To improve your writing you need to make sure that your ideas, both in sentences and paragraphs, stick together or have coherence and that the gap between ideas is bridged smoothly. One way to do this is by using transitions – words or phrases or techniques that help bring two ideas together. Transitional words and phrases represent one way of gaining coherence. Certain words help continue an idea, indicate a shift of though or contrast, or sum up a conclusion. Check the following list of words to find those that will pull your sentences and paragraphs together.

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For continuing a common line of reasoning:

consequently
clearly, then
furthermore
additionally
and
in addition
moreover
because
besides that
in the same way
following this further
also
pursuing this further
in the light of the… it is easy to see that

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To change the line of reasoning (contrast):

however
on the other hand
but
yet
nevertheless
on the contrary

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For opening a paragraph initially or for general use:

admittedly
assuredly
certainly
granted
no doubt
nobody denies
obviously
of course
to be sure
true
undoubtedly
unquestionably
generally speaking
in general
at this level
in this situation

For the final points of a paragraph or essay:

finally
lastly

Transitional chains, to use in separating sections of a paragraph which is arranged chronologically:

first… second… third…
generally… furthermore… finally
in the first place… also… lastly
in the first place… pursuing this further… finally
to be sure… additionally… lastly
in the first place… just in the same way… finally
basically… similarly… as well

To signal conclusion:

therefore
this
hence
in final analysis
in conclusion
in final consideration
indeed

To restate a point within a paragraph in another way or in a more exacting way:

in other words
point in fact
specifically

Sequence or time

after
afterwards
as soon as
at first
at last
before
before long
finally
first… second… third
in the first place
in the meantime
later
meanwhile
next
soon
then

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