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Transition Words and Phrases to Help Your Written Assignments Flow

 

College papers often lack flow because students have made little or no effort to connect paragraphs. Use this article to strengthen your transitions.

 

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by Katharine Hansen, Ph.D.

 

College papers often lack flow because students have made little or no effort to connect paragraphs. Since this problem relates to poor organization, improving your paper's organization will set the scene for improved transitions.

 

Test your transitions by reading your papers aloud to determine whether each paragraph flows coherently from the preceding paragraph.

 

Also consult this list of words and phrases commonly used to improve writing flow:

 

Sequence
  • again
  • also
  • and
  • and then
  • besides
  • finally
  • first ... second ... third
  • furthermore
  • last
  • moreover
  • next
  • next in importance
  • still
  • too
  • in addition to

 

Time
  • after a bit
  • after a few days [hours, weeks, months, years]
  • afterward
  • as long as
  • as soon as
  • at last
  • at length
  • at that time
  • before
  • earlier
  • formerly
  • from now on
  • from then on
  • immediately
  • in the meantime
  • in the past
  • lately
  • later
  • meanwhile
  • now
  • presently
  • shortly
  • simultaneously
  • since
  • so far
  • soon
  • then
  • thereafter
  • until
  • when
  • subsequently
  • also
  • at the same time
  • while
  • following

 

Comparison
  • again
  • also
  • in the same way
  • likewise
  • once more
  • similarly
  • in comparison
  • equally important
  • or
  • in addition

 

Contrast
  • although
  • but
  • despite
  • even though
  • however
  • in contrast
  • in spite of
  • instead
  • nevertheless
  • nonetheless
  • notwithstanding
  • on the contrary
  • on the one hand ... on the other hand
  • regardless
  • though
  • yet
  • whereas
  • conversely
  • in another sense

 

Examples
  • after all
  • even
  • for example
  • for instance
  • indeed
  • in fact
  • of course
  • specifically
  • such as
  • the following example
  • to illustrate

 

Cause and Effect
  • accordingly
  • as a result
  • for this purpose/reason
  • hence
  • so
  • then
  • therefore
  • thereupon
  • thus
  • to this end
  • if ... then

 

Place
  • above
  • adjacent to
  • below
  • closer to
  • elsewhere
  • far
  • farther on
  • here
  • near
  • nearby
  • opposite to
  • there
  • to the left
  • to the right

 

Concession
  • although it is true that
  • granted that
  • I admit that
  • it may appear that
  • naturally
  • of course
  • in any event
  • accepting the data

 

Subordination
  • although
  • as
  • as if
  • there
  • as though
  • because
  • if
  • since
  • so that
  • that
  • though
  • unless
  • until
  • when
  • whenever
  • where
  • wherever
  • whether
  • while

 

Summary, Repetition, Intensification, or Conclusion
  • above all
  • add to this
  • as a result
  • as has been noted
  • as I have said
  • as we have seen
  • as mentioned earlier
  • finally
  • in any event
  • in conclusion
  • in other words
  • in short
  • more important
  • on the whole
  • therefore
  • to summarize
  • accordingly
  • consequently
  • for these reasons
  • hence
  • that is
  • thus
  • briefly
  • in brief
  • indeed
  • in particular
  • in summary
  • of course
  • to sum up
  • ultimately

 

For more help, visit websites that list transitions words and devices commonly used to improve writing flow:

 


 

Questions about some of the terminology used in this article? Get more information (definitions and links) on key academic terms by going to our College Success Glossary.

 


 

Katharine Hansen, Ph.D., is an educator, author, and blogger who provides content for EmpoweringSites.com, including MyCollegeSuccessStory.com. Katharine, who earned her PhD in organizational behavior from Union Institute & University, Cincinnati, OH, is author of Dynamic Cover Letters for New Graduates and A Foot in the Door: Networking Your Way into the Hidden Job Market (both published by Ten Speed Press), as well as Top Notch Executive Resumes (Career Press); and with Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D., Dynamic Cover Letters, Write Your Way to a Higher GPA (Ten Speed), and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Study Skills (Alpha). She curates, crafts, and delivers compelling content online, in print, on stage, and in the classroom. Visit her personal Website KatharineHansenPhD.com or reach her by e-mail at kathy(at)astoriedcareer.com. Check out Dr. Hansen on GooglePlus.


 

 

 

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