Spelling it out
Transitions are meant to guide your reader through your essay from idea to idea and section to section. Consequently, there’s this tendency to spell everything out. I’ve read so many conclusion paragraphs that begin with “in conclusion.”
If you’re writing a strong conclusion, then there’s no reason to spell this out. Your reader will know. Trust me.
Now that you know why transition words are important and how to use them correctly, let’s take a look at 97 transition words for essays.
97 Transition Words for Essays You Need to Know
Transition words can be used to achieve various effects. Therefore, I’ve broken the following transition words into categories. This makes them a bit easier to digest—and refer back to later.
These transition words are used to provide additional information on a point.
- as well as
- of course
- in addition
- not to mention
Example:“Developing strong reading habits will improve your grade in English class, as well as any other class that involves reading, which happens to be all of them.”
These transition words are used to show the flip side of a point. They can be incredibly useful when transitioning from one side of an issue to the other.
- in contrast
- then again
- even though
Example: “The loss of my mother was the most difficult moment of my life. Then again, it was also the point when I began truly living my own life.”
These transition words are often used at the beginning of a sentence to show the cause of an action.
- in order to
- due to
- provided that
- with this in mind
Example: “I always think about having a drink when I’m feeling stressed about work.”
These are used in a similar way as the cause transitions, but later in the sentence to show the result of an action.
- as a result
- and so
- because of this
Example: “I was feeling stressed about work; thus,I thought about having a drink.”
These transition words are used to drive a point home by providing further information for the reader to think about in relation to it.
- in other words
- for instance
- for example
- such as
- with this in mind
Example: “Bullying in school can be detrimental to students, particularly when it occurs during the formative years of their education.”
These transitions are used to bring together various points that you’ve mentioned in your paper.
- in short
- in fact
- after all
- all in all
- in any event
- as mentioned
- in general
- in other words
- in summary
- as you can see
Example: “As mentioned, smoking is harmful to your health and the health of those you love.”
These are extremely important when it comes to developing strong flow from idea to idea, especially when they relate to time.
- as soon as
- at the same time
- in the future
- in the past
- prior to
Example: “Before we discuss the candidates’ platforms, let’s review their political histories.”
Putting Transition Words for Essays into Practice
This is by no means an exhaustive list. However, each of these transition words is common and valuable. They’re definitely transition words for essays you need to know. I encourage you to refer back to this list anytime you write an essay.
Need some inspiration? Check out these example essays where the writers did a good job of using transition words to connect ideas:
If you find that your essay lacks smooth transitions, the list of 97 transition words for essays will help you to add some.
If your essay feels redundant upon second reading because you’ve used similar transition words repeatedly, use these categories to find some good replacements.
If it still doesn’t feel right, I suggest you send your essay to the editing team at Kibin. Not only will the professional editors review your use of transitions, but they’ll work with you to improve your use of transition words for essays going forward.
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