How to Use Transitional Devices

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You can smooth your writing to create a natural flow of thought using transitional devices. These standard phrases enable a unified, cohesive writing style that not only makes what you write easier to read, but also helps you as you write. Use transitional devices in a variety of circumstances that move the reader from one idea to another. Transition sentences can be located at the end of a paragraph to signal its relationship with the next one, or at the beginning of a paragraph to show that the new paragraph is a logical outgrowth of thoughts in the prior one.

1 Use transitional devices that add

Use transitional devices that add, repeat, or emphasize information. Examples include "and," "also," "in addition," "additionally," "besides," "too," "in other words," "furthermore," moreover," "in fact," "as a result," "finally," and "accordingly." These words introduce additional support for your content, draw your readers to specific information, and set the stage for you to place information that both sums up what the paragraph offers and introduces your next paragraph.

2 Choose transitional devices

Choose transitional devices that assert truth or opposition: "no doubt," "surely," "of course," "in fact," "granted that," "certainly" and "conceding that." These devices support your argument and sway your audience. Use them with accompanying transition place markers, such as "here," "there," "at this point," "below," "beside," "next to," and "inside."

3 Signal cause

Signal cause, effect or result transitions by using terms such as "because," "thus," "as a result," "consequently," "hence," "since" and "for this reason."

4 Prepare for an example

Limit or prepare for an example with the terms "if," "that is," "unless," "namely," "when," "in case," "for example," "such as," "to illustrate" and "provided that."

5 Refer readers back

Refer readers back to previous points using "as we have seen," "on the whole," "as mentioned above," "as I have said" and "it seems then."

Show a time or space relationship in your transition with "before," "next," "afterwards," "finally," "until," "during," "eventually," "meanwhile," "between," "at first," "thereafter," and "at the same time."

Compare, contrast or contradict in your transition using "similarly," "unlike," "in comparison," "to the contrary," "however," "along with," "regardless," "but yet," "even when," "nevertheless," "conversely," and "although."

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