A transition or linking word is a word or phrase that shows the relationship between paragraphs or sections of a text or speech. Transitions provide greater cohesion by making it more explicit or signaling how ideas relate to one another. Transitions are, in fact, "bridges" that "carry a reader from section to section". Transitions guide a reader/listener through steps of logic, increments of time, or through physical space. Transitions "connect words and ideas so that [...] readers don't have to do the mental work for [themselves]."
This section's tone or style may not reflect the encyclopedic tone used on Wikipedia. (February 2020)
In simple terms, a transition word demonstrates the relationship between two portions of a text or spoken language. By using the imagery of a bridge, a person can see how these words take readers/listeners from one statement to another. By using these words, people can better build a sentence and convey what they are trying to say in a more concise manner.
- To show similarity or reinforce: also, and, as well as, by the same token, comparatively, correspondingly, coupled with, equally, equally important, furthermore, identically, in the light of, in the same fashion/way, likewise, moreover, not only ... but also, not to mention, similarly, to say nothing of, together with, too, uniquely
- To introduce an opposing point: besides, but, however, in contrast, neither, nevertheless, nor, on the contrary, on the other hand, still, yet
- To signal a restatement: in other words, in simpler terms, indeed, that is, to put it differently
- To introduce an item in a series: finally, first, for another, for one thing, in addition, in the first place, in the second place, last, next, second, then
- To introduce an example: for example, for instance, in particular, namely, specifically, that is
- To show causality: accordingly, as a result, because, consequently, for, hence, since, so, then, therefore, thus
- To introduce a summary or conclusion: actually, all in all, altogether, clearly, evidently, finally, in conclusion, of course, to sum up
- To signal a concession: certainly, granted, it is true, naturally, of course, to be sure
- To resume main argument after a concession: all the same, even though, nevertheless, nonetheless, still
- To show frequency: again and again, day after day, every so often, frequently, hourly, now and then, occasionally, often
- To show duration: briefly, during, for a long time, minute by minute, while
- To show a particular time: at six o'clock, at that time, first thing in the morning, in 1999, in the beginning of August, in those days, last Sunday, next Christmas, now, then, two months ago, when
- To introduce a beginning: at first, before then, in the beginning, since
- To introduce a middle: as it was happening, at that moment, at the same time, in the meantime, meanwhile, next, simultaneously, then
- To signal an end (or beyond): afterward/afterwards, at last, eventually, finally, in the end, later
- To show closeness: adjacent to, alongside, close to, facing, near, next to, side by side
- To show long distance: away, beyond, far, in the distance, there
- To show direction: above, across, along, away from, behind, below, down, in front of, inside, outside, sideways, to the left, to the right, toward/towards, up
Transition words of agreement, addition, or similarity
The transition words, such as also, in addition, and likewise, add information, reinforce ideas, and express agreement with preceding material.
- as a matter of fact
- as well as
- by the same token
- coupled with
- equally important
- in addition
- in like manner
- in the first place
- in the light of
- in the same fashion/way
- not only ... but also
- not to mention
- of course
- to say nothing of
- together with
- what's more
- Rappaport 2010, p. 95.
- LeClercq 2007, p. 15: "As the writer, it is your job to connect words and ideas so that your readers don't have to do the mental work for you".
- "Transition Words and Phrases: Useful List and Examples". 7esl.com. 7ESL. Retrieved 5 Jan 2019.
- Lindemann 2001, p. 152.
- UW Writing Center.
- Purdue Online Writing Lab.
- Smart Words.
- "Transition words used in content creation - Complete GUIDE". Growwwise. 2018-12-02. Retrieved 2018-12-02.
- Rappaport, Bret (2010). "Using the Elements of Rhythm, Flow, and Tone to Create a More Effective and Persuasive Acoustic Experience in Legal Writing" (PDF). The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute. The Legal Writing Institute. 16 (1): 65–116. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
- Garner, Bryan A. (2002). The Elements of Legal Style (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 65. ISBN 0195141628.
- LeClercq, Terri (2007). Guide to Legal Writing Style (4th ed.). Aspen Publishers. p. 15. ISBN 9780735568372.
- Erika Lindemann (2001). A Rhetoric for Writing Teachers (4th ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. p. 146. ISBN 0-19-513045-6.
- Ryan Weber, Karl Stolley. "Transitions and Transitional Devices". Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL). West Lafayette, Indiana: Purdue University. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
- Taraba, Joanna. "Transitional Words and Phrases". University of Richmond Writing Center. Richmond, Virginia: University of Richmond. Archived from the original on 20 April 2013. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
- "Transition Words". Smart Words. Archived from the original on 20 April 2013. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
- "The Writer's Handbook: Transitional Words and Phrases". University of Wisconsin Writing Center. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin-Madison. 2012. Archived from the original on 6 March 2013. Retrieved 30 March 2013.