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Published byDarrius Lady Modified over 8 years ago
Transitions Showing the Reader Your Organization Worth Weller
Linking Ideas The most convincing ideas in the world, expressed in the most beautiful sentences, will move no one unless those ideas are properly connected. Unless readers can move easily from one thought to another, they will surely find something else to read or turn on the television.
Show the reader where you are going Providing transitions between ideas is largely a matter of communicating with your reader. You understand the organization of your essay, but your readers don’t. Your readers need some stepping stones, and be sure to place them in readily accessible and visible spots.
The Mechanics There are essentially four kinds of transitional devices that show the reader the organization of your essay: o Transitional tags (conjunctions) between the paragraphs o Paragraph hooks o Pronoun references o Parallelism
Transitional Tags Transitional tags run the gamut from the most simple — the little conjunctions: o and, o but, o nor, o yet, o or, o (and sometimes) so — to more complex signals that ideas are somehow connected — the conjunctive adverbs and transitional expressions such as o however, o moreover, o nevertheless, o on the other hand.
Common Tags and their functions
A word of caution… Don’t just drop transitional expressions into your essay merely because you know these devices connect ideas. But, if you can read your entire essay and not find any, then you must wonder what, if anything, is holding your ideas together. Practice by inserting a tentative however, nevertheless, consequently. Reread the essay later to see if these words provide the glue you needed at those points.
Repetition of Key Words and Phrases I call these “paragraph hooks.” This technique links paragraphs that have similar thoughts and ideas. Essentially you take one or two strong, key words from near the end of one paragraph and place those same words or slight variations of them at the beginning of the next paragraph.
Group Exercise Read the attached sample essay and identify with your group the location of the transitions. Discuss what each transition accomplishes.
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