Transition words are like road signs. They help the reader understand the direction of your thought.  Examples:

Actually, most of his classmates were awake by 8:30 AM.
As a matter of fact, those who were present really enjoyed the debate.
First and foremost, she is an artist.

Here is a chart of example transition words you can use to guide your reader through your essays.

Above all
Finally
Meanwhile
Actually
First, Second, Third
Moreover
Afterward
First and foremost
Next
All things considered
For this reason
No doubt
Accordingly
From here on
Of course
Another
For instance For example
On the other hand
Arguably
Furthermore
Otherwise
As a consequence
However
Paradoxically
As a matter of fact
Incidentally
Presently
As a result
In addition
Presumably
At any rate
In any case
Regrettably
At the same time
In conclusion
Similarly
At this point
In fact
Still
Be that as it may
In my opinion
Strangely enough
By, and, or
In other words, as it were
Then
By and large
In the first place
Therefore
By the same token
In the meantime
Too, also
Consequently
In the same way
Ultimately
Even so
Ironically