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Using Transition Words for Research Papers that Exceed Expectations

August 19, 2015 - Posted to Writing

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Transition Words for Research Papers

When students write research papers, they tend to become hyper-focused on research, factual accuracy, and proving their thesis. This great. After all, these are all very important in a research paper. Unfortunately, this leaves the matter of writing style neglected in many cases. One area that is neglected the most is proper use of transition words for research papers. Research paper transition words are words and phrases that you can use to move from one idea to the next, to show a connection between two ideas, or to contrast two ideas. Transition words can be used as a means to move from one paragraph into another, or within a single paragraph. If transition words and phrases are not used, or if they are used incorrectly, your research paper will have a very choppy and awkward feel to it when others attempt to read it.

Using Transition Words Effectively

Research papers are all about getting information to the readers. Transition words and phrases are tools that you can use to get that information onto the page in a way that is as readable as possible. The best way to use transition words and phrases is to think about what you want to do with the information that you have. For example, are you adding details to an idea or support to a fact? Are you moving from one idea to the next? Are you preparing to present some information that contradicts your current idea? Basically, you use transition words and phrases to do the following:

  • Show the passage of time

Use words and phrases such as next, before, after, first, second, third, then, a while later, or finally

  • To summarize

Use words and phrases such as in other words, in summary, to repeat, or, in brief

  • To contrast and compare

Use words and phrases like in contrast, in comparison, however, like, unlike, or on the other hand

  • To Support

Use words and phrases like furthermore, as evidence shows, proving, or since.

  • To add to an idea

Use words and phrases such as also, next, in addition to that, or furthermore

  • To show an exception

Use words and phrases such as however, but, except, or never the less

  • To shift focus to a new idea

Use words and phrases like moving forward, next, or another thing to consider

  • To demonstrate with an example

Try using words and phrases such as for example, to demonstrate, consider this, or for instance

Focusing on Organization

When organization must really be the focus transitions are key. If you are trying to write a well-organized research paper, transition words and phrases are your friend. You can use them to smoothly transition from paragraph to the next, and from one point to the next. If you are having a difficult time using transition words, you may wish to resequence some of your ideas and paragraphs so that they are better organized.

Moving Beyond Transitions

As established, you must use transition words for organization and readability. There are however other things to be considered when writing a research paper. For example, if you need to generate interesting research paper ideas, you can look at some of the other blog posts at for some fresh ideas. If you need advice on using citations in each work that you produce, you can ask your instructor for clarification on what they want you to do. Finally, if you need professional writing help, you can contact, one of the best writing services for college research papers on the internet today.

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