Creative writers and journalists sometimes have the problem of smoothly transitioning from one paragraph to the other, especially when they are changing the subject. This is a learned skill that is not hard to master. By the time you read this article, you will fully understand the trick to it.
How to Use Transition Sentences
When we writers hop from one topic to another without a transition sentence, we “jar” our readers. While sentence transitions may be the last line in a paragraph, they are more commonly used as the first line in a new paragraph. They are like a bridge, connecting one idea to another.
Warted characters are memorable. The warts help the reader identify the characters in their minds.
Huh? What happened to the discussion on transition sentences? Were you trying to figure that out? If so, now you know how a “jarred” reader feels. Warts don’t relate to transition sentences at all, but we can make them relate by connecting the topics like this:
“While sentence transitions may be the last line in a paragraph, they are more commonly used as the first line in a new paragraph. They are like a bridge, connecting one idea to another.
We could compare sentence transitions to ‘warts’ on characters. ‘Just as a ‘wart’ will blend readers minds with the character’s identification, transition sentences will blend readers minds to the change of topics.”
(Notice that we can use more than one transition sentence to help the reader follow
our train of thought.)
Here is another example from a camping article. We’re picking up toward the end of the article. The subject was preparing for a vacation and using a credit card for gasoline purchases. It will now blend into an after-vacation recap of never paying interest. See if you can pick out the transition words.
“For every $1,000 you charge on a Flying J credit card per month, you will receive a $10 coupon, which can be used at the online Flying J, or in their restaurant.
By combining the above suggested methods with this plan, you will seldom, if ever, run out of vacation money or have to use an ATM machine; further you will never owe interest, never make a physical payment, and never carry a balance.”
What were the transition words? I’ll tell you – “By combining… ” and the word “further”. Those three little words exited a financial camping program and carried the subject to the after-vacation recap.
Certain words make good transitions. Some of them are: further, besides, in addition to, instead of, specifically, to sum up, although, beyond, close, for instance, again, moreover, accordingly, as a result, during, to illustrate, finally, on the contrary, to compare, consequently, if, then, meanwhile, but, nevertheless, therefore, subsequently, otherwise, so, formerly.
Your Assignment: pick up something to read and pick out the transition words. They will always be in the first sentence of the next paragraph. After you’ve done this a few times, look at some of your own work and see if you can improve your transitions.
About the Author:
Ms. Deb is CEO & Founder of Creative Writing Institute. Her school brings new meaning to “$ave money” on writing courses. Ask your writing questions: [email protected]! Send your stories in for a FREE writing analysis. No string, no spam, no kidding!