Writers create texts by putting ideas together into paragraphs. They use details to elaborate on main ideas to communicate their ideas clearly.
The ideas must be put together so that the reader understand how they are connected or how they relate to the topic and to each paragraph.
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In this lesson, you will learn about transitions, which are used to connect ideas.
Transition Words and Phrases
Transition words help writers connect ideas between sentences and paragraphs. When you read, transitions help you understand not only the ideas themselves but also the relationship between them.
For example, take the following ideas:
John was exhausted after a long day in school. He stayed up until midnight. He had to study for an exam.
Can you understand the scenario? If you think about it for a while, you may figure out the situation, but you would not be so sure. Why didn’t John go to sleep if he was so tired? Was it because he had to study? Probably.
Let’s rewrite the scenario using transitions (i.e., the words “even though” and “because”).
Even though John was exhausted after a long day in school, he stayed up until midnight because he had to study for an exam.
It takes less effort to understand the above sentence because the transition words connect the ideas and show exactly how they are related.
Transitions and Types of Relationships
There are different types of transitions and many relationships such as cause-effect, result, comparison, contrast, and so on. It is not recommended you should memorize transition words and relationships because sometimes the same word or expression can mean different things depending on where they appear. Just be aware that transitions are very common in writing and use them to help you understand the text when you read.
Below is a list of some relationships and example sentences using transitions.
Transitions showing addition
To be an effective reader, you must have good vocabulary. In addition, you must be able to understand what vocabulary words mean in context.
The company refund customers for the defective product. Furthermore, they will give them a discount on their next purchase.
He speaks German fluently because he spoke it at home growing up. Besides, he went to college in Berlin.
He speaks German fluently because he not only spoke it at home growing up but also went to college in Berlin.
Transitions showing exception or contrast
The exam was very difficult; however, you had plenty of time to answer all the questions.
Even though the exam was very difficult, you had plenty of time to answer all the questions.
Despite the difficulty of the exam, you had plenty of time to answer all the questions.
It would be nice to make more money on another job. On the other hand, you will have a lot more work to do.
It would be nice to make more money on another job. Nonetheless, you will have a lot more work to do.
He was 45 minutes late. Yet, he didn’t even apologize.
He was 45 minutes late. Nevertheless, he didn’t even apologize.
Although he was 45 minutes late, he didn’t even apologize.
He was 45 minutes late, but he didn’t even apologize.
Transitions showing comparison or similarity
Compared to the first study, the latest study produced very interesting results.
The latest study produced more interesting results than the first.
Your parents probably complained about your generation’s attitudes. Likewise, your grandparents probably complained about your parents’ generation’s attitudes.
Reading effectively is an important skill in college. No matter what major you choose, much of your learning will come from reading materials. Writing skills are also important though you may be able to get away with it depending on your major.
Transitions showing cause-effect
You have not taken the time to revise your writing. As a result, your work has many mistakes.
You have not taken the time to revise your writing, so your work has many mistakes.
You have not taken the time to revise your writing. Consequently, your work has many mistakes.
You missed too many classes during the course; therefore, you must take the course again.
As a result of missing too many classes during the course, you must take the course again.
Transitions showing an example or illustration
You can help others many different ways. For example, you can make a donation or volunteer your time to help out.
Some vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, and carrots are rich in antioxidants.
Some vegetables are rich in antioxidants (for example, broccoli, spinach, and carrots).
Assess Your Learning
Transition words is a complete enrichment course; it includes coordinating conjunctions, subordinating conjunctions, conjunctive adverbs, and other devices used as transitions.
Up Next: Recognizing Modes of Writing when Reading
Go to the next lesson to learn about recognizing modes of writing.
Congratulations! You have completed “Relation between Ideas.”
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