To improve your writing you need to make sure that your ideas, both in sentences and paragraphs, stick together or have coherence and that the gap between ideas is bridged smoothly. One way to do this is by using transitions – words or phrases or techniques that help bring two ideas together. Transitional words and phrases represent one way of gaining coherence. Certain words help continue an idea, indicate a shift of though or contrast, or sum up a conclusion. Check the following list of words to find those that will pull your sentences and paragraphs together.
For continuing a common line of reasoning:
in the same way
following this further
pursuing this further
in the light of the… it is easy to see that
To change the line of reasoning (contrast):
on the other hand
on the contrary
For opening a paragraph initially or for general use:
to be sure
at this level
in this situation
For the final points of a paragraph or essay:
Transitional chains, to use in separating sections of a paragraph which is arranged chronologically:
first… second… third…
generally… furthermore… finally
in the first place… also… lastly
in the first place… pursuing this further… finally
to be sure… additionally… lastly
in the first place… just in the same way… finally
basically… similarly… as well
To signal conclusion:
in final analysis
in final consideration
To restate a point within a paragraph in another way or in a more exacting way:
in other words
point in fact
Sequence or time
as soon as
first… second… third
in the first place
in the meantime
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