Essay Transition Words You May Need

When it gets to working on the style of the text, many students, at both high school and college, fall into despair, not knowing what to do. Stylistic methods are not taught at regular schools and it becomes really difficult to tailor the text to make it interesting and catchy.


Did you know that programs, which check text’s readability pay attention to transition words and it may greatly influence the results? That is why one of the best advice we can give you at once is that you need to try and insert transition words from the beginning of the process, not when you are already editing your text. This will help you to provide a necessary flow from the first line and stick to it along the way.


For such reasons we decided to create an article, which will contain all the necessary elements, so-called transition words that improve any written assignment. We will discuss four main groups of transition words: sequential, casual, additive and adversative.


transition words for essays




Any time you need to make a list of something in a prose, you will need sequential transition words, as in most of the cases a list with numbers will seem unprofessional or boring. For example, firstly, to start with, finally, afterwards, previously and others.


The list of such words is almost endless and you can use them without any repetitions. The main thing you should remember is that such transition words are irreplaceable if you want your paragraphs to follow a certain sequence.


If you want to show that certain points are interlinked, try to use transition words of one category, like firstly, secondary and thirdly. This will help the reader to understand that the matters are related.




When you want to show that a certain point or matter has caused or followed something from the previous paragraph, you might need casual transition words. You have probably heard of such words, as:


  • Consequently;
  • As a result;
  • Therefore;
  • Since;
  • Otherwise and much more.


Using such transition words is very simple: if you see that two sentences or paragraphs are related in a cause/effect manner, you can insert casual words to explain such a relationship. For example, you can write ‘due to the bad weather, my train was late and I missed the play’ instead of ‘The weather was bad.  The train was late. I missed the play’. The first option sounds much better, doesn’t it?






The third group of transition words is used, when you need to show that the sentence or paragraph is an addition to the previous one. Some people confuse such words with sequential ones, although they have one basic difference. Additive words are used, when the whole list of points or events follows a certain sequence, while in case with additive words – only one point is related to the previous one.


Such words include similarly, likewise, in addition, in other words, for instance.  In most of the cases they are used to illustrate the previous idea and in situations, when a long and wordy sentence is broken into several parts.


The reader will find it very difficult to read a long and confusing sentence, which contains multiple details and features. Although if you dilute it with additive transition words, you will make the text readable and smooth, noticing links between various points.




The last group of transition words has nothing in common with additive ones. On contrary, it is completely different and aims to show a conflict. You can use such words, as nonetheless, however, regardless or otherwise to show how two ideas or points of view are different.


Such transition words are often used in argumentative essays or research papers, where you need to present opposite points of view on the same subject and show which side you are on.


You won’t be able to remember all the transition words and, to be honest, it is quite meaningless and will only take lots of your time. The best way to operate such words correctly is to remember the mentioned groups and the types of sentences they are used with.


In such a way, you will always be able to decide what word you need simply by looking at the paragraph and knowing, whether it contains a sequence, a cause, an addition or a conflict. A great advice will also be to read as much as you can to broaden your vocabulary and improve your lexis.


Always facing new stylistic elements and getting familiar with various styles will surely help you to succeed and improve your essay, making it interesting, smooth and readable.


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