How to Make Essay Sentences Flow Smoothly From One to Another
Cohesiveness is a characteristic of good writing
When an essay is cohesive, sentences flow one to another because of a logical connection. The sentences fit together like a puzzle or like two pieces of paper that have been glued. Of course, when you can easily follow the pattern of thought of the writer, your understanding of her point is enhanced.
One way to write more clearly is to use transitional phrases
Transitional words and phrases clue your reader when you are changing the direction of your line of reasoning. Some people think of transitional words and phrases like road signs. You could probably find your way from South Africa to Egypt without reading a single road sign. After all, you could look at the position of the sun or stop and ask directions to finally get to Egypt, but it would take longer than it would if you could find road signs to read. In a similar way, transitional phrases help your reader get the point of your essay faster and easier.
Keep the following list by your side as you write
- Add: When you use an addition word, you tell your reader that two ideas are similar and you are adding more of the same idea.
and, in addition, additionally, also, further, moreover, similarly, next
- Examples: These transition words say an example will follow immediately.
for instance, for example, such as, to illustrate
- Details: These tell your reader that you are going to present supporting information.
including, specifically, particularly
- Contrast: These words indicate you are changing to the opposite direction.
but, however, in contrast, on the other hand, yet
- Summarize: You are drawing together the ideas presented in the paper.
so, thus, in brief, finally, therefore, in conclusion
- Emphasize: These words show the level of importance.
certainly, surely, importantly, most important, of consequence, above all
- Effect: These words indicate that something happened because of something else.
as a result, following that, consequently, for this reason, then
- Cause: You are saying something brought about another thing.
due to, because, since
- Time: These words indicate the passing of time.
before, after, next, at first, at the same time, previously, subsequently, afterwards, for a minute/day/week/year
- Enumeration: These tell your reader the order of things.
first, next, second, last, finally, another, third, one