Need some transition words for essays that will really help your paper flow? We’ve got you covered.
You always hear professors and educators talk about including transition words within your paragraphs, but it can be tricky to figure out which words to use and where to put them. It’s also difficult to come up with new ones off the top of your head instead of using “however,” “but,” or “and” over and over again.
Fortunately, we’re always here to help you out with the right tools and resources. We know all about transitional words and phrases, how to use them in every part of your essay, and how to make sure you make the right impression in your writing.
This master list of 200 transition words for essays will give you some great ideas for your next writing assignment, and we’ve got some great tips and tricks you can use along the way.
Young woman working on her essays with her back turned to the camera
What Are Transition Words?
Let’s start with the basics. What are transition words, anyway?
Transitional words and phrases are used to link sentences together. They are similar to conjunctions in that they make connections and help your writing flow smoothly. You don’t talk to people in choppy sentences, so why would you write that way?
A transition word is almost always followed by a comma. You can also use a semicolon to join the two sentences instead of separating them with a period if they are both complete sentences. This adds a little more connection between your thoughts. Here is an example: “Michael didn’t go to school on Wednesday; therefore, he missed the pop quiz.”
If you’re not sure whether your sentences are complete and should be joined with a semicolon, check out our blog on the types of sentences in English. This will help you get a sense of how to structure your writing properly so you don’t lose marks on technical things.
When using transition words for essays, you should also include them at the beginning of each of your body paragraphs. This not only helps you transition into the next thought, but introduces the next point you’re going to make.
Student desk with notepad taking down transition words
Why Should I Use Transition Words?
Even though it seems like your sentences would be fine without including transition words, they make a really big difference in your writing.
Transitional words and phrases make sentences flow together more effectively, adding that sense of connection between two thoughts or ideas. This makes essays easier to read, and more cohesive for your professor.
For example, take a look at these sentences: “Leanna did not do any homework during the entire semester. She failed her history class.”
Now, here are these sentences with a transition word included: “Leanna did not do any homework during the entire semester. As a result, she failed her history class.”
As you can see, adding that transition word between the two sentences makes them flow together and connects the idea that one thing has led to another.
When you use transition words for essays, you make your writing flow a lot better and can easily connect one point to another. This is especially important at the end of your body paragraphs, where you need to go from one point to the next in a way that sounds natural.
Think of your sentences like a stack of bricks. Without the mortar to glue the bricks together, you just have a pile of bricks. But with mortar, you have something holding those bricks together to build something more solid – a house or a structure. Transition words are just like that mortar. Sure, your sentences can hold up on their own, but transition words hold your sentences together to create a more cohesive text as a whole.
Female student writing down transition words on a tablet
Types of Transition Words
There are actually a few different categories that transitional words and phrases fall into. These categories are determined by the purpose and use of the word. For example, if you are using a transition word to add on to a point you’ve already made, you would use something from the “agreement, addition, or similarity” category.
Here are the main categories of transition words for essays:
● Agreement, Addition, or Similarity
● Sequence or Order
● Contradiction or Opposition
● Cause and Effect
● Examples, Support, or Emphasis
● Location, Space/Place, or Time
● Conclusion, Clarification, or Summary
Of course, you can use transitional words and phrases however you see fit and don’t have to stick to just these categories and lists. However, these lists are meant to be a guideline to help you choose the right word to complete your thought and idea. Using the wrong transition word in the wrong context can cause your paper to take a complete turn in a different direction.
It’s All About Relationships
Ultimately, what you need to remember about transition words is that they are based on the relationship between two sentences or ideas. Just like there are different types of relationships between people, there are different types of relationships between words. This is where those different categories come in.
When you use transition words at the end of one body paragraph before the next one, you are using them to show how one idea can lead into another. Further, this could be a cause and effect situation, where one point is the result of the previous point, or an agreement relationship where one factor adds on to another.
Here is an example of a cause and effect relationship between sentences: “My grandmother smoked cigarettes for over 50 years. As a result, she developed lung cancer when she was in her 60s.” “As a result” is used as a transitional phrase here to indicate that the grandmother’s lung cancer was the result of her smoking cigarettes for a long time.
Female college student sitting in the kitchen writing argumentative essays
200 Powerful Transition Words For Essays
When it comes to using transition words for essays, it’s important to make sure you’re using the right ones in the right place. Penn State recommends using them in “pivotal positions” where the meaning of the sentence shifts.
