Transition Words for Essays: Great List & Useful Tips

List of transition words for essays! All right, everyone in the world who enjoys writing essays, turn all your lights on for two seconds. Right…NOW! Whoa…was it our imagination, or did the world go black for two seconds? There is no denying that on a list of 100 hobbies and fun things to do, essay writing tops out at about 201.

But, like clipping toenails, sometimes you just have to do it. And if you are going to write an essay, you might as well do the best you can, and write one that is great! In this article, we are going to take a look at some important transition words for the essay. With these lists of transitions, you can do just that.

Transition Words for Essays

When writing essays, it is always important to know how to make a smooth progression from one subject or division to another. Otherwise, you will end up with a lot of brilliant information, but no one will be able to understand it. Transitions are street signs in writing. They tell the reader what street the writer is headed toward, and which thoughts need to be brought to the on-ramp – among other things.

In order to arrive at your destination, and impart knowledge – perhaps even causing someone to see your point of view on a topic, transitions are a necessity.

List of Transition Words for Essays

Following is a list of transition words for essays you can use to master your writing skill.


Some of these are a bit more argumentative than others. It’s smart to weigh the first words of an essay very carefully since they set the tone for the rest of the piece. Do you wish it to be thoughtful? Insightful? Assertive? Aggressive? That’s why we have transitions—

  • To begin with
  • First
  • Generally speaking
  • To be sure
  • Once upon a time
  • In the first place
  • On the one hand
  • Ordinarily

Example: Generally speaking, the concept that all politicians are extroverts is a fallacy.


  • So then
  • This is why
  • Granted
  • This can be seen in

Example: Granted, the way politics forces people in the office to behave can be misleading.


  • Also
  • For that matter
  • Yet

Example: For that matter, politics is simply misleading.

Now, unless your essay is bone dry, there will be more—much more—to it than just a couple of divisions and a conclusion. It will manipulate time like a Sci-fi writer, be more interesting than a romance novel, be as accurate as an atomic clock, and will stick in the reader’s mind like an old Temptation’s song. Transitions exist to help your essay do all of this. And they can serve very specific purposes.

Here are transitions that serve to…

Accent or Highlight a Point

  • Certainly
  • Usually
  • As a rule
  • Admittedly
  • In this situation

Example: Usually, that market sold two types of tomatoes.

These Accent or Highlight, but with a touch of drama, seeming to “stop the show”:

  • Above all
  • Unquestionably
  • Undoubtedly
  • Obviously

Example: Unquestionably, that market sold the best tomatoes.

The difference between the two accent transitions is rather obvious. The top words are more laid back. The ones that add drama leave no wiggle room.

To manipulate time or the concept of time:

Control Time

  • Also, next, last
  • Generally, for now, later on
  • Additionally, in the meantime, last
  • Indeed, by and large, finally

Example: Generally, politicians deserve to be pelted with tomatoes from that market. They can deal with cleaning their suits later on.

Highlight Instances

  • Chiefly
  • Illustrated by
  • Including
  • This has been seen in
  • An example of this is

Example: Chiefly, irritating politicians with too much tan and bad hair deserve to pelted with tomatoes.

One transition which is often overlooked so far as importance is concerned is the comparison/contrast. This might be one of the most important in essay writing. In all forms of speech, really, because it shows the ability of the person speaking or writing to see other perspectives and weigh them in an intelligent, objective manner.


  • On one hand/on the other hand
  • Still
  • Yet
  • However
  • In spite of
  • Despite
  • Because of
  • At the same time
  • Nevertheless
  • On the contrary

Example: Still, it would be a terrible waste of tomatoes, so we won’t pelt the politicians.

Along with the argument for or against something, is the expansion of an idea. These transitions help lay the foundation for taking an idea or thought, then adding more to it.

Expand on an idea

  • Yet another
  • Furthermore
  • Also
  • Additionally
  • Indeed
  • Correspondingly
  • Another thing
  • Likewise

Example: Indeed, we need tomatoes right now. Politicians? Not as much.

When you are moving into the cause with its accompanying effect.


  • Since
  • Afterward
  • Consequently
  • Accordingly
  • Due to
  • This is why
  • Following
  • In effect
  • Under these circumstances
  • For all of these reasons
  • Wherefore
  • Therefore

Example: Under these circumstances, I believe we need to ignore politicians and grow tomatoes.

When Concluding

  • Finally
  • To sum up
  • Overall
  • To summarize
  • Taking everything into account
  • All things considered
  • Ultimately
  • Given these points
  • On the whole
  • That is to say
  • In the final analysis
  • Briefly

Learn more about conclusion transition words in English. 

Tips for Using Transition Words for Essays

Now you have the tools—the transition words for essays. All you need now is to remember a couple do’s and don’ts.


  • Change transitions as you change ideas.
  • Read through what you have written several times. Make sure the transitions you have used are appropriate and make sense.
  • Have an idea of what direction you wish to go with your writing before you start. That way, when you use a transition, it is more likely to be in a place that works.


  • Keep repeating a transition.
  • Keep adding more and more transitions in the same sentence or paragraph, thinking that more is best. Use them when and where they are needed and try to keep how many transitions you use to a reasonable amount.
  • Throw a transition into your writing without knowing its true meaning, and proper usage.

Transitions are great tools, but tools aren’t really usable unless the person wielding them understands how they are supposed to be used. When writing your essay, do it as required, then do the all-important task of reading and re-reading it. This will check for usage and flow.

Transition Words for Essays | Infographic

Transition Words for Essays | Useful Tips for Using Transition Words for EssaysPin

Transition Words for Essays | Video


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