Basic Writing/Transitions

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What are transitions? Types of transitions[edit]

Consider the following example to think about the reason why the students were upset.

There were only 10 minutes left in the class. The teacher rushed to put all the rules and examples on the board. The students took out their notebook to copy the rules down. They were a little upset. The students had an assignment with the transitions. They weren't sure they would be able to do the assignment correctly. They didn't have enough written practice with transitions.

Now read another version.

There were only 10 minutes left in the class, so the teacher rushed to put all the rules and examples for transitions on the board. The students took out their notebook to copy the rules down. However, they were a little upset because they had an assignment with the transitions for the next day, and they weren't sure they would be able to do it correctly. In addition, they were upset because they hadn't had enough written practice with transitions.

What made the students upset? And which one of the example can deliver a clear meaning? Words 'however' and 'in addition' in B are called logical connectors or transitions.

Why we use transitions? Functions of transitions[edit]

Consider the following sentences to see if the meaning can be changed.

  1. Jill isn't in town. So Jack isn't here.
  2. Jill isn't in town. After all, Jack isn't here.
  3. Jill isn't in town. Moreover, Jack isn't here.
  4. Jill isn't in town. However, Jack isn't' here

The use of transitions alone may not lead to text cohesion and coherence; however, their role is substantial because they establish the implied relationships between sentences, presupposing the presence of other components in the discourse.

How we use transitions? Issues about transitions[edit]

Previous studies have demonstrated how the use of sentence transitions can contribute to quality writing and how student writers have employed transitions. They observe the three issues of misuse, overuse, and underuse of sentence transitions: the erroneous, repetitive, and insufficient use of transitions may mislead the audience. Undoubtedly, the use of transitions correspond to improved writing skills, yet many students at the higher levels still repeatedly use a limited stock of transitions. This suggests that writers need to have a better understanding of how to use, when to use, as well as when not to use the sentence transitions.

How we use transitions better? Strategies and practices[edit]

Useful Sources[edit]