Examples Of Good Transitions In Essays

Transitions

Transitions help readers understand the connection from one idea to the next as they read. This page has information about two types of transitions: transitions between the sentences within a single paragraph and transitions between one paragraph and another. Click on the links below to learn about each type of transition.

Sentence Transitions

Transitions between sentences help readers see the connection between one sentence and the next one. Not every sentence should have a transition; rather, transitions tend to appear in every few sentences, such as when the paragraph is changing directions or bringing up a new idea. One of the most common ways to make transitions is by using transition words, also known as conjunctive adverbs. The chart below lists some common transition words you might use to connect the sentences within a paragraph.

Transition Words

  • therefore
  • however
  • then
  • first
  • consequently
  • on the other hand
  • next
  • second
  • thus
  • conversely
  • afterwards
  • third
  • additionally
  • rather
  • later
  • finally
  • similarly
  • for example
  • meanwhile
  • in other words

Transition words are usually followed by a comma. When you use a transition word to connect the ideas in two sentences, you can punctuate your sentences with either a period or a semicolon.

Punctuation with Transition Words

Without a transition word

Frank needed a composition course to graduate from Las Positas College. He enrolled in English 1A.

With a transition word, a period and a comma

Frank needed a composition course to graduate from Las Positas College. Therefore, he enrolled in English 1A.

With a transition word, a semicolon and a comma

Frank needed a composition course to graduate from Las Positas College; therefore, he enrolled in English 1A.

Example

Notice the differences in the following paragraph with and without the transitions:

Without Transitions

One of my favorite hobbies is traveling. I decided to get a job that paid me to travel because I just couldn’t afford my habit. I worked for a company called Offroad where I led bicycle trips. It was a really hard job. I got to spend two months living and working in France’s wine country. I went to the south and stood on the red carpet where they hold the Cannes Film Festival. Riding bikes all summer was great, and traveling around France was incredible. The job was too much work and not enough play. While it fed my traveling addiction, I knew that job wasn’t for me.

With Transitions

One of my favorite hobbies is traveling. Therefore, I decided to get a job that paid me to travel because I just couldn’t afford my habit. I worked for a company called Offroad where I led bicycle trips. It was a really hard job. I got to spend two months living and working in France’s wine country. In addition, I went to the south and stood on the red carpet where they hold the Cannes Film Festival. Riding bikes all summer was great, and traveling around France was incredible; however, the job was too much work and not enough play. Thus, while it fed my traveling addiction, I knew that job wasn’t for me.

Transitions make the paragraph much clearer, helping readers see the connections between the sentences. Notice that transitions do not appear in every sentence, just when the connection betwee ideas would not be clear without them.

Paragraph Transitions

Paragraph transitions help the reader understand the connections between the paragraphs' ideas. They also help to clarify for the reader how ideas relate to the thesis.

Paragraph Transition Dos and Don'ts

Do put the transition at the beginning of the new paragraph that it introduces.

This will show readers how your new topic connects to what came before it.

Don't put the transition at the end of the previous paragraph.

This sounds like you're bringing up a new point and then dropping it, which can confuse your reader. Paragraphs should almost always end with the main point of that paragraph, not some new point. Learn more about body paragraph structure.

Do show how the new paragraph relates to what came before it.

example: "Maintaining their spirituality gave Africans the strength and focus to revolt against their slave masters."

This paragraph reminds us what came before it (that African slaves maintained their spirituality), and connects it to the new topic (that this spirituality helped the slaves revolt against their masters).

Don't rely on single transition words to make the connections between paragraphs.

example: "Additionally, Africans also revolted against their slave masters."

While this does have a transitional word, "additionally," it doesn't really tell readers how this information relates to what came before it.

Do use subordinators to create transitions between paragraphs.

example: "Although medical studies do not usually confirm the effectivenss of acupuncture, many patients claim it has helped them with pain management and recovery from injuries."

Subordinators such as although, since, when, while, because, and asare all useful in transitioning between paragraphs.

Essay Example

Notice the differences in the following example with and without the transitions:

Without Transitions

Traveling is my life. I work every day to fund my next trip. When I was 22, I went on my first trip by myself. I went to the Netherlands, Scotland, and Ireland. After that trip, I knew that I would spend the rest of my life traveling. I am so addicted to traveling that if I am not traveling, I am planning my next trip.

            I receive many emails a day from different traveling web sites. Sherman’s Travel and Travel Zoo are two of my favorites. When I open my email, the first thing I see is “Sale. $500 all inclusive 5 nights in Hawaii.” In my mind, I am already there. I am imagining myself lying on the beach, far away from my daily responsibilities.

