How To Use Transition Words

Crafting a catchy text requires effort, knowledge, time, as well as skills. You should do everything in your power to introduce all ideas correctly, with a smooth transition from one paragraph to another, from one sentence to another, from the first idea to the second one. This is when transition words may be of great help. Their relevant usage may save you from losing the direction that you are moving on, hence lead you to a successful outcome. But first of all, make sure that you know what transition words are.

What Are Transition Words in Essays

Transition words are very important for essays. They can guide the readers throughout the text and keep them attentive to details. On the opposite, wrong using or overusing transition words may make the readers confused or even lost while reading your essay. If you are reading this article, perhaps you know that different types of essays exist, and each of them has its own purpose. Despite what kind of essay you are writing and on what subject, you should take care that all your ideas are progressing in one direction and keeping logical order.

What makes transitions words so significant is that they allow authors to go from one prompt to the second one evenly. Besides, they allow us to do it almost invisible to readers. Let’s look at an example to catch the idea better:

“Life imposes things on you that you can’t control, but you still have the choice of how you’re going to live through them.” – Celine Dion

The author uses the transition word “but” in this sentence to move from a negative part to a positive one smoothly. Imagine that the word “but” is absent. What meaning will the sentence have? Probably the same, however, the whole sense will be hard to understand for the reader at once. All in all, missing or even neglecting transition words will make the essay difficult to read. They are of great importance for establishing the necessary flow in the entire paper. A goof fluency helps readers go from one idea to another, understanding each of them and the text as a whole. However, misusing transition words is the enemy of a good essay number one.

The Most Frequent Mistakes in Using Transition Words

Learning transition words and using them in the essay is not difficult at all; more challenging is to do it properly, without harming the entire paper. Dancing here is a great example to demonstrate this. Agree that everybody can put on dancing shoes and dance the tango with a partner. But doing it, gracefully is already another story. Let’s look at the common mistakes in using transition words to make your partnership with them a true success. 

Spelling them out

If you are writing a great paper, allowing the reader to follow you from one section to another, from one sentence to the next one, there is no need to spell out the transition words. The reader will understand everything at once. There are so many essays that include too many mentions of “In conclusion” in places with no necessity for it at all. It is better to avoid them if the context is clear enough for the reader. 

Repetition of the Same Transition Words

Every author has favorite transitions words that he/she uses more frequently than others, and this is fine. You need to try to use synonyms, switching from time to time. This example demonstrates how you can do it:

“The remote working allows you to manage business hours on your own. Plus, it offers you the opportunity to spend more time with your family. Additionally, you can avoid constant stress.”

Transition by Numbers

While crafting an essay, the author must provide pieces of evidence or a few arguments. But numbering is useless since it is a paper, not a list. It is better to omit “first, second, etc.” for more natural sounding. Look at this example, and you will see this common mistake on the practice:

“First, exercising is good for your cardiovascular function. Second, it can help you become more confident. Third, you can meet new comrades.”

Ands and Buts at the Beginning of the Sentences

Teachers like to repeat one common rule, which says that it is incorrect to start the sentence with “and” or “but.” Nevertheless, many authors go on breaking this rule and like to write, “And this is what I came for. Dozens of eyes looked at me in a great surprise”.

The Most Popular Transition Words for an Essay You Need to Remember

Now you know that transition words are crucial for a good paper, and what mistakes you need to avoid to come up with great content. So, let’s find out what are the most frequently used transition words which you can use in your essay. 

Authors use transition words to achieve different effects; hence they can be referred to various categories. 

Cause

The authors put these transitions words to show the reason for the event. Usually, they are placed at the beginning of the sentences:

  • whenever;
  • if…then;
  • because;
  • provided that;
  • due to;
  • when;
  • in order to;
  • since.

Example: “He often thinks about smoking a cigarette when he is feeling stress about his study.”

Addition

You should use these transition words to add some extra information on the discussed point:

  • in addition;
  • also;
  • and;
  • moreover;
  • furthermore;
  • besides;
  • as well as;
  • equally;
  • additionally;
  • similarly;
  • then;
  • of course.

Example: “Exercising every day will improve your self-esteem as well as let you find new friends.”

Contradiction

These transition words aim to help show the opposite view on the same things, and present another side of the point:

  • but;
  • in contrast;
  • however;
  • rather;
  • nevertheless;
  • although;
  • instead;
  • conversely;
  • while;
  • nonetheless;
  • otherwise.

Example: “The loss of my previous work was real stress for me. Then again, I started to do what I really like at last.”

Emphasis

Authors use emphasis transition words to drive the readers further, allowing them to think about the information that is related to the point:

  • for example;
  • especially;
  • in other words;
  • for instance;
  • like;
  • particularly;
  • with this in mind;
  • namely;
  • such as;
  • including.

Example: “Parents of young children often become depressed, and this is especially true of single parents.”

Effect

The usage of effective transition words is similar to cause transition words but later in the sentences to present the result of a particular action:

  • thus;
  • because of this;
  • as a result;
  • hence;
  • accordingly;
  • therefore;
  • and so;
  • consequently.

Example: “He was feeling stressed because of his study, hence he thought about smoking a cigarette.”

Arrangement

These transitions words are extremely significant while going from one point to another for developing a strong flow:

  • first;
  • formerly;
  • last;
  • at the same time.
  • once;
  • then;
  • as soon as;
  • after;
  • before;
  • finally;
  • next;
  • during;
  • now.

Example: “Before we make the final decision on the most suitable candidature for this position, let’s review all CVs once again.”

Conclusion

You can put together all points that were discussed in the paper with the help of these transition word: 

  • all in all;
  • in summary;
  • overall;
  • in other words;
  • as you can see;
  • altogether;
  • after all;
  • as mentioned;
  • in short;
  • in general.

Example: “As you can see, the new rules of remote working at our company have significantly boosted the employees’ productivity.”

Practice Makes Perfect

Of course, these are not all transitions words that you can use while crafting an essay on a necessary topic. It would be great if you refer to the list each time when the teacher asks you to prepare a paper. You can look for other essays to get some inspiration before starting your own one. Mind that your writing skills will improve every time, but make sure you have read this guide attentively and clearly understand how and where to use transition words. In case you have some questions or uncertainties, it’s better to approach a professional editor or a team to get a better idea of how transition words are working in your particular case. Finally, remember that practice makes perfect and do not give up at once.