17/07/2020

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What is a Transition in Writing? A Nonfiction Guide

by Bennett R. Coles

Transition

A transition is a word or a group of words that create a bridge between two ideas (i.e. between two subsequent paragraphs) or between two sentences within a paragraph, for the purpose of establishing a natural flow in the narrative.

Since there’s a nearly unlimited number of transition possibilities in the English language, I’ll devote this article to introducing the most popular transition categories in the nonfiction genre, along with some examples that you can use for reference.

For a comprehensive list of several hundred different transitional words or phrases organized by category, read my companion article: 711 Paragraph Transition Words for Nonfiction Authors.

Addition Transitions:

This type of transition is used when the second idea builds on the first idea by adding new information.

Some Examples: Additionally, Also, An additional, And, And then, Another, Apart from this, As a result, As well as, Further, Furthermore, In addition, In the same way, In the second place, Moreover, Otherwise, Similarly, What’s more.

Agreement Transitions:

This type of transition is used when the second idea expands on the first idea using an equivalency.

Some Examples: As a matter of fact, As well as, By the same token, Comparatively, Correspondingly, Equally, Equally important, In like manner, In the same fashion, In the same way, Like, Likewise, Not only… but also, Not to mention, Then, Together with.

Causation Transitions:

This type of transition is used when when there’s a cause and effect relationship between two ideas.

Some Examples: And so, As a result, Because, Consequently, For that reason, If…then, In order to, In the event that, In view of, Inasmuch as, Lest, On account of, Therefore, Thus, With this in mind, With this intention.

Chronology Transitions:

This type of transition is used when you need to add a temporal dimension to the flow between ideas.

Some Examples: After, Afterwards, And then, Formerly, Forthwith, Last, Last but not least, Later, Meanwhile, Once, Presently, Previously, Prior to, Until now, Up to the present time, Usually, When, Whenever, While, Without delay.

Clarification Transitions:

This type of transition is used when the second idea provides clarification to the first idea.

Some Examples: In other words, That is, That is to say, To clarify, To explain, To put it another way, To rephrase it.

Comparison Transitions:

This type of transition is used you need to compare two ideas.

Some Examples: Analogous to, By comparison, Compared to, Equally, In a similar fashion, In comparison, In contrast, In like fashion, In like manner, In the same way, On the contrary, On the other hand, Similarly, Vis a vis, Whereas.

Concession Transitions:

This type of transition is used when the second idea provides justification for the first idea.

Some Examples: Granted, It is true, Naturally, Of course, To be sure.

Conclusion Transitions:

This type of transition is used when the second idea concludes the first idea.

Some Examples: After all, All in all, All things considered, As can be seen, As shown above, By and large, For the most part, In a word, In any event, In conclusion, In essence, In fact, In short, In summary, On balance, On the whole, To sum up, To summarize.

Connection Transitions:

This type of transition is used when two ideas need to be connected together thematically.

Some Examples: Additionally, Also, And, Finally, First, Firstly, Further, In the first place, In the second place, Last, Lastly, Moreover, Next, Second, Secondly.

Consequence Transitions:

This type of transition is used when the second idea is a consequence of the first idea.

Some Examples: Accordingly, As a result, Consequently, Due to, For this reason, Hence, In other words, So, With the result that.

Contrast Transitions:

This type of transition is used when the second idea provides a contrasting thought in relation to the first idea.

Some Examples: Alternatively, But, Contrarily, Conversely, Despite, Nonetheless, Nor, Notwithstanding, On the contrary, On the other hand, Otherwise, Unlike, While this may be true, Yet.

Details Transitions:

This type of transition is used when you need to add more detail to the first idea.

Some Examples: In detail, In particular, Including, Namely, Specifically, To enumerate, To explain, To list.

Effect Transitions:

This type of transition is used when the second idea is the result of the first idea.

Some Examples: Accordingly, Consequently, For this reason, Hence, Therefore, Thus, Under those circumstances.

Emphasis Transitions:

This type of transition is used when the second idea provides emphasis to the first idea.

Some Examples: Above all, In fact, In truth, Furthermore, Surprisingly, Unquestionably, Without a doubt, Undeniably, Undoubtedly, Especially.

Examples Transitions:

This type of transition is used when the second idea is provided as an example of the first idea.

Some Examples: As an example, As an illustration, Especially, Indeed, Like, Markedly, Particularly, That is to say, To clarify, To illustrate, To put it differently, With this in mind.

