Transitions are bridges that can take you reader from one thought to the next. These bridges link ideas and can help you avoid choppy writing.
Check the Order of Your Ideas
Having trouble with transitions? Your text maybe out of order. Make a list of your main points and juggle the order so that one paragraph leads logically to the next. Then, add some transitions to help the reader move from one point to the next.
Use Transition Words
Adding a Point: furthermore, besides, in addition to
Emphasis: above all, indeed, in fact
Time: then, afterward, later
Space: next to, across, surrounding
Cause & Effect: consequently, as a result, therefore
Examples: for example, for instance
Progression: first, second, third
Contrast: but, however on the other hand
Similarity: like, also, likewise
Concession: although, yet, granted
Conclusions: to sum up, in brief, for these reasons
Use Repetition of Key Words and Ideas
Repeat the word or variations of the word.
“I can never forget the year of the big flood. That was the year I grew up.”
“College students can experience stressful deadlines and exams. They should not procrastinate their research and study.”
“When you re-pot plants, use a high-grade potting soil. Plants need rich dirt in order to thrive.”
Use Transitional Sentences Between Paragraphs
“Usually the transition between paragraphs comes in the first sentence of the new paragraph.”
- Even though Eva followed all of these useful suggestions, she still ran into unforeseen problems.
- Because of these results, the researchers decided to try a new experiment.
Notice that in these examples, the first half of the sentence refers to the previous paragraph, the second half of these points to the paragraph that is beginning.
Using Linear Structure
Once the thesis statement is established, the rest of the essay must “flow” in a certain way. How does this happen? First, it helps if you create an outline for the thesis. An outline gives you a visual plan on how to write your essay. The outline (plan) for a basic academic essay or a common five paragraph essay, is as follows:
Paragraph 1: Introduction–thesis and three points to support the thesis
Paragraph 2: Point 1
Paragraph 3: Point 2
Paragraph 4: Point 3
Paragraph 5: Conclusion
Argument essays tend to include informative background data on the topic, a bibliography (citing sources used), and refutation of possible objections to the argument.
Another way to make an essay flow is to connect the different section of you paper with transitions. Transition words (ex: however, therefore, additionally, thus, and also) or phrases (ex: for example, on the other hand, and in conclusion) that show a link between a paragraph and the one that precedes it. You usually put a transition at the beginning of the paragraph to connect with the previous one. One very useful way to create a transition sentence is to identify a key word or phrase in the previous sentence and repeat it in your transition sentence.