Using Transitions for Paragraph Cohesion

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Business Communication
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Good paragraphs are built by using transitional expressions to glue ideas together, creating a logical and cohesive whole. Skilled writers use several techniques to make paragraphs stick together. One such technique is transitional expressions.

Transitional Expressions are words and phrases that:

  •     add information
  •     show time or order
  •     clarify
  •     show cause and effect
  •     contradict
  •     contrast

These expressions are also used to show connections to achieve paragraph coherence. [A partial list of common transitional expressions appears at the end of this post.]

Example: In her current position, Ms. Cho manages a small sales team. At the same time, she assists with all strategic planning activities. In addition to those duties, Ms. Cho also develops her division’s budget; however, her staff accountant assists her with specific financials.

Transitional Expressions Exercise

Choose a transitional expression to connect each set of the sentences below.

  1. Digital tools enable job seekers to invent or reinvent their careers. Digital tools alone can’t find workers a new job without their initiative, enthusiasm, and patience.
  2. Internet platforms can be addictive products that heighten users’ emotions and perpetuate polarization. Experts worry about security, surveillance, and privacy.
  3. One of the regrets of my life is that I didn’t work hard enough to stay in touch with my family and friends as I moved away for work. I am now estranged from loved ones and old friends.
  4. As people age, many find memory aids helpful. Memory aids also encourage laziness.
  5. Technology has brought considerable harm that should not be minimized. We need to correct some of the unintended consequences.
  6. Many say that the Internet has a dark side. Bullying and intolerance are flourishing.
  7. The technology that was supposed to break down divisions has heightened them. We’ve seen everything from election tampering to the demise of Net neutrality.
  8. As digital access continues to spread to the far corners of the planet, the good by far outweighs the harm. For example, people have access to online courses and information about their health. They can join special platforms that support their health and well-being.
  9. Machines are becoming increasingly capable of executing complex work tasks. Even many skilled jobs will be automated.
  10. The internet has changed the way people function, think, communicate, learn, collaborate, and conduct business. It is the greatest technological invention of the 20th century.
  11. All technology can be abused. On balance, internet technologies will continue to benefit us all.
  12. Structural changes in the economy will cause shifts in political power. Such profound changes can also be beneficial.

Additional Rsources to Improve Writing Skills

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