People make transitions all the time. They move from one job to another. They change schools.  They change friends. They grow up. They move away. They get married. They get divorced. In essence, people make transitions in the form of decisions. What motivates someone to decide to get married after so many years of living single? What motivates someone to decide to divorce a mate after forty years of marriage? What motivates a person to have a child at forty years old? Last, what motivates a person to grow up or change friends?

Your decisions lead to transitions. Your transitions are predicated on your decisions. How you will do something and where you will go is based on one decision; and every decision leads to a specific place. With this in mind, the word “transition” implies “from.” You must leave from somewhere to somewhere else.

When you write your papers and begin new paragraphs, think about the “connection” between the new paragraph and the previous one. What is your motivation for incorporating the new paragraph? Why do you start the paragraph in the way that you do? Is the new paragraph in sequence to the previous one? In other words, does the example in the previous paragraph represent a “first” or a “second”? If so, what is the relation between this previous paragraph and the new? These are the questions you must always ask yourself each time you create new topic sentences for new paragraphs.

Just remember, never use “moreover,” “furthermore,” and “in addition” for the beginning of the conclusion paragraph. These are transitional words that indicate to your reader that you are not finished discussing the topic and that you have much more to say. This comment “Transitions” mostly refers to your task, as the writer, to determine the relevance of one paragraph to another and your motivation for placing one after another. With this in mind, your professor expects you to know how your paper transitions.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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