Coherence and transitions

January 26, 2014pdf

You may have the most convincing ideas in the world. You might have even managed to express them in the most beautiful sentences. However, if these ideas are not properly connected, you will not be able to produce the desired results. Readers should be able to move from one thought to another.

This wouldn’t be possible if you do not use enough connecting devices.

When you provide transitions between ideas, your reader will have no difficulty getting the point.

You can provide transitions between ideas using four techniques: You can, for example, use transitional adverbs; you can repeat keywords or phrases or you can use pronoun reference or parallel form.

Using transitional tags

The most common transitional tags are of course the little conjunctions – and, or, nor, but, so, yet and for. Transitional adverbs are not so simple. Examples are: however, nonetheless, therefore, however, on the other hand etc.

The use of the conjunctions and and but come naturally to most writers.

However, the question whether you can begin a sentence with a conjunction may still arise. Of course, the initial conjunction is a sign that the sentence should have been connected to the previous sentence. However, in many cases, the initial conjunction is a powerful device that calls attention to the sentence. If that is what you want, then you don’t have to connect the two clauses. However, if you begin every one of your sentences with a conjunction, the result can be disastrous.

Here is a list of common transitional adverbs.

Addition

Also, again, and, and then, equally important, besides, first, further, in addition, furthermore, finally, last, in the first place, next, second, too

Comparison

Also, similarly, likewise, in the same way

Concession

Of course, naturally, granted,

Contrast

Although, at the same time, yet, and yet,  but at the same time, even so, despite that, even though, however, for all that, in contrast, instead, in spite of, nevertheless, notwithstanding, on the other hand, on the contrary, otherwise, still, regardless, though, yet

Free Grammar Guide: "120 Deadly Grammar and Vocabulary Mistakes."