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Transition words and phrases: how to use them in academic writing

Transitions are words and phrases that help your reader understand the relationship between ideas. They allow you to connect two or more points in a logical way. In academic writing, they can be useful for guiding readers through complex arguments or complicated topics. This post will explain how to use transitions in essays and why they matter in academic writing.


There are many different types of transition words and phrases that can be used for different purposes. Some examples include, however, in addition, moreover, etc., which indicate contrast or an opposing idea; ‘furthermore’ which indicates additional information; and ‘consequently’ which shows cause-and-effect relationships between sentences or paragraphs. It is important to choose the right word or phrase based on what you want to convey in order for your paper/assignment to not only sound good but also be effective at persuading readers of your point of view.


What are transition words and phrase and how to use them?

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Furthermore, to get started with using transition words and phrases effectively in academic writing it is best if you first understand their purpose so that you know when they should be used instead of other transitional devices such as commas or semicolons (which we will discuss later). This will allow you to better organize your thoughts into coherent arguments while avoiding unnecessary repetition within sentences and paragraphs that may confuse readers instead of clarifying things for them as transitions do.


This article covers:


What are transition words and phrases?


Transition words and phrases are connecting words that help connect different thoughts within a paragraph. Transition words and phrases are important because they provide readers with an easier time to follow the flow of thoughts that one is trying to relay. Some common transition words and phrases are "also," "therefore," "yet," etc.


Types of transition sentences


In academic writing, there are three types of transition sentences - simple transition, complex transition, and compound transition. Simple transitions can be defined as a word or phrase that connects two ideas without introducing either idea in detail; complex transitions require some introductory information about both ideas before they are connected; compound transitions involve connecting two independent statements using coordinating conjunction such as "and" or "but."


Example text with and without transition words


Without transition words:

Renewable energy has become economically attractive in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Ramping up renewables to 10% of the country's total energy mix, and 25% of total power generation, could generate annual savings of USD 1.9 billion by 2030 through avoidance of fossil-fuel consumption and lower energy costs.


With transition words:

Renewable energy has become economically attractive in the oil-rich United Arab Emirates (UAE). Consequently, ramping up renewables to 10% of the country's total energy mix, and 25% of total power generation, could generate annual savings of USD 1.9 billion by 2030 through avoidance of fossil-fuel consumption and lower energy costs.


Another good transition word to use when writing an essay would be "however." One example of transition words that you could use while writing would be "I think X is true, however, Y disagrees with me because of Z." An effective transition word or phrase that connects two ideas within the same sentence would also be "on the other hand"


Tips for using transition words and phrases when writing an essay


One of the most difficult aspects of writing an essay is deciding how to transition from one section or idea to another. Here are some tips on using transitions in essays:

  1. Keep Transition Words in Mind as You Plan - It's important that these words don't appear too often because overusing them may make your piece seem less professional and original;

  2. Decide Where To Place Transitions – Try connecting same-topic sections with sentences such as "and then," “while,” etc., instead if possible since they can establish flow more easily than paragraph breaks do;

  3. Consider Relationship Between Connecting Points - for example, between parenthesis and main sentences, transition words or phrases can help readers understand the connection between two different ideas.

Common mistakes with transition phrases and words


Transitions are frequently used incorrectly. Make sure you know how to use transition words and phrases correctly, as well as the difference between words with similar meanings. Misused transition words might make your writing unclear or illogical. If you misrepresent the connections between your sentences and concepts, your audience will be lost.

  • Misdirecting Attention - Remember to direct attention where it belongs in transition phrases by being specific about who is doing what action on either side so there won't be confusion as new information comes up later down.

  • Confusing use of therefore - This transition phrase has nothing to do with the idea of time; rather, it connects two sentences or paragraphs which are related to each other closely. The transition word "therefore" means that a transition from one point to another is logical.

  • Starting a sentence with also, and, or so - While the words "also," "and," and "so" are acceptable in academic writing, they are considered informal when used at the start of a sentence. We can either relocate the transition word to a different location in the sentence or utilize a more formal synonym such as additionally.


Conclusion


In academic writing, transition words are important because they provide readers with an easier time to follow the flow of thoughts that one is trying to relay. Unfortunately, most people don't know the names of transition words or how to use them properly.


Transition words and phrases can be used as a way for writers to transition from one idea or thought into another without sounding like a robot (or worse, someone who cannot string together sentences). Furthermore, transition words and phrases help create coherence in content so it doesn't seem choppy or disjointed. In summary, transition words and phrases should be taken seriously when crafting any type of written piece--academic or otherwise.


BONUS: Useful expressions that can be used in essay/assignment

Interpreting


For this purpose

Usage: Use this expression to explain how you want to achieve a certain goal.

Example: “The goal of the present article is to answer question X. For this

purpose, we will...”


In order to

Usage: Use this expression to explain what needs to be done to achieve a certain goal.

Example: “In order to answer question X, we will...”


In other words

Usage: Use this expression when you want to express something in a different way to make it easier to understand.

Example: “We performed the tests sequentially. In other words, we first

performed test X, then we performed test Y,...”


Adding information


In addition

Usage: Use this expression to add information.

Example: “The study showed evidence for X. In addition, it supported Y.


Moreover

Usage: Use this expression to add information.

Example: “The study showed evidence for X. Moreover, it supported Y.


Furthermore

Usage: Use this expression to add information.

Example: Example: “The study showed evidence for X. Furthermore, it supported Y.


Likewise

Usage: Use this expression to add a point that is similar to your last point.

Example: “Study X found evidence for this claim. Likewise, several studies have provided indirect support.”


Similarly

Usage: Use this expression to add a point that is similar to your last point.

Example: “Study X found evidence for this claim. Similarly, several studies have provided indirect support.”


As well as

Usage: Use this expression instead of “also” or “and” to vary your wording.

Example: “Study X supported this point as well as Study Y and Z.”


Describe a sequence of steps/events


Next

Example: “First, we performed X. Next, we performed Y.”


Subsequently

Example: “First, we performed X. Subsequently, we performed Y.”


After

Example: “After X was finished, we performed Y.”


Firstly, secondly, thirdly...

Example: “We performed the experiment in three steps. Firstly, we performed X. Secondly, performed Y. Thirdly, We performed Z.”