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Transitions and Flow Get organized, connect, explain
Get your paragraphs organized • Just like the sequence of paragraph topics in your outline, you have to organize inside the paragraph as well. • Use Time order, cause/effect, across society, small to large, etc. • Put like things together instead of chopped up across the paragraph • To do this, you have to skim over the paragraph from start to end and back to the top, and hold it in your mind. Study it as a whole and decide if that’s a logical order for your examples and ideas.
Connect to what came before • Some transition words are useful, but don’t overuse, and use them right. • List: http://writing.wisc.edu/Handbook/Transitions.html • Refer back to what you just said using demonstratives and pronouns. • This kind of sentence looks like: • “This_____ (name what you just discussed)” changes ____. . . or continues, or doesn’t apply, or contrasts, etc. then finish your sentence with the new idea you want to bring up.
Explain how everything relates • Sometimes your writing is jumpy because you left things out. That’s why you outline—to see where the holes are, where you have a topic but no real examples, or missing explanations • Every example and idea should work toward proving your thesis. • If that’s strong and clear and you build on that in every paragraph, it will hold your paper together and you won’t have to worry about jumping around. • Nothing builds coherence and flow like a clear focus on your purpose.
Try it • With a partner, use all 3 of the approaches we covered to improve the rough paragraph I will give you: • Put it in order • Add links and transitions where needed • Explain how ideas relate • I’ll put the list of transitions back up so you can see that.