52 transitional phrases to keep your writing connected

Print this list, and post it near your computer.


Years ago, I attended a medical writing workshop where I received an incredibly useful handout for writers: a list of 50 transitional words. I kept this list on my desk and referred to it every day without fail.

Transitions can make or break your writing. Good transition words connect sentences and paragraphs and turn disconnected writing into a unified whole. Transition words help the reader (and writer) move from idea to idea.

Transitions can also be tricky. Sometimes you need to use words other than “but,” “however,” and “in addition.” That’s why my list of transitional words was so useful. It helped jog my brain so I could find the perfect connecting word.

Consider the following words when you need some new transition ideas.

• accordingly
• admittedly
• afterward
• alternatively
• altogether
• as a result
• at the same time
• at this point
• balanced against
• by comparison
• certainly
• clearly
• concurrently
• consequently
• considering this
• conversely
• evidently
• for the same reason
• further
• furthermore
• given these points
• in any case
• incidentally
• indeed
• in short
• in this situation
• meanwhile
• moreover
• nevertheless
• notably
• on the whole
• on this occasion
• obviously
• on the contrary
• otherwise
• overall
• perennially
• previously
• surprisingly
• therefore
• to conclude
• to demonstrate
• to illustrate
• to resume
• to return to the subject
• to summarize
• undeniably
• unquestionably
• whereas
• without exception
• without reservation
• yet

Ragan readers, any other transitional words or phrases you’d like to share?

Laura Hale Brockway is a medical writer and editor from Austin, Texas. She is also the author of the writing/editing/random thoughts blog, impertinentremarks.com.

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