Writing Helps: Words and Phrases that Show Transition

April 5, 2022

Carrie Fernandez


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As you teach your children how to grow in their writing skills, learning about transition words will help them become better writers. Clear writing follows a line of reasoning and good transition words improve the clear flow of a paragraph or essay. We’ve gathered a huge list of examples of transition words that you can use in your homeschool. Plus, we’ll show how the use of transition words greatly enhances academic writing.

mother helping child write with text overlay Writing Helps: Words and Phrases that Show Transition


What Are Transition Words?

Transition words are simply the words used to link words together and progress smoothly from one idea to the next. Many young writers tend to make abrupt jumps to new information in their writing without making logical connections to the previous sentence. Transition words can be a single word or they could be short phrases. Transition words and phrases help to link new ideas to the author’s preceding thoughts.

Many transition words are conjunctive adverbs. These conjunctive adverbs function as the link between two independent clauses. Here is an example of a conjunctive adverbs functioning as a transition word:

The weather forecast is calling for rain; accordingly, I will bring my umbrella.

Why Are Transition Words Important?

The benefit of using transition words is that your writing is more cohesive and unified. Transition words help to show how your various ideas are connected to the main idea of the paragraph or essay. You can think of transition words as cues to your reader about how to think about the logical flow of ideas. They’re not just words for words’ sake, but rather have specific functions in the flow of thought.

Transition words convey different ideas. Some examples of the purpose of transitions are to show:

  • contrast
  • examples
  • exceptions
  • illustrations
  • connection
  • emphasis
  • cause and effect
  • chronology
  • purpose

These are just some of the ways the most important information in your writing is conveyed through transitions.

How Do Transition Words Help My Writing?

The bottom line is that transition words help your reader. They give a roadmap to writing by showing how all of your arguments and ideas are connected. Transitional devices give your reader a clear path to follow your logic and argumentation. It helps to keep the reader’s attention and understand your writing.

Here are a few ways that transition words help your writing:

  • connect current sentence to previous arguments
  • connect current paragraph to preceding paragraph
  • help emphasize an important point
  • show cause and effect by using result transition words

How Do I Use Transition Words in My Writing?

Many times, transition words will be used at the beginning of sentences just like I did here. Did you notice that? But you don’t always have to start sentences with transition words. Since the purpose of transitions is to link ideas together, you’ll want to use transitions in a variety of ways in your writing.

Inserting Transition Words

The most obvious place to insert transition words is at the beginning of a new paragraph. These effective transitions help to connect what you’re going to say with the previous arguments. Additionally, you can connect two independent clauses together with transition words. So instead of letting each complete sentence stand on its own, you can use transitional phrases to show results, contrasts, cause and effect, or some other logical progression.

Example of Transition Word Usage

Here is an example of a paragraph without transition words. Notice that it’s very choppy and disconnected.

I made brownies. My brother ate them all. I had planned to take them to co-op. I wanted to share with my friends. I had to make a new batch.

Now, notice the difference with transition words (in bold) added in.

I made brownies. Consequently, my brother ate them all. I had initially planned to take them to co-op in order to share with my friends. However, I had to make a new batch.

What Are Some Common Transition Words?

There are different types of transition words depending on the purpose of the word. Here are common transition words and other similar words to substitute in your writing. They are divided into different categories, depending on the purpose of the transition. Not every possible option is included below, but this massive list will give you a general idea of which transition words you could use in your writing.

Transition Words Charts and Cards PDF Download

You can use these handy charts as writing helps to aid your student in their writing. They will come in handy when learning to write paragraphs, writing essays, or doing any other sort of writing assignment – or even writing letters! Scroll to the bottom of this post to gain access. 

