Most Commonly Used Transitions

  • Show location:
    above, across, against, along, among, behind, below, beneath, beside, between, by, down, in back of, in front of, inside, into, near, off, onto, on top of, outside, over, throughout, to the right, under
  • Show time:
    about, after, at, before, during, first, second, third, till, until, meanwhile, today, tomorrow, next week, yesterday, soon, later, afterward, immediately, finally, then, next, as soon as, when
  • Compare two things:
    likewise, as, similarly, like
  • Add information:
    again, also, additionally, in addition, another, and, besides, for example, for instance, moreover, next, finally, as well, along with

Transitions to Add Voice to Your Writing

  • This is my favorite part.
  • Let me begin.
  • Let’s start from the beginning.
  • Sooner or later….
  • on the other hand….
  • This may be true, but….
  • At the same time..
  • In the first place…
  • Now you see…
  • For instance…
  • What happened next still gives me the willies!
  • In the meantime…
  • And guess what?
  • You won’t believe what happened next.
  • The first thing that happened was…
  • The first step is a piece of cake.
  • This next part is a doozie.
  • Now comes the part that got me into trouble.
  • When you hear what happened….
  • I wish I had more time to tell you about ….
  • If you think that’s bad, wait till you hear what happened next
  • My story wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t tell you about…
  • Oh, and another thing….
  • Once that happened….
  • Never again will I
  • When I realized what had actually happened…
  • I’d like to bring my explanation to an end by telling you…
  • The next thing that happened shocked me!

Attention Getters

An attention getter is an opening statement that captures the readers attention.

A humorous statement:
Last Tuesday I was so hungry I could have eaten a buttered skunk.

A shocking statement:  
Believe it or not, my 4th grade teacher has purple hair and a tattoo.

“Will, stop making that strange noise!” my mother warned.

Begin with a sound using onomatopoeia:
Slurp! I drained the last of the lemonade in one humongous gulp.

A rhetorical question:
Can you imagine how awesome it would be to be a dolphin trainer?

A scenario:
Imagine this:  You’re home alone and an enormous hurricane is on its way.

An opinion:
Going horseback riding is the best way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

A comparison:
My cat Boo is great, but he doesn’t have the personality that my dog Sam has.

Make a creepy statement: 
“An eerie chill filled the room, drifting like a silent ghost.”

Begin with a smell:
The kitchen was filled with the rich aroma of sugar cookies.

Describe the weather:
Rain spattered against the windows.

Pinpoint a specific time:
The tragedy occurred on December 11 at 4:00 P.M.

Begin with an emotion:
Andrew had an unpleasant feeling about the test that day.

Use an intentional fragment:
No. No. And no again.

Describe something specific:
The eyes behind the tinted glasses were impossible to appeal to.

Begin with a tense situation:
We had been trying to find our way out of the jungle for days.

Use foreshadowing:
If Will had known what he was getting himself into.

Describe what someone is doing:
Mrs. Johnson was shouting at me.

Begin with a controversial statement:
I think they should outlaw bubble gum!

Begin with a startling statement:
I had no intention of losing the president that day; it just sort of happened.

Begin with a question:
“When did you first notice he was missing, Mrs. Green?”