According to Search Engine Journal, if you’re using transition words and phrases in your writing to improve readability and SEO content quality, there are some handy tips you should know.
Transition words are important. Think of them as a bridge. Here’s an example:
I hit the snooze button this morning. <b>As a result,</b> I overslept and was late for work.
Starting a sentence with “as a result” tells the reader that what happens next is a direct outcome of the actions in the first sentence. It intrinsically ties the two sentences together into a clear cause-and-effect relationship. Let’s take a closer look at the different categories for transition words to see what they can do:
- Addition: This type of transition is merging two or more ideas together and showing a corresponding relationship between them. Example Transition Words: again, also, and, and then, besides, equally important, finally, further, furthermore, in addition, lastly, next, nor, moreover, what’s more.
- Cause & Effect: When one event directly triggers another, this cause-and-effect transition lets the reader know that the two occurrences are directly linked. Example Transition Words: as a result, consequently, hence, next, therefore, thus.
- Clarification: Sometimes, we need to rephrase what we’ve already said in order to clarify an original statement. This might be to simplify a complicated point or provide emphasis. Example Transition Words: in other words, that is to say, to clarify.
- Compare & Contrast: This transition shows a relationship between two ideas that are being compared to each other based on similarities or differences. Example Transition Words: after all, although this may be true, but, compared to, conversely, however, in contrast, likewise, nevertheless, on the contrary, on the other hand, similarly, where, whereas, vis a vis, yet.
- Exception / Contradiction: Contradictory transitions happen when an action that had an anticipated outcome instead ends with a different result. Leading with a transition warns the reader to expect the unexpected. Example Transition Words: despite, however, nevertheless, in spite of, of course, once in a while, sometimes.
- Emphasis: An emphatic transition demonstrates the narrator’s certainty and conviction. It establishes a sense of authority. Example Transition Words: absolutely, always, certainly, definitely, emphatically, in any case, in fact, indeed, never, surprisingly, undeniably, without a doubt, without reservation.
- Illustration: This transition connects a statement to a follow-up example that illustrates the point being made. Example Transition Words: as an illustration, for example, for instance, in another case, in this situation, on this occasion, take the case of, to demonstrate, to illustrate.
- Repetition: Sometimes, especially when information is important, we repeat it to ensure the lesson sticks. A transition serves as a red flag to the reader so they comprehend the significance of the repetition rather than assume the writer wasn’t paying attention and made the same point twice. Example Transition Words: again, as I have noted, as I said, I repeat, in brief.
- Time, Order, and Sequence: Transitions can help a reader grasp the passage of time, which is especially important in narrative works. These types of transitions also establish order and sequence. Instructional how-to articles often rely on sequential transitions to ensure the reader is following the steps in order. Example Transition Words: after, after a few hours, afterward, and then, at this time, before this, concurrently, eventually, finally, (first, second, third…), formerly, immediately, in a while, later, next, previously, soon, then, thereafter.
- Summarize or Conclude: A concluding transition signals the reader that they’re nearing the end. It usually summarizes the most important points and leaves the reader with key takeaways. Example Transition Words: accordingly, as I have shown, as a result, consequently, in brief, in conclusion, in short, hence, therefore, thus.