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The strength of any argument largely hinges on the writer's ability to make clear connections between his or her assessments, assertions, and research. This means that every sentence needs to rely on the previous sentence and contribute to the next. After all, this sort of logic-based linking is what ultimately guides your reader from one idea to the next and explains the relationships between your research and assessments.
In the links below, you will find a list of possible connections or relationships writers frequently make in their papers. By clicking on these links, you can read a list of transitional terms that highlight these specific kinds of relationships between the research a writer has drawn upon and the assessments, or assertions he or she is making. In addition, each link includes a list of examples indicating the use of a successful transitional word or phrase.
Transitions: additionally, again, also, and, and then, as well, besides, equally important, finally, first (second, third, etc.), further, furthermore, in addition, incidentally, in the first place, lastly, moreover, more important, next, still, then, too, what is more
Example: Mason (2007) highlighted the three mechanisms that are always operable within the air compressor. Additionally, she noted the two mechanical elements that only work when the air compressor reaches full power (Mason, 2007).
Explanation: Here, the transition additionally highlights additional information the author has included in the essay (the two other mechanical elements that can be used).
Transitions: accordingly, after all, as, because of this, by this means, consequently, for this reason, hence, in many cases, in this way, knowing this, naturally, of course, then, therefore, thus, to be sure, to this end, with this object, with this end, with this in mind
Example: According to the GRS (2003), roughly 3 million Americans suffer from migraines. Considering this figure, physicians should pursue alternative approaches to relieving the symptoms associated with migraines (e.g., acupuncture, massage).
Explanation: Here, we placed the writer's assertion in the context of how many Americans suffer from migraines. The transition, considering this figure, emphasizes the importance of addressing this issue by highlighting just how many Americans (3 million!) are affected.
Transitions: after, afterward, at that moment, at last, at length, before, by that time, during, earlier, first, from then on, later, meanwhile, next, presently, since, second, soon afterward, the next day, then, when, while, within an hour
Example: The rehearsal dinner will be on Friday night. Afterward, we are hoping that many of the guests will help to clean the area for tomorrow's wedding.
Explanation: In these sentences, the transition afterward highlights a chronology of events (first the dinner, then the cleaning).
Transitions: although it is true that, certainly, despite, granted that, however, indeed, granted, I admit that, in fact, in spite of, it may appear that, naturally, nevertheless, of course, once in a while, sometimes, still, yet
Example: Mason (2007) and Holmes (2009) vehemently disagree on the fundamental components of primary school education. Despite this strong disagreement, the scholars do agree on the overall importance of formal education for all young children.
Explanation: In these two sentences, the author is highlighting a disagreement between the two scholars; however, he/she is also making a concession that Mason and Holmes do agree on the importance of formal education for young children.
Transitions: although, but, contradicting, despite (the fact that), however, in contrast, in spite of the fact that, in spite of this, it cannot be reasonably deduced/inferred/assumed from this that, nevertheless, nonetheless, notwithstanding, of course, on the contrary, on the one hand... on the other hand, paradoxically, still, that is, the previous does not imply/demonstrate/show, the apparent implication is that, unfortunately that does not, while it is the case that..., still..., while it may be that, while it may seem that, yet
Example: The author did supply multiple sources to support her overall point. However, these sources were not peer reviewed or scholarly, which diminishes the power of her overall argument.
Explanation: In these two sentences, the author is presenting contrasting information. The first point (the fact that sources were present to support the author's point) contrasts the second point (the sources were not credible, thus limiting their support of the essay's argument).
Transitions: as an illustration, after all, even, for example, for instance, in fact, in short, in particular, indeed, in another case, in other words, in this case, in this situation, it is true, more specifically, namely, of course, on this occasion, specifically, take the case of, that is, thus, to demonstrate, to illustrate, to summarize, truly
Example: Morrison (1982) suggested that physical bonds of friendship cement her female character's coming of age. For example, the author describes her two adolescent girls as growing more independent through together creating a single being with one throat and two eyes (Morrison, 1982).
Explanation: Here, the author is asserting a claim (the physical bonds of friendship support Morrison's characters' coming of age) and then providing an example to add support and legitimacy to her claim.
Transitions: after, afterward, again, as long as, at length, at that time, at the same time, at this point, at this time, before, before this, beyond, behind, by, besides, concurrently, consequently, earlier, eventually, finally, first (second, third, etc.), following this, formerly, further, furthermore, hence, here, immediately, initially, in addition, in the beginning, in the first place, in the meantime, in the past, in the same instant, in time, last, lastly, later, meanwhile, moreover, near, next, now, opposite, on the opposite side, on the right, on the left, now, presently, previously, shortly, simultaneously, since, so far, soon, still, subsequently, then, thereafter, therefore, thus, then, today, to begin, too, until, until now, when
Example: In the early 21st century, housing loans were often given to individuals who did not have the means to pay back these loans. Presently, in the midst of the current housing crisis, these subprime loans are no longer being offered to unqualified candidates.
Explanation: In these sentences, the author is drawing on sequence or time, highlighting what happened both before and after the housing crisis.
Transitions: accordingly, all in all, altogether, as a result, as has been noted, as I have said, as mentioned, as shown, consequently, finally, hence, in any event, in a word, in brief, in conclusion, in other words, in short, in sum, in summary, in the final analysis, to conclude, on the whole, summing up, that is, therefore, thus
Example: As Morrison (1982) asserted, her characters could only imagine themselves as individuals when emotionally, physically, and spiritually bonded to their best friends. Therefore, self-realization required the intense bonds between women.
Explanation: Here, the author is drawing a conclusion based on what she has found to be true in Morrison's text. This connection fits into the "Because x, then y" model. Because friendship is required of the girls as they grow, then they need friendship to achieve self-realization.
Interested in learning more ways of using transitions? Try reading Sarah's blog post, "Transitioning into Better Writing"