            I recently paid to receive a monthly magazine called Budget Travel. I knew that this would help feed my addiction while I am saving for my next trip. This is one of the best traveling magazines I have ever found. It gives random tips about traveling like, “keep a $100 bill folded up inside my luggage tag for emergencies” (14).  The pictures entice me even further. My current issue showed the views of Sicily, and now I must travel there.

            I decided to get a job that paid me to travel because I just couldn’t afford my habit. I worked for a company called Offroad where I lead bicycle trips. It was a really hard job, but I got to spend two months living and working in France’s wine country. I also went to the south and stood on the red carpet where they hold the Cannes Film Festival. Riding bikes all summer was great, and traveling around France was incredible, but the job was too much work and not enough play, so although it fed my traveling addiction, I knew that job wasn’t for me.

            I have still managed to travel on my limited budget; I am currently planning a trip to Vancouver, BC next month. I love to travel so much that I subscribe to both magazine and online sources to feed my addiction. Every time I take a trip, it makes me want to see more of the world and enjoy all it has to offer.

This short essay feels choppy. All of the sentences start with "I", and the 
reader is not often clear about how the paragraphs relate to each other nor 
how they relate to the thesis. These have been left to the reader's interpretation.

With Transitions

Traveling is my life. I work every day to fund my next trip. When I was 22, I went on my first trip by myself. I went to the Netherlands, Scotland, and Ireland. After that trip, I knew that I would spend the rest of my life traveling. I am so addicted to traveling that if I am not traveling, I am planning my next trip.

            Since I am addicted to traveling, I make sure to stay on top of the latest deals. I receive many emails a day from different traveling web sites. Sherman’s Travel and Travel Zoo are two of my favorites. When I open my email, the first thing I see is “Sale. $500 all inclusive 5 nights in Hawaii.” In my mind, I am already there. I am imagining myself lying on the beach, far away from my daily responsibilities.

            As if receiving constant emails about deals wasn’t enough, I recently paid to receive a monthly magazine called Budget Travel. I knew that this would help feed my addiction while I am saving for my next trip. This is one of the best traveling magazines I have ever found. It gives random tips about traveling like, “keep a $100 bill folded up inside my luggage tag for emergencies” (14).  This is something that I have never thought of, but I know that even if I don’t use it, I will definitely start checking luggage tags at the airport! Not only do I appreciate the traveling tips, but the pictures entice me even further. My current issue showed the views of Sicily, and now I must travel there.

            Although looking at magazines and web sites is exciting, it doesn’t compare to actually traveling, so I decided to get a job that paid me to travel because I just couldn’t afford my habit. I worked for a company called Offroad where I lead bicycle trips. It was a really hard job, but I got to spend two months living and working in France’s wine country. I also went to the south and stood on the red carpet where they hold the Cannes Film Festival. Riding bikes all summer was great, and traveling around France was incredible, but the job was too much work and not enough play, so although it fed my traveling addiction, I knew that job wasn’t for me.

            Although I am no longer working for the traveling company, I have still managed to travel on my limited budget; I am currently planning a trip to Vancouver, BC next month. I love to travel so much that I subscribe to both magazine and online sources to feed my addiction. Every time I take a trip, it makes me want to see more of the world and enjoy all it has to offer.
     
Notice that without the transitions, the essay is understandable, but the author's ideas seem disconnected from one another. However, with the transitions, the author has taken more control over the reader's interpretation of the writer's work. The author's voice is much stronger and clearer in the second example. In addition to the transitions at the beginning of the sentences, the second example has a transition after a quote. Instead of just leaving the quote alone, the author has now told us why he/she used that particular quote, again taking control over the reader's interpretations.

This page was created by Meghan Swanson and Karin Spirn.

Two sentences become a sentence, using transitions words or phrases that link sentences and paragraphs together smoothly so that there are no abrupt jumps or breaks between ideas. Here is a list of some common transition word that can be helpful for writer to use the word to link two sentences.

Click on the links below to take you to sample transition words and sample sentences

NOTE: the words that show transition are bold.

Words that ADD information:

Words that ADD informationalsoandanotherbesidefirst, second, third,...furthermorein additionmoreover

  • The little girl put on her yellow shirt and brown overalls.

  • Chris is on the basketball team this semester at Indiana School for the Deaf. In addition, he is on the soccer team.

  • We will be here for one more week so we can finish up our work. Another reason we are staying longer is because we do not want to miss the Deaf Way conference.

  • First of all, pour a half-cup of milk in the bowl; second, add two eggs; and third, stir the mixture.

