Sequence transitions for essays

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Transition Words

As a «part of speech» transition words are used to link words, phrases or sentences. They help the reader to progress from one idea (expressed by the author) to the next idea. Thus, they help to build up coherent relationships within the text.

Transitional Words

This structured list of commonly used English transition words — approximately 200, can be considered as quasi complete. It can be used (by students and teachers alike) to find the right expression. English transition words are essential, since they not only connect ideas, but also can introduce a certain shift, contrast or opposition, emphasis or agreement, purpose, result or conclusion, etc. in the line of argument.
The transition words and phrases have been assigned only once to somewhat artificial categories, although some words belong to more than one category.

There is some overlapping with prepositions and postpositions, but for the purpose of usage and completeness of this concise guide, I did not differentiate.

Agreement / Addition / Similarity

The transition words like also, in addition, and, likewise, add information, reinforce ideas, and express agreement with preceding material.

Sequence transitions for essays

The Writing Center
Empire State College
Genesee Valley Center
Rochester, NY

Transitional words are like signs that help the reader make a smooth shift from one idea to the next. They are a means of precisely guiding the reader through the various levels and shifts that your essay or argument may develop. These words or phrases can be considered the basic tools of the trade, so to speak. Transitional words prevent ideas from awkwardly blending into one another; they also keep the reader from feeling as if he or she is abruptly jumping from point to point. All of these things can distract and confuse the reader, which is not the goal of effective writing.

This page offers the most common instances wherein transitional words should be used. Moreover, it offers a significant number of examples which best express the transitional situation and which can be incorporated directly into one’s writing.