Connectives Used In Essays

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  • As a "part of speech" transition words are used to link words, phrases or sentences. They help the reader to progress from one idea (expressed by the author) to the next idea. Thus, they help to build up coherent relationships within the text.

    Transitional Words

    This structured list of commonly used English transition words — approximately 200, can be considered as quasi complete. It can be used (by students and teachers alike) to find the right expression. English transition words are essential, since they not only connect ideas, but also can introduce a certain shift, contrast or opposition, emphasis or agreement, purpose, result or conclusion, etc. in the line of argument.
    The transition words and phrases have been assigned only once to somewhat artificial categories, although some words belong to more than one category.

    There is some overlapping with prepositions and postpositions, but for the purpose of usage and completeness of this concise guide, I did not differentiate.

    Agreement / Addition / Similarity

    The transition words like also, in addition, and, likewise, add information, reinforce ideas, and express agreement with preceding material.

     

    in the first place

    not only ... but also

    as a matter of fact

    in like manner

    in addition

    coupled with

    in the same fashion / way

    first, second, third

    in the light of

    not to mention

    to say nothing of

    equally important

    by the same token

    again

    to

    and

    also

    then

    equally

    identically

    uniquely

    like

    as

    too

    moreover

    as well as

    together with

    of course

    likewise

    comparatively

    correspondingly

    similarly

    furthermore

    additionally

     

     

    Opposition / Limitation / Contradiction

    Transition phrases like but, rather and or, express that there is evidence to the contrary or point out alternatives, and thus introduce a change the line of reasoning (contrast).

     

    although this may be true

    in contrast

    different from

    of course ..., but

    on the other hand

    on the contrary

    at the same time

    in spite of

    even so / though

    be that as it may

    then again

    above all

    in reality

    after all

    but

    (and) still

    unlike

    or

    (and) yet

    while

    albeit

    besides

    as much as

    even though

    although

    instead

    whereas

    despite

    conversely

    otherwise

    however

    rather

    nevertheless

    nonetheless

    regardless

    notwithstanding

     

     

    Cause / Condition / Purpose

    These transitional phrases present specific conditions or intentions.

     

    in the event that

    granted (that)

    as / so long as

    on (the) condition (that)

    for the purpose of

    with this intention

    with this in mind

    in the hope that

    to the end that

    for fear that

    in order to

    seeing / being that

    in view of

    If

    ... then

    unless

     

    when

    whenever

    while

     

    because of

    as

    since

    while

    lest

    in case

    provided that

    given that

    only / even if

    so that

    so as to

    owing to

    inasmuch as

    due to

     

    Examples / Support / Emphasis

    These transitional devices (like especially) are used to introduce examples as support, to indicate importance or as an illustration so that an idea is cued to the reader.

     

    in other words

    to put it differently

    for one thing

    as an illustration

    in this case

    for this reason

    to put it another way

    that is to say

    with attention to

    by all means

     

     

     

    important to realize

    another key point

    first thing to remember

    most compelling evidence

    must be remembered

    point often overlooked

    to point out

    on the positive side

    on the negative side

    with this in mind

    notably

    including

    like

    to be sure

    namely

    chiefly

    truly

    indeed

    certainly

    surely

    markedly

    such as

     

    especially

    explicitly

    specifically

    expressly

    surprisingly

    frequently

    significantly

    particularly

    in fact

    in general

    in particular

    in detail

    for example

    for instance

    to demonstrate

    to emphasize

    to repeat

    to clarify

    to explain

    to enumerate

     

     

    Effect / Consequence / Result

    Some of these transition words (thus, then, accordingly, consequently, therefore, henceforth) are time words that are used to show that after a particular time there was a consequence or an effect.

    Note that for and because are placed before the cause/reason. The other devices are placed before the consequences or effects.

     

    as a result

    under those circumstances

    in that case

    for this reason

    in effect

    for

    thus

    because the

    then

    hence

    consequently

    therefore

    thereupon

    forthwith

    accordingly

    henceforth

     

     

    Conclusion / Summary / Restatement

    These transition words and phrases conclude, summarize and / or restate ideas, or indicate a final general statement. Also some words (like therefore) from the Effect / Consequence category can be used to summarize.

