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Transitions: signals for your reader

Transitions are signals or cues in writing that show the reader the relationship between one idea and the next. Transitions help the reader see that a certain line of reasoning is being continued, developed, challenged, changed, or summarized. They make writing flow and make it easier for the reader to understand ideas. Use a transition to link paragraphs by putting a transition word or phrase in the first sentence of the new paragraph. Transitions are also used to link sentences within a paragraph.

Cues that lead the reader forward: "here's more on this idea."

Again Equally important
In addition First, second, finally
Above all Furthermore
Likewise Similarly
In other words Moreover
Next Besides

Cues that show the reader contrast: "here's a different idea."

However Although this is true
On the contrary Nevertheless
Yet Conversely
In contrast Similarly
But Instead

Cues that show cause and effect: "here's the result of that."

  • Thus
  • Therefore
  • As a result
  • Consequently
  • For that reason

Cues that introduce a summary or conclusion:

  • In brief
  • In conclusion
  • To sum up
  • Therefore
  • In general
  • In short
  • Finally

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