My Speech Class

Public Speaking Tips & Speech Topics

A List of Transition Words to Use for Argumentative Essays

Photo of author

Amanda Green was born in a small town in the west of Scotland, where everyone knows everyone. I joined the Toastmasters 15 years ago, and I served in nearly every office in the club since then. I love helping others gain confidence and skills they can apply in every day life.

Writing an argumentative essay requires a lot of effort aside from research. Besides grammar and structure, you definitely need to make sure your essay is coherent by using transitions.

Argumentative essay transition words allow you to wrap up a piece of evidence to support your main point and then move on to another. Keep reading for tips and an exhaustive list of transition words I put together for your argumentative essays.

What Is a Transition Word?

transitional words for argumentative essay

A transition word is critical to producing quality content. Also known as linking words, transition words make basic connections between sentences and paragraphs to show a relationship between ideas.

A strong transition is crucial when writing an essay. It’s not enough that you provide complete information about your main points and supporting details. You also have to make your argument attractive and logical by using transitions in your academic essay.

The absence of transition words will make your paper less readable and understandable. But too many transitions can also ruin your piece. Use them in moderation to avoid confusion about your document.

Function and Importance of Transitions

The goal of transition words is to convey ideas clearly and concisely to your readers. If you’re writing an argumentative paper, you want to make logical connections in your document to prove your central point.

Transitional phrases and words help you produce a logical flow from one sentence or paragraph to another. In other words, they introduce what the following information will be. Some transitions come in single words, while others come in complete phrases and sentences.

Can We Write Your Speech?

Get your audience blown away with help from a professional speechwriter. Free proofreading and copy-editing included.

There are many categories of transitions, including those that present counterarguments and others that build on your arguments. Be careful about using the wrong transition. Otherwise, you won’t achieve your goal of clarity and conciseness. Consider these examples.

  • “ For instance , an anonymous TikTok user reports having a shorter attention span because of its over-swiping feature.” (In this sentence, for instance is used to provide an example).
  • “ Here’s an exception to my previous point. ” (This entire sentence is a transition, showing a logical connection between the previous and following sentences).

Transition can also be a sentence to a paragraph long. I’ll show you an example.

Paragraph A: A point that supports co-sleeping as a parenting method.

Transition: Despite this, there are many reasons that prove co-sleeping leads to sleep-related accidents.

Paragraph B: Points that oppose co-sleeping.

Types of Transition Words

There are several types of transitions you can use for making high-quality essays.

Transition Between Paragraphs

A type of transition required for a well-written essay is one you can find between paragraphs. Once you’ve arranged each paragraph according to your outline, it’s important to start each with an effective transition. This word or phrase is usually present in the topic sentence of the body.

Some examples include however, similarly, and for example. But these transition expressions cannot be a single sentence long. The initial sentence of every paragraph should be clear and substantial instead of simply connecting ideas.

Transition Within Paragraphs

Creating a powerful transition within every paragraph of your academic papers avoids choppy sentences. It provides a sense of connection between complex ideas to help readers anticipate what is coming.

These are usually single words or short phrases like in addition, since, and if.

Transition Between Sections

The last type of transition phrases and sentences are those between sections. You’ll find them all over the entire paper to summarize the information. They can be restatements of arguments or a short closing sentence to ensure the flow of ideas.

What Is an Argumentative Essay?

It’s a type of essay that requires you to research a subject matter and establish a position for or against it.

Aside from researching and evaluating evidence, showing a relationship between sentences and sections is essential when writing a paper. This will allow you to wrap up an idea and then start another. You must cite different sources to support your point of view, then show counterarguments.

The entire essay should include an introduction, a conclusion, and at least three body paragraphs.

How Do You Start an Argumentative Essay?

Every type of paper starts with an introduction, which usually includes a hook, background, and thesis statement.

The common essay introduction piques the reader’s interest through a surprising statistic or an interesting question. Provide readers with a background of your entire content piece, then state your main argument in a clear sentence.

Transition expressions are not yet essential in this stage of essay writing. Focus on setting up your point and discussing how you will argue it throughout the paper.

Common Transitions for Argumentative Essay Writing

Take a look at this list of transitional words and phrases commonly used to make strong arguments.

