A strong transition, either explicit or implicit, can connect the concluding section of your report to the rest of your paper. Using just any transition, however, can weaken this connection, confusing the reader. To choose the correct transition, determine the structure of your paper, as well as how your conclusion connects to the rest of the information in your essay or report.

The Purpose of Transitions

Transitions help organize your ideas so the reader can understand how those ideas are connected. Jumping into a concluding section without any transition, explicit or implicit, can lead to confusion. Using a transition word or phrase, or implicitly transitioning to your conclusion, can help to reinforce the logical organization of your paper.

General Transitions

Some transitions can be used for almost all papers, no matter what the subject. These include "to conclude," "in conclusion," "to summarize" and "in summary." You could also choose a generic transition that shows emphasis, such as "in truth," "clearly" or "indeed." Although these transition words work well for almost all papers at the elementary level, and even at the beginning of middle school, once you have begun to learn more sophisticated methods of writing you may want to consider topic-specific transitions instead. Only if none of the more specific transitions fit, you can consider a more generic transition.

Transitions for Specific Formats

Identifying the structure of your paper can help you choose the perfect transition words for your conclusion. For example, if your paper describes a process, you might use the transitions "finally" or "in the end." If your paper examines the cause of a particular event, you might begin your conclusion with "consequently" or "due to." If your paper comments on the problems of a specific situation, you can offer short recommendations in the conclusion, transitioning with phrases like "to remedy this situation" or "with this in mind."

Implicit Transitions

Not all transitions are explicitly stated. You can transition between the body of your paper and your conclusion by using similar words to those used in your thesis statement or in each subsection of your paper's body. Words such as "this" or "these" can also implicitly transition between the body of your paper and the conclusion. For example, if your paper describes the risk factors of Type 2 diabetes, you can begin your conclusion with "Understanding these risk factors can help at-risk individuals lower their chances of developing diabetes." Notice that the word "these" implicitly refers back to the main points discussed in the paper. You can use these transitions in addition to the more obvious ones mentioned previously, or in some cases, instead of them.