The Writing Center @ The University of Wisconsin - Madison
The Writer's Handbook
Using Transitions

Transitional Words and Phrases

Transitional words and phrases can create powerful links between ideas in your paper and can help your reader understand the logic of your paper.

However, these words all have different meanings, nuances, and connotations.

Before using a particular transitional word in your paper, be sure you understand its meaning and usage completely and be sure that it's the right match for the logic in your paper.

Addition

  • furthermore
  • moreover
  • too
  • also
  • in the second place
  • again
  • in addition
  • even more
  • next
  • further
  • last, lastly
  • finally
  • besides
  • and, or, nor
  • first
  • second, secondly, etc.

Time

  • while
  • immediately
  • never
  • after
  • later, earlier
  • always
  • when
  • soon
  • whenever
  • meanwhile
  • sometimes
  • in the meantime
  • during
  • afterwards
  • now, until now
  • next
  • following
  • once
  • then
  • at length
  • simultaneously
  • so far
  • this time
  • subsequently

Place

  • here
  • there
  • nearby
  • beyond
  • wherever
  • opposite to
  • adjacent to
  • neighboring on
  • above, below

Exemplification or Illustration

  • to illustrate
  • to demonstrate
  • specifically
  • for instance
  • as an illustration
  • e.g., (for example)
  • for example

Comparison

  • in the same way
  • by the same token
  • similarly
  • in like manner
  • likewise
  • in similar fashion

Contrast

  • yet
  • and yet
  • nevertheless
  • nonetheless
  • after all
  • but
  • however
  • though
  • otherwise
  • on the contrary
  • in contrast
  • notwithstanding
  • on the other hand
  • at the same time

Clarification

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

Cause

  • because
  • since
  • on account of
  • for that reason

Effect

  • therefore
  • consequently
  • accordingly
  • thus
  • hence
  • as a result

Purpose

  • in order that
  • so that
  • to that end, to this end
  • for this purpose

Qualification

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

Intensification

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

Concession

  • to be sure
  • granted
  • of course, it is true

Summary

  • to summarize
  • in sum
  • in brief
  • to sum up
  • in short
  • in summary

Conclusion

  • in conclusion
  • to conclude
  • finally

Demonstratives acting as transitions

  • this
  • those
  • these
  • that

Pronouns serving as links to clearly refer to a specific word or phrase

  • his
  • its
  • theirs
  • it
  • their
  • your
  • her
  • they
  • our