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How to Use Transition Sentences for Smoother Writing

Sep 13, 2022

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When we write a text we want to clearly and persuasively state information, convey a thought to our readers, to convince them that our thoughts are indeed correct. To achieve that, we need to logically build our stories, consistently present concepts and ideas, and emphasize the key points. Transition sentences are meant to help show linkages between points, to streamline a story, and make it understandable and coherent to the readers.

What Are Transition Sentences

Transitions are used to combine parts of a statement, link ideas, and create a logical transition from one thought to another. Transition words and phrases can connect parts of a complex sentence or parts of the text. They help the author of the text to make accents, to deduce one thought from another, and to express their thoughts step by step as if leading the audience by the hand from one idea to another. Transition sentences are important for both speaking and writing.

Transition sentences make the flow of words smooth. As mentioned, they can be represented by separate words or phrases, and sometimes by entire paragraphs, that connect one idea to another. Usually, transition words and sentences are placed at the beginning of a sentence or paragraph. They can be positioned in the middle or at the end. They guide the reader, revealing the logic behind the author’s thoughts.

Types of Transition Words and Phrases 

Let’s consider different types of transition words and phrases, depending on their meaning and role in the text. Also, each type will have several examples.

1. Sequence

The following phrases and words will help you organize a logical sequence of ideas and thoughts in your text, and to organize your story. They can be categorized into three large groups: beginning, continuation, and summing up.

Examples:
First, firstly, first of all, to begin with, to start with, the first point is, first and foremost, let us begin with, initially, at the beginning.

2. Continuation
Examples:
Second, secondly, third, thirdly, next, also, and then, another, in addition, moreover, simultaneously, subsequently, furthermore, previously, formerly.

3. Summing up
Examples:
Finally, lastly, last but not the least, to summarize, in conclusion, ultimately, to sum up, all in all.

Here are examples of sentences for an essay or speech where you can use these transition words and phrases:

  • To begin with, there are many various causes of religious differences among nations.
  • Secondly, the remote geographical location and harsh climate conditions of Alaska make it a truly unique land.
  • Furthermore, traditions and beliefs play an important part in each national culture.
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How to Use Transition Sentences

Since overuse of transition sentences can confuse or distract readers, avoid using them in every sentence. That being said, paragraphs are another matter. Unless you’re writing a straightforward story – “this happened”, “that happened” – most paragraphs should have connections. Think of sentences and paragraphs as parts of your body, because essentially they are the parts of the main body of your text. And the body needs joints, right?

Think about your body. What if you didn’t have elbows? What does the elbow do, after all? It connects the shoulder and forearm, allowing you to move your hand from place to place. This important link makes movement possible – movement so coordinated, so perfect for each task, that you won’t even notice it. Now you are moving your laptop to place it inside your bag, then you are scratching your ear. While you are thinking about other things, your elbows make everything you do smoothly. Add elbows to the text. In other words, use linkages to connect different parts of the text to help the reader move forward. If you use the transition words and sentences wisely – that is, naturally and logically, no one will even notice them. But everyone will appreciate their existence in your text.

Tips on Making the Best Use of Transition Sentences

Appropriate use of transition sentences will help build the structure of the text and logically connect your thoughts. This is especially important for exam writing and speaking in front of an audience. Remember the following tips:

  • Do not overuse the transition sentences. Use them wisely where you need them.
  • Use only those words and phrases whose meaning you know very well. Otherwise, you run the risk of distorting your own thoughts or being misunderstood by the audience.
  • Be original and creative, don’t use the same phrases. Try to memorize several options for bundles for different cases.
  • Remember about the punctuation. If a transition word is at the beginning of a sentence, it is usually followed by a comma. If it is used to connect two sentences, it usually ends with a semicolon at the end of the first sentence, and a comma after the transition word.

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