Transitions in an essay help the ideas to flow smoothly, a quality called coherence. You don’t want your reader jolted from idea to idea without any type of connection. Transitions both prepare the reader for a mental shift as they ease the reader smoothly into it.
Many writers struggle with using transitions naturally. They revert to the boring set of first, second, last, and in conclusion. There’s nothing wrong with those words, of course, but variety is a great benefit to an essay.
Print the transitions cheat sheet linked below and let your child reference it during the revision stage.
First go through and highlight all the transitions already used. Can they be refined with a better word choice? Check the list for possible substitutes. Because they are grouped by idea, your substitute transition will probably be found in the same section as your initial choice.
Are there places where transitions are absent but needed? Key places to use transitions are
- at the beginning of paragraphs
- at the front of a conclusion sentence
- at the addition of a new detail within a body paragraph.
If using the term “cheat sheet” with your impressionable children bothers you, don’t worry. There is a second page without that questionable phrase.
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