  • Additionally
  • In addition
  • Not only… but also
  • In the same way
  • Comparatively
  • Furthermore
  • Equally important

Counterargument Transition Words

Here’s a transition word list for essays showing different sides of an argument.

  • While it is true that
  • Nevertheless
  • Despite this
  • On the other hand
  • Be that as it may
  • Even though
  • Although this may be true

Transition Words and Phrases for Comparing and Contrasting

Here’s a breakdown of transition words and phrases you can use when comparing and contrasting.

  • In spite of
  • On the contrary
  • Different from
  • In contrast

Transition Words to Include in Your College Essay

Here are some examples of transition words you can use when applying for college admission or scholarship.

  • To put it in another way
  • To demonstrate
  • As an illustration
  • By all means
  • In other words

Transition Words for Cause and Effect

Consider this transition word list when showing cause and effect.

  • As a result
  • For this reason
  • Consequently
  • Accordingly
  • Under those circumstances
  • Because the

Transition Words for Essay Paragraphs

  • At the present time
  • In due time
  • To begin with
  • All of a sudden
  • Immediately
  • In a moment

Transitions to Emphasize a Point

  • Most of all
  • The main problem/issue is
  • Without question
  • More importantly
  • Most important of all

Transition Words for Additional Support or Evidence

Transition words for sequence or order, transition words for space or place.

  • In the middle of
  • In the distance
  • In the background
  • Here and there
  • On the side

To Cite a Source or Paraphrase

  • According to
  • This means that
  • Put it more simply

Transition Words to Begin a Body Paragraph

  • What is more
  • Beyond that

Transition Words to Introduce Details

  • For example
  • As an example
  • For instance
  • A case in point
  • Specifically
  • In particular
  • More specifically

Transition Words for Conclusion

  • As can be seen
  • By and large
  • On the whole
  • To summarize
  • In the final analysis
  • Generally speaking

More Transition Words

  • With this intention
  • In order to
  • In the hope that
  • With this in mind
  • For the purpose of
  • Provided that

Tips for Using Argumentative Essay Transitions

transitional words for argumentative essay

Follow these tips to improve your use of transitions in your essay.

Know What the Transitions Mean

Non-native speakers may need help knowing the meaning of every transition expression, so research every term before using it.

There are also many categories of transition words. You can use them to summarize points, show contradictions, express sequence, or begin a paragraph.

Start Your Essay with an Outline

Writing an outline will make it easier to map your ideas and move them around. This strategy will help you transition between paragraphs.

Don’t Overuse Transitions

The last mistake you shouldn’t make is overuse. Instead of making connections between sentences, you’ll make your paper more difficult to read. It creates more incoherence and distraction in your writing, contradicting its intended purpose in your paper.

Use Transition Words Properly

Now you know how to use transition words and phrases for your argumentative essay through this guide and list. These expressions will help you produce a coherent relationship between every idea.

Mastering transitions for your essay may not be a piece of cake, but practice makes perfect. Don’t forget to revise and proofread your argumentative before submitting it to your professor.

Mother of the Groom Speech – Best Tips & Examples

How to Write the Best Commencement Speech – Tips & Examples

Leave a Comment

I accept the Privacy Policy

Reach out to us for sponsorship opportunities

Vivamus integer non suscipit taciti mus etiam at primis tempor sagittis euismod libero facilisi.

© 2023 My Speech Class

92 Essay Transition Words to Know

Matt Ellis

Abruptly switching topics in essays can be jarring; however , transition words can smooth the change for the convenience of the reader. Moreover , you can use essay transition words to start a paragraph, sentence, or clause more naturally. Additionally , essay transition words can connect new information to the previous statement so you don’t have to say everything at once.

This guide looks at how to use transition words in essays. We’ll explain what they are and how to use them, plus we even share an essay transition word list with the most common and useful transition words examples.

Cite your sources with confidence Grammarly helps you avoid plagiarism Write with Grammarly

What are essay transition words?

In general, transition words and phrases bridge the gap between two topics whose connection isn’t obvious. Transition words and phrases like however , although , likewise , and on the contrary cue the reader that a change is coming so they know to expect it.