Your professor is going to be grading your essays based on your ability to present your points, ideas, and arguments in a logical or cohesive way. No matter what type of paper you’re writing, from argumentative essays to personal reflections, you always need to be able to articulate your thoughts in a way that makes it easy for your reader to follow.
If you’re out of ideas or need some new inspiration, you’re in the right place. Follow this list of 200 transition words for essays to find the right words to use in your own papers, assignments, and speeches.
Agreement, Addition, or Similarity
1. In addition to
2. As a matter of fact
6. Equally important
8. In the same way
12. Not only… but also
13. In like manner
14. As well as
17. In the same fashion
18. In the light of
19. Not to mention
21. Let alone
23. Even more
26. Just like
27. By the same token
Sequence or Order
1. Firstly… secondly… thirdly
4. Next… then… finally
6. In the first place… in the second place
7. Formerly… presently
10. To begin with
11. Sooner… later
12. As soon as
14. By the time
15. Now that
16. Immediately following
20. Both… and
Contradiction or Opposition
1. In spite of
2. While it may be true
4. On the one hand… on the other hand
6. In contrast
8. On the contrary
12. As much as
13. Although this may be true
14. Even though
16. Be that as it may
17. Above all
24. Different from
25. At the same time
29. That said
Cause and Effect
1. As a result
8. With this in mind
9. Owing to
10. Inasmuch as
11. Due to
12. To the end that
13. In order to
14. In light of
16. In the event that
18. Provided that
19. Seeing that
20. Being that
25. In the event that
Examples, Support, or Emphasis
1. For example
2. For instance
5. Of course
8. To illustrate
9. To demonstrate
10. As an example
14. Equally important
17. To include
20. More importantly
21. In fact
22. For the purpose of
23. Another key point
25. In particular
26. To put it another way
28. As an illustration
29. Above all
30. So that
Location, Space/Place, or Time
3. At last
12. Immediately after
13. Back then
16. This time
21. In the future
Conclusion, Clarification, or Summary
1. In conclusion
2. To sum up
3. In summary
5. In a word
7. In brief
8. In the end
9. To conclude
10. To summarize
11. On the whole
12. In other words
14. In short
16. In a nutshell
17. After all
18. All things considered
19. In sum
20. Given these points
21. In either case
22. As shown above
23. To clarify
24. To put it another way
26. That is
27. To rephrase
28. With this in mind
29. On the subject of
31. As for
33. In consideration of
34. With regard to
35. Considering this result
A set of eyeglasses placed on top of an open book of essays
Where to Use Transition Words in Your Essays
Now that you understand which words you should use to transition between points and ideas, you may still have a few questions. For starters, you’re probably wondering where to use transition words in your writing and how they fit in with your overall message.
There are a few different spots where you can use transition words within your essays or writing assignments:
● In your topic sentences at the start of each paragraph.
● To create connections between the evidence presented and the result or argument.
● In your closing sentence at the end of each paragraph to segway into the next one.
● At the beginning of your introduction or summary paragraphs.
● Within your conclusion to make summarized points.
For more help with this, take a look at our blog on essay format. In this article, we show you exactly what should be included in each section of your essay so you can make sure you’re on the right track for success.
Female student writing a paper at her desk with closeup of her arm
Important Things to Remember
If you have even more questions, here are some important things to remember when using transition words that will help you as you write your essay.
● Don’t overuse transition words in your essay. You need them in key places, but you don’t need them in every single sentence. If you use too many transitions, your reader might feel like you’re not giving them enough credit to make obvious connections.
● Make sure you understand the word you’re using. The point of a transition word is to make a logical connection, so when you use the wrong word, the logic becomes lost entirely.
● Understand how to start your sentences. Many transition words are used at the beginning of sentences, but some are too casual and should be avoided in an academic essay. For example, never start a sentence with “and,” “but,” or “because.” Find a better and more formal word to replace these.
● Watch your sentence fragments. It’s easy to write sentence fragments with transition words and not realize they aren’t complete sentences because we are so accustomed to saying them in casual language. Make sure all of your sentences can stand on their own.
● Use an essay outline to help organize your writing. This way, you get a clear idea of exactly where you should be including transition words, and can avoid overusing them wherever they aren’t necessary. For more help with your essay outline, check out Episode 47 of The Homework Help Show.
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Still Not Sure How to Use Transition Words for Essays? Let us Help.
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