Transition words help improve the quality and style of one's writing by relating and linking sentences, paragraphs, and ideas. They contribute to the flow of the writing.
Examples of different types of transition words are listed below. However, this list is not to be used indiscriminately. The particular word or phrase, the exact right one, should be determined by the nature of the material. In each category, the choices are not identical in meaning. A transition, literally, a "crossing," is both a bridge and sign of relationship. As a bridge it connects sentences, groups of sentences, paragraphs and sentences, paragraphs and sections of a paper. Most important, it is a direction sign to proper relationships between ideas.
- Indication of order:
- next, in the second place, to begin with, finally, in conclusion, first, secondly.
- Indication of space relationships:
- to the right, to the left, at the left, at the right, in the distance, straight ahead, close by, next, at the bottom, at the top, in the foreground, in the background, in the middle ground.
- Addition of ideas:
- besides, in the same way, again, in like manner, similarly, likewise, further, furthermore, moreover, also, and.
- Introduction of statements that oppose, negate, or limit preceding statements:
- still, however, on the contrary, conversely, on the other hand, otherwise, but, nevertheless, yet.
- Time relationships:
- then, somewhat, later, now, presently, thereupon, eventually, thereafter, at the same time, meanwhile, currently, at the present time.
- Introduction to an illustration:
- for example, for instance, as an illustration, in proof of.
- Similarly, in like manner, likewise.
- Repetition of ideas:
- Briefly, that is to say, in fact, indeed, in other words, to sum up.
- Indication of consequence or conclusion:
- It follows that, is a result, therefore, accordingly, for this reason, so, thus, consequently, hence, clearly.