Updated: Dec 10, 2020

Using transitional phrases is a way to guide your reader from one thought to the next. These are used within your paragraphs as you move from one idea to another as well as when you need to move your reader to the next paragraph. Think of transitions as the links that help your writing flow. You can also think of a transition as a sort of bridge between ideas or between paragraphs. Rather than leap from one idea to the next, a transitional word or phrase will offer connection and flow.

Different transitions serve different purposes, such as showing a contrast, showing cause and effect, or elaborating upon an idea.

To add to a thought, you would include a transitional phrase that alerts your reader that you are adding to what you have already stated. For example:

To do well in the course, students should regularly attend class. Furthermore, students should read all assigned pages in the textbook before class.

And to alert your reader that you are comparing two items, you would use a transitional phrase used for comparing. For example:

There were many storms in Atlanta today. Similarly, Miami got bad weather, too.

Examples of Transitional Phrases

To Add

  • additionally

  • again

  • also

  • and

  • as well as

  • besides

  • coupled with

  • furthermore

  • in addition

  • moreover

To Compare/Show Similarity

  • in comparison

  • in the same way

  • by comparison

  • equally

  • in a similar fashion

  • in a similar manner

  • likewise

  • similarly

To Contrast/Show Differences

  • but

  • conversely

  • however

  • in contrast

  • nevertheless

  • nonetheless

  • on the contrary

  • on the other hand

  • otherwise

  • rather

  • though

  • yet

To Show Cause & Effect

  • as a result

  • because

  • consequently

  • for that reason

  • hence

  • otherwise

  • therefore

  • thus

  • wherefore

There are many more, which I of course will teach you in class.

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