Signal Words

Among the most valuable transitions for you to locate are the signal words that tell you, the reader, that something is especially important.


            This, that, these, those, one, -est forms of adjectives (safest, greatest, highest)

main                                         and

vital                                          indeed

significant                                  moreover

chief                                         even though

central                                      at any rate

principal                                   naturally above all

primary                         still

major                                       of course


finally                                        especially

just as                                       not only….but also

                                                should be(remembered, noted, observed)

                                                most (important, noteworthy, obvious)


Illustration Words

Illustration Words signal that examples or illustration will follow to clarify, define, explain, or develop and idea or a generalization.


                        that is (to say)                           such as

                        for instance                               as, as when

                        the following                             to illustrate

                        for example                              specifically


Order or Time Sequence Words

Sequence Words indicate that the author is arranging things according to their order of importance or the order in which they happened.


                        first, second                              soon, as soon as

                        next                                          when, whenever

                        then                                          subsequently

                        finally                                        presently

                        ultimately                                  here, there

                        most important              from….to, until

                        before, after


Addition Words

Addition words tell you that the writer’s idea will continue in the same direction, with more points or details added.


                        in addition                                 next (reason, quality, example, event)


                        and                                           moreover

                        another                                     again

                        furthermore                               other(reason, qualities)


Comparison Words

Comparison words signal that two or more things are the same or similar.


                        similarly                                    and

                        likewise                                    just as…so

                        both                                         comparatively

                        each                                         can be compared

                        alike                                         same



Contrast Words

Contrast words signal the writer will shoe an opposite view or change the direction of a previously stated idea.  Or the writer may slightly alter or modify an earlier statement; the writer “shifts gears.”


                        however                                   still

                        but                                           yet

                        in contrast                                 nevertheless

                        instead                                      even though

                        on the contrary             although, though

                        on the other hand                      despite

                        conversely                                different from, than

                        each                                         whereas

                        neither…nor                             While

                        either…or                                 more, less than

                        then…now                               one…the other

                        -er(forms of                              some…other

                        adjectives) than


Cause-Effect Words

Cause-effect words signal that one thing caused another to happen.  Sometimes a cause – effect relationship is shown within a sentence that contains this kind of signal.


                        because                                    then

                        since                                         if…then

                        when, whenever                        thus

                        after                                         as a result

                        consequently                             therefore

                        hence                                       from…to, until


Summary Words

Summary Words signal the conclusion of a topic.  Sometimes they indicate the most important point within a paragraph or at the end of a longer discussion.


                        finally                                        in brief

                        last, last of all                            again

                        therefore                                   to repeat

                        hence                                       above all

                        to summarize,                           most important

                        to sum up

                        in conclusion,                            ultimately

                        to conclude

                        to reiterate