Men say that ability to write is a talent; wise men say, however, that understanding of written structures and practice are above all.
Let’s say you consider yourself quite a talented writer with a great ability to compose beautiful, lucid texts to attract readers and keep them interested. Now, can you tell why your writing is so successful? What makes it neatly structured and comprehensible?
To avoid mistakes in your English essay, you may also read this article. We believe students are especially interested in this subject due to the amount of essays, research papers, and other written assignments they need to produce throughout an academic year. In fact, the keys to solving your problem are good transition words.
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What Is a Transition Word?
Many students wonder, “What are the transition words?” This term might seem quite scary, but it helps us link sentences and ideas. In this particular article, we have already used some of these words, in particular ‘for example’ and ‘but.' They allow making our written language smooth and easy to read. Here you can find various writing standards.
There is quite a long list of links to use. Sometimes you can also meet such terms as ‘linking words’ or ‘connecting words.' Every phrase has its purpose, and quite often, linking elements from the same category have different connotations and cannot be totally interchangeable.
To differentiate them, language specialists have divided linking elements into several distinct categories based on their functions in the discourse. Let’s take a closer look at these categories and see how these phrases are classified. Hopefully, a short overview from our team will help you, dear students, appreciate the great variety of linkers in the English language. You will start incorporating them in your writing assignments (FYI: teachers love the appropriate usage of connectors).
Using linking and comparison words is just one of the numerous essay writing secrets.
Categories of Links
There are about 200 commonly used transitions words in the English language. Thus, it is not so easy to memorize all from the first trial. They are all quasi-complete. To express your opinion, you can’t ignore these phrases.
There are too many connection words not to classify them. They help to set up a different course of the phrase. The main 4 transition words categories are:
The next few paragraphs describe each category in details. You can see the list of the possible example below. Also, some great ideas and writing examples are located here.
Good Transition Words to Start a Paragraph
The first thing you may think about is whether there are the best words used to begin your paper. The examples of good transition words to start a paragraph and stick to the point include the phrases you may find in such categories as agreement, opposition, and time.
An example of starting a paragraph with an agreement: “First, it was necessary to recover from the consequences of the World War II.”
Here we go with opposition in the introductory paragraph: “In spite of the Cold War, Russian citizens still found ways to purchase vinyl records from the United States.”
An example of a paragraph first sentence with the time link: “During the rebellion, more Latin Americans suffered than British and Spanish.”
Agreement Transition Words
Our first category includes linking phrases of agreement or addition. The elements which fall into this category are meant to showcase how the newly introduced idea is similar to the preceding one. Agreement category demonstrates that the two parts of the sentence, or the paragraph, are related to each other to some extent. Look at the following list of linkers and think how you would use them in a text and why you would do this:
|Also||First, second, third||Moreover|
|As well||In addition to||Then|
Opposition Transition Words
In contrast with the first category, this category introduces phrases which are designed to demonstrate how the new concept differs from the one introduced before. These phrases are of great importance because they let writers present an alternative and completely reverse the direction of the discussion. The phrases below are considered opposing or contradiction:
|Above all||However||In spite of|
|After all||Instead||On the other hand|
|But||In contrast||On the contrary|
|Even though||In reality||Whereas|
Support Transition Words
The phrases of support such as emphasis are crucial because they help writers prove their points of view with the help of relevant evidence. Not a single essay is possible without a proper illustration of an author’s idea. Supporting elements must be an integral part of students’ writing process so that they could easily add a new example. Here are some of the support examples:
|For example||In general||Surely|
|For instance||In other words||To emphasize|
|Indeed||In particular||To demonstrate|
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Result Transition Words
When students are trying to prove their viewpoint, they are to demonstrate how the evidence they present influences the existing situation. In other words, their task is to show the cause/effect relation between two ideas. Fortunately, there are many ways to express result/effect/ consequence that can be used to indicate a certain event resulting in another event:
|As a result||For (goes before the cause/reason)||Thereupon|
|Because (goes before the cause/reason)||Henceforth||This way|
|For this reason||Therefore||Under those circumstances|
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Conclusion Transition Words
Obviously, when we write an essay, we build it according to the traditional essay structure: introduction, body, and conclusion. We are always in need of good transition phrases that can help us logically come to a conclusion and complete the argument. These conclusion words (a.k.a. summary) are significant due to their ability to sum things up and create a well-rounded, dynamic paper. Keep them in mind for your nest essay:
|After all||As it was said above||Obviously|
|All in all||In brief||Overall|
|All things considered||In conclusion||To sum up|
|As has been said/noted/mentioned||In summary||To summarize|
Time Transition Words
This category includes those language units which serve to define, restrict, or limit time. Just like another connecting element, they show the relationship between certain events. Indicators of time are as follows:
|As soon as||First||Meanwhile|
|Eventually||In the meantime||Second|
Space Transition Words
Similarly, to the previous category, this category is designed to showcase how objects are related to each other in terms of their position in space. You could have noticed that many items included in the last two categories are frequently used as part of adverbial expressions:
|Above||Beneath||In the distance|
|Among||Here||On the side|
|Around||In front of||There|
|Below||In the center of||Where|
Transition Words Rules
As we have mentioned before, linkers serve different purposes and can be used within a single sentence to combine its parts or within a bigger portion of text to bind different paragraphs and major ideas.
So, it is important to know how writing rules apply to the usage of transition phrases.
When a linker is used to tie two parts of a sentence together, then in the most cases, the first part of the sentence will be followed by a semicolon, and the connecting word itself will be separated from the second part by a comma, for example:
Our article gives a good overview of transition words. However, students are always encouraged to do research and find more information on the topic.
NOTE: If the second part of the sentence is not an independent sentence itself, it is possible not to use a semicolon:
John was very surprised by Ann’s visit, but not me.