Transition Words Charts and Cards printable download

Transition Words to Add Emphasis

When you want to make a point in your writing and draw attention the a statement, you will want to use words like these that add emphasis.

absolutely, again, always, definitely, especially, in fact, never, particularly, to emphasize, truly

Beginning Transition Words

In order to sequence the flow of your writing, you can use these specific words to begin a thought.

first, first of all, in the beginning, one time, once upon a time

Changing Transition Words

When you want to show cause and effect relationships, you can use these transition words:

at the same time, in contrast, instead, however, nevertheless, otherwise, yet

Transition Words for Clarification

The following transitions alert your reader that you intend to clarify or drill down into a more specific explanation.

after all, as expected, clearly, for instance, for this reason, in other words, generally speaking, namely, obviously, of course, surely, usually

Comparison Transition Words

Using comparison and contrast in your writing to support your main idea provides a strong logical framework. Here are examples of these words of comparison that you can use in your writing.

also, as well as, comparatively, equally, in contrast, however, in the same way, instead, for the same reason, likewise, on one hand, on the other hand, similarly, too

Transition Words for Conclusion

The following words signal to your reader that you are reaching a conclusion.

accordingly, all in all, as a result, as you can see, hence, in conclusion, finally, for all those reasons, in summary, in other words, lastly, overall, to sum it up, to summarize, therefore, thus

Transition Words Indicating to Continue or More Information

When you want to continue to add additional information, here is a list of transition words to consider.

 in addition, additionally, also, besides, in fact, furthermore, moreover, lastly, next

Ending Transition Words

These conclusion transition words capture the reader’s attention as you finalize arguments and finish the piece.

at the end, at last, eventually, in conclusion, finally, lastly

Transition Words That Show Opinion

These transition phrases signal that you’re about to give your opinion.

as far as I know, I believe, I am convinced, I’d say that, I feel, I prefer, I think, if I am not mistaken, in my experience, in my opinion, it seems likely, it’s my belief, my favorite, what I mean is

Persuasive Transition Words

When you want to persuade your reader to take your point of view, these types of transitions are very effective.

clearly, certainly, decidedly, evidently, of course, for this reason, undoubtedly

Transition Words to Show Reasons

When you’re bringing in supporting statements for your main idea or thesis, you’ll likely use examples, statistics, or arguments. As you write them out, you will want to use these types of transition words to differentiate your reasons and also link them together smoothly.

another reason, finally, lastly, most importantly

Show Examples with Transition Words

Examples form one of the ways to support your main idea. In order to alert the reader that you are about to give an example, you can use this type of transition words.

additionally, an example is, as revealed by, in fact, in other words, in this case, in the case of, for instance, for example, specifically, such as, to show that

Show Location with Transition Words

Prepositions make great transition words to show location, as you will see from this list.

above, across, against, along, among, at the edge, behind, below, beneath, beside, between, beyond, inside, near, outside, over, throughout, under

Suspense Building Transition Words

Interesting writing will include using words to build suspense. Here are some great examples of those types of transition words.

all the sudden, at once, before we knew it, just then, shockingly, suddenly, unexpectedly, without warning

Transition Words to Show Time/Sequence

Sequential transitions are very important and very common ones to use in writing. They help a reader follow the logical relationship between your sentences and paragraphs.

after, afterwards, after a while, as soon as, at first, at last, at the same time, before, beforehand, before long, beyond, during, earlier, finally, for the time being, immediately, in an instant, in the first place, in the meantime, in turn, just then, later, meanwhile, next, not long after, once, presently, simultaneously, soon, soon after, shortly, suddenly, today, tomorrow, then, until, when whenever, while


Transition words can really help to improve your writing! Once your kids have mastered writing complete sentences, you can show them how to add interesting transition words to make their writing more coherent and connected. This is a process. Don’t assume they will “get it” right away. But keep encouraging them to find small ways to improve their writing technique.

Transition Words Charts and Cards PDF Download

Use our free Transition Word Charts as a tool to help improve your student’s writing. You can print it off, laminate it and put it in your homeschool binder with your other educational cheat sheets for easy access. 

Transition Words Charts and Cards printable download

How to Download Transition Words Charts and Cards

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