Men say that ability to write is a talent; wise men say, however, that understanding of written structures and practice are above all.
Let’s say you consider yourself quite a talented writer with a great ability to compose beautiful, lucid texts to attract readers and keep them interested. Now, can you tell why your writing is so successful? What makes it neatly structured and comprehensible?
To avoid mistakes in your English essay, you may also read this article. We believe students are especially interested in this subject due to the amount of essays, research papers, and other written assignments they need to produce throughout an academic year. In fact, the keys to solving your problem are good transition words.
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What Is a Transition Word?
Many students wonder, “What are the transition words?” This term might seem quite scary, but it helps us link sentences and ideas. In this particular article, we have already used some of these words, in particular ‘for example’ and ‘but.' They allow making our written language smooth and easy to read. Here you can find various writing standards.
There is quite a long list of links to use. Sometimes you can also meet such terms as ‘linking words’ or ‘connecting words.' Every phrase has its purpose, and quite often, linking elements from the same category have different connotations and cannot be totally interchangeable.
To differentiate them, language specialists have divided linking elements into several distinct categories based on their functions in the discourse. Let’s take a closer look at these categories and see how these phrases are classified. Hopefully, a short overview from our team will help you, dear students, appreciate the great variety of linkers in the English language. You will start incorporating them in your writing assignments (FYI: teachers love the appropriate usage of connectors).
Using linking and comparison words is just one of the numerous essay writing secrets.
Categories of Links
There are about 200 commonly used transitions words in the English language. Thus, it is not so easy to memorize all from the first trial. They are all quasi-complete. To express your opinion, you can’t ignore these phrases.
There are too many connection words not to classify them. They help to set up a different course of the phrase. The main 4 transition words categories are:
The next few paragraphs describe each category in details. You can see the list of the possible example below. Also, some great ideas and writing examples are located here.
Good Transition Words to Start a Paragraph
The first thing you may think about is whether there are the best words used to begin your paper. The examples of good transition words to start a paragraph and stick to the point include the phrases you may find in such categories as agreement, opposition, and time.
An example of starting a paragraph with an agreement: “First, it was necessary to recover from the consequences of the World War II.”
Here we go with opposition in the introductory paragraph: “In spite of the Cold War, Russian citizens still found ways to purchase vinyl records from the United States.”
An example of a paragraph first sentence with the time link: “During the rebellion, more Latin Americans suffered than British and Spanish.”
Agreement Transition Words
Our first category includes linking phrases of agreement or addition. The elements which fall into this category are meant to showcase how the newly introduced idea is similar to the preceding one. Agreement category demonstrates that the two parts of the sentence, or the paragraph, are related to each other to some extent. Look at the following list of linkers and think how you would use them in a text and why you would do this:
|Also||First, second, third||Moreover|
|As well||In addition to||Then|
Opposition Transition Words
In contrast with the first category, this category introduces phrases which are designed to demonstrate how the new concept differs from the one introduced before. These phrases are of great importance because they let writers present an alternative and completely reverse the direction of the discussion. The phrases below are considered opposing or contradiction:
|Above all||However||In spite of|
|After all||Instead||On the other hand|
|But||In contrast||On the contrary|
|Even though||In reality||Whereas|
Support Transition Words
The phrases of support such as emphasis are crucial because they help writers prove their points of view with the help of relevant evidence. Not a single essay is possible without a proper illustration of an author’s idea. Supporting elements must be an integral part of students’ writing process so that they could easily add a new example. Here are some of the support examples:
|For example||In general||Surely|
|For instance||In other words||To emphasize|
|Indeed||In particular||To demonstrate|
To learn more about academic writing, research sources like this one.
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Result Transition Words
When students are trying to prove their viewpoint, they are to demonstrate how the evidence they present influences the existing situation. In other words, their task is to show the cause/effect relation between two ideas. Fortunately, there are many ways to express result/effect/ consequence that can be used to indicate a certain event resulting in another event:
|As a result||For (goes before the cause/reason)||Thereupon|
|Because (goes before the cause/reason)||Henceforth||This way|
|For this reason||Therefore||Under those circumstances|
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Conclusion Transition Words
Obviously, when we write an essay, we build it according to the traditional essay structure: introduction, body, and conclusion. We are always in need of good transition phrases that can help us logically come to a conclusion and complete the argument. These conclusion words (a.k.a. summary) are significant due to their ability to sum things up and create a well-rounded, dynamic paper. Keep them in mind for your nest essay:
|After all||As it was said above||Obviously|
|All in all||In brief||Overall|
|All things considered||In conclusion||To sum up|
|As has been said/noted/mentioned||In summary||To summarize|
Time Transition Words
This category includes those language units which serve to define, restrict, or limit time. Just like another connecting element, they show the relationship between certain events. Indicators of time are as follows:
|As soon as||First||Meanwhile|
|Eventually||In the meantime||Second|
Space Transition Words
Similarly, to the previous category, this category is designed to showcase how objects are related to each other in terms of their position in space. You could have noticed that many items included in the last two categories are frequently used as part of adverbial expressions:
|Above||Beneath||In the distance|
|Among||Here||On the side|
|Around||In front of||There|
|Below||In the center of||Where|
Transition Words Rules
As we have mentioned before, linkers serve different purposes and can be used within a single sentence to combine its parts or within a bigger portion of text to bind different paragraphs and major ideas.
