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Transition words are useful for all types of writers. Whether you’re attempting academic writing, blogging, speech writing, or writing fiction, transition words can help refine your text and create a narrative flow.

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Margaret Atwood Teaches Creative WritingMargaret Atwood Teaches Creative Writing

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What Are Transition Words?

Transition words are any words that link parts of text together and create cohesion. Depending on the logical reasoning of your sentences, transition words can denote time, agreement, or opposition. A transition word can be a coordinating conjunction (“and,” “but,” “for,” etc.), a subordinating conjunction (“although,” “because,” etc.) or a conjunctive adverb (“however,” “therefore,” “moreover,” etc.). The transition words you use depend on the context of your writing.

What Is the Purpose of Transition Words?

Transition words are linking words that bring coherence to and between the sentences of your text, creating a natural flow of thought. Learning to use different transitions effectively will help you write more cohesive pieces and improve your writing’s clarity. Transition words encourage a smooth writing structure, connecting ideas between new sentences and new paragraphs, setting up a more comprehensive reading experience for your audience.

How to Use Transition Words (By Type)

Transitional words and phrases can improve writing flow and readability, and different types of transition words can have varying effects on the tone and presentation of your writing. Knowing when and how to use the different transitions will help you write more effectively and cohesively. Here is a list of transition words and how to use them for various literary purposes:

  1. Time: These words have to do with sequential transition or chronology and are often used to define time. Some examples of time transition words are “finally,” “in the first place,” “in the meantime,” and “all of a sudden.”
  2. Space: These transition words define location, position, or space within the text. Some examples of space transition words include “across” “adjacent to,” “alongside,” “along the edge,” “beside,” “behind,” “beyond,” “further,” “over,” and “under.”
  3. Illustration: Using illustrations or examples can help emphasize a point, further supporting your arguments. Transition words and phrases that can help illustrate the point being made include “for example,” “in this case,” “in other words,” “to illustrate,” “to demonstrate,” “for this reason,” and “in particular.”
  4. Agreement: When you’re adding information to your previous paragraphs or reinforcing an accepted idea, additive transition words like “as a matter of fact,” “in addition to,” “in a like manner,” “furthermore,” and “in a similar fashion” help illustrate congruence.
  5. Contradiction: When you’re trying to prove a point (like in an argumentative essay), presenting facts and considering a topic from every angle adds credibility and will help you gain a reader’s trust. For this reason, adversative transition words that emphasize limitation or opposition can help your reader understand the following text. These are words and phrases, such as “even though,” “despite,” “be that as it may,” and “on the other hand.”
  6. Cause: Causal transitions identify the cause before an effect. Words and phrases like “in the event of,” “for the purpose of,” “owing to,” “since,” and “in order to” let the reader know that your text is presenting a condition, cause, or intention.
  7. Result: Transition words like “accordingly,” “consequently,” “therefore,” and “for this reason” are useful to include in your writing to help the reader identify the cause and effect. These words help the reader see that the previous text has brought up an issue, and you are now using evidence to show the result of that.
  8. Conclusion: Conclusive transition words help make a final point or restatement of a previous idea. You can use these words to introduce your conclusion or conclude the current section of ideas. Conclusion transition words include phrases like “ultimately,” “all things considered,” “overall,” and “in summation.”
Margaret Atwood Teaches Creative Writing
Margaret Atwood Teaches Creative Writing
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