Boring Essays? Change up Your Transition Words and Phrases for Essays!

posted by Laura Callisen 11 Apr 2015
Table of contents:

What Are Transitional Words for Essays?

These are words and phrases that provide a logical connection from one phrase, statement, or idea to another. When you make use of good essay transition words, you create an essay that flows smoothly and logically. Transition words can convey sequence, escalation, cause and effect, conclusions, and even point out differences and similarities. If you don't use transition words and phrases, your essay becomes choppy, and is very difficult for your reader to follow along. Consider this example:

  • The teenager slept in. He was late for school.

One can presume that the reason for his late arrival to school was directly related to his sleeping in, but the words used don't tell us this. Instead, each sentence stands on its own. Now, consider an example using one of the many good transition words for essays.

The teenager slept in, therefore he was late for school. The transition word 'therefore' connects the two sentences, and it logically ties one event to the other. Now it is clear that sleeping in was the cause of the student’s tardiness. This is a simple example, and admittedly a bit boring, but it certainly demonstrates the importance of transition words in essays. Think of transition words as your way of guiding your reading audience through your thought process. Never assume your readers will draw the same conclusions as you, or that they will see the same things as you. Always use transition words to lead the way.

There are dozens of transition words and phrases for essays, but for some reason many of us only use a handful of them. Have you ever felt, as you were in the midst of writing an essay, that you were being repetitive? Chances are, it wasn't your thoughts and ideas that were boring. More likely, it was your repetitive use of transition words and phrases. So, try changing things up and using some new transition words and phrases as you write. What are some transition words for essays that many people ignore? Take a look at this abbreviated list of transition words and phrases that you may not be using on a regular basis:

  • Regrettably
  • Strangely Enough
  • Incidentally
  • Paradoxically
  • Similarly
  • On the other hand
  • Ultimately
  • In addition
  • By and large
  • Ironically
  • In the mean time
  • As a consequence
  • Furthermore
  • First and foremost
  • Be that as it may
  • That is to say
  • Notwithstanding
  • Granted
  • Undoubtedly

Good writers also make use of advanced transition words for essays to transition from paragraph to paragraph. A transition word or phrase can be used at the end of a paragraph to prepare the reader for the ideas that will be presented in the next. It is very important to use transition words and phrases that are specific when doing this. The idea is not to connect any paragraph to any other paragraph; it is to build a connection of ideas between two paragraphs in your essay. Here is an example of a transition that does not use transition words or phrases in an optimum way:

The record-breaking number of downloads are proof positive that the musician has widespread popular appeal. The artist has also made an impact on her fellow musicians.

In this example, there are hints at what is to come next, but the transition is not smooth.

Read also: Trying to catch a muse? GrabMyEssay could help with writing speech for you. 

Now, consider this example:

While the record-breaking number of downloads are proof positive that the musician has widespread popular appeal, the long list of musicians seeking studio time with her make it clear that she is also a darling among her peers.

In the second example, it is clear that the next paragraph is going to focus on the musician’s relationship and collaboration with other artists. The phraseology also flows nicely. It's always important to remember that in writing an essay, aesthetics count!

Transition words and phrases also have a place when it comes time to draw an essay to its conclusion. It is very important to select transition words to end an essay that, once again, lead the reader to the place you want them to go. Phrases such as “in summary” or “in conclusion” are excellent ways to let your readers know that you are going to be making the final points in support of your thesis statement. This also tells them that the next words are going to be a summation of previous points, and not the introduction of any new information.

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Hopefully you have picked up some great transition words for essays. Remember that the more you use these words and phrases, the more comfortable you will become with them. This is sure to help you write your essays in the future that are more effective and easier to read. Keep in mind that if you have any other essay writing needs or questions, the folks at are always eager to help!

Laura Callisen

Blog writer for GrabMyEssay


Hello there! I am Laura Callisen, and I fancy myself to be a modern “Renaissance person.” I suppose my 30-something self began my incredible journey after having been born in Stavanger, Norway and then immigrating to the U.S. (Utah, actually) at the age of 5. I am certain that this change was more of a cultural “shock” for my parents than for me, because I quickly mastered the language and was clever enough to “play the game” of public education in America. After graduating from Skyline High School, where I spent two years as the school newspaper editor, obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in English and journalism from the University of Utah was a natural culmination of my love for writing.

My inclination to be socially conscious led me to lots of community outreach and volunteering during my college years, especially in the areas of educational and housing improvement for the poor and a number of environmental crusades. My passion for philosophy and travel have now taken over, and I am enthralled with the widely varied value systems of all cultures in which I can immerse myself, if only temporarily. My life as a freelance writer allows a freedom I never want to sacrifice for a stuffy office!

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