Choppy

Students often find it hard to provide sharp transitions between paragraphs. It is much easier, within a paragraph, to begin with transitional wording such as first and continue with second or next. However, it is especially difficult to tie one point to another, one end to the other.

The best way to understand this comment is to think about a friend who is telling you a story. Just when it seems that the friend is about to make the point, he or she jumps to something else, some other conversation about something totally different from the one he or she starts in the beginning. This is an example of choppy transitions within paragraphs or how you outline the paper in a choppy way, shifting constantly, abruptly, without warning your reader that you are about to make a change.

The best way to prevent your papers from having choppy areas is to “outline” what you want to discuss on a separate sheet of paper or in another Microsoft Word document. Once you understand what you want to discuss, then return to your paper and continue the process until you have completed the thought within your paper. As the best incentive to developing your paragraphs, always read sections aloud, one by one, and determine the best way to approach revision.

For an extended explanation, see also the comment “Read Aloud.”

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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