Essay Paragraph Transition Words

Transition words make your writing easier to understand and create relationship between two sentences and ideas.To know these 20 words / phrases sets, just brows the list once a week or better yet - memorize it.

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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. Lee met in the parlor of a modest house at Appomattox Court House, Virginia,...a great chapter in American life came to a close.

These men were bringing the Civil War to its virtual finish.

In this case, an entire paragraph may serve as a transition between two or more major sections of your paper.

For example: If you were writing a twenty-page research paper on plant regeneration, the first ten pages might deal with general information about plant regeneration and the last ten pages might focus on an in-depth study of a particular experiment.

Here is a list of some of them, courtesy of The Brief Holt Handbook: 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.

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.

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.


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