Concluding Transitions: What They Are and How to Use Them

Working on an article, class essay, or term paper and need to make your writing flow a little more smoothly? Are you having trouble connecting your ideas? You may need to use transitions. 

There are many kinds of transitions, and today we’ll be talking about concluding transitions.

When you’re at the end of a paragraph, section, or essay, you might need to include some concluding transitions to signal to your reader that a final thought or summary is imminent.

Many writers are familiar with the classic concluding transition “in conclusion,” but there are many more, which we will discuss below.

What Are Transitions?

Transitions are words that help your reader move from one thing to the next. In the words of the Harvard Writing Center’s website, “Transitions help your readers move between ideas within a paragraph, between paragraphs, or between sections of your argument.” They are like signals, signposts. They provide clarity and flow to your writing.

Some examples of transitions include “however,” which we use when we’re presenting an opposing thought; “additionally,” when we’re adding another example or thought; and “as a result,” to show cause and effect.

What Are Concluding Transitions?

When you come to the end of a section or the very end of your paper, you’ll want to signal to your reader that a conclusion is coming.

Wrapping things up neatly is essential. Using these transitions will help you keep your writing organized.

How to Use Concluding Transitions Correctly

To use a concluding transition correctly, it should generally go in one of two places:

  • The top of the final paragraph of a section or paper.
  • The last sentence of the final paragraph of a section or paper. 

A phrase like “in summary,” of course, suggests that you are going to summarize the material previously discussed in the piece. “In brief” and “in short” also serve this purpose.

To suggest a strong sense of finality, signaling the end of the discussion, try “finally.”

If your paper or essay covered a narrative that elapsed over time, you might conclude with “in the end,” bringing a sense of closure to the story.

What Are Some Examples of Concluding Transitions?

Below are some examples of concluding transitions:

  • All in all
  • All things considered
  • Finally
  • In conclusion
  • In the end
  • In brief
  • In short
  • In the final analysis
  • On the whole
  • Overall
  • Summing up
  • To sum up
  • To summarize
  • To recap
  • Ultimately

To recap, transitions are important devices for making sure that your writing is well-structured and easy to follow, whether you’re writing an online article, a class paper, or even a dissertation. The concluding transition is one important piece of that puzzle.

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