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." Transitions serve to explain the time order of events in narratives.

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.

Transition Words Used to Indicate Time Order in Narrations
while
first
meanwhile
soon
then
after
second
today
later
next
at
third
tomorrow
afterward
as soon as
finally
before
now
next week
about
when suddenly
during
until
yesterday

   

Transition Word Lists
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/