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Transitions Are Your Friend

published by Chun Rai

tags: toefl writing, (all tags)

origin: Transitions Are Your Friend (http://www.englishadvantage.info)

Another writing tip that will help you on the TOEFL writing section or when writing an academic essay. Using words and ideas to transition from one sentence to the next and one paragraph to the next will help your reader to understand you. Without transition words, your essay can make little sense.
Transitions can be accomplished through the use of transition words.
Transition words that link similar ideas include: and, as well as, in addition to, furthermore.
Words that link contrasting ideas include: but, yet, however, although, whereas, even though.
To give examples use: for example, for instance, in one case.
To signal a conclusion or the result of something try: in conclusion, therefore, that is why, for this reason.
To make the order of ideas clear use transition words like: First, second, third or before that, after than, next, then, when, while.
Look at an example of a paragraph without transitions (This is a writing exercise, not serious advice!):
Eliminating computer viruses on your computer is not very difficult. There are a few things you can do. Turn on Windows Firewall. To do this, go to the Control Panel, click on Windows Firewall, the window pops up, you should click on the button next to “Turn Firewall on”. Download a good anti-virus program like Kaspersky, Norton or Avast. Make sure you shut down all programs. Disconnect from the Internet. Some viruses can deliberately interfere with anti-virus programs by getting help from the Internet. Run a full scan with the program. Follow the recommendations of the program to delete or quarantine any viruses it finds. Back up your registry and make a restore point. This is important. I once forgot to do this and deleted an important file by accident. I had to reinstall everything on my computer. Consult with a professional computer technician.
Confusing, right? Is this a list of steps or are they various options? Do we have to do some things before we do other things? When do we back up our registry? Why do we consult with a professional computer technician? It sounds a bit like we woke up a computer geek in the middle of the night and he or she just started spouting advice at random.
Now, look at the paragraph with transitions put in:
Eliminating computer viruses on your computer is not very difficult. There are a few things you can do. First turn on Windows Firewall. To do this, go to the Control Panel and click on Windows Firewall. When the window pops up, you should click on the button next to “Turn Firewall on”. Next Download a good anti-virus program like Kaspersky, Norton or Avast. Before you run itMake sure you shut down all programs and also disconnect from the Internet because some viruses can deliberately interfere with anti-virus programs by getting help from the Internet. Now run a full scan with the program. When the scan is finished follow the recommendations of the program to delete or quarantine any viruses it finds. But before you delete any files back up your registry and make a restore point. This is important. For example, I once forgot to do this and deleted an important file by accident so I had to reinstall everything on my computer. If these steps don’t work, consult with a professional computer technician.
Doesn’t that make much more sense. Now we know in what order to do what and we understand the connections between ideas.So don’t forget to use transition words–after all, the reader doesn’t know what is in your head so you need to give clear signs so they can follow you.

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