The type of transition word or phrase signals which type of change is coming. For example, transition words like therefore show a cause-and-effect relationship, while transition words like in conclusion introduce a summary or wrap-up. Often, conjunctive adverbs work well as transition words.

Essay transition words are no different from other types of transition words. They are often the same words and phrases used in other pieces of writing, just used for all types of essay , such as an informative essay or a narrative essay .

How to use essay transition words

Transition words and phrases are used to make transition sentences , which either contain two opposing topics in the same sentence or join together the opposing sentences or paragraphs that come before and after the transition sentence.

Essay transition words aren’t necessary for every sentence; you need them only when a shift in topic is so pronounced that it interrupts the writing flow . For example, consider this example, which doesn’t use transition words:

The GPS told us to go left. We went right.

Although those two sentences are grammatically correct, the abrupt change in topic is a bit jarring to readers. Some may feel like they need to reread the passage because they’re worried they missed something. That’s where transition words come in handy.

The GPS told us to go left. However , we went right.

The transition word however acts as a signal to the reader to prepare for a change in topic. When the reader sees transition words like this, they know to expect the switch, so it’s not so jarring.

You can use transition words to start a paragraph, sentence, clause, or even a brief phrase or individual word.

Although tired , we had to continue.

Even in situations when the connection between topics is obvious, essay transition words can help keep your writing organized and comprehensible. This is especially true with ordinal numbers and transition words like next , then , and last , all of which keep items from a series or sequence in order.

First , you wet your hair, and then you apply the shampoo. Last , you rinse the shampoo with warm water.

Keep in mind that transition words aren’t always sentence starters . Sometimes essay transition words and phrases like also , too , or above all can come at the end of a sentence, clause, or phrase.

We were happy to get second place, but we wanted first place above all .

However, most essay transition words work best at the beginning of a sentence, where they can more effectively bridge the gap between two seemingly unrelated topics.

92 transition words examples

Essay transition word list for contradictions.

  • alternatively
  • nevertheless
  • nonetheless
  • notwithstanding
  • on the contrary
  • on the other hand

Essay transition word list for additions

  • accordingly
  • additionally
  • comparatively
  • coupled with
  • equally important
  • furthermore
  • in addition
  • in the same way
  • understandably

Essay transition word list for introducing examples

  • for example
  • for instance
  • in particular / particularly
  • specifically
  • to illustrate

Essay transition word list for conditions and cause and effect

  • as a result
  • consequently
  • for fear of
  • for this reason
  • in the event of
  • subsequently
  • under these/those circumstances

Essay transition word list for extra clarification

  • by all means
  • in other words
  • incidentally
  • predictably
  • significantly
  • undoubtedly

Essay transition word list for summarizing

  • briefly / in brief
  • in conclusion
  • in summary/summation
  • to summarize

Essay transition word list for time relations

  • at the same time
  • in the meantime

Essay transition word list for series and sequences

  • first , second , third , etc.

Essay transition words FAQs

In general, transition words and phrases bridge the gap between two topics whose connection isn’t obvious. Transition words and phrases like however , although , likewise , and on the contrary cue the reader that a change is coming so they know to expect it. Essay transition words have the same function in essays.

When should you use essay transition words?

Use essay transition words and phrases to either contain two opposing topics in the same sentence or join together the opposing sentences or paragraphs that come before and after them. Essay transition words aren’t necessary for every sentence; you need them only when a shift in topic is so pronounced that it interrupts the writing flow.

What are some essay transition words examples?

Some of the most common essay transition words examples include however , although , ultimately , in summary , next , last , also , in general , for that reason , as a result , for example , in the meantime , therefore , similarly , and likewise .

transitional words for argumentative essay

  • Utility Menu

University Logo

26158766f7f76c0d163cbc4d15ae3f59

transitional words for argumentative essay

  • Questions about Expos?
  • Writing Support for Instructors
  • Transitions

Transitions help your readers move between ideas within a paragraph, between paragraphs, or between sections of your argument. When you are deciding how to transition from one idea to the next, your goal should be to help readers see how your ideas are connected—and how those ideas connect to the big picture.

