Tuesday, July 18, 2017

IELTS Essentials: Transitional Devices

Be it in verbal discourse or written dialog; you should be able to move from one idea to another without confusing your audience, especially if you are taking a high-stakes exam like the IELTS.

Proper idea transitioning has a direct impact on your IELTS results. This is the main reason why excellent training facilities, like the IELTS review center in Baguio, offer lectures that specifically tackle this key point in English grammar. How you develop your essays in the Writing test and how you deliver your answers in the Speaking test can make or break your overall band score. Thus, it is crucial that you know how to properly use transitional devices when you take the IELTS exam.

ielts writing

What Are Transitional Devices?

Transitional devices are words and phrases used to connect two distinct ideas. They indicate the writer’s or speaker’s intent to shift the audience’s attention to another thought, enabling the changeover of concepts without disrupting the discourse’s coherence. Most IELTS review center instructors will tell you to consider two things before using transitional devices: function and location.

What Are the Functions of Transitional Devices?

While transitional devices by definition present two ideas, how they link these thoughts depends on your purpose. Do you want to give additional information to an earlier statement? Do you want to compare two opposing ideas? Or do you want to provide order to a series of events?

IELTS review center lecturers teach their students to identify their intentions first before connecting two distinct thoughts—not only to guarantee smooth transition, but also to utilize the appropriate transitional device. To give you an idea, here are the purposes of transitional devices and their respective examples:
To compare two ideas, use: similarly, likewise, also, in the same way,

To add more information, use: and, and then, again, besides, in addition, first, second, third…, moreover, further, furthermore, too, next, nor, equally, lastly

To provide supporting details, use: because, since, for, for the same reason, evidently, obviously, besides, moreover, furthermore, in fact, in addition, that is, indeed, in any case

To highlight a key point, use: obviously, evidently, definitely, extremely, indeed, positively, absolutely, naturally, eternally, emphatically, surprisingly, unquestionable, certainly, undeniably, in fact, without a doubt, without reservation, always

To express time, use: next, soon, later, finally, formerly, and then, previously, thereafter, immediately, after a few hours, first, second, third…

To identify an exception, use: still, yet, in spite of, despite, sometimes, nevertheless, once in a while

To show chronology, use: next, then, at this time, following this, at his point, subsequently, consequently, first, second, third…, after, afterward, hence, thus, therefore, soon, previously, simultaneously, before this, after this

To indicate repetition, use: having said that, as I have noted, as I said, as has been noted, in brief

To end or summarize, use: in conclusion, to sum up, in summary, in brief, as I have said, hence, thus, therefore, on the whole, consequently, as a result

Where Should You Use Transitional Devices?

Purpose is not the only thing to consider when using transitional expressions. You should also identify where to place them. While you can use these devices freely in verbal discourse, the same does not apply to written correspondences. The instructors of the IELTS review center in Baguio will teach you to insert these connectors:

  • within paragraphs
  • between paragraphs
  • between sections  
Always be strategic when integrating transitional devices to your discourse. While you consider the key points listed above, bear in mind that they are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to using these expressions. Enroll in an excellent IELTS review center to learn more.


  • "Welcome to the Purdue OWL." Purdue OWL: Transitions and Transitional Devices. Accessed May 30, 2017. https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/574/02/.
  • YourDictionary. "List of Transition Words." YourDictionary. November 01, 2016. Accessed May 30, 2017. http://grammar.yourdictionary.com/style-and-usage/list-transition-words.html.
  • "Coherence: Transitions Between Ideas." Coherence: Transitions between Ideas. Accessed May 30, 2017. http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/transitions.htm.
  • "Transition—Examples and Definition of Transition." Literary Devices. March 11, 2015. Accessed May 30, 2017. https://literarydevices.net/transition/.



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