The Professional Writer’s List of Transition Words & Phrases

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Talking to someone who constantly jumps from one unrelated topic to the next is a strange experience. The entire conversation seems random and unfocused, which makes it hard to stay engaged, and easy to say, “I gotta go”.

Needless to say, it’s annoying to talk to people who try to engage you with choppy conversations — and it’s just as irritating in writing. If you abruptly hop from one point to another, you’ll throw your readers off and confuse them, increasing the likelihood that they’ll abandon your piece.

To avoid losing your audience’s attention when moving from one point to another, you need to weave your ideas and thoughts together with transitions. These logical connections between different sections in your writing give your audience a train of thought to follow, boosting the odds that they’ll pay their undivided attention to your piece.

To help you thread your writing together and better engage an audience, we’ve compiled a list of the best transition words and phrases to include in your pieces. Whether you want to know the best transitions for linking separate paragraphs together or ending paragraphs with an emotional punch, we’ve listed some effective options below.

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The Professional Writer’s List of Transition Words and Phrases

Additional Evidence

To bolster your ideas with additional support or information, consider using the following transitions:

  • Also
  • Too
  • And
  • As well as
  • Another
  • In addition
  • Even more
  • Equally
  • Let alone

Here’s an example of this type of transition in use:

“Early adopters can provide a lot of helpful feedback about a product’s or technology’s pros and cons. They also inject these companies with revenue that funds the research and development needed to enhance the product or technology enough to gain widespread adoption.”

Comparison

To compare multiple thoughts or ideas, consider using the following transitions:

  • Similarly
  • Just like
  • Likewise
  • By the same token
  • In a similar fashion

Here’s an example of this type of transition in use:

Just like Facebook Instant Articles, which lets users read articles without leaving Facebook’s mobile app, Google will host AMP pages on its own servers and serve up the content directly on its site.”

Contrast

To contrast multiple ideas or thoughts, consider using the following transitions:

  • On the other hand
  • At the same time
  • Although
  • Albeit
  • Even though
  • Even so
  • In spite of
  • Despite
  • That said
  • Granted
  • Regardless
  • Admittedly
  • Instead
  • But
  • However
  • Though
  • Still
  • Yet
  • While
  • Whereas
  • Otherwise

Here’s an example of this type of transition in use:

“As jobs become more specialized in today’s workforce, it seems logical to hone a specific skill set, especially during school. But only learning the skills that match the exact requirements of a job today might not prepare you for your job tomorrow.”

Time

To describe something that happened, happens, or will happen during a certain time frame, consider using the following transitions:

  • Previously
  • Back then
  • Nowadays
  • Today
  • Sometimes
  • Once
  • This time
  • During
  • Immediately
  • Next
  • Then
  • Following
  • Soon
  • While
  • Meanwhile
  • Simultaneously

Here’s an example of this type of transition in use:

Nowadays, writing a letter can seem completely archaic. I mean, do people even send mail anymore? Or do they only communicate through email and messaging?”

Concurrent

To describe two things happening at the same time, consider using the following transitions:

  • While
  • Meanwhile
  • Simultaneously

Here’s an example of this type of transition in use:

“Clifford sat alone and depressed in detention. Meanwhile, his friends were having a blast playing football at the common ground.”

Clarification

To spell out a complicated concept, consider using the following transitions:

  • In other words
  • To clarify
  • To rephrase
  • To put it another way
  • That is
  • Actually

Here’s an example of this type of transition in use:

“The term “Bitcoin mining” is really just a clever metaphor for the intricate proof-of-work system that gives people bitcoins in exchange for validating the cryptocurrency’s transactions. In other words, the reason why people mine Bitcoin and how they actually do it is complicated.”

Exemplification

To help your readers grasp an abstract concept, try using the following transitions to provide them with a concrete example:

  • To illustrate
  • To demonstrate
  • For instance
  • For example

Here’s an example of this type of transition in use:

“Even if experiences end like your relationships with material objects do, they’ll always be a part of your story, allowing you to bond with other people who’ve shared similar experiences. For instance, who do you think you’ll connect with on a deeper level — someone who also studied abroad in Scotland during college or someone who wears the same Apple Watch as you?”

Identification

To highlight a distinct attribute of your idea or thought, consider using the following transitions:

  • Specifically
  • Especially
  • Particularly
  • Including

Here’s an example of this type of transition in use:

“If brands truly want to rise from the ashes of the retail apocalypse, they must stay laser-focused on adapting to the evolution of this technology and their customers’ preferences. More specifically, they need to embrace change and prepare for the upcoming trends that will transform their industry in 2019.”

Emphasis

To emphasize a thought or idea you just previously stated, consider using the following transitions:

  • In fact
  • Of course
  • Surely
  • Certainly
  • Indeed
  • Even
  • Truly
  • More importantly

Here’s an example of this type of transition in use:

“When the World Wide Web launched in 1991, most people thought it would fizzle out in a few years. Experts considered it to be a shiny, new fad that no one was really using. In fact, only six countries in the world had more than one internet user per 100 people that year.”

Cause

To spotlight the root cause of something happening, consider using the following transitions:

  • Because
  • Due to
  • Since
  • As

Here’s an example of this type of transition in use:

“Strong call-to-actions are a crucial element of a persuasive business letter — because if you don’t tell your reader what to do next, you might as well have never written your letter in the first place.”

Effect

To call attention to the consequence of the root cause of something, consider using the following transitions:

  • So
  • As a result
  • Therefore
  • Subsequently
  • Consequently

Here’s an example of this type of transition in use:

“A lot of professionals overlook the importance of writing high-quality business letters because they seem outdated. As a result, most people don’t actually know how to write one.”

Reference

To flow from one related topic to another, try referencing the previous topic by using the following transitions:

  • With this in mind
  • As for
  • On the subject of
  • Considering
  • Concerning
  • Regarding

Here’s an example of this type of transition in use:

“Inlinking with clear, concise, and relevant anchor text can reinforce the topical connection between certain posts in Google’s eyes and help all of those posts rank better. With this in mind, anchor text is nothing to gloss over, so let’s learn more about what exactly anchor text is, why it’s important, and the different types of anchor text.”

Summary/Conclusion

To summarize or conclude a paragraph, consider using the following transitions:

  • In a nutshell
  • In sum
  • To put it briefly
  • Altogether
  • After all
  • Ultimately

Here’s an example of this type of transition in use:

“Traveling make you more open to new experiences, which increases your willingness to try new things in the future. It also increases your brain’s capacity and attentiveness in future situations that are new and challenging. In a nutshell, traveling strengthens your desire and ability to learn new skills.”

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Original source: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/transition-words

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