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Transitions   


The ACT asks several questions per test over transitions.  What are they?

     Transitions
are words and phrases used to help the reader see the connection between one idea and the next.  For example, the words for example told you this sentence would point out an example before you actually got to it.  Furthermore, words like furthermore tell the reader you will be making an additional point.  On the other hand, phrases like on the other hand tell you I’m about to show a different kind of something, a so-called contrasting idea.  Since I’ve begun many sentences with transitions, you might get the idea that transitions only come at the beginning and precede every sentence.  This idea, however, is inaccurate as the previous sentence shows with its lack of a transition, and this one shows with however placed within the sentence.  Nevertheless, transitions are useful tools. They are always considered parenthetical expressions on the ACT and set off by commas because they interrupt. In real life, some can function as a transition without interrupting as consequently will show in the next sentence. They will consequently be part of your grade on every writing assignment.  Use two or three where needed, but don’t overuse them. Also, remember that transitions mean different things even in the same category.  Discover the connection between the two ideas you're trying to join and choose wisely!

additionagain, also, and, and then, besides, equally important, finally, first, further, furthermore, in addition, in the first place, last, moreover, next, second, still, too
cause/effect, purpose, or result
as, as a result, because, consequently, for ( as a conjunction), for this reason, hence, since (as a  subordinating conjunction), so, then, therefore, and thus
comparison
also, in the same way, likewise, similarly
concession
granted, naturally, of course
contrastalthough, and yet, at the same time, but at the same time, despite that, even so, even though, for all that, however, in contrast, in spite of, instead, nevertheless, notwithstanding, on the contrary, on the other hand, otherwise, regardless, still, though, yet
 
emphasis
certainly, indeed, in fact, of course
example or
illustration
after all, as an illustration, even, for example, for instance, in conclusion, indeed, in fact, in other words, in short, it is true, of course, namely, specifically, that is, to illustrate, thus, truly
 
summaryall in all, altogether, as has been said, finally, in brief, in conclusion, in other words, in particular, in short, in simpler terms, in summary, on the whole, that is, therefore, to put it differently, to summarize
time sequenceafter a while, afterward, again, also, and then, as long as, at last, at length, at that time, before, besides, earlier, eventually, finally, formerly, further, furthermore, in addition, in the first place, in the past, last, lately, meanwhile, moreover, next, now, presently, second, shortly, simultaneously, since, so far, soon, still, subsequently, then, thereafter, too, until, until now, when

Many of these words can be used as more than one part of speech; consequently, they aren't always transitions every time you see or use them.  Furthermore, some of these words serve as transitions, but they aren't punctuated as transitions.  For example, the conjunction and is listed as a transition because it is often used to join to independent clauses (complete ideas) in one sentence.  It does serve a transition's role, but it's not considered a parenthetical expression nor set off by commas.  The subordinating conjunctions listed above are another example; words like although and because begin subordinate clauses and aren't considered parenthetical (no commas for them), but they serve as transitions: there is no better word to establish a cause and effect relationship than because.