2 The prefix "trans" indicates movement from one place to another The prefix "trans" indicates movement from one place to another. When we apply the word "transition" to our lives, such as the transition from being a high school student to being a university student, we are referring to our movement from one situation to another. Transitions in writing do the same thing: they take the writer and the reader from one place to another. They also indicate the logical relationship between where we have been and where we are going. Transitional words and phrases are like sign posts that help lead readers through an essay.
3 Common Transitional Words and Phrases To give examples: for example, for instance, such as, specificallyTo show cause and effect: therefore, hence, thus, as a result, resulting in, so, consequentlyTo contrast: nevertheless, however, but, on the other hand, in contrast, on the contrary, conversely, at the same time, still, although, even though, despite, in spite ofTo show similarity: likewise, similarly, just as, equallyTo concede: although, even though, of course, granted, whileTo elaborate: in addition, additionally, moreover, also, furthermoreTo emphasize: more importantly, most importantly, chiefly, indeed, in fact, primarily, no doubtTo restate: again, in other words, in effect, that is, in shortTo indicate time: last, at last, eventually, before, after, afterwards, finally, during, then, when, asTo indicate place: to the right, to the left, in the background, in the foreground, in the distanceTo conclude: thus, finally, in the endCommon Transitional Words and Phrases
4 The most important transitions come between paragraphs The most important transitions come between paragraphs. Try to establish a connection between the first sentence of a new paragraph and the last sentence of the preceding one. A linking word may be the easiest way:Ex: Thus the pattern established in the first chapter can be found throughout the rest of the first volume.Volume Two, however, offers a new approach to the narrative. . .The echo of a key phrase or word can also be effective:Ex: Daydreaming is considered by many people to be a waste of time.While some people consider daydreaming to be a waste of time
5 Ex: The evidence thus suggests that there is no other option. The transition may require more than just a word; a transitional sentence may be required:Ex: The evidence thus suggests that there is no other option.Yet there may still be a solution. If you disregard . . .The transitional sentence does not indicate what will come next in the paragraph, but it establishes that this paragraph is a negation of the last. The transitional sentence should be followed by the topic sentence. It should not replace a topic sentence.
6 2 Problems to Avoid1)Make sure the logical connections are clear as you use transitions.Because transitions indicate relationships between words and ideas, they can be misused if the relationship indicated by the transitional words is unclear or does not exist.Example: George's wife stands at the window and looks out at the rain falling on the empty streets. For example, she sees a cat huddled under a table in the rain. ("For example" does not make sense here because the woman seeing the cat is not a clear "example" of anything in the first sentence.)
7 2) Avoid the overuse of transitions. Transitions are supposed to guide readers through your writing, but overuse of transitional words and phrases can have the opposite effect and can make your writing confusing.Example: Writing an essay can be challenging. However, there are techniques that can make the process a little easier. For example, taking plenty of notes on the subject can help the writer generate ideas. Therefore, note-taking is an important "pre-writing" strategy. In addition, some people "free-write," writing quickly for ten or twenty minutes to see what ideas arise. However, taking notes and free-writing are only the beginning. Ideas must eventually be organized in a logical way. Consequently, an outline can help the writer make sense of the rough material generated through the note- taking and free-writing process. Therefore, writing an outline is another important step in the writing process. However, some writers are able to conceptualize a sense of logical order for their ideas without actually writing an outline. Nevertheless, these writers seem to have some kind of outline in their minds. In addition, an outline should help the writer formulate a thesis for the essay. Consequently, an outline can help give focus to the essay. (This passage could be stronger with fewer transitional words and phrases. Especially when the transitions are used at the beginnings of sentences, they can become annoying or even confusing to readers if they are overused.)