Transitions

Transitions are the words that make the writing flow and tie thoughts together between ideas, sentences, and paragraphs. Without transition words, the writing will feel choppy and broken up, making the writer's position and arguments harder to comprehend. Transitions are often a sentence at the end of a paragraph, or words or phrases used at the beginning of the paragraph. Both uses of transitions tell the reader how, "what they are about to read relates to what they have just read."

Transition Words or Phrases Define the Organizational Relationship
Transition words define the organizational relationship among the comparisons about the two subjects, the paragraphs, and the details. They let the reader know the composition's logic and order. The most common organizational relationship is "sequence order", shown here by simple transition words such as, "first, next, last". If "time order" is the relationship tying together the essay, then transition words such as, "earlier, later, during" are used. Sometimes transition words are used to show that the next idea, sentence, or paragraph is meant to compare, or contrast, or add more information about the two (or more) subjects being compared.

Transition Words Used to Show Comparisons About Two Things
Likewise
Like
Just as
So too
Also
As
While
Similarly
In the same way

Transition Words Used to Show Contrasts About Two Things
But
Where
Whereas
Up against
After all
Balanced against
By comparison
However
Still
Yet
Although
Conversely
Meanwhile
Otherwise
On the one hand
On the other hand
Even though
In spite of
Notwithstanding
In contrast
On the contrary
Nevertheless
Nonetheless
Although this may be true

Transition Word Lists
Relationships and their transition words are too many to list here. Web links to organizational transition word lists have been provided.

Jefferson County High School
http://jc-schools.net/write/transition.htm

The Writing Center - Great information about transitions and their uses - BEST PICK!
http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/transitions.html

The OWL at Purdue
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/574/02/