  • I admire I. King Jordan because he is the first deaf president of Gallaudet. Besides that, I admire him because he is a great long distance runner. Furthermore, he is a dedicated family man. All in all, there is not much to dislike about the man, except he is too perfect!

  • Crystal likes camping in the mountains. Also, Crystal is an experienced hiker.

  • Texas School for the Deaf is perfectly located. Moreover, it has a strong academic program. For example, the school has a preschool program where both deaf and hearing children learn together.

Words that show CONCLUSION:

Words that show CONCLUSIONfinallyin conclusionto concludeto sum up

  • There were a lot of problems discussed at the meeting. Finally, after a few hours, we were able to prioritize the problems in the order we wanted to solve the problems.

  • Many parents and students have been complaining about the program. For example, scores on the end-of-grade tests have gone down from last year; teachers are not very motivated; and everyone is frustrated. To sum up, some improvements in the middle school program need to be made.

  • To conclude, I want to wish you all a very happy holiday season.

  • There was a malfunction in the smoke machines and lights, the curtains would not open and close properly, and one of the actors was sick with no stand-in. In conclusion, the play was a disaster.

 

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Words that REPEAT information

Words that REPEAT informationin factin other wordsonce againto put it another wayto repeat

  • That area is very dangerous for you to bike in. To repeat, I warn you not to go there.

  • Lisa decided not to go to King Islands. In fact she told me, "No, way."

  • I feel that our last Student Council meeting did not go well. In other words, it was a fine mess.

  • Sally has lost an oar on her boat and she is in big trouble. To put it another way, Sally has to find a different method of rowing or she will sink!

Words that show COMPARISON:

Words that show COMPARISONas ... asin like manneras iflikeby comparisonlikewisein comparisonsimilarly

  • At St. Rita School for the Deaf, a private school, there is a dress code that mandates how the students are to dress. The boys must wear a pair of pants and dress shirts. Similarly, the strict dress code requires plaid skirts and blouses for the girls.

  • Like her grandmother, Sally loves the Gallaudet Homecoming football game.

  • The news reported that Montana would be very cold this week. I said, "Likewise, Rochester will be, too."

  • Ronda bought a new Saturn car; so in like manner the rest of her friends did the same thing.

  • By comparison, Greensboro, N.C. is much smaller than Washington, D.C. is.

  • The cat acts as if he is the boss of the house.

  • The cat is as proud as a king.

  • Bob loves to go to parties. In comparison, Sue loves to stay at home with her family.

  • Compared to seven years ago when the printer worked well, it has been "ill" a great deal of the time in recent weeks.

 

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Words that show CONTRASTS or DIFFERENCES:

Words that show CONTRASTS or DIFFERENCESalthoughbuthoweverin contrastin spite ofneverthelessnonethelessrather thanthoughunlikeyet

  • I am not able to go to the beach with you. Nevertheless, thanks for asking me.

  • Karen's cat, Salem is so unlike Midnight. Midnight likes to nap a lot and Salem likes to play a lot.

  • The idea of attending the play at Gallaudet is nice. However, the Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research conference is scheduled at the same time.

  • He prefers to attend the play rather than attending the conference.

  • Though I eat green beans because they are healthy, I hate them.

  • Although Steven was extremely tired, he washed the dishes.

  • The play was great, nonetheless, I was sick of seeing it after the fourth time.

  • Amber, Sharon, and Megan went to Busch Gardens for the day. In spite of the cold weather, they enjoyed themselves.

  • Sharon and Megan enjoyed the Loch Ness Monster ride, but Amber thought that Alpengist was faster and had more twists.

  • Sharon has not visited the Land of the Dragons, yet if she had had a kid, she would have gone by now.

  • Alexander Graham Bell believed in oral education for deaf children. This is in contrast to Edward Miner Gallaudet who believed in using American Sign Language to educate deaf children.

Words that show a TIME relationship:

Words that show a TIME relationshipafter so much timeafter thatat firstbeforebeginning, endingeventuallyearliereven whenever sincefollowingfrom then onfrom, toin timelastlatermeanwhilenear, farnextnowoversoonstillthe next day, nightthenwhile

  • Stephen went to pick up Irene before he stopped by McDonald's for lunch.

  • Karen was out with her friend last night.

  • We need to wash our clothes, after that we can go to the Taste of D.C. festival.

  • I can't wait to watch "NYPD," it is coming on soon. You can watch the rerun later this week.

  • Finally, I will get to see Rick Schroder. He has not been acting much since he was a teenager.

  • The beginning of the movie was sadder than the ending.

  • After so much time waiting in the long line, the boys finally got their hamburgers.

