Using Transitions Effectively

Transitional devices are bridges between ideas. They enable logical connections between points used to  influence  readers’ thinking, and they make your writing flow smoothly from one point to the next.

"To Illustrate” is a transitional device which connects a point and your verbal or pictorial clarification that will follow-like the list of examples which follows.

“To Give an Example” is an example J of transitions such as “to illustrate, as an illustration, to demonstrate, for instance, on this occasion, for example, for instance, in this case, in this situation, and ….”

To Emphasize:  without a doubt, certainly, undeniably, without reservation, definitely, extremely, obviously, in fact, indeed, in any case, absolutely, positively, naturally, surprisingly, always, forever, perennially, eternally, never, emphatically, unquestionably.

To Show Sequence: next, then, following this, at this time, now, at this point, first, (second, etc), after, afterward, subsequently, finally consequently, previously, simultaneously, concurrently, thus, therefore, hence, next, and then.

 To Summarize or Conclude:  therefore, so, accordingly, thus, as a result, consequently, on the whole,  in brief, in short, on the whole, summing up, to conclude, in conclusion, as I have shown, as I have said, as has been noted, hence.

To Add:  moreover, in addition, first (second, etc), and, again, and then, besides, equally important, finally, further, furthermore, similarly, likewise, nor, too, next, what’s more.

 To Compare:  but, yet, on the other hand, however, nevertheless, on the contrary, whereas, by comparison, where, compared to, up against, balanced against, although, conversely, meanwhile, after all, in contrast, although this may be true.

 To Prove:  because, for, since, for the same reason, obviously, evidently, furthermore, moreover, besides, indeed, in fact, in addition, in any case, that is.

 To Show Exception:  of course, once in a while, sometimes, although, yet, still, however, nevertheless, in spite of.

Writer’s tip: Avoid transitions which talk down to your reader. Transitions like “obviously,” and “clearly” can be read as gratuitous.  If it “does not need to be said,” do not say it.  Carelessly chosen transitions invite argument rather than agreement, and your purpose in writing is to establish agreement.  Clearly and obviously, it need not be said that you are creating a counterproductive tone when you use a clearly and obviously offensive transition.