Appreciable advances into the process of transcript elongation by RNA polymerase II (RNAP II) have identified this stage as a dynamic and highly regulated step of the transcription cycle. Here, we discuss the many factors that regulate the elongation stage of transcription. Our discussion includes the classical elongation factors that modulate the activity of RNAP II, and the more recently identified factors that facilitate elongation on chromatin templates. Additionally, we discuss the factors that associate with RNAP II, but do not modulate its catalytic activity. Elongation is highlighted as a central process that coordinates multiple stages in mRNA biogenesis and maturation.