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Essay Strategy: 20 Sets of Transition Words / Phrases To Know

20 Sets of Transition Words / Phrases To Know

Transition words make your writing easier to understand and create relationship between two sentences and ideas. To know these 20 words / phrases sets, just brows the list once a week or better yet - memorize it. In addition, also be certain that you understand their meanings before you use them. Often, there exists a slight, but significant, difference between two apparently similar words. Also remember that while transitions describe relationships between ideas, they do not automatically create relationships between ideas for your reader. Use transitions with enough context in a sentence or paragraph to make the relationships clear.

Example of unclear transition:

The characters in Book A face a moral dilemma. In the same way, the characters in Book B face a similar problem.

Improved transition:

The characters in Book A face a moral dilemma, a contested inheritance. Although the inheritance in Book B consists of an old house and not a pile of money, the nature of the problem is quite similar.

Set 1 — To State the Reasons

  • There are different reasons why
  • There are several explanations for
  • There are many positive/negative reasons for
  • There are some/more/fewer benefits/disadvantages to


Set 2  To Give an Opinion

  • (Why) I believe
  • I’d like to explain why
  • Personally
  • I’d enjoy
  • I would prefer
  • I think
  • In my opinion
  • As far as I’m concerned
  • It seems to me
  • I suggest

Set 3  To Set Up a Condition

  • If
  • Even if
  • If I could
  • Whether (or not)
  • . . .may/might
  • . . .can be

Set 4 — To Further the Argument

  • First (of all) . . . Second . . .Third
  • In addition
  • There are three reasons why
  • Similarly
  • Furthermore
  • Moreover
  • Further
  • As an example
  • For instance
  • What’s more
  • Not only . . . but also
  • . . . including
  • More than
  • Also
  • . . . coupled with
  • Both . . . and

Set 5 — To Summarize/Conclude

  • In conclusion
  • Finally
  • As a result (of)
  • In summary
  • Therefore
  • To sum up
  • In other words
  • To summarize
  • Then
  • In brief
  • On the whole
  • To conclude
  • As we have seen
  • As has been said

Set 6 — To Restate or Repeat an Argument

  • To put it differently
  • To repeat
  • Namely
  • That is
  • In other words

Set 7 — To Show Cause / Reason and Effect / Result

  • Consequently
  • Because (of)
  • Due to
  • Thanks to
  • If this occurs, then
  • To this end
  • Since
  • For this reason
  • As a result
  • Caused by

Set 8 — To Show Time Relationships

  • Immediately
  • Then
  • Later
  • Afterwards
  • After
  • Before
  • While
  • During
  • As soon as
  • As
  • Sometimes
  • Last
  • Frequently
  • When
  • Once
  • Often
  • Oftentimes
  • Since

Set 9 — To Generalize

  • Overall
  • For the most part
  • In general
  • Generally speaking
  • By and large

Set 10 — To Show Contrast / Make an Exception

  • Some may argue that
  • Although
  • Even though
  • Whereas
  • Instead
  • In contrast
  • On the one hand
  • On the other hand
  • However
  • In spite of
  • Despite
  • Unlike
  • On the contrary
  • But
  • Yet
  • Rather than
  • Either
  • Or
  • Nor
  • Neither
  • Either . . . or
  • Neither . . . nor
  • Nevertheless
  • Nonetheless
  • Sometimes
  • Once in a while
  • Occasionally
  • Some…other(s)
  • Other(s)
  • Often
  • None

Set 11 — To Emphasize

  • Above all
  • Obviously
  • Clearly
  • Evidently
  • Actually
  • In fact
  • Certainly
  • Definitely
  • Extremely
  • Indeed
  • Absolutely
  • Positively
  • Surprisingly
  • Unquestionably
  • Without a doubt
  • Objectively
  • In fact

Set 12 — To Show Space

  • at the left
  • at the right
  • in the center
  • on the side
  • along the edge
  • on top, below
  • beneath
  • under
  • around
  • above
  • over
  • straight ahead
  • at the top
  • at the bottom
  • surrounding
  • opposite
  • at the rear -  at the front -  in front of
  • beside - behind
  • next to 
  • nearby
  • in the distance
  • beyond
  • in the forefront - in the foreground
  • within sight - out of sight
  • across
  • under
  • nearer
  • adjacent
  • in the background

Set 13 — To Argue/Make a Suggestion

  • . . . seems to warrant
  • . . . contend/s
  • . . . argue/s
  • . . . justify/ies
  • This observation is supported by
  • To plead
  • . . . suggest/s
  • The suggestion is valid
  • . . . propose/s
  • . . . claim/s
  • . . .state/s
  • . . . clearly proof enough
  • If I had the choice
  • . . . examine/s
  • . . . assert/s

Set 14 — To Show Disagreement

  • . . . object/s (to)
  • . . . disagree/s with
  • . . . contradict/s
  • . . . doesn’t/don’t support
  • . . . is/are invalid
  • These arguments, one by one, can be challenged
  • . . . is absurd/ridiculous/unfounded/illogical
  • . . . not to be taken seriously
  • . . . has/have no scientific basis
  • . . . dispute/s

Set 15 — To Choose One Option over Another

  • . . . might be the better option
  • . . . make/s it a better policy
  • It’s beneficial/better/positive
  • It’s detrimental/worse/negative
  • . . . is true/false
  • The assertion that…
  • . . . seem/s to offer strong arguments for/against
  • . . . is/are better/worse than

Set 16 — To Show Similarity

  • Just as
  • As . . . as
  • In the same way
  • Similarly
  • Likewise
  • As in/as with/as was/etc.

Set 17 — To Show Purpose

  • In order to
  • For
  • So that
  • So as to

Set 18 — To Show Evidence/Give an Example

  • As evidence of
  • The legitimacy of
  • Such as
  • For example
  • A few of these are
  • In the case of
  • In addition
  • For one thing . . . for another

Set 19 — To State the Problem

  • The problem is (how)
  • The question is
  • What is being asked/challenged

Set 20 — To State the Options

  • One option is
  • The other option is