Transition Hacks: A Cheat Sheet for Better Essays

by Jimmie Lanley on April 24, 2012

Teaching Homeschool Writing: Transitions

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. This printable is part of my ebook Essay Tune Up.

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.
Zero in on those spots and make sure that your essay flows with transition words. Encourage your young writer to use new transitions that he has not used elsewhere in the essay.

If using the term “cheat sheet” with your impressionable children bothers you, don’t worry. There is a second page without that questionable phrase.

The 10 Days Series is organized by iHomeschool Network, a collaboration of outstanding homeschool bloggers who connect with each other and with family-friendly companies in mutually beneficial projects.

Visit the other posts to be blessed with tips on how to handle bad days, cultivating curiosity, teaching with Legos, and much much more!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Karen April 24, 2012 at 2:02 pm

You have just had fabulous ideas and resources Jimmie. I am taking notes big time here!


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