Many times, although the writer has developed his topic sentence well by providing enough information to support it, the reader might still have trouble following the organization of the paragraph. The sentences may not have been arranged in an easy to follow order. If this occurs, the paragraph is said to lack
. Sometimes, it is necessary to provide the reader with clues that help him to follow the writer’s train of thought more easily. Words which show the relationship of one sentence to another are called
Types of Transitional Words
: Transitional words may be classified or arranged according to the kind of relationship they show. If used properly, they will help improve your writing a great deal.
TO SHOW TIME OR STEPS
Can be used in explanatory or narrative paragraphs. They help the reader see time and order.
first, second, then, finally, later,soon, now, formerly, after, meanwhile, immediately, in the meantime, afterwards, after a few minutes
PLACE OR POSITION
(work well with description) here, nearby, opposite to, on the opposite side, beyond, outside, inside, ahead, behind, above, to the right (left), in the distance, below
: and, and then, further, furthermore, also, likewise, too, again, in addition, then too, moreover, besides, next, first, secondly, thirdly, but most of all
: but, yet, and yet, however, nevertheless, still, on the other hand, on the contrary, after all, in contrast to this, at the same moment, although that may be true
: similarly, in a similar way, likewise, in the same way
: for example, as an example, to illustrate, for instance, in fact
: therefore, accordingly, consequently, thus, as a result, resulting in
: (can be used with the clincher sentence) in conclusion, in short, indeed, on the whole
THIS LIST IS NOT COMPLETE. THESE ARE THE MOST COMMON TRANSITIONAL WORDS YOU WILL SEE. LEARN TO USE THEM WELL AND YOUR WRITING WILL IMPROVE ALMOST IMMEDIATELY.
: Introduce this list after several assignments. Introducing it prematurely will cause confusion.
: Fact Sheet
A paragraph is a group of related sentences which express a single idea. A paragraph may express an opinion, provide information through the use of facts and details, tell a story, or simply describe a person, a place, an object, or a feeling. Regardless of the type, a paragraph must always express one idea. The main idea of a paragraph may be stated in one sentence. This sentence is called the TOPIC SENTENCE. (We have been calling this sentence the OPENING STATEMENT.) All of the sentences must stick to the main idea. This is called UNITY. Everything in the paragraph must explain or illustrate the topic sentence.
Types of Paragraphs
: There are four (4) basic types of paragraphs. The writer decides which type will best serve his purpose.
: Attempt to convince, persuade, or express an opinion through the use of reasons, facts, examples, or explanations. Newspaper editorials, Letters to the Editor, book and movie reviews, and political speeches, are only a few examples of this type of writing.
This is the type of paragraph we have been writing in class the last few weeks
: Give information, facts, informs, or explains.
This is the most common type of paragraph found in text books, encyclopedias, instruction books, many news stories, or any other type of writing whose purpose it is to provide information or explanation.
*This type may also be called an EXPOSITORY PARAGRAPH. (From the word “Expose” which means to show or uncover.)
: Describes persons, places, objects, feelings. Good writers make the reader FEEL as well as SEE what he is describing. All stories have descriptive paragraphs.
Tell a story, relate an incident or a series of events. Should tell the reader WHEN, WHERE, WHAT HAPPENED, and HOW THE WRITER FELT. To be effective, all of these questions should be answered.
In longer pieces of writing, the author may use several of these types. Many times, the paragraphs will contain elements of each type. That is, a narrative paragraph should have description in it, a descriptive paragraph may have narration in it. As you become better writers, you will be able to do this!
TEACHER NOTE: Introduce these “Textbook” definitions after your students have been exposed to all four types of paragraphs.