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COHERENCE: TRANSITION WORDS

Below is a list of commonly used transition expressions, divided roughly according to meaning.

"Use Transition. Applicants continue to ignore transition to their own detriment. You must use transition within paragraphs and especially between paragraphs to preserve the logical flow of your essay. Transition is not limited to phrases like "as a result, in addition, while . . . , since . . . , etc." but includes repeating key words and progressing the idea. Transition provides the intellectual architecture to argument building."
http://www.college-essay-consultation.com/Essays/writing_tips.htm

Addition:
moreover, furthermore, in addition, also, incidentally, by the way, further, too, again, more important, next, first, second, etc., firstly, secondly, etc., in the first place, in the second place, etc., last, lastly, finally, either, as well.

Contrast:
however, yet, in contrast, conversely, on the other hand, in any case, on the contrary, still, otherwise, actually, all the same, at any rate, at the same time, nevertheless, notwithstanding, instead, in spite of this, anyway, by contrast, in reality, whereas.

Comparison:
Iikewise, similarly, in the same way, in like manner.

Cause, result, purpose:
therefore, thus, hence, consequently, after all, to be sure, for this reason, accordingly, then, knowing this, naturally, of course, with this object, with this end, to this end, because of this, with this in mind, in many cases, by this means, in this way, as

Example, restatement:
for example, for instance, more specifically, in particular, indeed, namely, specifically, to illustrate, in other words, in fact, that is, in brief, in short, to summarize, in conclusion.

Time
afterwards, later on, soon, meanwhile, in the meantime, next, immediately, then, later, at length, eventually, at the same time, in the same instant, today, nowadays, in the beginning, to begin, in time, in future, finally, initially, subsequently, simultaneously.

Place
here, there, near by, beyond,  further on, opposite, on the opposite side, on the right, on the left, behind. in back.

Concession
although it is true that, granted that, I admit that, it may appear that, naturally, of course.

Summary, Repetition, or Conclusion:
as a result, as has been noted, as I have said, as we have seen, as mentioned earlier, in any event, in conclusion, to conclude, in brief, finally, in other words, in short, in a word, on the whole, therefore, in summary, to summarize, to sum up, in a nutshell, all in all.

Chronological
presently            the next day                 before          during
at length             soon afterward            after              when
afterward            by that time                 since             while
meanwhile          at that moment
next                    from then on
first                     within an hour
soon                    at last
later                    earlier
second                then

Spatial
a little farther on                   next to Y
in the next room                   at the center of the table
at that altitude                      across the way
between those cities             about a centimeter to the right
beyond this area                   just to the left


When what you have presented leads up to, or supports, or makes a case for what you are about to say:
Therefore, Thus, Hence, Consequently,
We can see from the previous that,
Because of the previous [sentence, paragraph, line of reasoning, three points,....] we can see that [or, it is rational to believe that, or it is reasonable to hold that]...
In light of this we can see that

When you have given your conclusion first and want to then give your evidence, support, justification for it:
The evidence for ... is
The reason(s) for ... is (are)
One can see this because
This can be seen because
This is supported by

To do these sorts of things in one sentence, you can use words such as:
Since [x is true], [y is true]
Since [x], y ...
Because (of) x, y ...
Given that x, y ...
Factoring in that x, y...
Taking into account x, we can see that y...
As a consequence of x, y....
It follows from x, y
We can see from x, y

When you are going to "contradict" what has been said before [or contradict what you are about to say]:
However, But, Nevertheless, In spite of this [or, in spite of the fact that ...,]
Despite [the fact that ..., ]
Unfortunately that does not....
Paradoxically
Contradicting that is
While it may seem that....
On the other hand
The apparent implication is that ... , but
While it may be that...,
The previous does not imply/demonstrate/show
We cannot reasonably deduce/infer/assume from this that...
Although x, y ....
While it is the case that..., still....
While it is the case that..., it is not the case that (or it is not true that, or it is not to be inferred that, or it does not imply that....)

To link together similar things (whether ideas or reasons):
You can just number them
The following n things: [and then number them, or not number them -- whichever seems more appropriate]
Similarly, In the same vein, Along with, Accompanying that, Also, And, Additionally
In addition, Then too, Besides, Moreover, Further, Furthermore

To say that something is true in "both directions"
Conversely
The converse is also true
And vice versa

To say it is true in only one direction:
The converse is not true.
This only goes in one direction.
This is only true in this direction.

To explain something further:
For example
Examples of this are
To clarify, ...
To say this in another way,
In line with that, ...

To change topics:
Moving on to a different point
Considering something totally different now,
Let me digress for a moment...
Returning from the digression....
Returning to the above point about ....
Related to ....

Using physical structure, rather than words -- often good for introducing remarks related to a particular point or place, but remarks which are distracting or somehow peripheral even if they are important:
Footnotes, Endnotes
Parenthesis or brackets or braces
Indentations (from one or both sides)
Tables, Sidebars, Hyperlinks (internal or external)
Font changes (size, color, bold, italics, or a combination of these)
Headings and sub-headings


Exercise 1
Read the following paragraphs and underline words and phrases used to compare similarities.

A.
Vitamins B and D are alike in a number of characteristics. Both come from the same food sources, milk and eggs. In terms of natural body functions, Vitamins B and D are alike because both are essential for good health. On the other hand, if you maintain a balanced diet, you do not need to take extra amounts of either vitamin. Eating three good meals a day usually healthy amount of good food provides enough of both vitamins.

B.
Even though we might not think of fish and humans as parallel, in some ways they are the same. For a biologist the fugu or Japanese puffer-fish resembles a human being in terms of genetic structure. Each has a backbone, brain and liver. They also have an immune system in common. In terms of genes, fugu and organs and humans have comparable characteristics.

Exercise 2
Read the following and fill the blanks with a word or phrase that specifies comparing similarities.

(1) _______ daikon and asparagus have _____________ growth rates.

(2) A computer ______________a calculator since ____________has been designed to manipulate numbers.

(3) Aluminum is ______________iron in that it is a soft metal.

(4) The health value of Vitamin D _______________that of Vitamin B.

(5) Light passenger aircraft and helicopters ___________________ in terms of the number of passengers they carry at one time.
 

Exercise 3
For a, b, c, and d (below), write one or two sentences, connecting the ideas. Be sure to use words and phrases that compare similarities.

(a) Wolves and dogs are canines. Wolves and dogs have four legs, a tail and very sharp teeth.

(b) VTRs, TVs and tape recorders are home appliances. They contain microprocessors.

(c) The burning of coal and the burning of oil contribute to air pollution. The burning of coal and the burning of oil contribute to acid rain.

(d) Energy from the sun and from the wind is natural. Energy from the sun and from the wind is clean. Energy from the sun and from the wind is free.


Adapted from the following web sites:

http://webster.commnet.edu/grammar/transitions.htm
http://www.kjist.ac.kr/~slic/est/e_textbook-EST-Chapter4-B.htm
http://www.garlikov.com/teaching/transitionwords.htm
http://www.ems.psu.edu/~schall/Paragraphing.html
http://www.ruthvilmi.net/hut/LangHelp/Grammar/link.html
http://www.sanjuan.edu/select/adaptive/writing/transition_or_linking.html
Creating Coherence in Your Writing
http://www.uni-giessen.de/fb10/tefl/seminarP/sbyoung/writing1/Wk5Coherence.htm
Writing Effective Transitions
http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/transitions.html
Texas A&M University: Writing Center
http://uwc.tamu.edu/handouts/

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