Effective use of transitions is a crucial element of clear academic writing. To start with, try to avoid using basic transitions such as “because,” “but,” “and” and “especially” to start a sentence in formal writing. There are better and more sophisticated options available such as the ones listed below:

  • Because: As a result of, Consquently
  • But: However, Nevertheless
  • And: In addition, Moreover
  • Especially: In particular

Check the links at the end of this post for additional transitions words and phrases.

Another element to using transitions effectively is variety. There is no benefit to overusing a single transition word in one piece of writing. An essay with a greater variety in transitions demonstrates that the writer has more sophisticated language skills. Also, a piece of writing with more variety is more enjoyable to read and is more effective overall.

In TOK essays the effective use of transitions is very important. This is because the discussion in a TOK essay will frequently move from claim to counterclaim, from one real life example to another, from one AOK to another AOK, etc. The essay must make it clear to the marker where these changes occur. It must also be clear what kind of change it is (e.g. if the writer is adding additional information, contrasting information, etc.).

Some transitions resources:

Categories: Writing

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