One useful way to do this is to start with old information and then introduce new information. When you begin a sentence or a paragraph with information that is familiar to your readers, you help your readers make connections between your ideas. For example, consider the difference between these two pairs of sentences below:  

Sentence pair #1: Ineffective Transition  

Some experts argue that focusing on individual actions to combat climate change takes the focus away from the collective action required to keep carbon levels from rising. Change will not be effected, say some others, unless individual actions raise the necessary awareness.

While a reader can see the connection between the sentences above, it’s not immediately clear that the second sentence is providing a counterargument to the first. In the example below, key “old information” is repeated in the second sentence to help readers quickly see the connection. This makes the sequence of ideas easier to follow.  

Sentence pair #2: Effective Transition  

Some experts argue that focusing on individual actions to combat climate change takes the focus away from the collective action required to keep carbon levels from rising. Other experts argue that individual actions are key to raising the awareness necessary to effect change.

You can use this same technique to create clear transitions between paragraphs. Here’s an example:

Some experts argue that focusing on individual actions to combat climate change takes the focus away from the collective action required to keep carbon levels from rising. Other experts argue that individual actions are key to raising the awareness necessary to effect change. According to Annie Lowery, individual actions are important to making social change because when individuals take action, they can change values, which can lead to more people becoming invested in fighting climate change. She writes, “Researchers believe that these kinds of household-led trends can help avert climate catastrophe, even if government and corporate actions are far more important” (Lowery).

So, what’s an individual household supposed to do?

The repetition of the word “household” in the new paragraph helps readers see the connection between what has come before (a discussion of whether household actions matter) and what is about to come (a proposal for what types of actions households can take to combat climate change).

Sometimes, transitional words can help readers see how ideas are connected. But it’s not enough to just include a “therefore,” “moreover,” “also,” or “in addition.” You should choose these words carefully to show your readers what kind of connection you are making between your ideas.

To decide which transitional word to use, start by identifying the relationship between your ideas. For example, you might be

  • making a comparison or showing a contrast Transitional words that compare and contrast include also, in the same way, similarly, in contrast, yet, on the one hand, on the other hand. But before you signal comparison, ask these questions: Do your readers need another example of the same thing? Is there a new nuance in this next point that distinguishes it from the previous example? For those relationships between ideas, you might try this type of transition: While x may appear the same, it actually raises a new question in a slightly different way.
  • expressing agreement or disagreement When you are making an argument, you need to signal to readers where you stand in relation to other scholars and critics. You may agree with another person’s claim, you may want to concede some part of the argument even if you don’t agree with everything, or you may disagree. Transitional words that signal agreement, concession, and disagreement include however, nevertheless, actually, still, despite, admittedly, still, on the contrary, nonetheless .
  • showing cause and effect Transitional phrases that show cause and effect include therefore, hence, consequently, thus, so. Before you choose one of these words, make sure that what you are about to illustrate is really a causal link. Novice writers tend to add therefore and hence when they aren’t sure how to transition; you should reserve these words for when they accurately signal the progression of your ideas.
  • explaining or elaborating Transitions can signal to readers that you are going to expand on a point that you have just made or explain something further. Transitional words that signal explanation or elaboration include in other words, for example, for instance, in particular, that is, to illustrate, moreover .
  • drawing conclusions You can use transitions to signal to readers that you are moving from the body of your argument to your conclusions. Before you use transitional words to signal conclusions, consider whether you can write a stronger conclusion by creating a transition that shows the relationship between your ideas rather than by flagging the paragraph simply as a conclusion. Transitional words that signal a conclusion include in conclusion , as a result, ultimately, overall— but strong conclusions do not necessarily have to include those phrases.

If you’re not sure which transitional words to use—or whether to use one at all—see if you can explain the connection between your paragraphs or sentence either out loud or in the margins of your draft.

For example, if you write a paragraph in which you summarize physician Atul Gawande’s argument about the value of incremental care, and then you move on to a paragraph that challenges those ideas, you might write down something like this next to the first paragraph: “In this paragraph I summarize Gawande’s main claim.” Then, next to the second paragraph, you might write, “In this paragraph I present a challenge to Gawande’s main claim.” Now that you have identified the relationship between those two paragraphs, you can choose the most effective transition between them. Since the second paragraph in this example challenges the ideas in the first, you might begin with something like “but,” or “however,” to signal that shift for your readers.  

