Transitions for Better Cohesion

by , under IELTS and TOEFL, Writing skills

Cohesion is what helps your reader understand the connection between your ideas. Transitions and conjunctions are the words and phrases that build cohesion.

Here is a list of cohesion-building words.

I have designed the Virtual Writing Tutor’s Cohesion Checker to measure the cohesion in your text by looking for transitions and conjunctions. When the system detects cohesion in your text, it displays a bar graph showing you what categories of transition words and conjunctions you have used.

An example of the feedback from the cohesion checker

If you don’t use cohesion words in your text, you have a problem. Your writing will seem choppy and disconnected to your reader. On the other extreme, it is also possible to use too many cohesion words, which your reader will find awkward and distracting.

Cohesion Words

Coordinating Conjunctions

  • and
  • but
  • for
  • nor

  • or
  • so
  • yet

Subordinating Conjunctions

  • as
  • as if
  • as though
  • because
  • before
  • even
  • even if
  • if
  • in order that
  • rather than
  • since
  • so that
  • than
  • that
  • though
  • unless
  • until
  • when
  • whenever
  • while

Transitions Indicating a Time Order

  • after a long time
  • after a short while
  • afterward
  • at present
  • at the same time
  • at this moment
  • concurrently
  • currently
  • earlier
  • former
  • formerly
  • henceforth
  • hereafter
  • heretofore
  • in retrospect
  • in the future
  • in the past
  • not long after
  • not long ago
  • of late
  • preceding
  • presently
  • previously
  • prior to
  • recently
  • right after
  • right away
  • simultaneously
  • soon after
  • thereafter
  • until now
  • yesterday

Transitions Indicating a Contrast

  • different from
  • even though
  • in contrast
  • in opposition to
  • nonetheless
  • on the contrary
  • on the other hand
  • opposing
  • otherwise
  • regardless
  • the antithesis of
  • the reverse of
  • to differ from
  • to differentiate
  • to oppose
  • up against
  • whereas
  • a clear difference
  • a distinct difference
  • a striking difference
  • a strong distinction
  • against
  • although
  • an opposing view
  • and yet
  • another distinction
  • balanced against
  • by contrast
  • contrarily
  • contrary to
  • conversely
  • counter to
  • despite

Transitions Indicating a Comparison

  • along the same lines
  • analogous to
  • as compared with
  • as well as
  • by comparison
  • comparable
  • comparatively
  • compared to
  • consistent with
  • correlate
  • correspondingly
  • equal
  • equivalent
  • identical
  • in a similar fashion
  • in comparison
  • in like manner
  • in the same manner
  • in the same way
  • like
  • likewise
  • matching
  • meanwhile
  • of little difference
  • parallel to
  • relative to
  • relatively
  • resemble
  • resembling
  • similarly
  • synonymous
  • to the same extent
  • too
  • uniformly
  • where

Transitions Indicating Causes and Effects

  • accordingly
  • as a consequence
  • as a result
  • because of this
  • by reason of
  • caused by
  • consequently
  • due to
  • for this purpose
  • for this reason
  • hence
  • in effect
  • in view of
  • on account of
  • otherwise
  • owing to
  • the end result
  • the outcome
  • the ramifications
  • thereafter
  • therefore
  • thus
  • to this end

Transitions Indicating a Sequence

  • at first
  • at last
  • at the beginning
  • at the end
  • at the onset
  • commencing with
  • concluded with
  • concluding with
  • embark
  • final
  • finally
  • first
  • following that
  • from this point
  • immediately
  • in the end
  • in the first
  • in the last
  • in the second
  • in the third
  • in turn
  • initially
  • last
  • later on
  • next
  • occasion
  • once
  • place
  • second /secondly
  • so far
  • starting with
  • subsequently
  • the final point
  • the following week
  • the latter
  • the second stage
  • third
  • to begin with

Transitions for Introducing Additional Information

  • again
  • also
  • and then
  • besides
  • following this
  • further

  • furthermore
  • in addition
  • lastly
  • now
  • so too
  • what’s more

Transitions for Introducing Examples

  • a case in point
  • an analogy
  • another way
  • as an example
  • as an illustration
  • consider
  • consider as an illustration
  • for example
  • for instance
  • for one thing
  • in another case
  • in one example
  • in order to clarify
  • in particular
  • in the following manner
  • in this case
  • in this situation
  • in this specific instance
  • more exactly
  • namely
  • on this occasion
  • specifically
  • such as
  • suppose that
  • take the case of
  • that is
  • to be exact
  • to bring to light
  • to clarify
  • to demonstrate
  • to exemplify
  • to explain
  • to illuminate
  • to illustrate
  • to put another way
  • to show

Transitions for Emphasis and Intensification

  • above all
  • actually
  • after all
  • as a matter of fact
  • certainly
  • decidedly
  • definitely
  • equally important
  • especially
  • furthermore
  • in fact
  • increasingly important
  • indeed
  • more emphatically
  • more important
  • moreover
  • most important of all
  • most of all
  • of great concern
  • of major concern
  • primarily
  • significantly
  • surely
  • the crux of the matter
  • the main issue
  • the main problem
  • the major reason
  • there is no question that
  • to emphasize
  • to recapitulate
  • very likely
  • without a doubt
  • without doubt
  • without question

Transitions Indicating an Exception

  • however
  • in spite of
  • nevertheless
  • once in a while
  • sometimes
  • still

Transitions for Summarizing and Concluding

  • as has been noted
  • as I have said
  • as I have shown
  • hence
  • in brief
  • in conclusion
  • in short
  • in sum
  • it follows
  • on the whole
  • summing up
  • the upshot of all this is that
  • to conclude
  • to sum up
  • to summarize

Transitions Indicating a Concession

  • admittedly
  • concede that
  • granted
  • it is true that
  • while it is true that
  • naturally
  • of course
  • to be sure

Transitions for Elaborating

  • by extension
  • in other words
  • to elaborate
  • to put it another way
  • to put it bluntly
  • to put it succinctly
  • ultimately
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