Four: Style andTone
often ignore transitions to their own detriment. A good
essay must use transitions within paragraphs and especially
between paragraphs to preserve the logical flow of the essay.
An essay without good transitions is like a series of isolated
islands; the reader will struggle to get from one point
to the next. Use transitions as bridges between your ideas.
As you move from one paragraph to the next, you should not
have to explain your story in addition to telling it. If
the transitions between paragraphs require explanation,
your essay is either too large in scope or the flow is not
logical. A good transition statement will straddle the line
between the two paragraphs.
should not have to think too much about how to construct
transition sentences. If the concepts in your outline follow
and build on one another naturally, transitions will write
themselves. To make sure that you are not forcing your transitions,
try to refrain from using words such as, “however,” “nevertheless,”
and “furthermore.” If you are having trouble transitioning
between paragraphs or are trying to force a transition onto
a paragraph that has already been written, then this may
indicate a problem with your overall structure. If you suspect
this to be the case, go back to your original outline and
make sure that you have assigned only one point to each
paragraph, and that each point naturally follows the preceding
one and leads to a logical conclusion. The transition into
the final paragraph is especially critical. If it is not
clear how you arrived at this final idea, you have either
shoe-horned a conclusion into the outline, or your outline
are confident in your structure, but find yourself stuck
on what might make a good transition, try repeating key
words from the previous paragraph and progressing the idea.
If that doesn’t work, try this list of common transitions
as your last resort:
you are adding additional facts or information:
well, and, additionally, furthermore, also, too, in addition,
another, besides, moreover
you are trying to indicate the order of a sequence of
of all, meanwhile, followed by, then, next, before, after,
last, finally, one month later, one year later, etc.
you are trying to list things in order of importance:
second etc., next, last, finally, more importantly, more
significantly, above all, primarily
you are trying to connect one idea to a fact or illustration:
example, for instance, to illustrate, this can be seen
indicate an effect or result:
a result, thus, consequently, eventually, therefore,
indicate that one idea is the opposite of another:
however, yet, but, though, on the other hand, although,
even though, in contrast, unlike, differing from, on the
contrary, instead, whereas, nevertheless, despite, regardless
comparing one thing to another:
a different sense, similarly, likewise, similar to, like,
just as, conversely.
the following sentences using an effective transition, when
needed. (In some cases, the two sentences will be able to
stand without a transition.)
I took my responsibility seriously and would write
down classmates' names to preserve the silence and
decorum of the school environment.
a different teacher walked in, a teacher known to
punish too hard and painfully, I decided to save
my friends from his hard strokes, and I erased all
the windy conditions and below freezing temperatures,
I could not tear myself away from the awe-inspiring
beauty of the cosmos.
the frustration and difficulties inherent in scientific
study, I cannot retreat from my goal of universal
the sadness with which she responded, stating, "He
died when he was a baby,” convinced me that it was
affected me as nothing ever would again.
the test in an unspectacular six minutes and five
seconds, I stumbled off the erg more exhausted than
I had ever been. That night, I went home and caught
I followed my survivalist and rationalist instincts,
I would have quit rowing then and there;
I realized that I must dedicate my life to understanding
the causes of the universe's beauty.
hike taught me several valuable lessons that will
allow me to increase my understanding through scientific
my grandfather’s death, I began to understand and
follow his sage advice.
pulled out a picture of my grandfather and me at
she had to work from dusk to dawn living a double
life as a student and a financially responsible
mother managed to keep a positive disposition.
addition to working and studying, she found time
to make weekly visits to terminally ill and abandoned
children in the local hospital.
mother developed the value of selflessness.
mother made me learn Indonesian, the official language
of our country.
she wanted me to develop interests in various academic
and extracurricular fields.
2) Similarly; 3) The shock of this revelation at such a
tender age; 4) That was three seasons ago. 5) In addition;
6) To cope with his passing; 7) Despite the burdens she
faced; 8) From her experiences during college; 9) My mother
did not only want me to have a broad knowledge of languages.
to Essay Clichés