Transitions are words, phrases, and sentences that guide readers as they move through a text and signal connections among ideas. Transitional words, phrases, and sentences guide the reader in much the same way as road signs guide a motorist. They are the glue that holds ideas together. Writers use transitions both within paragraphs and between paragraphs.

Within paragraphs: Use transitions to link ideas with the paragraph. Use only those that are necessary to make your ideas clear. Too many transitions distract the reader from your message and slow down the rhythm of your language. Therefore, use only those that you need.

Paragraph- to-Paragraph: Use transitional expressions in essays to connect ideas from paragraph to paragraph. Usually in effective paragraphs, writers can use transitional sentences in the lead sentence and/or in the last sentence to make clear the preceding or following paragraph's connection to the one being written. If the essay is logically arranged, then transitions simply emphasize that logical organization.

To indicate a summary, repetition, conclusion or a result: Accordingly, As a result, As has been noted, As a consequence, As mentioned earlier, For that reason, Inevitably, In other words, In any event, In short, On the whole, Necessarily, Thus

To introduce an illustration: After all, As an example, Especially, Even, For example, For instance, In other words, In particular, In fact, Indeed, Namely, Of course, Specifically, Such as, To illustrate, That is

To make a qualification or contrast: After all, Although, But, By contrast, Conversely, Despite, Even though, However, In contrast, In spite of, Instead, Nevertheless, Nonetheless, notwithstanding, On the contrary, On the one hand, On the other hand, Regardless, Still, Though, Whereas, Yet

To show cause and effect: Accordingly, As a consequence, As a result, Consequently, Necessarily, Since, Then, Therefore, Thus, For this purpose, Hence, To this end

To mark the place: Above that, Adjacent to, Below, Beyond, At this point, To the left, To the Right, Beside, Under, Over, Elsewhere, Here, Nearby, Opposite to

To add a thought: Again, Also, As well, Besides, Beyond that, Equally important, Finally, For one thing, Further, In addition, Moreover, Nor, Or, Similarly

To emphasize: Above all, Certainly, Especially, In any event, Indeed, In fact, In particular, Most importantly, Surely

To emphasize time or space: Afterward, After a while, As long as, As soon as, At last, At length, Before, Briefly, Earlier, Eventually, Formerly, Gradually, Immediately, In a short time, In the past, In the future, In the meantime, Later, Meanwhile, Now, Presently, Promptly, Soon, Shortly, Suddenly, Then, Thereafter, Until
To show comparison: In the same way, Likewise, To this end, Once more, Similarly

To indicate a reason: For this purpose, For this reason, To this end

To signal concession: Although it is true that, Granted that, Admittedly, It may appear that, Naturally, Of course