By the end of this section, you will be able to:
- Implement transitional words and phrases in a position argument.
- Apply genre conventions in paragraphs and transitions for general and specific situations.
In the initial drafts of your paper, you may have concentrated on single ideas for your body paragraphs and single thoughts within those paragraphs. Your argument will read more smoothly, however, if you use transitional words and phrases to show readers how your ideas are connected or opposed to each other.
Using Transitional Words and Phrases
student sample textTo get a copy of your transcript from Abbott Community College, underlinefirstend underline log on to the college web site. underlineNextend underline, click the “Transcript” link underlineto the left ofend underline the college logo. underlineWhenend underline the link opens, fill out the information requested in the boxes. underlineThenend underline upload a copy of your student ID underlineandend underline pay $10 electronically. underlineFinallyend underline, submit your form. Your transcript will be emailed to you, underlinebutend underline you may have to wait up to three days underlinebeforeend underline you receive it.end student sample text
The transitional words and phrases show readers the sequence of steps they need to follow to get a transcript. If you remove the transitional words and phrases, the paragraph would be choppy, and readers might not follow the steps as easily.
Transitions also help guide readers between paragraphs. Below are the body paragraphs a student wrote about the need for a traffic light at a street that leads into his college. The first version has no transitions.
student sample textMany vehicles speed through the intersection without regard to the posted speed limit. A traffic signal would make vehicles slow down. They would not be able to speed through the signal.end student sample text
student sample textPedestrian safety is a problem. Many students and others cross this intersection when coming to or leaving campus, and they must dodge traffic to get across. A traffic signal would allow them to cross at appropriate times.end student sample text
student sample textThe amount of traffic has increased dramatically. A manufacturing plant opened four blocks from the intersection. The number of businesses in the strip mall at the intersection has grown by 50 percent. The college has changed its traffic routing for football games. Fans must enter via this intersection.end student sample text
student sample textThe most compelling reason to install a traffic signal is that the number of accidents has risen far past an acceptable limit. According to recent police reports, a traffic accident occurs at least three times a month. One accident resulted in a loss of life.end student sample text
The student then added transitions and changed the wording accordingly to help readers follow his ideas. The underlined transitions at the beginning of each paragraph alert readers to the four reasons he presents and to where he changes from one to another. The underlined transitions within the paragraphs help readers understand the relationship of ideas.
student sample textunderlineFirstend underline, many vehicles speed through the intersection without regard to the posted speed limit. A traffic signal would make vehicles slow down, underlineforend underline they would not be able to speed through the signal.end student sample text
student sample textunderlineSecondend underline, pedestrian safety is a problem. Many students and others cross this intersection when coming to or leaving campus, and underlinenowend underline they must dodge traffic to get across. A traffic signal, underlinethereforeend underline, would allow them to cross at appropriate times.end student sample text
student sample textunderlineAnother reason to install the traffic signal has to do withend underline the amount of traffic, which has increased dramatically underlinein recent yearsend underline. underlineTwo years agoend underline, a manufacturing plant opened four blocks from the intersection. underlineIn the past 16 monthsend underline, the number of businesses in the strip mall underlineat the intersectionend underline grew by 50 percent. underlineFurthermoreend underline, the college has changed its traffic routing for football games, underlineand nowend underline fans must enter via this intersection.end student sample text
student sample textunderlineFinallyend underline, the most compelling reason to install a traffic signal is that the number of accidents has risen far past an acceptable limit. According to recent police reports, a traffic accident occurs at that intersection at least three times a month. underlineIn factend underline, one of those accidents resulted in a loss of life.end student sample text
Frequently Used Transitional Words and Phrases
Addition: again, and, further, in addition, next, then, also, as well as
Cause-and-effect: accordingly, consequently, for this reason, hence, therefore, thus, as a result
Amplification: again, also, apparently, first (second, third), moreover, indeed, more, most, in fact
Chronological order: after, before, during, earlier, finally, first (second, third), immediately, last, next, then, later
Concession or agreement: although, at least, at any rate, certainly, (even) though, in spite of, of course, still, nevertheless, nonetheless
Compare and contrast: at the same time, comparatively, conversely, however, instead, likewise, moreover, nevertheless, on the contrary, on the other hand, rather, similarly, still, yet, despite
Detail: including, in particular, namely, specifically, to list
Emphasis or clarification: above all, again, certainly, especially, furthermore, in fact, particularly, indeed
Example: chiefly, for example (instance), in other words, in particular, mainly, specifically
Intention: for this purpose, in order to do this, to this end, with this in mind
Location: above, along, behind, below, here, near, next to, opposite, to the left (right) of, under
Summary: finally, in conclusion, in short, in other words, thus
For more information about paragraphs and transitions, see Paragraphs and Transitions.