What are transitions and how are they used?

  • transitions are phrases or words used to connect one idea to the next
  • transitions are used by the author to help the reader progress from one significant idea to the next
  • transitions also show the relationship within a paragraph (or within a sentence) between the main idea and the support the author gives for those ideas
  • different transitions do different things....

Transitions may be "Additive," "Adversative," "Causal," or "Sequential."



Causal (not casual)


Additive Transitions:
These show addition, introduction, similarity to other ideas, &c.


indeed, further, as well (as this), either (neither), not only (this) but also (that) as well,
also, moreover, what is more, as a matter of fact, in all honesty,
and, furthermore, in addition (to this), besides (this), to tell the truth,
or, in fact, actually, to say nothing of,  
too, let alone, much less additionally,  
nor, alternatively, on the other hand, not to mention (this),  

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 such as,  as,  particularly,  including,  as an illustration,
 for example,  like,  in particular,  for one thing,  to illustrate
 for instance,  especially,  notably,  by way of example,  

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 speaking about (this),  considering (this),  regarding (this),  with regards to (this),
 as for (this),  concerning (this), the fact that
  on the subject of (this)

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 similarly,  in the same way,  by the same token,   in a like manner,
 equally likewise,    

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 that is (to say),  namely,  specifically,  thus,

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that is (to say), I mean, (to) put (it) another way in other words,

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Adversative Transitions:
These transitions are used to signal conflict, contradiction concession, dismissal, &c.


 but,  by way of contrast,  while,  on the other hand,
 however,  (and) yet,  whereas, though (final position),
 in contrast,  when in fact,  conversely,  still

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 even more,  above all,  indeed,  more importantly,  besides

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 but even so,  nevertheless,  even though,  on the other hand,  admittedly,
 however,  nonetheless,  despite (this),  notwithstanding (this),  albeit
 (and) still,  although,  in spite of (this),  regardless (of this),  
 (and) yet,  though,  granted (this),  be that as it may,  

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 either way,  whichever happens,  in either event,  in any case,  at any rate,
 in either case,  whatever happens,  all the same,  in any event,  

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 (or) at least,  (or) rather,  instead

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Causal Transitions:
These transitions signal cause/effect and reason/result, etc. . .


 for the (simple) reason that,  being that,  for,  in view of (the fact), inasmuch as,
 because (of the fact),  seeing that,  as,  owing to (the fact),  
 due to (the fact that),  in that  since,  forasmuch as,  

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 on (the) condition (that),  granted (that),  if,  provided that,  in case,
 in the event that,  as/so long as,  unless  given that,  
 granting (that),  providing that,  even if,  only if,  

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

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

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 under those circumstances,  then,  in that case,  if not,
 that being the case,  if so,  otherwise  

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Sequential Transitions:
These transitions are used to signal a chronological or logical sequence.


in the (first, second, etc.) place, initially, to start with, first of all thirdly, (&c.)
to begin with, at first, for a start, secondly,  

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subsequently, previously, eventually, next,
before (this), afterwards, after (this), then

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to conclude (with) as a final point, eventually, at last,
last but not least, in the end, finally, lastly,

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 to change the topic  incidentally,  by the way,

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 to get back to the point,  to resume  anyhow,  anyway,   at any rate,
 to return to the subject,

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as was previously stated, so, consequently, in summary, all in all,
to make a long story short,
thus, as I have said, to sum up, overall,
as has been mentioned, then, to summarize, to be brief, briefly,
given these points, in all, on the whole, therefore,  
as has been noted, hence, in conclusion, in a word,  
to put it briefly, in sum, altogether, in short,  

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[Original version submitted by: Gregory M. Campbell ( Thu, 15 Dec 1994 15:44:20 -0500 (EST); similar to Michael Buckhoff's ( page on Expository Writing <>]. Ad(a/o)pted by John A. Dowell, 10.3.97.
Feel free to use this, with these credits to Prof. Campbell, Prof. Buckhoff, and myself, if you please, along with this link to Creative Commons license 3.0 <>.
Lastly, here is a brief page with some excellent explanatory information: <>