Transitional Devices

 

(from Twenty-Questions for the Writer, p. 113-4)

The word "transition" means passing over. Thus transitional guides are connectives (symbols,words, phrases; sometimes whole sentences and paragraphs) that make possible a smooth "passing over" from one idea to the next. You make transitions by referring to what you have said before,establishing cause-and-effect connections, looking ahead to what you will say, referring to the present, marking time and place, qualifying, comparing, contrasting. These and other common transitional devices appear here in categories that necessarily overlap to some extent.

 

Referring back: as we have seen, on the whole, as mentioned above, as stated previously, as I have said, it seems then

Looking ahead. then, later, next, after, afterward, thereafter, finally, now, consequently, to sum up

Establishing causal connections: the result, in conclusion, to conclude, because, for, since, consequently, accordingly, hence, thus, therefore

Time markers: now, then, later, soon, before, next, afterward, finally, meanwhile, thereafter, at the same time

Place markers: here, there, at this point, below, beside, next to, behind, in front, outside, inside

Comparing and establishing degree: and, similarly, in like manner, in the same way, just as, so ... that, also, more than, less than, beyond this

Qualifying conceding, or contrasting: but, nevertheless, on the other hand, however, despite this, still, on the contrary, conversely, if, as if, granted that, unless, whether, anyhow, although, even though, yet

Adding and intensifying: first, second, third; a, b, c, 1, 2, 3, to repeat, in addition, moreover, and, also, still, again, similarly, furthermore, finally, really, indeed

Introducing an illustration: thus, to illustrate, for example, for instance

Repeating a key word: This device keeps the main idea before the reader and carries the thread of meaning throughout a passage.

Using synonyms: Instead of repeating a key word so that it becomes monotonous, you may use suitable synonyms that continue the same thought.

Using proper pronoun reference: Another substitute for the repetition of key nouns and another way of connecting ideas is to use pronouns in place of nouns.

Maintaining same subject throughout paragraph: You can often continue the same subject from sentence to sentence, thereby maintaining a steady focus throughout the paragraph.

Establishing repetitive or parallel sentence patterns: In addition to repeating key words and ideas, you may repeat the grammatical structure of your sentences to reinforce the unity of your thoughts and promote their flow.

Linking of last sentence of one paragraph with first sentence of next: This natural, frequently intuitive method maintains coherence between paragraphs. Sometimes you may need connecting words (such as "then again" or "on another occasion"), but often the direction of the thought provides its own continuity.

 

 

LIST OF TRANSITIONS

1. Transitions that add, repeat, or emphasize:

and

further

finally

also

furthermore

after all

in addition

moreover

first, second,

besides

indeed

to conclude

too

in fact

to sum up

in other words

as a result

accordingly

again

nevertheless

in the end

2. Transitions that compare, contrast, or contradict:

similarly

as, as if

regardless

rather than

like

unlike

in spite of

despite

in comparison

however

but, yet

even when

on the other hand

along with

whereas

although

to the contrary

3. Transitions that show a time or space relationship:

before

earlier

alongside

now

next

now

between

at first

afterwards

in time

later

at last

finally

eventually

ever since

then

until

soon

the following

across

during

still

day/night

over

within

meanwhile

beyond

from . . . to

4. Transitions that limit or prepare for an example:

if

that is

unless

namely

when

for example

for instance

to illustrate

in case

such as

in particular

provided that

5. Transitions that signal cause or result:

because

thus

for

as a result

so

consequently

therefore

for this reason

6. Transitions that assert a truth or acknowledge opposition:

no doubt

of course

in fact

naturally

doubtless

granted that

certainly

conceding that

surely

without a doubt

7. Transition can also be effectively accomplished by repeating a key term or phrase:

In 1949, a new trend began as Oklahoma voters approved a state bond issue for higher education facilities. This first state bond issue injected $36 million into the system to strengthen its infrastructure.

 

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