About Myself Essay Conclusion Transitions

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.

Addition

These transition words are used to provide additional information on a point.

  • and
  • as
  • moreover
  • as well as
  • likewise
  • additionally
  • similarly
  • furthermore
  • of course
  • then
  • in addition
  • not to mention
  • equally
  • besides
  • also
  • correspondingly

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.”

Contradiction

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.

  • but
  • although
  • instead
  • nonetheless
  • however
  • conversely
  • in contrast
  • then again
  • while
  • albeit
  • otherwise
  • nevertheless
  • rather
  • 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.”

Cause

These transition words are often used at the beginning of a sentence to show the cause of an action.

  • when
  • if…then
  • because
  • in order to
  • since
  • whenever
  • due to
  • provided that
  • with this in mind

Example: “I always think about having a drink when I’m feeling stressed about work.”

Effect

These are used in a similar way as the cause transitions, but later in the sentence to show the result of an action.

  • thus
  • as a result
  • therefore
  • consequently
  • accordingly
  • and so
  • hence
  • because of this

Example: “I was feeling stressed about work; thus,I thought about having a drink.”

Emphasis

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
  • especially
  • for instance
  • for example
  • such as
  • indeed
  • like
  • notably
  • particularly
  • with this in mind
  • explicitly
  • namely
  • chiefly
  • including
  • principally

Example: “Bullying in school can be detrimental to students, particularly when it occurs during the formative years of their education.”

Conclusion

These transitions are used to bring together various points that you’ve mentioned in your paper.

  • overall
  • altogether
  • in short
  • in fact
  • after all
  • ultimately
  • 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.”

Arrangement

These are extremely important when it comes to developing strong flow from idea to idea, especially when they relate to time.

  • first
  • last
  • then
  • after
  • before
  • once
  • next
  • during
  • formerly
  • as soon as
  • at the same time
  • finally
  • now
  • forthwith
  • eventually
  • meanwhile
  • henceforth
  • hereafter
  • in the future
  • in the past
  • prior to
  • following
  • subsequently

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.

Good luck!

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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.

Agreement / Addition / Similarity

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

again

to

and

also

then

equally

identically

uniquely

like

as

too

moreover

as well as

together with

of course

likewise

comparatively

correspondingly

similarly

furthermore

additionally

 

 

Opposition / Limitation / Contradiction

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

then again

above all

in reality

after all

but

(and) still

unlike

or

(and) yet

while

albeit

besides

as much as

even though

although

instead

whereas

despite

conversely

otherwise

however

rather

nevertheless

nonetheless

regardless

notwithstanding

 

 

Cause / Condition / Purpose

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

in view of

If

... then

unless

 

when

whenever

while

 

because of

as

since

while

lest

in case

provided that

given that

only / even if

so that

so as to

owing to

inasmuch as

due to

 

Examples / Support / Emphasis

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

with this in mind

notably

including

like

to be sure

namely

chiefly

truly

indeed

certainly

surely

markedly

such as

 

especially

explicitly

specifically

expressly

surprisingly

frequently

significantly

particularly

in fact

in general

in particular

in detail

for example

for instance

to demonstrate

to emphasize

to repeat

to clarify

to explain

to enumerate

 

 

Effect / Consequence / Result

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

for this reason

in effect

for

thus

because the

then

hence

consequently

therefore

thereupon

forthwith

accordingly

henceforth

 

 

Conclusion / Summary / Restatement

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

in a word

for the most part

after all

in fact

in summary

in conclusion

in short

in brief

in essence

to summarize

on balance

altogether

overall

ordinarily

usually

by and large

to sum up

on the whole

in any event

in either case

all in all

 

Obviously

Ultimately

Definitely

 

Time / Chronology / Sequence

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

at the same time

up to the present time

to begin with

in due time

as soon as

as long as

in the meantime

in a moment

without delay

in the first place

all of a sudden

at this instant

first, second

 

immediately

quickly

finally

after

later

last

until

till

since

then

before

hence

since

when

once

about

next

now

 

 

formerly

suddenly

shortly

henceforth

whenever

eventually

meanwhile

further

during

in time

prior to

forthwith

straightaway

 

by the time

whenever

 

until now

now that

 

instantly

presently

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.

 

Space / Location / Place

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 

here

there

next

where

from

over

near

above

below

down

up

under

further

beyond

nearby

wherever

around

between

before

alongside

amid

among

beneath

beside

behind

across

 


 

List of Transition Words

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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