Transitions:The glue needed to create bothcohesive paragraphs and acohesive essay.
Let’s start with a definition…• Transitions or Transitional Expressions ▫ Words, phrases, or sentences that provide the reader with directions for how to piece together your ideas into a logically coherent argument. Transitions are not just verbal decorations that embellish your paper by making it sound or read better. They are words with particular meanings that tell the reader to think and react in a particular way to your ideas. In providing the reader with these important cues, transitions help readers understand the logic of how your ideas fit together.
Clues you might need to work onyour transitions…• Your instructor has written comments like "choppy," "jumpy," "abrupt," "flow," "need signposts," or "how is this related?" on your papers.• Your readers (instructors, friends, or classmates) tell you that they had trouble following your organization or train of thought.• You tend to write the way you think—and your brain often jumps from one idea to another pretty quickly.• You wrote your paper in several discrete "chunks" and then pasted them together.• You are working on a group paper; the draft you are working on was created by pasting pieces of several peoples writing together.
Advice for incorporatingtransitions in your writing…1. Use transitions between paragraphs to signal connections between idea segments. Use transitions within paragraphs to signal a change from one sentence to another or from one section of the paragraph to another.2. Use sufficient transitions to provide coherence (holding together, like glue) and continuity (making the thought process easy to follow).
Advice (continued) for incorporatingtransitions in your writing…3. Avoid using too many strong transitions. Be careful to avoid littering your writing with however and nevertheless. Strong transitions should be used sparingly.4. Transitions become stronger when they are placed at the beginning (or end) of a sentence, milder when they are moved into the sentence. Generally, moving transitions into the sentence is the better choice. Some examples: Stronger at beginning: Another example of a succulent plant is the barrel cactus. Milder moved inside: The barrel cactus is another example of a succulent plant. Stronger at beginning: However, American gold jewelry is less pure than European. Milder moved inside: American gold jewelry, however, is less pure than European.
Remember…The organization of your written workincludes two elements:(1)the order in which you have chosen topresent the different parts of yourdiscussion or argument, and(2) the relationships you construct betweenthese parts. Transitions cannotsubstitute for good organization, butthey can make your organizationclearer and easier to follow.
And finally,…• Effectively constructing each transition often depends upon your ability to identify words or phrases that will indicate for the reader the kind of logical relationships you want to convey. The table on the following slide should make it easier for you to find these words or phrases.
LOGICAL RELATIONSHIP TRANSITIONAL EXPRESSION also, in the same way, just as ... so too, likewise, Comparison/ Similarity similarly but, however, in spite of, on the one hand ... on the other hand, nevertheless, nonetheless, Contrast notwithstanding, in contrast, on the contrary, still, yet Sequence/Order first, second, third, ... next, then, finally after, afterward, at last, before, currently, during, Time earlier, immediately, later, meanwhile, now, recently, simultaneously, subsequently, then for example, for instance, namely, specifically, to Example illustrate Emphasis even, indeed, in fact, of course, truly above, adjacent, below, beyond, here, in front, in Place/Position back, nearby, there accordingly, consequently, hence, so, therefore, Cause and Effect thus additionally, again, also, and, as well, besides,Additional Support or Evidence equally important, further, furthermore, in addition, moreover, then finally, in a word, in brief, briefly, in conclusion, in the end, in the final analysis, on the whole, Conclusion/Summary thus, to conclude, to summarize, in sum, to sum up, in summary
Sources:Hacker, Diana and Nancy Sommers. A Writer’s Reference. 7th edition. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s. 2011. Print.Harris, Robert A. Writing with Clarity and Style. Los Angeles: Pyrczak Publishing, 2003. Print.The Writing Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill http://writingcenter.unc.edu/resources/han douts-demos