  • Tips for Reading an Assignment Prompt
  • Asking Analytical Questions
  • Introductions
  • What Do Introductions Across the Disciplines Have in Common?
  • Anatomy of a Body Paragraph
  • Tips for Organizing Your Essay
  • Counterargument
  • Conclusions
  • Strategies for Essay Writing: Downloadable PDFs
  • Brief Guides to Writing in the Disciplines

Quick Links

  • Schedule an Appointment
  • English Grammar and Language Tutor
  • Drop-in hours
  • Harvard Guide to Using Sources
  • Departmental Writing Fellows
  • Writing Advice: The Harvard Writing Tutor Blog

Have a language expert improve your writing

Run a free plagiarism check in 10 minutes, generate accurate citations for free.

  • Knowledge Base
  • Academic writing
  • Transition Words & Phrases | List & Examples

Transition Words & Phrases | List & Examples

Published on May 29, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on August 23, 2023.

Transition words and phrases (also called linking words, connecting words, or transitional words) are used to link together different ideas in your text. They help the reader to follow your arguments by expressing the relationships between different sentences or parts of a sentence.

The proposed solution to the problem did not work. Therefore , we attempted a second solution. However , this solution was also unsuccessful.

For clear writing, it’s essential to understand the meaning of transition words and use them correctly.

Table of contents

When and how to use transition words, types and examples of transition words, common mistakes with transition words, other interesting articles.

Transition words commonly appear at the start of a new sentence or clause (followed by a comma ), serving to express how this clause relates to the previous one.

Transition words can also appear in the middle of a clause. It’s important to place them correctly to convey the meaning you intend.

Example text with and without transition words

The text below describes all the events it needs to, but it does not use any transition words to connect them. Because of this, it’s not clear exactly how these different events are related or what point the author is making by telling us about them.

If we add some transition words at appropriate moments, the text reads more smoothly and the relationship among the events described becomes clearer.

Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. Consequently , France and the United Kingdom declared war on Germany. The Soviet Union initially worked with Germany in order to partition Poland. However , Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941.

Don’t overuse transition words

While transition words are essential to clear writing, it’s possible to use too many of them. Consider the following example, in which the overuse of linking words slows down the text and makes it feel repetitive.

In this case the best way to fix the problem is to simplify the text so that fewer linking words are needed.

The key to using transition words effectively is striking the right balance. It is difficult to follow the logic of a text with no transition words, but a text where every sentence begins with a transition word can feel over-explained.

Receive feedback on language, structure, and formatting

Professional editors proofread and edit your paper by focusing on:

  • Academic style
  • Vague sentences
  • Style consistency

See an example

transitional words for argumentative essay

There are four main types of transition word: additive, adversative, causal, and sequential. Within each category, words are divided into several more specific functions.

Remember that transition words with similar meanings are not necessarily interchangeable. It’s important to understand the meaning of all the transition words you use. If unsure, consult a dictionary to find the precise definition.

Additive transition words

Additive transition words introduce new information or examples. They can be used to expand upon, compare with, or clarify the preceding text.

Adversative transition words

Adversative transition words always signal a contrast of some kind. They can be used to introduce information that disagrees or contrasts with the preceding text.

Causal transition words

Causal transition words are used to describe cause and effect. They can be used to express purpose, consequence, and condition.

Sequential transition words

Sequential transition words indicate a sequence, whether it’s the order in which events occurred chronologically or the order you’re presenting them in your text. They can be used for signposting in academic texts.

Transition words are often used incorrectly. Make sure you understand the proper usage of transition words and phrases, and remember that words with similar meanings don’t necessarily work the same way grammatically.

Misused transition words can make your writing unclear or illogical. Your audience will be easily lost if you misrepresent the connections between your sentences and ideas.

Confused use of therefore

“Therefore” and similar cause-and-effect words are used to state that something is the result of, or follows logically from, the previous. Make sure not to use these words in a way that implies illogical connections.

  • We asked participants to rate their satisfaction with their work from 1 to 10. Therefore , the average satisfaction among participants was 7.5.

