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Writing Strategies


What are transitions and how are they used?

Transitions are phrases or words that are used to connect one idea to another:

  • within a sentence
  • between sentences
  • between paragraphs
  • between sections in a paper.

Different transitions connect ideas in different ways, as shown below. 

Keep in mind: This is not an exhaustive list. Other words and phrases can accomplish similar effects in your writing. Try to use a variety of words.

To signal controversy

To imply conflict:  but, however, in contrast, (and) yet, while, whereas, conversely, on the other hand, still

To imply replacement:  (or) at least, (or) rather, instead

To imply concession:  but, even so, nevertheless, although, even though, despite (this), admittedly, albeit

To imply dismissal:  either way, in either case, all the same, in any event, at any rate


To signal sequence

Continuation:  previously, after (this), eventually, next, then, before (this), subsequently

Conclusion:  finally, eventually, at last, in the end, lastly, in conclusion

Resumption:  anyhow, anyway, at any rate, to get back to the point, to resume

Time:  after a while, as long as, as soon as, at that time, before, immediately, in the meantime, lately, now, soon

Summation:  in summary, as was previously stated, therefore, so, consequently, thus, briefly, hence, on the whole

Numerical:  in the (first) place, initially, secondly, to start with, first of all

Digression:  by the way, incidentally, to change the subject

Place:  above, adjacent to, below, beyond, near, opposite, there, to the left (right)


To present information

To add information:  moreover, in addition, also, besides, furthermore, and, too, not only…but also

To refer to information:  as for (this), considering (this), concerning (this), regarding (this), the fact that

To show contrast:  although, but, despite, in spite of, instead, on the one hand…on the other hand, regardless

To clarify:  that is (to say), I mean, in other words, (to) put (it) another way

To introduce examples:  for example, for instance, this is shown by

To introduce information:  such as, for example, as, like, especially, particularly, notably, including

To show similarity:  similarly, likewise, in the same way, by the same token, equally

To identify:  that is, namely, specifically, thus

To emphasize:  even more, above all, indeed, besides, more importantly


To signal cause and effect

To state cause/reason:  being that, since, as, in as much as, due to, in view of, owing to, that, for, in that

To state effect/result:  so, so that, for this reason, hence, therefore, consequently, accordingly, as a result of (this)

To state consequence:  then, if so, in that case, if not, otherwise, under those circumstances

To state condition:  if, provided that, given that, even if, only if, unless, as/so long as, granted that

To state purpose:  so, so that, in order to, for fear that, with this in mind, in the hope that, lest