Transition Signals in Writing

What are transition signals?

Transition signals are connecting words or phrases that strengthen the internal cohesion of your writing. Transition signals act like bridges between parts of your writing. They link your sentences and paragraphs smoothly together smoothly so that they flow and there are no abrupt jumps or breaks between ideas.

Transition signals also act like signposts making it easier for the reader to follow your ideas. They help carry over a thought from one sentence to another, from one paragraph to another, or between separate sentences, paragraphs or topics.

There are several types of transition signals. Some lead your reader forward and imply the building of an idea or thought, while others make your reader compare ideas or draw conclusions from the preceding thoughts.

Sample text

During [1] the early twentieth century, in addition [4] to industrialisation, urban growth and technological development, Australian society was experiencing a transformation of the domestic ideal. Consequently [5], people were subject to an increasing array of government and professional programs aiming to manage and regulate life, particularly [6] family life. Some of these programs were designed to counter social changes, others were designed to engineer them; overall [2] they each heralded a growing expert encroachment into the private sphere.

Intervention and influence took three forms [3]. Firstly [3] , techniques designed to maximise efficiency were introduced into the home and scientific principles were applied to its design. In addition [4], housework and parenting methods were scrutinised and subject to unprecedented standards. Secondly [3] , all aspects of reproduction attracted increasing intervention from government and the medical profession. Thirdly [3], state, professional and philanthropic groups began to usurp the parental role within the family through instruction and policy. Ultimately [2], the development of 'modern' social ideals brought regulation, intervention and ever-increasing unrealistic standards.

[1] Indicating a specific time

[2] Indicating a conclusion

[3] To indicate sequence and logically divide an idea

[4] Indicating extra information

[5] Indicating a result

[6] To add emphasis

 

The following words and phrases can be used to indicate transitions and to cue your reader about how ideas are logically connected in your writing. This list is also helpful for providing alternative options if you find yourself constantly using the same linking word or phrase.

To indicate sequence or to logically order ideas

first, second, third etc.

followed by

then

before, after

next, finally

previously, subsequently

initially, followed by

concurrently

at that time

 

To refer to a specific incident or example

for example

to illustrate

for instance

in the case of case

specifically

namely

in this case

such as

on this occasion

notably

 

To provide emphasis or indicate importance

indeed

above all

especially

particularly

crucially

To indicate time

thereafter

initially

at that/ this point

immediately

finally

simultaneously

before, after

then, later

at that/ this time

formerly

meanwhile

prior to

previously

during

at present

 

To compare and/ or contrast

To compare:

  • on the one hand
  • conversely
  • while
  • similarly
  • correspondingly
  • whereas
  • in the same way
  • similar to

To contrast:

  • in contrast
  • on the other hand
  • unlike
  • a different view is
  • on the contrary
  • differing from
  • however
  • balanced against
  • by/ in comparison
  • (and) yet

 

To indicate result or cause and effect

as a result (of this)

consequently

as a consequence

therefore

thus

hence

accordingly

for this reason

because (of this)

so much (so) that

 

To introduce a similar idea

similarly

equally

in the same way

likewise

To add another idea or more information

in addition

furthermore

besides

also

it could also be said

additionally

another

further

moreover

 

To introduce an opposite idea, to show exception or concession

alternatively

however

on the other hand

it could also be said that

in contrast

instead

whereas

nevertheless

despite/ in spite of (this)

even though

admittedly

nonetheless

albeit

notwithstanding (this)

although

regardless (of this)

(and) yet

on the contrary

To give an example

take the case of

for example

for instance

in this case

to demonstrate

 

To identify or clarify

that is (to say)

namely

specifically

thus

in other words

To summarise or conclude

finally

in brief

on the whole

overall

therefore

in conclusion

in other words

thus

consequently

as a result

ultimately

in summary

hence

to summarise

 

Related tags: Academic skills