Transitional phrases separate the novice from the expert.



This is what they do.

Transitional phrases go a step beyond the simple transitions you use in the body of a paragraph. Whereas transitions are often as short as one word, transitional phrases are what they are named--phrases. Rather than show the connection between supporting sentences, transitional phrases guide the reader from paragraph to paragraph. They let them know they are at the corner of Topic A street and about to turn right on Topic B street.



This is how you create them.

Suppose your first body paragraph was about the story's themes, and your second body paragraph was the double meaning of the story's title. In the topic sentence of your second body paragraph about the double meaning, you need to add a transitional phrase, a phrase that mentions the topic of the first paragraph, themes, and consequently serves as a transition. For example, suppose your current topic sentence for body paragraph two is, "The story had a double meaning in its title." Add the transitional phrase "In addition to its themes," and you will have a topic sentence that mentions the topic of the previous paragraph before giving the topic of the current paragraph: "In addition to its themes, the story had a double meaning in its title."

The first body paragraph, being so close to the thesis, doesn't need a transitional phrase. However, the remaining body paragraphs need their transitional phrases.

Often, it's easy to take a transition from the transitions list and add the paragraph's topic to it to create the transitional phrase like I did. However, it's possible to write a transitional phrase without using one: Themes are not the only important trait the story had; the double meaning in its title also made the reader think.


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