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Paragraph Transitions Professor Crystal Shelnutt
Types of Transitions 1)Standard devices 2)Paragraph hooks 3) Combinations of 1 & 2
Standard Devices Simple and obvious Specific words and phrases AWR : Tab 10, 52d (p. 457?)
Standard Devices Oversimplified Examples: Puppies are a nuisance. They are wonderful. True, puppies are a nuisance. Nevertheless, they are wonderful.
Standard Devices The project had value. It wasted time. Admittedly, the project had value. But it was wasted time.
Standard Devices He was a brilliant actor. He often performed miserably. He was, to be sure, a brilliant actor. Yet he often performed miserably.
Standard Devices Note on “however”: The best position for however is nearly always inside a sentence, between commas: –Good study habits, however, cannot be established overnight.
Paragraph “Hooks” Standard words and phrases are good They cannot, however, handle the whole transitional load: they become overused “Hook” words from the previous paragraph into the next Either from the last sentence or even deeper into the previous paragraph
Paragraph “Hook” ¶ Mark Twain is established in the minds of most Americans as a kindly humorist, a gentle and delight “funny man.” No doubt his photographs have helped promote this image. Everybody is familiar with the Twain face. He looks like every child’s ideal grandfather, a dear old white-thatched gentleman who embodies the very spirit of loving-kindness.
Paragraph “Hook” (Standard transition) ¶ But Twain wrote some of the most savage satire ever produced in America... Abrupt leap from one idea to the next Mechanical
Paragraph “Hook” ¶... a dear old white-thatched gentleman who embodies the very spirit of loving-kindness. ¶ The loving-kindness begins to look a little doubtful in view of some of his writing. For Twain wrote some of the most savage satire... The last word of the previous paragraph “hooks” into the first sentence of the next paragraph and provides a point of departure for next idea
Deeper Paragraph “Hook” ¶... a dear old white-thatched gentleman who embodies the very spirit of loving-kindness. ¶ This dear old white-thatched gentleman happens to be the author of some of the most savage satire... Generally, the last sentence is best place to find your “hook” to get to your next paragraph
Still deeper: The Multiple Hook ¶... photographs have helped promote this image. Everybody is familiar with the Twain face... ¶ To accept such an image is to betray greater familiarity with the photographs than with the writing. For Twain wrote some of the most savage satire... Here you have the “double-hook” The greater the distance, the more likely your need for multiple words to make the connections clear
A Note on the “Hook” Don’t insult your reader by making the connection too clear That is, don’t repeat huge sections or whole sentences from the preceding paragraph. One or two words will do the job.
The Idea “Hook” So far, examples are simple words or phrases Another variation of the paragraph “hook” is the idea hook Principle is the same: hooking into the preceding paragraph Instead of repeating an exact word or phrase, however, you refer to the idea just expressed Compress that idea into a single phrase
The Idea “Hook” (Recall our paragraph: Twain as kind, dear, loving) ¶ Such a view of Twain would probably have been a source of high amusement to the author himself. For Twain wrote some of the most savage satire... Or ¶ Any resemblance between this popular portrait and the man who reveals himself in his writing is purely imaginary. For Twain wrote...
The Combination Natural, matter of course Use your sense of what the reader requires for clarity Use with your own sense of rhythm and sound in writing
The Combination ¶ The loving-kindness begins to look a little doubtful, however, in view of... ¶ Yet this dear old white-thatched gentleman... ¶ But to accept such an image... ¶ Such a view of Twain, however, would probably...
Some Transitional Phrases Admittedly And Assuredly But Certainly Clearly, then Consequently Even so Furthermore Granted
Some Transitional Phrases In addition In fact Indeed It is true that Moreover Nevertheless No doubt Nobody denies Obviously Of course
Some Transitional Phrases On the other hand Still The fact remains Therefore Thus To be sure True Undoubtedly Unquestionably Yet
Work Cited Payne, Lucile Vaughan. The Lively Art of Writing. New York: Penguin, 1965. Print.
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