Transitions in Writing

Transitions are bridges between what has been read and what is about to be read. Transitions smooth the reader’s path between sentences, and inform readers of major connections to new ideas forthcoming in the text. Transitional phrases should be used with care by selecting the appropriate phrase for a transition. Tone is another important consideration in using transitional phrases, varying the tone for different audiences. For example in a scholarly essay, “in summary” would be preferable to the more informal “in short”. When working with transitional words and phrases, writers usually find a natural flow that indicates when a transition is needed. In reading a draft of the text, it should become apparent where the flow is uneven or rough. At this point, the writer can add transitional elements during the revision process. Revising can also afford an opportunity to delete transitional devices that seem heavy-handed or unnecessary.




Transitions are very important in your writing because it helps the reader understand what you are trying to convey. In short, transitions provide a smooth flow from one paragraph, idea or sentence to another. Oftentimes when you have two paragraphs, it is awkward to start another paragraph without acknowledging the previous one so transitions make that exchange less awkward. Sometimes you want two ideas within a paragraph. it can become unclear when one idea ends and another starts unless you have a transition and sometime within a concept or idea in a paragraph you will have several sentences. Transition helps the flow from one sentence to the next be less awkward as well. Transition also shows how things are related. Many times your essay can appear to have many good ideas in it but the reader is having trouble drawing connections and see how those ideas and concepts are inter-related. Transitions help you do that. There are many different types of transitions and have many uses. If you are restating something, you can use a restatement like namely or in other words. If you’re contrasting something, you can use a transition like nevertheless or rather and if you’re using directions you can use a transition like to the left or below. The important thing to remember is if in doubt use a transition in your writing so the reader an understand what you are trying to convey.

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Provided by: Mometrix Test Preparation

Last updated: 12/18/2017
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