To stand out amidst the multitude of content writers in the freelancing space, you need to be good at your game. How good is your knowledge of grammar, vocabulary, sentence structure, creativity, SEO, and others?
If you desire to always come up with impeccable write-ups, another aspect you also shouldn’t overlook is transitional words. Transitional words help you make explicit connections between ideas, sentences, and paragraphs.
In this article, we’ll define what transitional words are, and how to use them in content writing.
Table of Contents
What are Transitional Words?
Transitional words are words that serve as a link between paragraphs or sections of writing materials. They show you how ideas relate to one another, hence they are also referred to as “link words.”
Transitional words help you organize your papers, and make it easier for your readers to understand how the ideas in each paragraph link, that is, they serve as cues that help readers interpret your ideas.
Transitional words help your audience understand the logic of your paper, they help you as a writer to move smoothly from one idea to another. The use of transitional terms allows writers to prepare their readers for a new idea.
Categories of Transitional Words
Below are categories of transitional words based on what they are used for. There are ten of them and are listed below;
This type of transitional words is used to compare one idea to another, or one sentence to another, e.g. whereas, on the other hand, nevertheless, up against, yet, but, in contrast, compared to, after all, by comparison, however.
Sentence example: Being a superstar is bittersweet, on the other hand, you’re forever remembered.
This type of transitional words is used to link one sentence to another, or one paragraph to another. e.g. again, still, and, besides, equally, finally, nor, too, next, lastly, in addition, secondly.
Sentence example: He addressed the issues of corruption and education, in addition, he encouraged workers to keep working and not relent.
To show exception
These types of transitional words give the reader an idea of something unique happening. e.g. in spite of, despite, once in a while, however.
Sentence example: She came out strong in spite of all she’s been through.
These types of transitional words help to summarize what has been said. e.g. as mentioned, in brief, as has been noted, as I said.
Sentence example: As mentioned earlier, advertising is the best option for any business owner.
To show sequence
This type of transitional words is used to show the sequence in which a particular action or actions take place. e.g first, second, third, then, next, and so forth, at this point, following this, previously, consequently, thus, therefore, simultaneously, concurrently, hence.
Sentence example: First it was her child, then her husband, at this point she might lose it.
This type of transitional words are used to add emphasis to a previous sentence or paragraph e.g. definitely, obviously, in fact, surprisingly, naturally, undeniably, always, forever, unquestionably.
Sentence example: She claims to be highly educated, surprisingly she couldn’t spell her name.
This type of transitional words is used to bring out the accuracy of an idea being given. e.g. because, since, for the same reason, evidently, infact, in any case.
Sentence example: We could not make it to the conference yesterday because we were held up in traffic.
To show time
This type of transitional words serves as a timeline in which action takes place, and is mostly used in storytelling. e.g. immediately, thereafter, a few hours later, finally, then, formerly.
Sentence example: The woman paid a visit to her friend in the morning. A few hours later, she was seen coming out of the building with a weapon.
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This type of transitional words is used as a link word to add a conclusion to what has been said so far. e.g. summing up, on the whole, as a result, to conclude.
Sentence example: She has her bad times, but on the whole, she’s a fairly happy person.
To give an example
They are link words that are used to give an example e.g. for example, for instance, to demonstrate, take the case of.
Sentence example: Many workers are due for promotion in this company. Take the case of Jide, he has been working hard, yet no promotion.
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How to Use Transitional Words in Content Writing
You need to know where and when to use transitional words. The following tips will help you;
- To use transitional words effectively, break down your copy into three parts; introduction, body and conclusion. Next, identify the purpose of every section. Go through your copy on a sentence level, and find opportunities to make transitions that make sense.
- Study the categories of transitional words above to help you make the right placement. When you understand the point and goal of individual paragraphs, it will be easier to make the right placements.
- Read aloud your writing if you’re not sure of the transition you’ve made, it will help you make the right choice.
- Make use of professional editors to reduce your chances of making mistakes.
- Don’t overuse transitional words. In a bid to perfect your copy you might be tempted to overuse them, be careful! it can have the opposite effect.
- Don’t rely only on transitional words, be creative and organized.
- Avoid the repetition of one transitional word.
- Study write-ups and see how other authors use transitional words.
- Don’t use informal words at the beginning of sentences. Words like and, are, also and so, are informal. e.g, Also, the company is shutting down – Wrong. The company is also shutting down – Right.
- Know the difference between “as well as” and “and” when trying to make a transition in a sentence, don’t mistake one for the other, they imply different things.
“As well as”: implies that the following piece of information is less important than the preceding piece.
“And”: implies that both the following piece and the preceding one, are equally important.
Perfecting your use of transitional words is a gradual process, like in every other aspect of life, practice makes perfect, don’t be in a hurry. As a content writer, your main goal is to create an informative, persuasive, compelling, original, and accurate piece,
As you already know, it takes a lot of effort.
Being a content writer is not an easy career, especially if you’re based in Nigeria. The problems we face include stiff competition, low power supply, and lack of equipment and software required for content creation. I’m sure you wouldn’t want to add poor-quality writing to the list. Knowing how to use transitional words, will help you come out with the finest of writings.
Practice what you’ve learnt and thank me later.
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Edited by Oluwanifemi Akintomide.
Precious Emecheta is an ACT (Advance Copywriting Technics) certified content writer on social platforms like LinkedIn. She has three years of experience in writing educative, informative and captivating contents.
Her love for writing started from a young age, which has motivated her to advance into the field of content writing and copy writing. She writes precise and persuasive contents for brands and businesses.