1. Keep Them in Mind as You Plan
In order to think through the challenges of presenting your ideas articulately, logically, and in ways that seem natural to your readers, check out some of these resources: Developing a Thesis Statement , Paragraphing , and Developing Strategic Transitions: Writing that Establishes Relationships and Connections Between Ideas. Use these transitional words and phrases sparingly because if you use too many of them, your readers might feel like you are overexplaining connections that are already clear.
Causation Chronology Combinations Contrast Example. Importance Location Similarity Clarification Concession.
4 Ways to Improve Paragraph Transitions - Professional Writing
Conclusion Intensification Purpose Summary. Chronology— Connecting what issues in regard to when they occur. Combinations Lists— Connecting numerous events. Contrast— Connecting two things by focusing on their differences. Example— Connecting a general idea to a particular instance of this idea. Importance— Connecting what is critical to what is more inconsequential. Is there a logical order that you could use?
Try rearranging the ideas to find the right order for your ideas. Along with organizing your essay, you can improve paragraph transitions by discussing the relationship between ideas.
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For example, at the end of your first supporting paragraph, you could discuss how that idea leads into the next body paragraph. Help your readers understand why you ordered the ideas the way that you did. How does your first body paragraph relate to the second paragraph? By using transition words, topic sentences, organization, and relationships, you can improve paragraph transitions and keep your reader following your thought process from start to finish.
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Transitions in academic essays
Once their thesis is clearly stated, they seem impelled to apply the old creative writing adage to the very different world of non-fiction — showing instead of telling the reader what their argument is. Some readers might appreciate the subtlety, but without the proper framing or outright stating, even more readers will be unsure of what your argument actually is: what its premises are, how they relate to or follow another, how they build to your thesis, etc. How do they understand their effect on these communities, and, if they think they might be having any kind of negative influence on the people already living in them, what are they doing to try and mitigate that?
A few things to note here. I argue that this directness is a good thing: mystery and teasing the reader along are the proper domain of thrillers and detective fiction, not technical or argumentative writing. In those disciplines, the object is usually to convey some idea, process, method, information — etc.
The second thing to note about the above example is its length. And this is OK. The main reason I wrote my first example the way I did was to introduce the second point about different varieties of paragraphs.
Rather, most transitions can and should be accomplished with one or two lines which take their usual position at the end of one paragraph or the beginning of another. To illustrate how the first example might be compressed to this size:. A sentence like this can act as both a transition and the topic sentence of a regular paragraph; it clarifies what was just discussed and introduces the new topic at hand.