ideas, and details fit together clearly, readers can follow along
and the writing is coherent. The ideas tie together smoothly and
To establish the links that readers need, you can use the methods
here. Note that good writers use a combination of these methods. Do not
rely on and overuse any single method – especially transitional words.
Repetition of a
Key Term or Phrase
This helps to focus
your ideas and to keep your reader on track.
The problem with contemporary art is that it is not easily
understood by most people. Contemporary art is deliberately
and that means it leaves the viewer wondering what she is looking at.
Synonyms are words
that have essentially the same meaning, and they provide some variety
in your word choices, helping the reader to stay focused on the idea
Myths narrate sacred histories and explain sacred origins. These
traditional narratives are, in short, a set of beliefs that are a
very real force in the lives of the people who tell them.
This, that, these,
those, he, she, it, they, and we are useful pronouns for
referring back to something previously mentioned. Be sure, however,
that what you are referring to is clear.
When scientific experiments do not work out as expected, they
are often considered failures until some other scientist tries them
again. Those that work out better the second time around are the ones
that promise the most rewards.
There are many words
in English that cue our readers to relationships between sentences,
joining sentences together. See below for a table of transitional
words. There you'll find lists of words such as however,
therefore, in addition, also, but, moreover, etc.
I like autumn, and yet autumn is a sad time of the year, too.
The leaves turn bright shades of red and the weather is mild, but
I can't help thinking ahead to the winter and the ice storms that will
surely blow through here. In addition, that will be the season
of chapped faces, too many layers of clothes to put on, and days when
I'll have to shovel heaps of snow from my car's windshield.
| Note that transitional words have meaning and are not
just used at beginnings of sentences. They can also be used to show
relationships between different parts of the same sentence. As
mentioned above they cue readers to relationships between
sentences/clauses. If you use the wrong transitional word then you
confuse your reader. It would be better if you didn’t use any
transitional word rather than the wrong one. Furthermore you do not
need a transitional word at the beginning of each sentence. Good
rarely use them as they achieve coherence by using other techniques.
students overuse transitional words. Your instructor will guide you as
what problems you may have with transitions.
or parallel sentence patterns can help the reader follow along and keep
ideas tied together.
Example: (from a
speech by President John F. Kennedy)
Much of the above information was obtained from Purdue University.
And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for
you--ask what you can do for your country.
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Copyright ©1995-2002 by OWL
at Purdue University and Purdue University. All rights reserved.