What are Transition Words? Transition words and phrases help make your essay flow smoothly from paragraph to paragraph. You can use them at the ends and beginnings of paragraphs, as well as in your introduction and conclusion. Transition words and phrases can be used in every type of essay, but they are most appropriate in expository or argumentative essays in which it’s important to present your ideas in a clear, logical flow. Read on for more insight into transition words for essays, including lists, examples and descriptions of how to use them in your writing.
Transition Words that Compare and Contrast
Comparison and contrast transition words are obviously helpful when writing a compare/contrast essay, but you can also use them to compare two different pieces of information in an expository or argumentative essay. You may also use comparison and contrast transition words to contrast two different experiences in a narrative essay or to compare two different people, places or objects in a descriptive essay.
Here are some of the most common comparison words, followed by examples:
- in the same way
Comparison Transition Words sentence examples:
- In the same way, Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech inspired a generation.
- Similarly, my vacation to the beach was also peaceful and fun, just like my week at summer camp.
Here are some of the most common contrast words, followed by examples:
- in spite of
- on the one hand/on the other hand
- in contrast
- on the contrary
Contrast Transition Words sentence examples:
- However, this delicious breakfast was not as memorable as the dinner my family shared that evening.
- In contrast, my grandmother is always cracking jokes while my grandfather stays serious.
Sequence/Order Transition Words
Sequence words are especially important in narrative essays, where you must guide your reader through the events of your story. Sequence words can be used at the start of each paragraph to clearly mark out what happened first, next and so on. In addition, you can also use sequence words in informational essays that communicate historical events. They are also helpful in essays where you are writing about a book or movie and need to briefly summarize the plot. Here are some sequence/ordering words, followed by examples:
- First, my mom dropped me off at school that fateful morning.
- Then, I saw an unbelievable sight!
- Finally, the zookeepers showed up and led the baby elephant into the back of a hay-filled truck.
Transition Word Examples
Example transition words can help you provide evidence in argumentative essays and add interesting detail in descriptive and narrative essays. There are many different kinds of example words and phrases you can use to keep your writing interesting and avoid repetition in a longer essay. Here are some of the most common example words:
- for example
- for instance
- to illustrate
Here are some additional example transition words you may use in your writing, followed by examples:
- as well
- equally important
- in addition
- For example, one study explained that students who participate in extracurricular activities have a higher overall homework completion rate.
- Furthermore, engagement in nonacademic activities has been shown to increase confidence in children between the ages of 11 and 14.
Conclusion Transition Words
Conclusion words help signal to the reader that you are coming to the end of your essay. A strong conclusion paragraph will begin with a clear conclusion word or phrase that will help to sum up your overall points. Here are some of the most common conclusion words and phrases, followed by examples:
- in conclusion
- in the end
- on the whole
- to conclude
- to summarize
- in sum
- to sum up
- in summary
- In conclusion, school uniforms can help improve students’ focus in the middle school classroom.
- In sum, voting is an important part of our democracy and something we shouldn’t take for granted.
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