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Using transitional words/phrases

An important element of good writing is coherence. You must be able to guide your readers effortlessly from one idea to the next, to help them make connections or note points that you wish to emphasize. Readers should be able to navigate clearly through your ideas, arguments or descriptions. We use transitional words or expressions for this purpose.

Transition words or expressions



–make connections



–show relationships (between ideas, between sentences, between paragraphs, between subjects, between thesis statement and supporting points)




stepping-stones   mark the progress of an argument or narrative

act as clue words (telling the reader where the writing is leading to)

act as signal words/phrases for various functions (like contrasting, qualifying, summarizing)

Here are some common transitional words or expressions:


again, also, besides, finally, in addition, first, second, third, for one thing, further, furthermore, in fact, last, moreover, next, then, additionally, as well, even more, too, next, lastly, and then, equally important


as well, equally, likewise, similarly, in similar fashion, in the same way, by the same manner, by the same token, by comparison, compared to,


even so, on the other hand, in contrast, however, yet, on the other hand, instead, nevertheless, nonetheless, though, notwithstanding, whereas, but, on the contrary, conversely

Concession of a point: 

certainly, even so, indeed, of course, no doubt, to be sure


that is to say, in other words, to explain, i.e., (that is), to clarify, to rephrase it, to put it another way


accordingly, consequently, so, as a result, thus, then, therefore, hence, otherwise


above all, clearly, first, especially, in fact, in particular, indeed, least of all, most important, most of all, of course, particularly, mainly, foremost, principally


for instance, for example, in other words, in particular, namely, specifically, to illustrate, to demonstrate, as an illustration


fortunately, interestingly, significantly, surprisingly


because, for this purpose, for this reason


in conclusion, in other words, in short, generally, on the whole, therefore, thus, to conclude, to summarize, ultimately

Time Markers: 

after that, at that time, at the moment, currently, earlier, eventually, first, then, gradually, immediately, in the future, in the past, later, meanwhile, months after, now, one day, presently, so far, subsequently, suddenly, then, these days, while, soon, afterwards, following, once, until now, in the meanwhile, simultaneously, in the last few months/years/decades, a generation ago, a few years ago


almost, nearly, probably, never, always, frequently, perhaps, maybe, although


indeed, to repeat, by all means, of course, certainly, without doubt, yes, no, undoubtedly, in fact, surely



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