One of the most important skills required in writing an essay or research paper is the ability to use transition sentences that logically link paragraphs or sections and provide a road map for the essay. Transition sentences provide a smooth change to a new topic, contrast a preceding sentence or add meaning to what was just written. Some common transitional words include "despite," "however" and "similarly," which are used to create effective transition sentences.
Review Your Work
Review your essay up to the point where you want to use a transition sentence. Determine the relationship between the two paragraphs. Is the transition introducing a new point, contradicting material you just wrote, or making further points about the same topic? Ensure that your transition sentence makes sense in the context of what was written before it. For example, if the preceding sentence is, "John Smith gazes up at the moon in the dark sky," the transition sentence, "As a result, he is sitting as he watches the sky," does not make sense, because the preceding sentence did not cause the transition sentence.
Choose Your Words
Use words such as "another" when you are introducing a new point in your essay. For example, if you are writing an essay explaining how the Dust Bowl developed in the Midwest and you have already listed two reasons, a transition sentence could be: "Another factor that weakened the soil was the poor farming techniques employed at the time..." and continue the sentence from there.
Make the Point
Use words such as "in addition," "furthermore" and "equally important" when you are making more points about a subject after already listing several in the preceding paragraph or sentence. In an essay about contributions that Louis Pasteur made to society, in which you have listed various accomplishments, you could write, "Pasteur's discoveries saved many lives during his lifetime, but in addition, they led to a new understanding of disease that saved many more even after he was gone."
Consider Your Purpose
Use transitional words such as "however," "in spite of," and "on the other hand" when you are contradicting a paragraph or sentence you just wrote. For example, if you explaining Marie Curie's contributions to society but wanted to show the downside of those achievements, you could write, "Marie Curie's contributions to society were noteworthy. However, Marie Curie paid a high price for her studies since the prolonged exposure to radiation eventually led to her death."
Use transition sentences sparingly to avoid confusing the reader.