The use of “therefore” in this example is illogical: it suggests that the result of 7.5 follows logically from the question being asked, when in fact many other results were possible. To fix this, we simply remove the word “therefore.”

  • We asked participants to rate their satisfaction with their work from 1 to 10. The average satisfaction among participants was 7.5.

Starting a sentence with also , and , or so

While the words “also,” “and,” and “so” are used in academic writing, they are considered too informal when used at the start of a sentence.

  • Also , a second round of testing was carried out.

To fix this issue, we can either move the transition word to a different point in the sentence or use a more formal alternative.

  • A second round of testing was also carried out.
  • Additionally , a second round of testing was carried out.

Transition words creating sentence fragments

Words like “although” and “because” are called subordinating conjunctions . This means that they introduce clauses which cannot stand on their own. A clause introduced by one of these words should always follow or be followed by another clause in the same sentence.

The second sentence in this example is a fragment, because it consists only of the “although” clause.

  • Smith (2015) argues that the period should be reassessed. Although other researchers disagree.

We can fix this in two different ways. One option is to combine the two sentences into one using a comma. The other option is to use a different transition word that does not create this problem, like “however.”

  • Smith (2015) argues that the period should be reassessed, although other researchers disagree.
  • Smith (2015) argues that the period should be reassessed. However , other researchers disagree.

And vs. as well as

Students often use the phrase “ as well as ” in place of “and,” but its usage is slightly different. Using “and” suggests that the things you’re listing are of equal importance, while “as well as” introduces additional information that is less important.

  • Chapter 1 discusses some background information on Woolf, as well as presenting my analysis of To the Lighthouse .

In this example, the analysis is more important than the background information. To fix this mistake, we can use “and,” or we can change the order of the sentence so that the most important information comes first. Note that we add a comma before “as well as” but not before “and.”

  • Chapter 1 discusses some background information on Woolf and presents my analysis of To the Lighthouse .
  • Chapter 1 presents my analysis of To the Lighthouse , as well as discussing some background information on Woolf.

Note that in fixed phrases like “both x and y ,” you must use “and,” not “as well as.”

  • Both my results as well as my interpretations are presented below.
  • Both my results and my interpretations are presented below.

Use of and/or

The combination of transition words “and/or” should generally be avoided in academic writing. It makes your text look messy and is usually unnecessary to your meaning.

First consider whether you really do mean “and/or” and not just “and” or “or.” If you are certain that you need both, it’s best to separate them to make your meaning as clear as possible.

  • Participants were asked whether they used the bus and/or the train.
  • Participants were asked whether they used the bus, the train, or both.

Archaic transition words

Words like “hereby,” “therewith,” and most others formed by the combination of “here,” “there,” or “where” with a preposition are typically avoided in modern academic writing. Using them makes your writing feel old-fashioned and strained and can sometimes obscure your meaning.

  • Poverty is best understood as a disease. Hereby , we not only see that it is hereditary, but acknowledge its devastating effects on a person’s health.

These words should usually be replaced with a more explicit phrasing expressing how the current statement relates to the preceding one.

  • Poverty is best understood as a disease. Understanding it as such , we not only see that it is hereditary, but also acknowledge its devastating effects on a person’s health.

Using a paraphrasing tool for clear writing

With the use of certain tools, you can make your writing clear. One of these tools is a paraphrasing tool . One thing the tool does is help your sentences make more sense. It has different modes where it checks how your text can be improved. For example, automatically adding transition words where needed.

If you want to know more about AI for academic writing, AI tools, or writing rules make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

 Academic Writing

  • Avoiding repetition
  • Effective headings
  • Passive voice
  • Taboo words
  • Deep learning
  • Generative AI
  • Machine learning
  • Reinforcement learning
  • Supervised vs. unsupervised learning

 (AI) Tools

  • Grammar Checker
  • Paraphrasing Tool
  • Text Summarizer
  • AI Detector
  • Plagiarism Checker
  • Citation Generator

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

Caulfield, J. (2023, August 23). Transition Words & Phrases | List & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved December 27, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/academic-writing/transition-words/

Is this article helpful?

