Refine your writing with this list of transition words

Master the art of the seamless transition with this list of transition words and phrases for essays, plus examples of each type of transition.

What are transition words?

Transition words (or transitional words) connect a topic to one that follows or that links sections of a written work. Good transition words for paragraphs are a key component of polished essay and paper writing. Transitions create a smooth flow in writing by indicating the relationship between ideas. Here you'll find several categories and lists of transitional words and examples.

Addition Transitions

  • and
  • also
  • as well as
  • but also
  • by the same token
  • coupled with
  • furthermore
  • in light of
  • in the same way
  • likewise
  • moreover
  • not only
  • not to mention

Addition Transition Examples

That argument between Mary and Tim sounded intense. Furthermore, Tim shook the house when he slammed the door afterwards.
I love listening to classical music. In light of that, I've bought tickets to my first opera!

Cause and Effect Transitions

  • because
  • for that reason
  • since
  • as a result
  • consequently
  • hence
  • therefore
  • thus

Cause and Effect Transition Examples

We need to decorate this room. For that reason, you guys have to get off the couch!
Our washer broke last night. Consequently, I'm looking for quarters for the laundromat.

Compare and Contrast Transitions

To compare

  • in the same way
  • likewise
  • similarly

To contrast

  • besides
  • but
  • however
  • in contrast
  • nevertheless
  • nor
  • on the contrary
  • on the other hand

Compare and Contrast Transition Examples

Annie does not have a great relationship with her brother. Likewise, she does not get along well with his girlfriend.
I'm a great field hockey player. In contrast, my brainy sister can barely hold a field hockey stick!

Illustrative Transitions

To clarify

  • in other words
  • that is to say
  • to clarify
  • to explain
  • to put it another way

To show

  • for example
  • for instance
  • specifically
  • to demonstrate
  • to illustrate

Illustrative Transition Examples

The Sound and the Fury is an excellent example of the modernist style. That is to say, the highly-disjointed narrative is similar to others of the time, such as Ulysses.
Benjy's longing for Caddy is constantly highlighted in his narrative. For instance, he becomes upset when hearing golfers call for their caddies.

Time Transitions

  • after
  • at first
  • at the beginning
  • before
  • briefly
  • during
  • finally
  • in the end
  • last
  • later
  • meanwhile
  • next
  • now
  • occasionally
  • often
  • simultaneously
  • since
  • then
  • when
  • while

Time Transition Examples

We eventually learn what Jim's motives are, when they are revealed in the second half of the novel.
I just put in the vegetable oil. Next, you can add the eggs.
What are your favorite transition words and phrases?
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