Cohesion: Linking Ideas

A good writer links ideas and signposts to the audience the direction their argument is about to take. Certain words or phrases can signal the next point, link ideas, add emphasis or introduce alternative viewpoints.

Transition Words

Transitions are words, phrases or sentences that make your writing easier to follow. They help by making clear connections between sentences and paragraphs, and indicate the flow of your ideas. They also signal to the reader how to approach the information that follows.
Some examples of common transition words include: furthermore, moreover, besides, however, although, consequently, similarly, nonetheless, thus, despite

When to use transitions:

  • Within paragraphs – these tend to be single words or short phrases that help the reader follow your line of thought (such as 'However', 'Therefore' and 'Likewise'). For example, “Smith and Jones (2008) propose that academic writing style should always be adhered to at tertiary level. However,….”
  • Between paragraphs – using a transition word or phrase will highlight the relationship that exists between the two paragraphs (such as ‘On the other hand’, ‘Therefore’ and ‘Similarly’. These can be used either at the end of one paragraph or the beginning of the next paragraph.

 Avoid unnecessary words and long winding sentences. Transition words are a great way to keep your sentences well-structured and ensure your expression flows. These are some examples: