Transitions in Writing

Contributor: Allison Crews. Lesson ID: 13488

First, learn how writers organize their ideas with transitions in order to make them clearer to readers. Then, explore the two most common types of transitions. Finally, practice what you've learned!



English / Language Arts
learning style
personality style
Lion, Otter
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Skill Sharpener

Lesson Plan - Get It!

Audio: Image - Button Play
Image - Lession Started Image - Button Start
  • Did you know that writers organize the structure of their writing to help readers understand their ideas?

did you know

They do! Writers use transitions to organize their work.

Keep reading to learn about the two most common types of transitions in writing: addition and time.

Transitions in writing connect ideas to form a larger point the writer is trying to make.

hands making lightbulb

These transitions are created using words that move the reader from one idea to the next.

Look at these two sentences and decide which one is easier to read.

→ One item on my wish list is a new dress. One item on my wish list is a blender.

→ One item on my wish list is a new dress. Another is a blender.

You likely find the second sentence easier to read. It isn't as redundant and wordy.

The second sentence has a transition word (another) that indicates the author is listing another item on her wish list. Think of transition words as bridges between thoughts.

Take a look at these common addition and time transition words.

  Addition Words   Time Words
  for starters   before
  first (of all)   next
  second(ly)   after that
  third(ly)   previously
  in the first place   heretofore
  also   often
  as well as   eventually
  plus   finally
  additionally   last (of all)
  along with   as soon as
  moreover   during
  to begin with   while
  other   whenever
  another   following
  in addition to   after
  furthermore   now
  lastly   then


Addition words are used to build on points, adding ideas to previous ones to create a stronger point.

The ideas are all related, and they are being shared in addition to each other to help the reader understand how the ideas are linked together and to the point the writer is trying to make.

Time words lead the reader through a piece of writing chronologically or in time order.

This is used when discussing or laying out events or ideas with a time-based progression. This tells the reader when things take place and, when used well, helps the reader understand the order in which things occur.

try it

  • Ready to test how well you grasp this concept?

Move on to the Got It? section to find out!

Image - Button Next