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Introduction to Academic Reading and Writing: Transitions

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Do the work for the reader. Use transitions to cue the reader to the connections between ideas they should make.


  • Transitions are only as effective as the organization of your paper. Check your paragraphing and the order of your points to ensure that your ideas link together logically and clearly. 

  • After examining your paper’s organization, think about the order in which you present your points and the relationships between those points. Order (first, second, finally) and logical relationship (however, furthermore, consequently) will determine the types of transitions you use.  

  • Build in transitions within paragraphs (from Purdue OWL). Short phrases and single words should cue the reader to the relationship between ideas within the paragraph.  

  • Build transitions between paragraphs (from Purdue OWL). Summarize the ideas contained in the previous paragraph and suggest what the next paragraph will cover. You can begin or end a paragraph this way.  

Video by Writing Center, Walden University, 2017.


  • Transitions by The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill