A discussion of transition strategies and specific transitional devices.
Contributors:Ryan Weber, Karl Stolley
Last Edited: 2011-02-02 04:32:35
Transitional devices are like bridges between parts of your paper. They are cues that help the reader to interpret ideas a paper develops. Transitional devices are words or phrases that help carry a thought from one sentence to another, from one idea to another, or from one paragraph to another. And finally, transitional devices link sentences and paragraphs together smoothly so that there are no abrupt jumps or breaks between ideas.
There are several types of transitional devices, and each category leads readers to make certain connections or assumptions. Some lead readers forward and imply the building of an idea or thought, while others make readers compare ideas or draw conclusions from the preceding thoughts.
Here is a list of some common transitional devices that can be used to cue readers in a given way.
and, again, and then, besides, equally important, finally, further, furthermore, nor, too, next, lastly, what's more, moreover, in addition, first (second, etc.)
whereas, but, yet, on the other hand, however, nevertheless, on the contrary, by comparison, where, compared to, up against, balanced against, vis a vis, but, although, conversely, meanwhile, after all, in contrast, although this may be true
because, for, since, for the same reason, obviously, evidently, furthermore, moreover, besides, indeed, in fact, in addition, in any case, that is
To Show Exception:
yet, still, however, nevertheless, in spite of, despite, of course, once in a while, sometimes
To Show Time:
immediately, thereafter, soon, after a few hours, finally, then, later, previously, formerly, first (second, etc.), next, and then
in brief, as I have said, as I have noted, as has been noted
definitely, extremely, obviously, in fact, indeed, in any case, absolutely, positively, naturally, surprisingly, always, forever, perennially, eternally, never, emphatically, unquestionably, without a doubt, certainly, undeniably, without reservation
To Show Sequence:
first, second, third, and so forth. A, B, C, and so forth. next, then, following this, at this time, now, at this point, after, afterward, subsequently, finally, consequently, previously, before this, simultaneously, concurrently, thus, therefore, hence, next, and then, soon
To Give an Example:
for example, for instance, in this case, in another case, on this occasion, in this situation, take the case of, to demonstrate, to illustrate, as an illustration, to illustrate
To Summarize or Conclude:
in brief, on the whole, summing up, to conclude, in conclusion, as I have shown, as I have said, hence, therefore, accordingly, thus, as a result, consequently
What are compare and contrast transition words? Before you can understand what they are, you should know the use of transition words and phrases first. Fundamentally, those words and phrases help on making essays easier to read.
In addition, they allow the readers to transition from one topic or point to another. They enhance the understandability and logical organization of an article by helping the readers know the relationship of the previous and following sentence and/or paragraph in the paper they are reading.
Contrast and Comparison
As the term implies, compare and contrast transition words are transitional phrases/words that show comparison and contrasting relation of two ideas. They are also used to emphasize negative and positive ideas. For you to have a clue on what exactly are they, here is a list of the most common contrast and compare transition words and phrases that are used in everyday writing and speech.
- A clear difference
- Conflicting viewpoint
- Even so
- For all that
- In another way
- On one hand
- Still another
- The antithesis of
- In the same way
- By the same token
- In like manner
- In similar fashion
- By the same token
- On the other hand
- In contrast
Here are some examples on how to use contrast and compare transitional words.
- Contrasting Transition Example
First sentence: I want to buy an ice cream.
Second sentence: My mother does not want me to buy an ice cream.
- Contrast 1: I want to buy an ice cream, but my mother does not want me to buy one.
Contrast 2: I want to buy an ice cream. However, my mother does not want me to buy one.
Contrast 3: I want to buy an ice cream; unfortunately, my mother does not want me to buy one.
First sentence: I eat ice cream slowly.
Second sentence: I eat cotton candies slowly.
- Comparison 1: I eat ice cream slowly, in the same way I eat cotton candies.
Comparison 2: I eat ice cream slowly. Likewise, I eat cotton candies slowly, too.
Comparison 3: I eat ice cream slowly; similarly, I eat cotton candies slowly, too.
The examples above demonstrate how to use both type of transition words. As you can see, the sentences are now easier to read than the sentences without the transition words. Also, you have now a clearer understanding on how the ideas of the sentences are related.
Using compare and contrast transition words are very easy. Nevertheless, they can greatly affect your article’s readability and quality in a positive way. Ergo, make sure you always use them.
Dr. Michael Babcock is a Professor of Humanities at the Liberty University, Virginia. He wrote “The Stories of Attila the Hun’s Death: Narrative, Myth, and Meaning” (2001) and was a guest speaker at academic conferences on language origins and the philosophy of consciousness topics. Since 2008, he delivers help with academic papers on behalf of Professional Custom Essay Writing Service at freshessays.com.