Exception Transitions:

This type of transition is used when the second idea illustrates an exception to the thought expressed in the first idea.

Some Examples: Despite, However, In spite of, Nevertheless, Of course, Once in a while, Sometimes, Still, Yet.

Generalization Transitions:

This type of transition is used when the second idea expands on the first idea in a general way.

Some Examples: As a rule, As usual, For the most part, Generally, Generally speaking, Ordinarily, Therefore, To this end, Usually, With this in mind.

Illustration Transitions:

Transition Inside

This type of transition is used when the second idea is provided as a way of illustrating the first idea.

Some Examples: For example, For instance, In other words, In particular, Namely, Specifically, Such as, To illustrate.

Importance Transitions:

This type of transition is used when the second idea enhances the meaning of the first idea.

Some Examples: Chiefly, Critically, Most importantly, Primarily.

Intensification Transitions:

This type of transition is used when the second idea is used to build up the intensity or the power of the first idea.

Some Examples: In fact, Indeed, To repeat, Undoubtedly, Without doubt.

Location Transitions:

This type of transition is used when you need to add a spatial dimension to the flow between two ideas.

Some Examples: Across, Adjacent, Amid, Around, At the bottom, At the rear, Beneath, Between, Down, In the center of, In the distance, Nearby, On the side, On this side, On top, Peripherally, Surrounding, To the left/right, Within sight.

Opposition Transitions:

This type of transition is used when you need to establish a clear contrast between ideas.

Some Examples: Although this may be true, Be that as it may, Besides, But, Conversely, Despite, Even though, However, In contrast, Nevertheless, On the contrary, On the other hand, Otherwise, Whereas, While, Yet.

Proof Transitions:

This type of transition is used when the second idea provides a point of proof to the first idea.

Some Examples: At any rate, Evidently, For the same reason, Furthermore, Granted that, In addition, In any case, In fact, In spite of, Indeed, Moreover, Obviously, Of course, While it may be true.

Purpose Transitions:

This type of transition is used when the second idea gives purpose to the first idea.

Some Examples: For this purpose, In order that, So that, To that end, To this end.

Restatement Transitions:

This type of transition is used when the second idea restates the first idea in an analogous way.

Some Examples: In brief, In essence, In other words, In short, Namely, That is, That is to say, To put it differently.

Repetition Transitions:

This type of transition is used when you need to add repetition to your flow of ideas for emphasis.

Some Examples: As I have noted, As I have said, In brief.

Sequence Transitions:

This type of transition is used when subsequent ideas need to be part of a thematic sequence.

Some Examples: After, Afterward, And then, At the same time, At this time, Concurrently, Consequently, For the time being, Later, Meanwhile, Next, Now, Previously, Simultaneously, Subsequently, Therefore, Thus, While.

Similarity Transitions:

This type of transition is used when when the second idea expresses a similar thought as the first idea.

Some Examples: By the same token, Here, In like manner, In similar fashion, In the same way, Likewise, Wherever.

Summary Transitions:

This type of transition is used when when the second idea summarizes the first idea.

Some Examples: After all, All things considered, As a result, As I have said, As I have shown, As previously stated, In conclusion, In short, In summary, In the end, On the whole, Summing up, To sum up, To summarize.

If you enjoyed this article and are in the process of writing a nonfiction book, be sure to check out my free nonfiction success guide, drawn from years of experience editing books for bestselling authors (including a New York Times bestseller) and ghostwriting for CEOs and politicians. Simply click here to get instant access.

Ben

Leave me a comment below if you have any questions or a specific need that I can help you address – I operate an author services firm that specializes in helping entrepreneurs, professionals and business owners who want to publish books as a calling card for prospects, to establish their status as an expert or to just to generate additional leads for their businesses.

Here are some related posts I highly recommend:

How to Write a Compelling Book in 12 Steps: A Must-Read Guide for Nonfiction Authors

Write Your Own Book and Become an Expert: 11 Reasons Why You Should

How to Grow Your Business Writing a Nonfiction Book

How Long Does it Take to Write a Book to Help Grow Your Business?

Bennett R. ColesBennett R. Coles is an award-winning author of 6 books published through Harper Collins (NY) and Titan Publishing Group (UK). He is also the publisher at Promontory Press and the founder/CEO of Cascadia Author Services, a boutique full-service firm that specializes in premium author services specifically designed for busy professionals. Our end-to-end services include writer coaching, ghostwriting, editing, proofing, cover design, book layout, eBook production, printing, distribution and marketing.

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