  • The Van Gogh art exhibit was shown earlier this month in Washington, D.C.

  • Wait until tonight, then you will be able to see the full moon over Gallaudet's Chapel Hall.

  • The show is not over until the actors take their final bows at the end.

  • While Missy was driving to work, she saw a deer by the roadside. She slowed down to watch the deer for a short time, then continued on her way to work.

  • Even when Sally was able to, she did not bother to finish her ASL project.

  • Clerc met with Gallaudet to prepare for the Congressional meeting scheduled for the next day.

  • The next night was very dark and stormy. Of course, it was Halloween night!

  • "Next, please," the lady called when it was my turn to go up to the booth to have my paycheck cashed.

  • Bobby's broken ankle will heal in time for the Maryland Deaf Festival.

  • That house felt very creepy inside; meanwhile, it was sunny outside.

  • Eventually, Sally got tired of John calling her on the TTY all the time since she was not interested in him.

  • She was still asleep when I got back home from work.

  • Now, please get this truck fixed because I need it to get to school on time!

  • Schools for the deaf used Sign Language until the dreadful conference in Milan; from then on, most schools for the deaf employed the oral method.

  • Super Kmart is near Landmark Mall, but Ames is far away from the mall. So it would be easier to shop at Super Kmart.

  • It will take two hours to go from Point A to Point B. Can you figure out how many hours it is from Point A to Point C?

  • At first, I thought it was a dead animal. As I walked closer, I saw it was only a worn-out coat on the ground.

  • Looking beyond this month, I predict that funding will be much better for this program.

  • Everyone hid out in the hall during the hurricane, hoping they would be safe.

  • Rebecca has not eaten at Lone Star ever since she became sick from eating the food.

  • Following "Friends" and "Mad about You," "ER" will be shown. "ER" is supposed to have two Deaf actresses on the show tonight.

 

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Words that LIMIT or PREPARE for an example:

Words that LIMIT or PREPARE for an examplefor examplefor instanceto illustratesuch as

  • Not all birds eat berries. For example, vultures eat dead animals.

  • Jeff is an interesting person to know. To illustrate, he knows a lot about the history of the Deaf community in Ireland.

  • There are things that need to be done to improve the company. For instance, we can begin by organizing the files.

  • I have a few things to take care of such as paying bills, cleaning the house, and going to the post office.

Words that show CAUSE (explain why):

Words that show CAUSE (explain why)becausebecause ofcaused by

  • Midnight was not able to move around well because his hind legs were in casts. He broke them when he fell off the bookshelf.

  • Did you see the tragic accident on I-85 south? It was caused by a drunk driver.

  • Because it is raining today, the homecoming game and the food booths will be cancelled.

  • I was late to work because of the heavy traffic.

 

Words that show EFFECT/RESULT:

Words that show EFFECT/RESULTSas a resultconsequentlyfor this/that reasonthat is whythereforethus

  • It is raining today thus we are not going to the beach.

  • The weather is supposed to be drizzly and chilly today; as a result, the Deaf Festival will be cancelled.

  • I was too tired; therefore I decided not to go to the state fair last night.

  • In 1903, William E. Hoy, a deaf baseball player, caught a fly ball in the ninth inning in spite of heavy fog. Consequently, Los Angles won the pennant for that year.

  • Ricky worked all day, from 8am until 11pm. That is why he stayed home instead of going camping with us.

  • The school bus broke down last week and has not been repaired yet. So for that reason, our dance group is unable to go to Washington, D.C. to perform at Kennedy Center.

 

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Words that ASSERT OBVIOUS TRUTH or GRANT OPPOSITION:

Words that ASSERT OBVIOUS TRUTH or GRANT OPPOSITIONcertainlyconceding thatgranted thatin factnaturallyno doubtof courseundoubtedlywithout a doubt

  • There is no doubt that the dog buried the bone in the garden.

  • Jeff told us an undoubtedly true story that was very scary.

  • The judge, without a doubt, thinks capital punishment is wrong.

  • Of course, Sarah is going to the beach this weekend with her parents. She needs a break from Gallaudet.

  • Naturally Steven is not going to agree with that plan. In fact, he thinks that the idea of setting up a business selling scarves on K Street would surely fail.

  • Certainly, you may borrow my book on the history of the American Deaf Community. But, be sure to return it to me next week.

  • Granted that Bob promised to send some money to help with the bills, yet this doesn't mean that he will.

  • Conceding that Sally is a strong skater, Rachel still believes she will be able to beat her in the Olympics. Rachel wants to become the first deaf ice skater to receive a gold medal.

 

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