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Transition Words for Persuasive Essays

May 20, 2015 - Posted to Writing

Content 27

Persuasive essays are those in which you must convince a reader that your position on an issue is the correct one. Thus, you may want to convince an audience that animal testing is immoral or that genetically modified foods are harmful. Perhaps you want to convince someone that the proposed Canadian pipeline or fracking poses dangers to our environment; maybe you believe that there is too much money spent on political campaigns. Whatever your topic and whatever your position, you must organize an essay that flows logically from one point to the next.

Good Transitions = Logical Flow

You may have done great research and you may have great arguments in favor of our position. If they are not presented well, though, your essay will fall flat and your reader will not be convinced.

Part of a good presentation means than you understand how to use transition words for persuasive essays. So, let’s first look at what a transition is and then take a look at good transition words and phrases for essays.

Definition of Transitions: These are words or phrases that connect one thought or idea to the next. They can be used to connect thoughts in two sentences or to move the reader on to the next paragraph in a logical way. They can be single words, phrases, or complete sentences. Typical examples might include the following:

  1. Words: Clearly, Definitely, Obviously, Furthermore, However, Notwithstanding, First (Second, etc.)
  2. Phrases: Without question, What is more, In reality, In fact, Yet another, For example (instance), In other words, According to,
  3. Sentences: These usually occur at the end of a paragraph as you are trying to move your reader into the point that will be covered in the next paragraph. For example, if you are writing a persuasive essay about money in politics, and you have just completed a paragraph on the Supreme Court “Citizens United” decision, you might end that paragraph with something like, “This decision has impacted campaign and elections in many ways.” Now, your reader is prepared for what is to come next – the ways in which that decision has affected campaigns/elections.

Now, your next paragraph in such an essay will speak to one impact that the decision has had – perhaps the establishment of PAC’s into which donors can throw a much money as they wish. At the end of that paragraph, you will want to transition into the next point you will be making, so your transition sentence might read something like, “And once a campaign has been successful because of all of the donated money, the elected official will have certain obligations to those who have provided that campaign funding.” This sentence contains great a lead in to the next paragraph which will discuss how an elected official is then obligate to vote and make decisions based upon the desires of those who provided the funding.

Whether you are using persuasive essay transition words between sentences or entire phrases or sentences between paragraphs, your transitions connect your arguments and allow the reader to see where you are going next. If you don’t use these transitions, the reader cannot follow your argument!

Primary Uses for Transition Words and Phrases of Essays that Attempt to Persuade

You have to think about the flow of your essay and what you are trying to do with your use of transitional words, phrases and sentences. Basically, the purposes of your transitions are any one of the following:

  1. Adding to a Point You Have Made: You will use such words/phrases as: Furthermore, What is more, In addition to, Likewise, Moreover
  2. Providing Examples: Use such phrases as, for instance, for example, in other words
  3. Providing Lists: Use any of the following: First, second, third (etc.), yet another, the following.
  4. Same Point Stated in a Different Way: Good phrases include, in other words, with this in mind, another way to look at this, etc.

Transitions Can Be Tricky

You know that you need to use transitional words correctly, especially when you are trying to make points that will persuade someone to accept your point of view. Without them, your essay loses clarity and logic. If you are having trouble with transitions, you can get great help at These pros can either write your persuasive essay in its entirety or provide a review and edit, adding the words, phrases, and/or sentences that should be included in order to achieve your persuasive purose.

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