Transitions are a crucial element in any writing endeavor. Transitions help the paper to flow naturally, and help the reader make sense of the material. Transitions are used to move from one idea to another. They can be a word or a sentence that leads the reader smoothly in a new or related direction. Transitions are used between paragraphs. If the paragraphs are ordered logically, transitions will add to that order. Transitions can also be used in paragraph content.

Examples of Full-Sentence Transitions

First sentence in the introduction of a paper:

"Instructional coaches are professional developers and educators who coach teachers one-on-one in the use of proven instructional methods" (Calvano 2011, para.1).

First sentence in the first paragraph after the introduction:

In a study of instructional coaches, schools in Wyoming were given grants to hire instructional coaches to provide professional development, to assist in aligning instruction with curriculum standards and assessments, and to work one-on-one with teachers to improve teaching practices (Stock & Duncan, 2010). (Calvano, 2011, para 2)

First sentence in the second paragraph:

"In a separate study that focused on the teachers being coached in the Wyoming schools, the effect of the instructional coaching program on teacher practices was examined (Rush & Young, 2011)" (Calvano, 2011, para. 3).

The first sentence in the first paragraph after the introduction uses the same terminology as the first sentence of the introduction to lend to a smooth transition. The first sentence in the second paragraph transitions with the use of the phrase "In a separate study."

Transition Words

Certain words and phrases are frequently used to transition. Below is a list of some of these words and phrasing and when they are used:

  • An example: to illustrate, for example, for instance.
  • Cause and effect: therefore, consequently, also.
  • Similarity: similarly, also.
  • Sequence: next, finally, first, second…
  • Emphasis: in fact, of course, even.
  • Support: also, furthermore, again, additionally, in addition.
  • Time: before, after, during, earlier.
  • Place: here, there, below, above.
  • A conclusion: in conclusion, thus, in summary, finally.
  • Contrast: however, still, nevertheless, on the other hand, but, yet. (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2012)


Calvano, B. Instructional coaches. Retrieved from

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (2012). The writing center: Transitions. Retrieved from