Complete List of Transition Words

100 Words and Phrases to Use Between Paragraphs

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Once you have completed a first draft of your paper, you will need to rewrite some of the introductory sentences at the beginning and the transition statements at the end of every paragraph. Transitions, which connect one idea to the next, may seem challenging at first, but they get easier once you consider the many possible methods for linking paragraphs together—even if they seem to be unrelated.

Transition words and phrases can help your paper move along, smoothly gliding from one topic to the next. If you have trouble thinking of a way to connect your paragraphs, consider a few of these 100 top transitions as inspiration. The type of transition words or phrases you use depends on the category of transition you need, as explained below.

Additive Transitions

Probably the most common type, additive transitions are those you use when you want to show that the current point is an addition to the previous one, notes Edusson, a website that provides students with essay-writing tips and advice. Put another way, additive transitions signal to the reader that you are adding to an idea and/or your ideas are similar, says Quizlet, an online teacher and student learning community. Some examples of additive transition words and phrases were compiled by Michigan State University writing lab. Follow each transition word or phrase with a comma:

  • Indeed
  • In the first place
  • And
  • Or
  • Too
  • Nor
  • Further
  • Moreover
  • Furthermore
  • In fact
  • Let alone
  • Alternatively
  • As well (as this)
  • What is more
  • In addition (to this)
  • Actually
  • Much less
  • On the other hand
  • Either (neither)
  • As a matter of fact
  • Besides (this)
  • To say nothing of
  • Additionally
  • Not to mention (this)
  • Not only (this) but also (that) as well
  • In all honesty
  • To tell the truth

An example of additive transitions used in a sentence would be:

"In the first place, no 'burning' in the sense of combustion, as in the burning of wood, occurs in a volcano; moreover, volcanoes are not necessarily mountains; furthermore, the activity takes place not always at the summit but more commonly on the sides or flanks...."
– Fred Bullard, "Volcanoes in History, in Theory, in Eruption

In this and the examples of transitions in subsequent sections, the transition words or phrases are printed in italics to make them easier to find as you peruse the passages.

Adversative Transitions

Adversative transitions are used to signal conflict, contradiction, concession, and dismissal, says Michigan State University. Examples include:

  • But
  • However
  • On the other hand
  • In contrast
  • While
  • Whereas
  • Conversely
  • Even more
  • Above all
  • But even so
  • Nevertheless
  • Nonetheless
  • Although
  • Though
  • However
  • (And) still
  • (And) yet
  • Either way
  • In either case
  • (Or) at least
  • Whichever happens
  • Whatever happens
  • In ether event

An example of an adversative transition phrase used in a sentence would be:

"On the other hand, professor Smith completely disagreed with the author's argument."

Causal Transitions

Causal transitions—also called cause-and-effect transitions—show how certain circumstances or events were caused by other factors, says Academic Help. The website that offers assistance with academic writing adds: "They (causal transitions) make it easier for the reader to follow the logic of the arguments and clauses represented in paper." Examples include:

  • Accordingly
  • And so
  • As a result
  • Consequently
  • For this reason
  • Hence
  • So
  • Then
  • Therefore
  • Thus
  • Granting (that)
  • On the condition (that)
  • In the event that
  • As a result (of this)
  • Because (of this)
  • As a consequence
  • Consequently
  • In consequence
  • So much (so) that
  • For the purpose of
  • With this intention
  • With this in mind
  • Under those circumstances
  • That being the case
  • Then

An example of of a causal transition used in a sentence would be:

"The study of human chromosomes is in its infancy, and so it has only recently become possible to study the effect of environmental factors upon them."
–Rachel Carson, "Silent Spring"

Sequential Transitions

Sequential transitions express a numerical sequence, continuation, conclusion, digression, resumption, or summation, says Michigan State, which gives these examples:

  • In the (first, second, third, etc.) place
  • To begin with
  • To start with
  • Initially
  • Secondly
  • Next
  • Subsequently
  • Before
  • Afterward
  • After this
  • To conclude with
  • As a final point
  • Last but not least
  • To change the topic
  • Incidentally
  • By the way
  • To get back to the point
  • To resume
  • Anyhow
  • As was previously stated
  • So
  • In short
  • Thus
  • In sum
  • Finally

An example of a sequential transition would be:

"We should teach that words are not the things to which they refer. We should teach that words are best understood as convenient tools for handling reality....Finally, we should teach widely that new words can and should be invented if the need arises."
–Karol Janicki, "Language Misconceived"

In sum, use transition words and phrases judiciously to keep your paper moving, hold your readers' attention, and retain your audience until the final word.