     

    as can be seen

    generally speaking

    in the final analysis

    all things considered

    as shown above

    in the long run

    given these points

    as has been noted

    in a word

    for the most part

    after all

    in fact

    in summary

    in conclusion

    in short

    in brief

    in essence

    to summarize

    on balance

    altogether

    overall

    ordinarily

    usually

    by and large

    to sum up

    on the whole

    in any event

    in either case

    all in all

     

    Obviously

    Ultimately

    Definitely

     

    Time / Chronology / Sequence

    These transitional words (like finally) have the function of limiting, restricting, and defining time. They can be used either alone or as part of adverbial expressions.

     

    at the present time

    from time to time

    sooner or later

    at the same time

    up to the present time

    to begin with

    in due time

    as soon as

    as long as

    in the meantime

    in a moment

    without delay

    in the first place

    all of a sudden

    at this instant

    first, second

     

    immediately

    quickly

    finally

    after

    later

    last

    until

    till

    since

    then

    before

    hence

    since

    when

    once

    about

    next

    now

     

     

    formerly

    suddenly

    shortly

    henceforth

    whenever

    eventually

    meanwhile

    further

    during

    in time

    prior to

    forthwith

    straightaway

     

    by the time

    whenever

     

    until now

    now that

     

    instantly

    presently

    occasionally

     

     

    Many transition words in the time category (consequently; first, second, third; further; hence; henceforth; since; then, when; and whenever) have other uses.

    Except for the numbers (first, second, third) and further they add a meaning of time in expressing conditions, qualifications, or reasons. The numbers are also used to add information or list examples. Further is also used to indicate added space as well as added time.

     

    Space / Location / Place

    These transition words are often used as part of adverbial expressions and have the function to restrict, limit or qualify space. Quite a few of these are also found in the Time category and can be used to describe spatial order or spatial reference.

     

    in the middle

    to the left/right

    in front of

    on this side

    in the distance

    here and there

    in the foreground

    in the background

    in the center of

     

    adjacent to

    opposite to 

    here

    there

    next

    where

    from

    over

    near

    above

    below

    down

    up

    under

    further

    beyond

    nearby

    wherever

    around

    between

    before

    alongside

    amid

    among

    beneath

    beside

    behind

    across

     


     

    List of Transition Words

    Transition Words are also sometimes called (or put in the category of) Connecting Words. Please feel free to download them via this link to the category page:
    Linking Words & Connecting Words as a PDF.

    It contains all the transition words listed on this site. The image to the left gives you an impression how it looks like.

     

     

    Usage of Transition Words in Essays

    Transition words and phrases are vital devices for essays, papers or other literary compositions. They improve the connections and transitions between sentences and paragraphs. They thus give the text a logical organization and structure (see also: a List of Synonyms).

    All English transition words and phrases (sometimes also called 'conjunctive adverbs') do the same work as coordinating conjunctions: they connect two words, phrases or clauses together and thus the text is easier to read and the coherence is improved.


    Usage: transition words are used with a special rule for punctuation: a semicolon or a period is used after the first 'sentence', and a comma is almost always used to set off the transition word from the second 'sentence'.

    Example 1:
    People use 43 muscles when they frown; however, they use only 28 muscles when they smile.

     

    Example 2:
    However, transition words can also be placed at the beginning of a new paragraph or sentence - not only to indicate a step forward in the reasoning, but also to relate the new material to the preceding thoughts.

    Use a semicolon to connect sentences, only if the group of words on either side of the semicolon is a complete sentence each (both must have a subject and a verb, and could thus stand alone as a complete thought).

     

     


     

    Further helpful readings about expressions, writing and grammar: Compilation of Writing Tips How to write good   ¦   Correct Spelling Study by an English University

     


     

    Are you using WORD for writing professional texts and essays? There are many easy Windows Shortcuts available which work (almost) system-wide (e.g. in every programm you use).

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