Using Transitional Words And Phrases

Last Updated on April 10, 2024.

Writers are using transitions to show connections between pieces of information.

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Those connections are helpful for the reader to understand the writer’s purpose and the content.

1. Read each sentence carefully and choose the most appropriate transition to fill in the blanks in the sentences.

Jenny does very well in her math classes; ______________________, she struggles with writing.

Question 1 of 2

2. Read each sentence carefully and choose the most appropriate transition to fill in the blanks in the sentences.

Marcia witnessed the accident; ________________________she called 911.

Question 2 of 2


This lesson is provided by Onsego GED Prep.

Video Transcription

Transitions are helping in a way that they are creating cohesive writing by linking some sentences together and linking various paragraphs together. Transitions are all used with the purpose of connecting to the author’s thesis.

An author can use transitions in several ways, but there are two methods that are most common. These are using transitional words and phrases and the repetition of key ideas to create pattern transitions.

Transitional Phrases-Transitional Words
Often, authors are using transitional words and phrases if they want to demonstrate a connection between different pieces of information.

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Common Transitional Words and Transitional Phrases
Additionally For example Otherwise
After Hence Similarly
Also However Therefore
Consequently In the end Thus
First/Second On the other hand Then

Writers can choose from several other transitions as well when they try to achieve a specific effect in their essays. This may include the use of transitions for showing exemplification, comparison & contrast, definitions, processes, or cause & effect. The tables below are showing examples of transitions that are working well with all writing styles:

Transitions That Show Exemplification
Another example For example Specifically
As an example For instance Such as
As evidenced by Including To illustrate
Especially In particular To show this


Transitions That Show Comparison & Contrast
Also However In the same way
As opposed to In addition Likewise
But In comparison On the other hand
Conversely In contrast Similarly


Transitions That Show Definition
Another definition As defined by As supported with
Another meaning As evidenced by As these examples show
As compared with As explained by Is complicated by
As contrasted with As illustrated by To define


Transitions That Show Process
Afterward Concurrently Then
Another step Finally First
At this point Next Second
Before Subsequently Third


Transitions That Show Cause & Effect
Accordingly Consequently On account of
As a result Hence Since
Based on In the end Therefore
Because In view of Thus


Pattern Transitions
One more way of connecting information is the use of pattern transitions.

When using this technique, authors will repeat key ideas and words for keeping paragraphs cohesive and for keeping the attention on a specific idea.

Authors will often be referring back to the essay’s main idea or thesis statement throughout their essays.

I’ll give an example. When the topic of an essay is ‘the college admission application process,’ it often happens that the author refers to the topic by using phrases such as ‘One more key step in the college admission process…’ or ‘If you want to get admitted to your favored college, you….’

So again, authors use transitions to demonstrate connections between two or more pieces of information. These connections help the readers to better understand the author’s purpose and the passage’s content.