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Missing Transitions


Transitions make all the difference. In fact, without transitions, this sentence would not have as much weight or meaning. Transitions help you understand the flow of a sentence and they help you organize several sentences together. Let’s take a look.

What’s wrong with this paragraph?

Dr. Frank recently wrote a post about the pre-writing phase of brainstorming. He described three different ways he brainstorms. He sometimes uses free association to think about a topic. He writes down the ideas. He may refer to different sources of information. He may refer to a book review found at Amazon books. Dr. Frank may search keywords in YouTube for other ideas. He uses the technique of mind mapping to generate yet more ideas.

The paragraph doesn’t flow well; it lacks good transitions that connect the sentences in an interesting way and keep the reader reading.

How could you fix the problem? Learn to create smooth transitions by adding linking expressions.  

Frank recently wrote a post about the pre-writing phase of brainstorming. In this post, he described three different ways he brainstorms. First, he sometimes uses free association to think about a topic. Afterwards, he writes down the ideas. Second, he may refer to different sources of information. For instance, he may refer to a book review found at Amazon books. Similarly, Frank may search keywords in YouTube for other ideas. Finally, he uses the technique of mind mapping to generate yet more ideas.

Doesn’t this paragraph flow much better by elegantly linking the series of ideas about brainstorming? And it’s simple to do. Remember to use linking expressions.

The rewritten paragraph shows four common types of linking expressions that indicate:

1. Addition or sequence, such as first, second, finally. Other examples include furthermore, in addition and moreover.

2. Example, such as in this post, for instance. You could also use in other words, to illustrate or yet another.

3. Time, such as afterwards. Other good expressions are eventually, subsequently, and thereafter.

4. Comparison, such as similarly. Try using these expressions: equally, in the same way or likewise.

Now you try it. How would you improve this short paragraph?

Frank and Craig will soon publish The Business English HQ Guide to Writing which will contain three main sections. The book effectively breaks down the writing process into 15 simple steps. It presents examples of some of the most important types of business documents. There are chapters on writing a simplified business proposal and a report. It explains how to deal with the 10 most common writing mistakes.

Suggested answer

Frank and Craig will soon publish The Business English HQ Guide to Writing which will contain three main sections. First, the book effectively breaks down the writing process into 15 simple steps. Second, It presents examples of some of the most important types of business documents. For instance, there are chapters on writing a simplified business proposal and a research report. Furthermore, it explains how to deal with the 10 most common writing mistakes.

See, fixing transitions does not have to be a difficult process. Writing problems are hard to spot, but easy to fix. Our goal with BEHQ is to help you get past your initial worry and to help you with high quality posts aimed at professionals who need to use English in their daily lives. Let us help you. Ask any questions you may have below.

 

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Constantin Ioana Medeleine January 14, 2013, 12:57 am

    This was unexpectedly helpful! Made me realize at what point my writing can be monotonous and how many ways there are to improve myself. I’m definitely going to use more transitions in my future writing. Thank you

    • Frank January 14, 2013, 1:18 am

      Hi Ioana,

      I appreciate your comment. It’s great to see your willingness to improve. You might want to check the other posts on “Common Writing Problems.”

  • Claris February 19, 2016, 6:48 am

    I just want to mention I am just very new to blggoing and site-building and actually loved your web blog. Probably I’m likely to bookmark your blog . You definitely come with awesome article content. Cheers for sharing your blog.

    • Frank April 1, 2016, 11:28 am

      Hi Claris,

      Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I appreciate your kind comment. Let me know if there is anything in particular you’d like me to write about. Best regards, Frank

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