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Guide On How To Use Transition Words For Expository Essays


An expository essay should present explanations, reasons, or steps in a process. This is a genre of informational writing, which should follow a logical sequence. Your paper shouldn’t tell a story nor persuade the readers, but provide them with reasons and facts, and it should be structured in a proper manner. To ensure that your text flows and the ideas are presented logically, you need to use the transition words that make the most sense.

How Transition Words Can Improve Your Expository Essay

Transition words used appropriately will guide your readers from one paragraph in your essay to the next. They are used to arrange your thoughts in a meaningful way. Some writers compare transition words to sign points of a journey, which show the right direction and provide with clear guidance. Others compare them to spices, which can be mild or spicy, for example, “so” is a mild version of spicy “therefore.”

These small words can serve different purposes in expository writing. There’re a variety of categories based on their purpose: comparison, addition, conclusion, contrast, reason, result, sequence, and some other. Keep in mind that transitions sound stronger when they’re the first word in the sentence and far less powerful when they’re a few words in the middle. So, you can either emphasize the transition or lessen it if needed.

What Transitions to Use in Your Expository Writing

Don’t hesitate to match and mix transitions, avoid using the same words all the time, and select the words that sound natural.

  • To connect your introduction to the first body paragraph use these starters: the first way, firstly, to begin/start with, most important, or in the first place.
  • To connect your first key idea to the second one use: another reason why, secondly, equally important, additionally, next, also, or pursuing this further.
  • To move from your second key idea to the third claim use: lastly, in the same way, likewise, moreover, one last example, thirdly, also, undoubtedly, furthermore, or in the same way.
  • To ensure a smooth transition from the body paragraphs to the conclusion use: to sum it all up, in conclusion, to summarize, all in all, you can see why, therefore, although there may be more reasons, on the whole, or to wrap it all up.

You can find a comprehensive list of transition words used in academic writing on the Web. It’s also a good idea to visit your school writing lab for more information.

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