If you want to use a connection word to start a new paragraph as an indicator of the shift of focus from one concept to another, you will separate the linking word from the rest of the beginning sentence by a comma, for example.
In fact, linkers are extremely important for a high-quality essay writing because they help guide readers through the text and indicate what they should pay closer attention to.
Probably, you need someone to explain how to write an essay or use transition words in-depth. You may want a professional to check your final draft before submitting. Finally, you might want to hire a writer to work on the specific topic you don’t understand. If you wish to improve your image in the eyes of your teachers, there is no better place to order your essay written from scratch than number one professional writing and editing service!
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The Modes of Discourse—Exposition, Description, Narration, Argumentation (EDNA)—are common paper assignments you may encounter in your writing classes. Although these genres have been criticized by some composition scholars, the Purdue OWL recognizes the wide spread use of these approaches and students’ need to understand and produce them.
Contributors: Jack Baker, Allen Brizee, Elizabeth Angeli
Last Edited: 2013-03-10 11:46:44
What is an argumentative essay?
The argumentative essay is a genre of writing that requires the student to investigate a topic; collect, generate, and evaluate evidence; and establish a position on the topic in a concise manner.
Please note: Some confusion may occur between the argumentative essay and the expository essay. These two genres are similar, but the argumentative essay differs from the expository essay in the amount of pre-writing (invention) and research involved. The argumentative essay is commonly assigned as a capstone or final project in first year writing or advanced composition courses and involves lengthy, detailed research. Expository essays involve less research and are shorter in length. Expository essays are often used for in-class writing exercises or tests, such as the GED or GRE.
Argumentative essay assignments generally call for extensive research of literature or previously published material. Argumentative assignments may also require empirical research where the student collects data through interviews, surveys, observations, or experiments. Detailed research allows the student to learn about the topic and to understand different points of view regarding the topic so that she/he may choose a position and support it with the evidence collected during research. Regardless of the amount or type of research involved, argumentative essays must establish a clear thesis and follow sound reasoning.
The structure of the argumentative essay is held together by the following.
- A clear, concise, and defined thesis statement that occurs in the first paragraph of the essay.
In the first paragraph of an argument essay, students should set the context by reviewing the topic in a general way. Next the author should explain why the topic is important (exigence) or why readers should care about the issue. Lastly, students should present the thesis statement. It is essential that this thesis statement be appropriately narrowed to follow the guidelines set forth in the assignment. If the student does not master this portion of the essay, it will be quite difficult to compose an effective or persuasive essay.
- Clear and logical transitions between the introduction, body, and conclusion.
Transitions are the mortar that holds the foundation of the essay together. Without logical progression of thought, the reader is unable to follow the essay’s argument, and the structure will collapse. Transitions should wrap up the idea from the previous section and introduce the idea that is to follow in the next section.
- Body paragraphs that include evidential support.
Each paragraph should be limited to the discussion of one general idea. This will allow for clarity and direction throughout the essay. In addition, such conciseness creates an ease of readability for one’s audience. It is important to note that each paragraph in the body of the essay must have some logical connection to the thesis statement in the opening paragraph. Some paragraphs will directly support the thesis statement with evidence collected during research. It is also important to explain how and why the evidence supports the thesis (warrant).
However, argumentative essays should also consider and explain differing points of view regarding the topic. Depending on the length of the assignment, students should dedicate one or two paragraphs of an argumentative essay to discussing conflicting opinions on the topic. Rather than explaining how these differing opinions are wrong outright, students should note how opinions that do not align with their thesis might not be well informed or how they might be out of date.
- Evidential support (whether factual, logical, statistical, or anecdotal).
The argumentative essay requires well-researched, accurate, detailed, and current information to support the thesis statement and consider other points of view. Some factual, logical, statistical, or anecdotal evidence should support the thesis. However, students must consider multiple points of view when collecting evidence. As noted in the paragraph above, a successful and well-rounded argumentative essay will also discuss opinions not aligning with the thesis. It is unethical to exclude evidence that may not support the thesis. It is not the student’s job to point out how other positions are wrong outright, but rather to explain how other positions may not be well informed or up to date on the topic.
- A conclusion that does not simply restate the thesis, but readdresses it in light of the evidence provided.
It is at this point of the essay that students may begin to struggle. This is the portion of the essay that will leave the most immediate impression on the mind of the reader. Therefore, it must be effective and logical. Do not introduce any new information into the conclusion; rather, synthesize the information presented in the body of the essay. Restate why the topic is important, review the main points, and review your thesis. You may also want to include a short discussion of more research that should be completed in light of your work.
A complete argument
Perhaps it is helpful to think of an essay in terms of a conversation or debate with a classmate. If I were to discuss the cause of World War II and its current effect on those who lived through the tumultuous time, there would be a beginning, middle, and end to the conversation. In fact, if I were to end the argument in the middle of my second point, questions would arise concerning the current effects on those who lived through the conflict. Therefore, the argumentative essay must be complete, and logically so, leaving no doubt as to its intent or argument.
The five-paragraph essay
A common method for writing an argumentative essay is the five-paragraph approach. This is, however, by no means the only formula for writing such essays. If it sounds straightforward, that is because it is; in fact, the method consists of (a) an introductory paragraph (b) three evidentiary body paragraphs that may include discussion of opposing views and (c) a conclusion.
Longer argumentative essays
Complex issues and detailed research call for complex and detailed essays. Argumentative essays discussing a number of research sources or empirical research will most certainly be longer than five paragraphs. Authors may have to discuss the context surrounding the topic, sources of information and their credibility, as well as a number of different opinions on the issue before concluding the essay. Many of these factors will be determined by the assignment.