List of Transition Words for Essays

Transition words and phrases are important tools to help you create an outstanding essay. Without them, your essays would sound boring or awkwardly connected. If you have no idea what these words are, then consider these as your key to changing from one topic to another flawlessly. Your transition words give you the necessary leeway to steer from one direction to another without having to worry about disconnecting from the reader.

For your convenience, here is a good list of transition words for essays that you can use. Each part is differentiated according to the purpose they serve. Remember that this list is not exclusive. In fact, you can also devise of your own transitional words and phrases depending on the need for your essay.

Positive Reinforcement, Agreement, Statement of Similarities, Addition of Ideas:

    In fact
    In addition to
    Coupled with
    More so
    First, Second, Etc.
    In similar fashion

Negation, Opposition, Alternates, Contrast of Ideas, and Expressing Limitations

  • But
  • Unlike
  • Yet
  • Albeit
  • Or
  • Nor
  • Despite
  • In spite
  • Otherwise
  • However
  • Rather
  • While
  • Meanwhile
  • Regardless
  • In contrast of
  • Most of all
  • On the flipside
  • On the other hand
  • Different from
  • Whereas
  • Instead

Statement of Purpose, Function, Cause or Intentions

  • If
  • Whenever
  • Since
  • While
  • Because
  • Lest
  • Due to
  • So as to
  • In case of
  • Provided that
  • If that happens
  • On the condition that
  • With the intention of
  • With the purpose of
  • With this in mind
  • Therefore
  • In lieu of
  • In view of
  • Only if
  • Given that

Statement of Examples, Emphasis in Thought, and in Expression of Support

  • For one
  • As an example
  • An example would be
  • In this light
  • By all means
  • With this in mind
  • On a positive / negative note
  • On one side
  • Essential to realize
  • Important to note
  • Specifically
  • Especially
  • Namely
  • Surely
  • Indeed
  • To clarify
  • To reiterate
  • Such as
  • Notably
  • Including
  • In general

There are so many other examples which are no longer included in this list of transition words for essays but this does not mean you cannot use them. When writing an essay, the main goal is to make your reader understand your point. It is within your discretion to use the words, phrases, and transitional tools you deem fit in order to accomplish this goal.

More than providing easy transition from one though to another, the list of transition words for essays also gives a more convincing tone to the overall voice of your composition. Adding a few transition words lend a more formal tone to direct your readers on what to expect. One note though, be careful of using these transition words. Overusing some of the given phrases above may make your essay seem too wordy or redundant in thought.


William Nericcio is a Professor of English and Comparative Literature and a member of the faculties in the CCS and CLAS department at San Diego State University. For all the students who need info on courses schedule and homework writing tasks, contact him via Facebook and Twitter.

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