Many clients come to Dissertation Editor with notes from the professor that say “choppy,” or they’re told that their ideas need to flow better. What the professor is often referring to is the need for better, more effective transitions. In academic writing, these are especially important because transitions help you forge connections between ideas and sections of your paper. They help your reader organize their thoughts about what they’ve just read, and provide guidance about how and what to think about your material. Transitions aren’t just filler words or links to more important ideas; they are important devices that serve as cues to your readers and help provide logic to your paper.

Types of Transitions

There are two elements to think about in writing transitions: reviewing information that’s already been presented, and presenting the new information to the reader. There are three main kinds of transitions in writing: transitions between sections, transitions between paragraphs, and transitions within paragraphs.

Transitions Between Sections

In your dissertation, you’ll be writing a lot of transitions between sections to put together a cohesive, coherent paper that links your ideas together. You’ll want a paper with a good sense of flow; otherwise, the paper can read as disjointed and disorganized. Some examples of such transitions include: “As previously stated…” or “To summarize…”

Transitions Between Paragraphs

These transitions are generally used either at the beginning of a paragraph or at the end, making a particular, distinct connection while summarizing previous information and tying it to new information. It often highlights similarities or differences between the sets of ideas. Examples of these transitions include: “In contrast...,” or “Likewise…”

Transitions Within a Paragraph

These kinds of transitions are usually the shortest, since they connect similar ideas efficiently. You don’t want wordy transitions in the same paragraph, or it can start to sound like empty filler. Examples of these transition words include “Furthermore,” “As a result,” or “Accordingly.”

Things to Keep in Mind

An important thing to keep in mind when working with transitions is the organization of your paper. It can help to outline your paper and progression of ideas so you know how your paper’s “conversation” goes. This way, you can add the best transition for that point in your paper, as well as that specific point in your argument. If your organization of your paper is off, your transitions will read awkwardly, and instead of smoothing out your ideas, will add to the clunkiness.

You want to vary your transitions as well; using the same handful can sound generic and false after awhile. Revising your paper at least once will allow you to find overused phrases and transitional terms, and you'll be able to switch up your transitions, injecting variety into your dissertation.

If you need assistance with transitions, contact us today! Our team of experienced editors have years of experience. While we cannot write transitions for you, our line editing services involves pointing out areas where transitions are necessary or where they would be helpful, and helps you streamline areas where such transitions are not necessary. Let us help you take your work to the next level!


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