Transitions show how your paragraphs work together and build off each other. However, when you fail to use transitions, your essay could end up feeling choppy and leave the reader struggling to follow your train of thought. Because of this, it’s important to use paragraph transitions in every essay. Use these four tips to help you improve the paragraph transitions in your writing.
1. Transition Words
Transition words cue the reader to relationships between your ideas, especially for a change of ideas. Some examples of transition words you can use include:
- In addition
- In contrast
- In conclusion
- For example
Make sure to vary the transition words that you use. Using “however” throughout your essay will sound repetitive and confuse the reader. Therefore, take the time to think about which transitions will work best to help you move through your ideas, and help your readers understand the point that you want to make in your writing.
2. Topic Sentences
At the beginning of each supporting paragraph, start with a topic sentence. This is a way to introduce the ideas that you’re going to discuss in that paragraph. You can elevate your topic sentence by using a transition word or phrase to show that you’re switching to a new idea.
The organization of your paper can also help boost the paragraph transitions. As you think about the supporting ideas in your body paragraphs, determine which order you should present them in. Consider how the ideas in each paragraph can build off each other. Is there a logical order that you could use? Try rearranging the ideas to find the right order for your ideas.
Along with organizing your essay, you can improve paragraph transitions by discussing the relationship between ideas. For example, at the end of your first supporting paragraph, you could discuss how that idea leads into the next body paragraph. Help your readers understand why you ordered the ideas the way that you did. How does your first body paragraph relate to the second paragraph? Don’t make your reader guess what you’re thinking; state your ideas, and let the reader know how those ideas relate.
Using Paragraph Transitions: Final Thoughts
In conclusion, it’s important to use paragraph transitions to help lead your reader through your ideas. By using transition words, topic sentences, organization, and relationships, you can improve paragraph transitions and keep your reader following your thought process from start to finish.
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