Writing Effective Transitions

Transitional Devices

Transitional devices are the bridges between parts of your paper. They help to create both
coherence and cohesion in a paper (aka “flow”), and they encourage the reader to make the
connections between the writer’s ideas in the way that the writer intends. Transitional devices
help carry a thought from sentence to sentence, one idea to another, and one paragraph to the
next.

There are several different types of transitional devices, and each type helps build a different
connection between ideas. They lead the reader to connect information in the way that writer
intends. Some transitions lead the reader forward and help build an idea, while others are used to
show contrast or to show cause and effect, just to name a few. The repetition of key words or
phrases can also help connect ideas from sentence to sentence as well as from paragraph to
paragraph.

Transitions showing accumulation

also, in addition, again, once again, further, furthermore, moreover, then, besides, equally
important, finally, next, lastly, what’s more, similarly, likewise, not only….but also

Transitions showing contrast

however, by contrast, although, while, whereas, but, yet, on the other hand, except, by
comparison, compared to, conversely, meanwhile

Transitions showing cause or effect

because, for, since, for the same reason, evidently, consequently, thus, therefore, hence,
accordingly, as a result

Transitions signaling example or evidence

for example, for instance, in this case, in another case, on this occasion, in this situation, take the
case of …, to demonstrate, to illustrate, as an illustration

Transitions indicating exceptions

yet, still, nevertheless, nonetheless, in spite of, despite, in any case, of course, once in a while,
sometimes, after all

Transitions showing sequence or order

first, second, third, previously, prior to this, simultaneously, concurrently, soon, at this time, now,
at this point, next, then, following this, after, afterward, finally, consequently, subsequently

Transitions signaling a summary or conclusion

in brief, on the whole, summing up, to conclude, in conclusion, as I have shown, as I have said,
thus

Last updated 7/30/2009
Posted in Parts of the Essay, Transitions, Flow, and Cohesion, Writing Resources