Content Writing Basics: The Why And How Of Transition Words

When you’re a content writer who submits even 1 or 2 blogs on a monthly basis, it’s important for you to do it accurately, with the right use of grammar and punctuation. And beyond punctuation and grammar, you need to have a proper know-how of sentence structure, tone, connection, etc to make your write-up accurate and satisfactory to read for the viewers.

I’ve found that one of the most important parts of coming up with a good blog or content piece is for each paragraph or sentence to have a proper flow; the right flow which connects each different viewpoint with each other, giving us a better idea of what the writer is trying to convey. And this connection is what most beginners fail to grasp. And how do you establish that connection? Through transitional words and phrases. This blog is all about those transitions, so sit back, and learn.

The Function of Transitions

Whether you’re an academic or professional writer, one of the basic priorities is for you to convey your message concisely and clearly, to make your writing comprehensible for your reader. Transitions help you establish this comprehensibility in your writings by presenting your content in a more logical manner, making connections between your sentences, and giving your readers an idea of your thought processes.

The Function of Transitions

One of the questions you hear most when you tell a writer their content lacks flow is, “How do I create a flow then?”. The answer is simple, through creating a relationship between all the content you’re writing, and that relationship comes through transitions; they fit your ideas together, making them logically coherent for the reader. These transitions include phrases or words that give a direction to the reader of where you’re going with your content, making your opinion easier to understand.

In other words, transitions help give your readers a clearer path of where you’re leading with your writing, and what perspective you’re providing through your content. This logical connection is vital in making your content either become good or turn into a failed writing attempt.

Do I Need Transitions in My Writing?

The answer is yes, especially if you’re constantly asked to make edits to your content with the suggestion that the content is ‘out of flow’ or ‘disconnected’, ‘feels jumpy’, ‘feels like skipping from one topic to the next’, ‘feels abrupt’.

Writing is all about creativity, and sometimes this creativity comes in irregular sparks, making you go from one topic to another without realizing it. It’s only after you write your entire content that you realize how disconnected or out of flow it feels. At this point, it’s vital to add proper transitions, but even more than that, it’s important to organize your writing in the right order before you add a transition to connect it all together. How do you do that? Read the next part to understand.

Organizing Your Content

I know that I said transitions are important, but that’s not the only thing that’s important to make your writing coherent. For your writing to be clearer, you first need to organize it properly. Remember that transitions aren’t an alternative to organizing your work, rather they just make your organized work easier to follow for the reader.

Organizing your work goes beyond just making your sentences follow an order, it also includes making your thoughts more aligned and effective. Whenever you complete the first draft of your content, go through it once and summarize each paragraph, writing what it’s about in your notes. If this exercise doesn’t make your content clearer, your problem may not primarily be with transitions, but rather with organizing your writing.

How does it all work?

Transitions - How does it all work

Let’s explain this through an example. When I started writing this blog, my first and second paragraphs looked something like this:

When you’re a writer who submits even 1 or 2 write-ups on a monthly basis, it’s important for you to do it accurately, with the right use of grammar and punctuation. But how do you do that? Writing may not be rocket science but it’s not something another person, even an expert, can teach you overnight.

You need to have a proper know-how of sentence structure, tone, connection, etc to make your write-up accurate and satisfactory to read for the viewers. And for it to be satisfactory, I’ve found that one of the most important parts is for any blog or content, to have a proper connection between each topic a particular writer tries to discuss.

Compare the above-given content with what the first two paragraphs look like now, and you’ll get a better idea of how organized it has become compared to the first draft. Another example of unorganized writing is given below.

There’s no doubt that Google is an essential part of today’s technological world. A lot of experts believe Google is changing how people think and perform competitive tasks. Google is becoming more and more advanced in providing us with solutions daily, without us doing a lot of hard work in the process.

In the above paragraph, the content starts with Google’s importance, skips to criticism that the site receives from experts then skips to talking about the features of Google. Overall, it’s disconnected, lacking context as well as flow. How do you organize this? Let’s see below:

There’s no doubt that Google is an essential part of today’s technological world. The platform is advancing more and more, providing us with solutions to daily queries, without us having to do a lot of hard work in the process. But this exact ease is making experts question the usability of Google, a lot of whom believe that the platform is changing people’s brains and making them less competitive.

In the above edit, not only did the content become organized, but it also became connected with the use of only a small phrase i.e. ‘But’, that related the introduction to Google with its criticism done by experts. So, in short, this entire transitioning process involves writing your content in a proper sequence, starting with one topic then moving to share your thoughts about it, connecting all of it through phrases that make them more logical and give the readers an idea of what to expect next.

Types of Transitions

Hopefully, the process of how you can make transitions work in your writings is clearer to you now than it was before you started reading this blog. With that in mind, let’s discuss the types of transitions you may use in your writing, which depend on the situation where you’re using them. These transitions can occur in the form of a simple phrase, word, sentence, or paragraph. In all these cases, it’s important that you create a connection between what you’ve written so far, and what you intend to write further.

In a way, transitions are a small summary of your entire writing and an indication of follow-up content. There are 3 types of transitions in any writing.

  1. Between Sections: Important in long content pieces, where you need to introduce a short paragraph to summarize whatever you’ve written before and whatever you’re about to speak about next.
  2. Between Paragraphs: If your paragraphs are well-organized, you just need a short phrase that connects your former and latter content, in such cases words like ‘similarly’, ‘additionally’, or ‘meanwhile’ etc can be of help. They highlight the relationship that already exists between the previous paragraph and its connection with the next one. These words can be added either at the end or at the beginning of a paragraph, as long as they’re being used correctly.
  3. Within Paragraphs: Transitions within paragraphs do the same job as those between paragraphs or between sections. They just act as cues to indicate the perspective a writer is about to present in the following sentences. These are usually short words or phrases e.g. now, after all, but, etc.

Kinds of Transitional Expressions

There are different kinds of transitional phrases, or expressions when it comes to talking about different contexts, or establishing different logical connections. For example, you write however, but, or yet when following your written content with an exception i.e. Google is an important part of everyone’s lives. However, overdependency on the platform may be slowing down people’s cognitive skills.

The table below consists of the most commonly used transitions that you can use to make your sentences clearer to understand.

Transitional Expression

This is all you need to know about transitions, and how you organize them all to make your content fit. Of course, where you add which transition depends upon your need, and whether or not it even fits into the context of your content. Nevertheless, it’s necessary to add transitions in your writings to make them connected and readable for the viewer.

Many writers know the basic use of grammar and punctuation yet establishing a proper flow is where their writing fails to make an impression and leaves them behind in the competition. Having a proper flow and relatability in your content and each of its sections isn’t only satisfying for the reader but also feels aesthetic for you to read, motivating you to continue writing further.

Maha Abdul Rehman

A content writer and a psychology major, I procrastinate for 6 months or write consecutively. And I occasionally watch (see: obsess about) Football.

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