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Transitions:
The glue needed to create both
cohesive paragraphs and a
cohesive 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 on
your 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
  people's writing together.
Advice for incorporating
transitions 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 incorporating
transitions 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 work
includes two elements:
(1)the order in which you have chosen to
present the different parts of your
discussion or argument, and
(2) the relationships you construct between
these parts. Transitions cannot
substitute for good organization, but
they can make your organization
clearer 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

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Transitions

  • 1. Transitions: The glue needed to create both cohesive paragraphs and a cohesive essay.
  • 2. 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.
  • 3. Clues you might need to work on your 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 people's writing together.
  • 4. Advice for incorporating transitions 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).
  • 5. Advice (continued) for incorporating transitions 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.
  • 6. Remember… The organization of your written work includes two elements: (1)the order in which you have chosen to present the different parts of your discussion or argument, and (2) the relationships you construct between these parts. Transitions cannot substitute for good organization, but they can make your organization clearer and easier to follow.
  • 7. 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.
  • 8. 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
  • 9. 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