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Transitions

Transitional words and expressions are devices that allow you to move from one idea to the next without abrupt changes.

A good essay, research paper, or report uses transitions to help the reader follow the line of thought from sentence to sentence or paragraph to paragraph. Transitional expressions make your writing more readable and structurally coherent. Use them for clarity and smooth flow of thought.

Transitional words and expressions are used for variety of purposes:

To signal an addition: in addition, furthermore, moreover, besides, and, also, likewise

Rule to Remember

Transitional expressions help achieve better clarity, readability, and structural coherence of your writing.

People today try to be more aware of the causes of global warming. In addition, many of these people take small steps to fight it.

To signal an example: for example, for instance, thus, in other words, to illustrate, that is, in particular

The more specific you can be the better. In other words, provide enough detail to make your argument sound.

To compare: similarly, likewise, in this manner

Curriculum development plays a role in the success or failure of online instruction. Similarly, student background and computer accessibility may affect its outcomes as well.

To emphasize: indeed, truly, as a matter of fact, to repeat, even

I always wanted to do my internship in Europe. As a matter of fact, I specifically applied to companies that had their branch offices there. I even did research in my last year of school on these companies.


To signal sequence: again, also, and, and then, besides, finally, first... second... third, furthermore, last, next, still

This book is a great resource on ancient civilizations. Furthermore, the reason I particularly like this book is that it presents a factual account of events.


To contrast: in contrast to, however, but, still, nevertheless, yet, on the one hand / on the other hand, on the contrary, at the same time, while this may be true

On the one hand, there are countless advantages to online delivery of instruction; on the other hand, there are also some limitations that need to be considered.


To signal time: before, now, afterwards, subsequently, later, earlier, meanwhile, in the meantime, while, as long as, so far

Presidential hopefuls have received a lot of publicity lately. In the meantime, the media seem silent on a few crucial proposals being debated currently in the House.

To generalize: in general, for the most part, as a general rule, on the whole, usually, typically

For the most part, this project has been a success.


To signal cause and effect: accordingly, as a result, because, consequently, for this purpose, hence, so, then, therefore, thereupon, thus, to this end

The price of gas has been rising steadily over the last few years. As a result, people are buying more fuel-efficient cars.


To signal concession: although it is true that, I admit that, it may appear that, naturally, of course, granted that

Although it is true that the study is extensive, we cannot say that its results are conclusive.


To summarize, repeat, or conclude: as a result, as has been noted, as mentioned earlier, as we have seen, in conclusion, in other words, on the whole, to summarize

As has been noted, the word "would" is used more often in general fiction while the word "used to" is much more frequent in public conversation.

(Hult and Huckin, The New Century Handbook, 117).
(Lunsford, The Everyday Writer, 51-52)

Transitions in Context

On the whole, the main point libertarians make is that if determinism is true, we could not act in any other way than we do. Consequently, if we combine this with the general notion that people can only be held responsible for the actions they committed freely, determinism would rule out moral responsibility. This conclusion, naturally, does not feel right. With no moral responsibility we would have no justice. Thus, if determinism were true, how could we ever create meaning for ourselves if everything we do is a result of "could not have acted otherwise?"

From a student research paper on The Evolution of Free Will: A Reconciliation with Determinism

Rule to Remember

Transitional expressions help the reader follow the line of thought from sentence to sentence or paragraph to paragraph.