Jack Caulfield

Jack Caulfield

Other students also liked, using conjunctions | definition, rules & examples, transition sentences | tips & examples for clear writing, how to write topic sentences | 4 steps, examples & purpose, what is your plagiarism score.

Writing Studio

Common transition words and phrases.

In an effort to make our handouts more accessible, we have begun converting our PDF handouts to web pages. Download this page as a PDF: Transitions Return to Writing Studio Handouts

Transitions clarify the logic of your argument by orienting your reader as you develop ideas between sentences and paragraphs. These tools should alert readers to shifts in your argument while and also maintain the smoothness and clarity of your prose. Below, you’ll find some of the most commonly used transition categories and examples of each. Depending on the example, these suggestions may be within sentences or at the beginning of sentences.

Transitions by Category

1. addition.

Use when presenting multiple ideas that flow in the same direction, under the same heading/ idea also, another, finally, first, first of all, for one thing, furthermore, in addition, last of all, likewise, moreover, next, and, second, the third reason

2. Sequence/ Order

Use to suggest a temporal relationship between ideas; places evidence in sequence first, second (etc.), next, last, finally, first of all, concurrently, immediately, prior to, then, at that time, at this point, previously, subsequently, and then, at this time, thereafter, previously, soon, before, after, followed by, after that, next, before, after, meanwhile, formerly, finally, during

3. Contrast

Use to demonstrate differences between ideas or change in argument direction but, however, in contrast, on the other hand, on the contrary, yet, differ, difference, balanced against, differing from, variation, still, on the contrary, unlike, conversely, otherwise, on the other hand, however

4. Exception

Use to introduce an opposing idea however, whereas, on the other hand, while, instead, in spite of, yet, despite, still, nevertheless, even though, in contrast, but, but one could also say…

5. Comparison

Use to demonstrate similarities between ideas that may not be under the same subject heading or within the same paragraph like, likewise, just, in a different way / sense, whereas, like, equally, in like manner, by comparison, similar to, in the same way, alike, similarity, similarly, just as, as in a similar fashion, conversely

6. Illustration

Use to develop or clarify an idea, to introduce examples, or to show that the second idea is subordinate to the first for example, to illustrate, on this occasion, this can be seen, in this case, specifically, once, to illustrate, when/where, for instance, such as, to demonstrate, take the case of, in this case

7. Location

Use to show spatial relations next to, above, below, beneath, left, right, behind, in front, on top, within

8. Cause and Effect

Use to show that one idea causes, or results from, the idea that follows or precedes it because, therefore, so that, cause, reason, effect, thus, consequently, since, as a result, if…then, result in

9. Emphasis

Use to suggest that an idea is particularly important to your argument important to note, most of all, a significant factor, a primary concern, a key feature, remember that, pay particular attention to, a central issue, the most substantial issue, the main value, a major event, the chief factor, a distinctive quality, especially valuable, the chief outcome, a vital force, especially relevant, most noteworthy, the principal item, above all, should be noted

10. Summary or Conclusion

Use to signal that what follows is summarizing or concluding the previous ideas; in humanities papers, use these phrases sparingly. to summarize, in short, in brief, in sum, in summary, to sum up, in conclusion, to conclude, finally

Some material adapted from Cal Poly Pomona College Reading Skills Program and “ Power Tools for Technical Communication .” 

Writing Effective Sentence Transitions (Advanced)

Transitions are the rhetorical tools that clarify the logic of your argument by orienting your reader as you develop ideas between sentences and paragraphs. The ability to integrate sentence transitions into your prose, rather than simply throwing in overt transition signals like “in addition,” indicates your mastery of the material. (Note: The visibility of transitions may vary by discipline; consult with your professor to get a better sense of discipline or assignment specific expectations.)

Transition Signals

Transition signals are words or phrases that indicate the logic connecting sets of information or ideas. Signals like therefore, on the other hand, for example, because, then, and afterwards can be good transition tools at the sentence and paragraph level. When using these signals, be conscious of the real meaning of these terms; they should reflect the actual relationship between ideas.

