Transitions in writing bring your reader along for the ride, making their experience smoother. You’re talking to their brain, more than anything. How do you make strong transitions when writing your article, blog, or website copy? For the writer, these will come largely in the form of transitional words and phrases, also known as transitional devices. Imagine that these are bridges reaching across points in your argument, allowing the reader to traverse easily from one idea to the next. By using transitions, you will enable your readers to make powerful connections between the ideas you present and the logic supporting your argument.
Categories of Transitional Words and Phrases
There are specific categories of transitional devices which you can use to strengthen your writing. Below are some of the most well-known examples:
Conclude or summarize
Consequently, accordingly, in conclusion, therefore, on the whole, in summary
Provide an example
For example, to illustrate, for instance
First, second, third, at this time, subsequently, therefore, hence, next
Without a doubt, certainly, definitely, obviously, in fact
Next, then, previously, finally, immediately, soon
How to use transitional words and phrases
Transitional words and phrases are powerful tools, so powerful that if you aren’t careful, you can overpower your readers by over-explaining obvious connections. Solve this by using these transitions sparingly and strategically. One way to do this is to write out your paper or article first and then match the appropriate words and phrases to coordinate with the logic of your argument.
Make sure your writing connects with your intended audience – have a professional editor glance over it to give you strategic suggestions which strengthen and clarify your point. Contact me for a consultation.