Transition | Definition and Useful Examples of Transitions in Writing

When we are writing in the English language, there are a variety of things to take into consideration. One of those things are transitions, these are an extremely important part of writing and should be carefully considered when doing so. In this article, we are going to be looking at exactly what a transition is and what they are used for. We will also be looking at some examples to further gain an understanding of how they work.


What Is A Transition?

When we talk about a transition in a writing sense we are referring to a phrase or word which is used to give a connection between two or more thoughts and ideas. These could be in sentences or paragraphs and the transition is a way of helping the piece of writing to flow in a much better way. A transition gives a disjointed piece of writing the chance to become one unified piece. The advantage of this is that it stops the reader from becoming lost within the text and gives them a clearer understanding of what is being discussed.

What’s So Important About A Transition?

A transition will normally be found at the start of a paragraph and they give the writer the ability to convey their thoughts and ideas in a clear and concise manner. The transition will allow the writer to create a piece of text which flows and all the ideas are connected to one another.

A normal piece of writing will usually be made up of two elements, the first being the order of the various parts of an argument are presented to the reader and the second being how the writer joins these ideas together. A transition should not be used in place to good ordering for the ideas of the piece of wiring but they can be used to help make the piece of writing much more clear and easy to read. This is done by creating a flow between each of the paragraphs within the text.

A piece of writing that does not contain transitions might have the following issues:

  • The writing is jumpy and choppy or very disjointed.
  • The author goes from one point to another quickly and without creating any sort of connection between the two thoughts or points.
  • Readers will struggle to follow what the writer is trying to convey or will find it difficult to see a pattern in the organisation of the ideas within the writing.

We are now going to look at an example of a sentence which has not used transitions and then how it would look after transitions have been included.

  • We are going to stay at my mother’s house for a couple more days so that we can see her on her birthday. We are extending our stay because we don’t want her to be alone on her birthday.

Now take a look at the sentence with the transitions added.

  • We are going to stay at my mother’s house for a couple more days so that we can see her on her birthday. Another reason that we are extending our stay is because we don’t want her to be alone on her birthday.

Learn more with useful transition words and phrases in English. 

Where Should A Transition Appear?

When you are writing a piece of text, it is important to know where to place the transitions in order to make the work sound coherent and give it a good flow. Overusing transitions can make the writing just as bad as if they were not being used at all and so it is important to find a good balance. Let’s now take a look at where your transitions should appear within the text.

Between A Section

When are you writing a more lengthy piece of writing, a transition paragraph will summarise ideas to the reader and will also show why the information is relevant in the coming sections.

Between Paragraphs

Paragraphs can be given relationships to one another by the use of transitions, this will allow the writer to connect paragraphs to one another using words or phrases. These words and phrases are written at either the end of one paragraph or at the beginning of the next, or indeed at both points should the writer deem it necessary.

In A Paragraph

Writers can indeed use a transition within a paragraph as a way of helping the reader understand what might come next, you could think of them as being a cue of some sort. When used in a paragraph, the transition is usually either one word or a very short phrase.

Examples Of Transitions

We are now going to look at a list of words which can be used as transitions and then we will take a look at a few examples of how some of them might be used within sentences.

  • After
  • At last
  • Before
  • Besides
  • Furthermore
  • Moreover
  • However
  • Likewise
  • Similarly
  • At any rate
  • At least
  • Although
  • Indeed
  • Above all
  • Truly
  • Especially
  • In particular
  • Specifically
  • With the result that/of
  • So that
  • Consequently
  • For instance
  • For example
  • To illustrate
  • To this end
  • For the purpose of
  • With this in mind
  • That being said
  • Finally
  • Therefore

Example sentences

  • The birds migrate south during the winter months, however, one species prefers to remain in the colder weather.
  • There are a variety of good restaurants in the city, for instance, the Italian bistro on Main Street and the Chinese restaurant on Market Street.
  • He does like to go swimming specifically in the local lake.
  • The dogs are given ample space within the boarding kennels, similarly, the cats are given a large enclosure.
  • I enjoy going to the movies, especially when there is a new horror movie showing.
  • The USA is a great place for a vacation as there are so many things to do there. Furthermore, there are places which are warm and sunny as well as those which are cooler and more wintry meaning that the country caters to every preference.


Using transitions within pieces of writing allows the author to convey their thoughts and ideas in a much more clear way and gives them the opportunity to connect ideas to one another in a way which makes the piece of writing flow. It is important, however, to remember not to use too many transitions as this can make the writing appear more confusing that not using any transitions at all.

Learn more about useful transition words for essays

Transition Infographic

Transition: Definition and Useful Examples of Transitions in Writing

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