Transition Words

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TRANSITION WORDS
Michigan State University
Learning Resources Center
Bessey Hall – Room 202
John A. Dowell, Technology Literacy Specialist

What are transition words and how are they used?
 Transitions are phrases or words used to connect one idea to the next
 Transitions are used by the author to help the reader progress form one significant
idea to the next
 Transitions also show the relationship within a paragraph (or within a sentence)
between the main idea and the support the author gives for those ideas
 Different transitions do different things…

Transitions may be additive, adversative, causal, or sequential.








Additive
Transitions
Addition
Introduction
Reference
Similarity
Identification
Clarification







Adversative
Transitions
Conflict
Emphasis
Concession
Dismissal
Replacement






Causal
Transitions
Cause/Reason
Effect/Result
Purpose
Consequence








Sequential
Transitions
Numerical
Continuation
Conclusion
Digression
Resumption
Summation

Original version submitted by Gregory M. Campbell ([email protected]), Thursday, December 15, 1994.
Similar to Michael Buckhoff’s ([email protected]) page on Expository Writing —
http://buckhoff.topcities.com/using_transition_words.htm
Adopted by John A. Dowell ([email protected]), Friday, October 3, 1997.
Feel free to use this, with these credits to Prof. Cambell, Prof. Buckhoff, and myself, if you please, along with this link to Creative
Commons License 3.0 — http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0
Lastly, here is a brief page with some excellent explanatory information — http://www.english-at-home.com/grammar/linking-words/

ADDITIVE TRANSITIONS
Used to show addition, introduction, similarity to other ideas, etc.
Addition
indeed,

further,

as well (as this),

either (neither),

also,
and,
or,
too,
nor,

moreover,
furthermore,
in fact,
let alone,
alternatively,

what is more,
in addition (to this),
actually,
much less,
on the other hand,

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,

Introduction
such as,
for example,
for instance,

as,
like,
especially,

particularly,
in particular,
notably,

including,
for one thing,
by way of example,

as an illustration,
to illustrate,

Reference
speaking about (this),
as for (this),

considering (this),
concerning (this),

regarding (this),
the fact that

with regards to (this),
on the subject of (this),

Similarity
similarly,
equally,

in the same way,
likewise,

by the same token,

in a like manner,

namely,

specifically,

thus,

Identification
that is (to say),

Clarification
that is (to say),

I mean,

(to) put (it) another way,

in other words,

ADVERSATIVE TRANSITIONS
Used to signal conflict, contradiction concession, dismissal, etc.
Conflict
but,
however,
in contrast,

by way of contrast,
(and) yet,
when in fact,

while,
whereas,
conversely,

on the other hand,
though (final position),

Emphasis
even more,

above all,

indeed,

more importantly,

besides,

Concession
but even so,
however,
(and) still,
(and) yet,

nevertheless,
nonetheless,
although,
though,

even though,
despite (this),
in spite of (this),
granted (this),

on the other hand,
notwithstanding (this),
regardless (of this),
be that as it may,

admittedly,
albeit

Dismissal
at any rate,
all the same,

whichever happens,
whatever happens,

in either event,
in either case,

Replacement
(or) at least,

(or) rather,

instead

in any case,
in any event,

either way,

CAUSAL TRANSITIONS
Used to signal cause and effect, reason and result, etc.
Cause/Reason
in view of (the fact), for the (simple) reason that, being that,
owing to (the fact), because (of the fact),
seeing that,
forasmuch as,
due to (the fact),
in that
inasmuch as,

for,
as,
since,

Effect/Result
for this reason,
accordingly,
therefore,
thus,

as a result (of this),
because (of this),
so much (so) that,

consequently,
in consequence,
as a consequence,

hence,
so that,
so,

Condition
on (the) condition (that),
in the event that,
as/so long as,
in case,

granted (that),
granting (that),
given that,

if,
unless,
even if,

provided that,
providing that,
only if,

Purpose
for the purpose of,
with this intention,
with this in mind,

in the hope that,
to the end that,
so as to,

for fear that,
in order to,
in order that,

so that,
lest
so,

Consequence
under those circumstances,
that being the case,

then,
if so,

in that case,
otherwise,

if not,

SEQUENTIAL TRANSITIONS
Used to signal a chronological or logical sequence
Numerical
first of all,
secondly,
thirdly, (etc.)

in the (first, second,
etc.) place,
to begin with,

initially,

to start with,

at first,

for a start,

previously,
afterwards,

eventually,
after (this),

next,
then,

as a final point,
in the end,

eventually,
finally,

at last,
lastly,

incidentally,

by the way,

anyway,

anyhow,

Continuation
subsequently,
before (this),
Conclusion
to conclude (with),
last but not least,
Digression
to change the topic,
Resumption
to get back to the
point,
to return to the
subject,

at any rate,

to resume,

Summation
as was previously stated,
to make a long story short,
as has been mentioned,
given these points,
as has been noted,
to put it briefly,

so,
thus,
then,
in all,
hence,
in sum,

consequently,
as I have said,
to summarize,
on the whole,
in conclusion,
altogether,

in summary,
to sum up,
to be brief,
therefore,
in a word,
in short,

all in all,
overall,
briefly,

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