So, it is important to know how writing rules apply to the usage of transition phrases.
When a linker is used to tie two parts of a sentence together, then in the most cases, the first part of the sentence will be followed by a semicolon, and the connecting word itself will be separated from the second part by a comma, for example:
Our article gives a good overview of transition words. However, students are always encouraged to do research and find more information on the topic.
NOTE: If the second part of the sentence is not an independent sentence itself, it is possible not to use a semicolon:
John was very surprised by Ann’s visit, but not me.
If you want to use a connection word to start a new paragraph as an indicator of the shift of focus from one concept to another, you will separate the linking word from the rest of the beginning sentence by a comma, for example.
In fact, linkers are extremely important for a high-quality essay writing because they help guide readers through the text and indicate what they should pay closer attention to.
Probably, you need someone to explain how to write an essay or use transition words in-depth. You may want a professional to check your final draft before submitting. Finally, you might want to hire a writer to work on the specific topic you don’t understand. If you wish to improve your image in the eyes of your teachers, there is no better place to order your essay written from scratch than number one professional writing and editing service!
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Paragraphs represent the basic unit of composition: one idea, one paragraph. However, to present a clear, unified train of thought to your readers, you must make sure each paragraph follows the one before it and leads to the one after it through clear, logical transitions. Keep in mind that adequate transitions cannot simply be added to the essay without planning. Without a good reason for the sequence of your paragraphs, no transition will help you. Transitions can be made with particular words and phrases created for that purpose--conjunctive adverbs and transitional phrases--or they can be implied through a conceptual link.
Conjunctive Adverbs and Transitional Phrases
Conjunctive adverbs modify entire sentences in order to relate them to preceding sentences or paragraphs; good academic writers use many of them, but not so many that they overload the page. Here is a list of some of them, courtesy of The Brief Holt Handbook:
Transitional phrases can perform the same function:
|in addition |
|of course |
as a result
in other words
as a result
Use them wisely and sparingly, and never use one without knowing its precise meaning.
Implied or Conceptual Transitions
Not every paragraph transition requires a conjunctive adverb or transitional phrase; often, your logic will appear through a word or concept common to the last sentence of the preceding paragraph and the topic sentence of the following paragraph. For example, the end of a paragraph by Bruce Catton uses a demonstrative adjective, "these," to modify the subject of the topic sentence so that it will refer to a noun in the last sentence of the preceding paragraph:
When Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee met in the parlor of a modest house at Appomattox Court House, Virginia,...a great chapter in American life came to a close.In this transition by Kori Quintana in an article about radiation and health problems, the connection between the paragraphs resides in the common term of "my family":
These men were bringing the Civil War to its virtual finish.
What I did not know when I began researching the connection between radioactivity and genetic damage was that I would find the probably cause of my own family's battle with cancer and other health problems.The first paragraph outlines the origins of Quintana's research into the connection between radiation exposure and disease, and ends with the revelation that her own family had been affected by radiation. The next paragraph discusses her family's health history. Each has its own singular purpose and topic, yet the first paragraph leads to the topic of the second through a common term.
Hailing from Utah, the state known for its Mormon population's healthy lifestyle, my family has been plagued with a number of seemingly unrelated health problems.
Paragraph transitions can expand the range of discussion as well as narrow it with an example, as Quintana's transition does; this selection from an article by Deborah Cramer on the ecological impact of the fishing industry shows how a single instance of overfishing indicates a world-wide problem:
....The large yearly catches, peaking at 130 million pounds from the Gulf of Maine in 1942, wiped out the fishery. It has yet to recover.Here, the transition alludes to the entire preceding section about New England fishing. Although Cramer managed this transition in a single sentence, transitions between large sections of an essay sometimes require entire paragraphs to explain their logic.
The propensity to ravage the sea is by no means unique to New England. The northern cod fishery in Canada is closed indefinitely. In Newfoundland more than 20,000 fishermen and fish processors were abruptly put out of work in 1992 when the government shut down the Grand Banks...
Proofreading Paragraph Transitions
At some point in your editing process, look at the end of each paragraph and see how it connects to the first sentence of the paragraph following it. If the connection seems missing or strained, improve the transition by clarifying your logic or rearranging the paragraphs. Often, the best solution is cutting out a paragraph altogether, and replacing it with the right one.