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Using transition words and sentences in your writing!

Using transition words and sentences in your writing!

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  • 1. Transitions...
    in your essay
  • 2. Transition Words & Phrases
    Use transition words and phrases to show the direction of your thoughts.
    A lack of transitions to aid logical flow can cause confusion.
    Without transitions, important ideas can be completely missed or misinterpreted.
  • 3. Lists of Transition Words & Phrases
    Addition: also, in addition, too, moreover, and, besides, furthermore, equally important, then, finally
    Example: for example, for instance, thus, as an illustration, namely, specifically
    Contrast: but, yet, however on the one hand/on the other hand, nevertheless, nonetheless, conversely, in contrast, still, at the same time
    Comparison: similarly, likewise, in the same way
    Concession: of course, to be sure, certainly, granted
  • 4. More Transition Words & Phrases
    Result: therefore, thus, as a result, so, accordingly
    Summary: hence, in short, in brief, in summary, in conclusion, finally
    Sequence: first, second, third, next, then, finally, afterwards, before, soon, later, meanwhile, subsequently, immediately, eventually, currently
    Place: in the front, in the foreground, in the back, in the background, at the side, adjacent, nearby, in the distance, here, there
  • 5. Using Transition Words & Phrases
    Use transition words and phrases to show the direction of your thoughts.
    Example without transitional phrase:
    Vanilla ice cream is popular in America. Other nations prefer chocolate.
    Example with transition phrase: Vanilla ice cream is popular in America, although other nations prefer chocolate.
  • 6. Sentence Variety & Clarity
    Combine short, choppy sentences.
    Vary subject-verb structure by incorporating participial phrases starting with –ing or –ed verbs.
    Hierarchize elements in your sentences for emphasis.
    Read your writing aloud to hear awkward constructions and unnecessary repetition.
  • 7. Paragraph Coherence
    Make sure the sentences in each paragraph are in logical order, usually with the topic or claim sentence first, followed by evidence.
    Use transitions to aid logical flow between ideas and evidence.
  • 8. Paragraph Example
    Reading about a disaster in the newspaper is different from actually experiencing it firsthand. However, grand-scale incidents, whether natural or political, touch the lives of all individuals to a certain degree. Consequently, people need to cultivate an awareness of current events.
  • 9. Paragraph-to-ParagraphCoherence
    The paragraphs in your essay should flow logically from one to another.
    Transition sentences concluding one paragraph and beginning another help to bridge parts of the discussion.
    Without transition “bridges” between paragraphs, the discussion will seem disjointed.
  • 10. An Example and Explanation
    El Pais, a Latin American country, has a new democratic government after having been a dictatorship for many years. Assume that you want to argue that El Pais is not as democratic as the conventional view would have us believe. One way to effectively organize your argument would be to present the conventional view and then to provide the reader with your critical response to this view. So, in Paragraph A you would enumerate all the reasons that someone might consider El Pais highly democratic, while in Paragraph B you would refute these points. The transition that would establish the logical connection between these two key elements of your argument would indicate to the reader that the information in paragraph B contradicts the information in paragraph A. As a result, you might organize your argument, including the transition that links paragraph A with paragraph B, in the following manner:
    Paragraph A: points that support the view that El Pais's new government is very democratic.
    Transition: Despite the previous arguments, there are many reasons to think that El Pais's new government is not as democratic as typically believed.
    Paragraph B: points that contradict the view that El Pais's new government is very democratic.
    In this case, the transition words "Despite the previous arguments," suggest that the reader should not believe paragraph A and instead should consider the writer's reasons for viewing El Pais's democracy as suspect.
  • 11. For your information...
    In your Gmail you have a list of transition words that can help you with transtitioning within paragraphs and between paragraphs.
  • 12. Reference
    Troyka, L.Q. Simon & Schuster Handbook for Writers. Fifth Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ : 1999 (77-78).