This usually takes the form of a bunch of seemingly unrelated phrases thrown together with little or no sense of sequence, continuity, or relativity.
Notice that the three separate statements are all valid sentences. They convey the bare essential facts of the situation, but nothing more. In fact, they raise almost more questions than they answer. For example:
These are all logical (and obvious) questions that the average person might ask when reading a paragraph made up of the three sentences above.
Let's transform these now, using transition phrases:
“UNLIKE the previous minor incident, this time the entire building had to be searched. BECAUSE the fire was still smoking on the first two floors, they started on the third, working upwards, covering the first two last. CONSEQUENTLY, it took them a full three hours before they finally completed the typical two-hour job.”
Notice the use of the transition words: UNLIKE, BECAUSE, and CONSEQUENTLY. Using these three words has allowed us to easily connect the three independent sentences and give them a sense of chronological order and logical flow. They also allow us to answer ALL of the obvious questions, either with the transition word itself, or by adding a couple more words.
In short, transition words/phrases have turned three dry independent phrases into a little story that makes sense to the reader.
These types of words/phrases are ideal for allowing one to easily connect thoughts, and create logical sequences between sentences and paragraphs. They are usually inserted at the beginning of a sentence and normally refer directly back to the previous sentence and/or paragraph without repeating the specific subject.
The following paragraphs list some of the more common transition words and phrases that will help make your text more understandable and interesting to the reader. For each one, I have included a typical example of how the word/phrase might be used in a typical sentence.
Note that I have capitalized the transition words/phrases for emphasis and easy identification.
CAUSE AND EFFECT...
IN CONTRAST TO...
SEQUENCE AND RELATIVITY...
SIMILARITY AND COMPARISON...
EXPLANATION AND EXAMPLE...
The above are just examples, and there many other such transition words and phrases that are used in everyday conversation or writing. In my opinion, appropriate use of these words/phrases is the number one technique for making any type of writing flow logically and clearly.
Bottom line: Smooth, orderly and logical transitions from one thought to the other, one sentence to the next, and one paragraph to another are key to creating clear meaning and flow in any document. Transition words and phrases will achieve this for you.
By Shaun Fawcett(c). Shaun is webmaster of the popular www.WritingHelp-Central.com. He is also the author of several best selling "writing toolkit" eBooks. All of his eBooks and his world famous f-r-e-e Writing Success Course are available at: