Writing Guide: Essential Transition Words

If you want your writing to sound truly polished, it follows that you’ll want to start your sentences with transition words to ease the shift from one idea to the next. Here are all the words you need to make your sentence transitions move smoothly.

“It follows” words:




“It follows that,”


“This example offers one explanation for…”

Do not use: “This is why”

Do not use: “Then” at the beginning of a sentence (use it in the middle)

Nevertheless” words:





Note, however, that these words add emphasis but do not connect independent clauses. For example, the following sentence is grammatically incorrect: “Ophelia may be innocent, however her thoughts are dark.” To fix, use a subordinate conjunction like “while” at the beginning of the sentence (“While Ophelia may be innocent, however, her thoughts are dark”) or replace the word above with coordinating conjunction (“Ophelia may be innocent, but her thoughts are dark”).

Interpretation words:

“In other words”

“That is to say”


“In much the same way,”

“On the contrary,”



Emphasizing point with more evidence:




“In addition”


Setting up points:




Next step:


“As a result,”


Recap/big point:



“In conclusion,”

“In the end,”

“The final irony/conclusion”