Friday, November 12, 2010

Using Transitions to Improve Your Writing (and Your Grades!)

Transitions are words and phrases that create logical connections within an essay. They ease the introduction of new ideas by preparing the reader to hear those ideas and by connecting them to what the reader has already learned from the essay. They help to create a sense of "logical flow," keeping the reader oriented and moving steadily forward through the work.

For these reasons, good use of transitions can often be the difference between a "very good" essay and an "excellent" one -- in other words, between a B and and A.

I recommend the following web pages to help you with transitions:

The UNC Writing Center: Transitions
This page provides a good general introduction to using transitions, including examples and a list of transitional words and phrases.

Capital Community College's Guide to Grammar & Writing: Coherence - Transitions Between Ideas
In addition to providing a brief introduction to transitions, this page is useful for its emphasis on "Repetition of Words and Phrases" and "Parallelism" as tools for creating logical connections.

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