Monday, June 16, 2014

Making The Transition by Karen Lange

Making the Transition
By Karen Lange
When writing, do you give conscious thought to transitions? Transitional words, while helpful, are not always necessary. A transition from one thought to another is not limited to their use, but is successful when ideas flow well.
Common transitions include words like although, furthermore, between, first, second, consequentially, next, yet, during, finally, etc. I keep an eye on these words as I edit and sometimes delete them depending on the context. The key is to aim for each idea to move fluidly to the next.
Did you know that there are several categories of transitional words? Here are a few:

Chronological & Logical - for cause and effect, or contrasting ideas

Pour the cake batter into the baking pan. Next, place the pan in the oven and set the timer.

Although bears in Yellowstone hibernate during the winter, the bison do not.

Climactic – to conclude, summarize, observe

Furthermore, workers will be penalized for arriving late.
Logical and/or Persuasive – summary, convince, influence

For this reason, we must vote for Elwood Smith for Class President.

Order of Importance- prioritize ideas

First, we must address the issue of shoplifting. Next, the customer return policy has loopholes and should be clarified. Finally, the employee handbook must be distributed.
Transitional words, as necessary, can give the reader a map, illustrating how information is connected in terms of logic, place, or time. The bottom line with or without specific transitional words is to determine if thoughts are clear and flow cohesively.

What is your take on transitions? Do you think about them when you write?

Karen Lange is a freelance writer, an online writing instructor, and the author of Homeschool Co-ops 101. Connect with Karen on her blog,, on Twitter – KLELange, on her Facebook author page,


  1. *waves* Hey amigo! What a great post! I don't think about them as I write, but I do delete MOST of them during revisions. Love your examples. Flowing like a river is the most important thing and if they get in the way, shoot 'em! xoxo

  2. You know, sometimes I struggle with this a bit. I'm very conscious of the column's flow and don't feel that I always "nail it" in my transitions. Thanks for focusing on this again. Will keep working at it.

    And, yes...Elwood Smith for President! LOL.

    1. Rhonda, I know what you mean. I work at this at times too, and other times it seems to flow better. Elwood Smith was a fictional character from homeschool co-op days gone by. His legacy lives on...:)