Transition Words and Phrases

Transition Words and Phrases

One of the most frequent problems that I see in day-to-day writing these days is the lack of natural logical flow linking one sentence to another, and one paragraph to the next.

In fact, smooth, orderly and logical transitions from one thought to another, one sentence to the next, and one paragraph to the other, are key to creating a professional quality document that makes sense. Appropriate use of transition words and phrases will achieve this for you in your business letters and other documents.

There are many words, terms and phrases that can be used to help your writing flow more logically and smoothly. Following, is a list of typical transition words and phrases.

Cause and Effect
as a result
for this reason
the result was
what followed
in response
because of
the reaction

In Contrast To
in spite of
on the other hand
on the contrary
contrary to

Sequence & Relativity
in addition
to enumerate
next in the series
besides that

Similarity & Comparison
the same

Explanation & Example
for example
one such
for instance
to illustrate
that too
to demonstrate

Sample sentence…
Then, he moved to the next work station.
As a result, the team lost the game.
For this reason, she always rested later.
The result was always predictable.
What followed was painful but necessary.
In response, he upped the ante.
Therefore, the aircraft overshot the runway.
Thus, it was just a matter of time.
Because of this, the results were always the same.
Consequently, he was no longer friends with Frank.
The reaction to this event was swift and decisive.

Unlike last year, this one was highly profitable.
Different from this, was our approach to charity.
In spite of the dot com bust, the company prospered.
On the other hand, earnings per share have increased.
On the contrary, the impact was less than expected.
Opposing that idea was the move to new technologies.
However, that approach may actually prove better.
Contrary to his findings, the revenue picture is good.
Nevertheless, something still appears to be missing.

Then, each one stopped in numerical order sequence.
In addition, a fourth material was added to the mix.
To enumerate, first there was the accident, then …
Next in line for cuts was the marketing division.
Next in the series was the "outrigger" brand line.
Besides that, there were two other possible sources.
Subsequently, they moved on to the next phase.
Following the concert, the reception was in the lobby.

Just like that, he reversed his earlier decision.
The new approach was almost exactly the same.
Similar things were known to happen at other times.
The latest results were close, but far from perfect.
Likewise, they made similar changes in the factory.
Also, there were the worker's families to consider.
Near that one, was the faulty component.

For example, last year's model was underpowered.
One such occurrence was last week's power outage.
For instance, earnings this year are higher than last.
To illustrate, he went to Chicago to make his point.
Also, there is a new approach to tax accounting.
That too, just goes to make my point even stronger.
To demonstrate, I will use the new model throughout.

As shown in the examples, these words and phrases are usually inserted at the beginning of a sentence. They normally refer directly back to the previous sentence and/or paragraph without repeating the specific subject.

The above are just examples. There are many other such transition words and phrases used in everyday conversation and writing. I believe that appropriate use of such words and phrases is the number one technique for making any type of writing flow more logically and clearly.

To read my article that demonstrates exactly how to apply these phrases to an actual piece of writing, click here.

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