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Paragraph Transitions

Writing Paragraph Transitions

When writing a paper, you have to know where to stop and start another paragraph. Every new idea should be presented separately. Otherwise, a text will be hard to follow, and a reader won’t understand the main points.

Paragraph transitions help present information clearly in a paper and create a logical connection between sentences. Transitional words and phrases are the devices that introduce a new idea to a reader and signal them how to react to the upcoming information. Learning how to include paragraph transitions properly is a key to better writing.

What Are the Transition Sentences?

Transition sentences are the glue that holds together different thoughts and paragraphs in a text. They help a reader get through a text easily and understand the writer’s ideas. Traditionally, transition sentences are written at the beginning of a new paragraph to lead the audience from a previous section to a new one. Sometimes there are exceptions, and a writer can change the order. There won’t be a mistake if you make the last sentence of a previous paragraph transitional. But it’s necessary to remember that this sentence has to connect dots and introduce the next paragraph. Many writers include a transition paragraph in their text. They sum up information in a previous section and give a short explanation of what they are going to discuss in the next one.

Picking Transitional Devices

When shifting from one idea to another, it’s necessary to use transitional words and phrases to make text readable. These little helpers will create harmony in a paper and lead a reader through different ideas smoothly. Here’s the list of most common transitional words and devices:

  • By the way.
  • For example.
  • However.
  • Besides.
  • Moreover.
  • As well as.
  • Furthermore.
  • Thus.
  • In fact.
  • Although.
  • Above all.
  • As a result.

How to Write Paragraph Transitions?

Clear transitioning from one thought to another makes text readable and engaging. It’s necessary to learn how to structure a paper, define a subject, and choose appropriate transitional devices. The following points explain each aspect in detail:

Writing an outline

An outline helps a writer organize thoughts, identify the most important information, and structure a paper. It’s a so-called skeleton of a text as it contains only the main points and shows what information will be included in every paragraph. A clear understanding of a text structure and key thoughts helps figure out how to shift from one paragraph to another.

Typically, an outline consists of the following sections:

  • Introduction.
  • Body text. The number of paragraphs in this section will depend on the number of thoughts a writer wants to discuss. Every section will contain a topic or transition sentence, statement and supporting arguments, and a summary.
  • Conclusion.

Defining the subject of every section

Once an outline is written, it’s time to identify the main subject of every paragraph. A core idea of a particular section can be mentioned in both the last sentence of a previous section and a topic sentence of a new one. However, it’s Ok to write a transition phrase only at the beginning of the next paragraph.

Picking appropriate transitional words

Good transitional words help writers hold reader’s attention and lead them from one point to another. They are used to demonstrate a relationship between different ideas. Transitional words and phrases, like “even though,” “however,” “as a result,” and “therefore” will help show the connection between two points. Here’s an example of how to write paragraph transitions:

Last two sentences of a previous paragraph Transition sentence (new paragraph)
If an employer doesn’t comment on an employee’s performance or doesn’t consider their suggestions, a remote worker doesn’t feel like a part of a team. However, a team leader can change the situation for the best by improving communication with remote employees.
Lack of feedback is often a problem for remote workers.

Reviewing a paper

Revision is an important part of writing a paper. A writer should read their text aloud to make sure it sounds natural. Besides, it’s necessary to check transition words and phrases. It’s better to avoid using the same transitions over and over again - there are many analogs with the same meaning. Here is a list of transitional devices to remember:

Addition What’s more, first, besides, moreover, again, in addition, finally
Comparison But, compared to, although, however, after all, whereas, on the other hand
Emphasis Indeed, definitely, absolutely, obviously, naturally, without a doubt, in any case
Example For instance, for example, on this occasion, to demonstrate, in this case, to illustrate
Sequence First, second, third; after, at this time, therefore, next, before this, following this, after, hence, soon
Conclusion On the whole, to conclude, in brief, as I have said
Contrast Unlike, while, even so, instead, in contrast, notwithstanding, nonetheless
Condition Because of, unless, whenever, as, even if, when
Exception Still, in spite of, sometimes, yet, nevertheless, sometimes

Bottom Line

Paragraph transitions are a bridge connecting different points and explaining how a reader should react to the presented information. They can be written at the end of a section or at the beginning of a next one. Many writers even write transitional paragraphs to explain the relationship between their thoughts in detail. So, the main point is to pick appropriate transitional phrases and express thoughts clearly.

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