Tips for Transitions


A paper is made up of paragraphs that contain information related to your main idea, or your thesis. To connect your ideas smoothly for readers, you need to utilize transitions. A transition is a word, phrase, or sentence that can link or show the relationship between ideas.

The most common place to use transitions is between paragraphs. As you start a new paragraph, you should also show the link to the one previous. Doing so helps to guide your reader smoothly through the text. Try these strategies when crafting transitions:

Repetition:

Carrying the main idea of a paragraph into the start of the next paragraph shows readers the link between the two parts of the paper. In this technique, you might use a key phrase or term from the first paragraph in the first sentence of the next paragraph. By repeating this information, you show readers that the two paragraphs are related—and by intentionally repeating a key word or phrase from the first paragraph, you just might force yourself to make the link between the two paragraphs clear.

this is a picture of two men handing a track baton to each other, like a relay race.

Use of transitional Words/Phrases:

These can be used to link paragraphs or even just sentences, and they give readers signals as to how the information between paragraphs or sentences connect. Here are some commonly used transitions:

 

  • To show passage of time: first, second (etc), then, next, finally, after, immediately, in the meantime, later, in the past, now, since, then, while, meanwhile, at last, etc…
  • To give more specific details to illustrate a larger idea: for example, for instance, in particular, above all, that is, likewise, formerly, specifically, to illustrate, more importantly, etc…
  • To show cause and effect: consequently, as a result, because, accordingly, for, so, then, hence, therefore, thus, etc…
  • To compare: also, in the same way, likewise, similarly, etc…
  • To contrast: although, but, conversely, however, in contrast, nevertheless, nonetheless, on the contrary, otherwise, still, yet, on the other hand, etc…
  • To conclude an idea: consequently, in any event, in other words, to sum up, that is, therefore, etc…

To view or print our Helpful Handout, click here: Transitions

*comes with comic adaptation

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Page last modified February 28, 2019