Review Words

Review words are transition tools that link groups of sentences or whole paragraphs. They condense preceding discussion into a brief word or phrase. For example: You’ve just completed a detailed discussion about the greenhouse effect. To transition to the next topic, you could use review words like “this heat-trapping process” to refer back to the green house effect discussion. The relative ability to determine a cogent set of review words might signal your own understanding of your work; think of review words as super-short summaries of key ideas.

Preview words

Preview words condense an upcoming discussion into a brief word or phrase. For example: You’ve just explained how heat is trapped in the earth’s atmosphere. Transitioning to the theory that humans are adding to that effect, you could use preview words like “sources of additional CO2 in the atmosphere include” to point forward to that discussion.

Transition Sentences

The strongest and most sophisticated tools, transition sentences indicate the connection between the preceding and upcoming pieces of your argument. They often contain one or more of the above transition tools. For example: You’ve just discussed how much CO2 humans have added to the atmosphere. You need to transition to a discussion of the effects. A strong set of transition sentences between the two sections might sound like this:

“These large amounts of CO2 added to the atmosphere may lead to a number of disastrous consequences for residents of planet earth. The rise in global temperature that accompanies the extra CO2 can yield effects as varied as glacial melting and species extinction.”

In the first sentence, the review words are “These large amounts of CO2 added to the atmosphere”; the preview words are “number of disastrous consequences”; the transition signals are “may lead to.” The topic sentence of the next paragraph indicates the specific “disastrous consequences” you will discuss.

If you don’t see a way to write a logical, effective transition between sentences, ideas or paragraphs, this might indicate organizational problems in your essay; you might consider revising your work.

Some material adapted from Cal Poly Pomona College Reading Skills Program  and “ Power Tools for Technical Communication .”

Last revised: 07/2008 | Adapted for web delivery: 05/2021

In order to access certain content on this page, you may need to download Adobe Acrobat Reader or an equivalent PDF viewer software.

IMAGES

  1. Transition Words for Essays: Great List & Useful Tips

    transitional words for argumentative essay

  2. The 8 Elements of an Argument Posters (CCSS)

    transitional words for argumentative essay

  3. Argumentative Essay Transition Words Pdf Fresh Linking Words Lists

    transitional words for argumentative essay

  4. Transition Words for Essays: The Ultimate 2023 List

    transitional words for argumentative essay

  5. List of Transitional Words for Writing Essays

    transitional words for argumentative essay

  6. 009 Essay Example Argumentative Transition Words For And Against Essays

    transitional words for argumentative essay

VIDEO

  1. 60 Transitional Words (Part 7)

  2. 60 Transitional Words (Part 2)

  3. Transitional Words 👍

  4. 5 Other Ways to Say In Conclusion at End of Essay or End of Paragraph

  5. Transitional words #grammarrules #english #englishvocabulary #transitional #vocabulary abulary

  6. Linking Words/Phrases/Transitional Words ! For B.A 5th Sem. & for All Competitive Exams !

COMMENTS

  1. A List of Transition Words to Use for Argumentative Essays

    Learn how to use transition words to make your argumentative essay more logical and attractive. Find out the function, importance, types, and examples of transition words for different purposes and contexts. See a list of common transitions for argumentative essay writing.

  2. 92 Essay Transition Words to Know, With Examples

    What are essay transition words? In general, transition words and phrases bridge the gap between two topics whose connection isn’t obvious. Transition words and phrases like however, although, likewise, and on the contrary cue the reader that a change is coming so they know to expect it.

  3. Transitions

    Transitions Transitions help your readers move between ideas within a paragraph, between paragraphs, or between sections of your argument. When you are deciding how to transition from one idea to the next, your goal should be to help readers see how your ideas are connected—and how those ideas connect to the big picture.

  4. Transition Words & Phrases

    Learn how to use transition words and phrases to link different ideas in your text and express the relationships between them. Find out the meaning, types, and functions of transition words, as well as common mistakes and tips for clear writing. See examples of transition words in sentences and lists.

  5. Common Transition Words and Phrases

    Common Transition Words and Phrases. ... 9. Emphasis. Use to suggest that an idea is particularly important to your argument important to note, most of all, a significant factor, a primary concern, a key feature, remember that, pay particular attention to, a central issue, the most substantial issue, the main value, a major event, the chief factor, a distinctive quality, especially valuable ...