A Blog of Writing Resources from The University of Scranton's Writing Center

Tag: Transitions

Transition Words and Phrases

It’s time to abandon the simple “First” , “Second”,  “Finally,” and  “In conclusion” transition words from high school. It’s no longer acceptable to have “and” twice in a single sentence or “also” twice in the same paragraph. You instead need words, phrases, and constructions that not only transition your thoughts, but that reflect the relationships between your ideas.  Listed below is my favorite list of transitions sorted by the relationships they express.

The Best Quick List of Transitions and Conjunctions Sorted by Type

This next list is another one of my favorites. It’s less colorful, but significantly more extensive. It also includes more academic transitions,  and it has longer transitional phrases. It’s three full pages of transitions by type.  Just be sure to look up sample constructions–not all of these words can just be inserted into a sentence. For example “embark” is used very differently in a sentence than “commencing with”

The Best Extensive List with Some Uncommon Transitions Sorted by Purpose

This next resource is a chart of common transitions in the “word” form and in the “phrase” form with examples of how to use them effectively in sentence constructions. All of these words are included in the previous two worksheets, but  this particular resource  is useful if you need to convert a one-word transition into a phrase to emphasize a point. Sometimes writers use full phrases to transition between larger ideas (or paragraphs) and single word transitions to move between little ideas (like individual pieces of evidence).  It doesn’t provide a lot of examples, but it shows how to use each in a sentence correctly with punctuation, which is beneficial.

Samples of Word Transitions Converted to Phrase Transitions with Examples 


Using Sentence Templates

Academic writing typically requires longer, more complicated sentences because you have to interpret evidence or  compare your ideas to those within another source.  If longer sentences are not well-constructed, they can  lack clarity or grammatical integrity. It’s also easy to fall into a pattern of passive voice when you are describing ideas opposed to actions.

For those reasons, I highly recommend the worksheet of sentence templates below:

  1. It will provide you with a variety of verbs to use other than “is”, “are,”, “was”, “were”, and “will be.”
  2. It will provide you with some conjunctions that indicate a transition or show relationships between ideas.
  3. It is organized by how you wish to combine or express your ideas.
  4. As a bonus, there’s additional transitions on the bottom!

A Great Worksheet with Adaptable Sentence Templates 

This next worksheet also contains sentence templates and thought transitions, specifically to eliminate “I” from your writing, but some of the verbs are more passive. It’s still worth checking out!

A Great Worksheet  with Sentence Starters  

This worksheet is useful because it has extended sentence templates for comparing topics in multiple sentences.

Extended Sentence Templates

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