Persuasive Essay Transitional Phrases

Persuasive essays are those in which you must convince a reader that your position on an issue is the correct one. Thus, you may want to convince an audience that animal testing is immoral or that genetically modified foods are harmful. Perhaps you want to convince someone that the proposed Canadian pipeline or fracking poses dangers to our environment; maybe you believe that there is too much money spent on political campaigns. Whatever your topic and whatever your position, you must organize an essay that flows logically from one point to the next.

Good Transitions = Logical Flow

You may have done great research and you may have great arguments in favor of our position. If they are not presented well, though, your essay will fall flat and your reader will not be convinced.

Part of a good presentation means than you understand how to use transition words for persuasive essays. So, let’s first look at what a transition is and then take a look at good transition words and phrases for essays.

Definition of Transitions: These are words or phrases that connect one thought or idea to the next. They can be used to connect thoughts in two sentences or to move the reader on to the next paragraph in a logical way. They can be single words, phrases, or complete sentences. Typical examples might include the following:

  1. Words: Clearly, Definitely, Obviously, Furthermore, However, Notwithstanding, First (Second, etc.)
  2. Phrases: Without question, What is more, In reality, In fact, Yet another, For example (instance), In other words, According to,
  3. Sentences: These usually occur at the end of a paragraph as you are trying to move your reader into the point that will be covered in the next paragraph. For example, if you are writing a persuasive essay about money in politics, and you have just completed a paragraph on the Supreme Court “Citizens United” decision, you might end that paragraph with something like, “This decision has impacted campaign and elections in many ways.” Now, your reader is prepared for what is to come next – the ways in which that decision has affected campaigns/elections.

Now, your next paragraph in such an essay will speak to one impact that the decision has had – perhaps the establishment of PAC’s into which donors can throw a much money as they wish. At the end of that paragraph, you will want to transition into the next point you will be making, so your transition sentence might read something like, “And once a campaign has been successful because of all of the donated money, the elected official will have certain obligations to those who have provided that campaign funding.” This sentence contains great a lead in to the next paragraph which will discuss how an elected official is then obligate to vote and make decisions based upon the desires of those who provided the funding.

Whether you are using persuasive essay transition wordsbetween sentences or entire phrases or sentences between paragraphs, your transitions connect your arguments and allow the reader to see where you are going next. If you don’t use these transitions, the reader cannot follow your argument!

Primary Uses for Transition Words and Phrases of Essaysthat Attempt to Persuade

You have to think about the flow of your essay and what you are trying to do with your use of transitional words, phrases and sentences. Basically, the purposes of your transitions are any one of the following:

  1. Adding to a Point You Have Made: You will use such words/phrases as: Furthermore, What is more, In addition to, Likewise, Moreover
  2. Providing Examples: Use such phrases as, for instance, for example, in other words
  3. Providing Lists: Use any of the following: First, second, third (etc.), yet another, the following.
  4. Same Point Stated in a Different Way: Good phrases include, in other words, with this in mind, another way to look at this, etc.

Transitions Can Be Tricky

You know that you need to use transitional words correctly, especially when you are trying to make points that will persuade someone to accept your point of view. Without them, your essay loses clarity and logic. If you are having trouble with transitions, you can get great help at http://www.grabmyessay.com/write-my-essay. These pros can either write your persuasive essay in its entirety or provide a review and edit, adding the words, phrases, and/or sentences that should be included in order to achieve your persuasive purose.

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When listening to a speech, have you ever:

  • wondered “how does this relate to that?”
  • felt the speaker jumped randomly from one point to the next?
  • gotten totally lost?

If you’ve experienced this, there’s a very good chance that the speaker failed to use appropriate speech transitions.

In this article, we define speech transitions and learn why they are so critical. In addition, we provide dozens of speech transition examples that you can incorporate into your speech.

What are speech transitions?

Speech transitions are magical words and phrases that help your argument flow smoothly. They often consist of a single transition word or a short transition phrase, but occasionally form an entire sentence. In a written speech, speech transitions are generally found at the start of paragraphs.

Speech transitions smooth over the boundary between two ideas, and reveal the relationship between the words just spoken and those about to be spoken. In this way, speech transitions help your audience understand your message.

Types of Speech Transitions

There are many types of speech transitions. Each type highlights a different verbal relationship. For example, one type of transition highlights the contrast between two different ideas.

Each of these types is cataloged below. For each type, we list just a few of the possible words and phrases. Can you think of others?

1. Transition between Similar Ideas or Points

  • Likewise …
  • Similarly …
  • This is just like …
  • In a similar way …
  • We see the same thing if we consider …

“Speech transitions smooth over the boundary between two ideas, and reveal the relationship between the words just spoken and those about to be spoken.”

2. Transition between Contrasting Ideas or Points

  • However …
  • Conversely …
  • On the contrary …
  • On the other side …
  • On the other hand …
  • If we flip that around …
  • Yet, we cannot ignore …
  • The opposing argument …
  • If we examine the opposite side, we see …

3. Transition to elaborate upon an idea

  • Also …
  • Moreover …
  • In addition …
  • Furthermore …
  • In other words …
  • Not only that, but …

4. Transition to Numbered Ideas or Points (or Process Steps)

  • First … (The first step is …)
  • Second … (The second step is …)
  • Third … (The third step is …)
  • Last … (The last step is …)

5. Transition to show Cause-Effect Relationship

  • Therefore …
  • As a result …
  • Consequently …
  • For that reason …
  • This is important because …

6. Transition to a Supporting Example

  • For instance …
  • For example …
  • As an example …
  • To illustrate this …
  • What’s an example of this? …
  • But does this happen in real life? Yes …

7. Transition to a Supporting Demonstration

  • Now that we’ve covered the theory, let’s see it in action …
  • To reinforce what we’ve learned, let’s see a demonstration …
  • I’ve prepared a demonstration to show how this works.
  • Let’s see a demonstration which applies what we’ve learned.

“When executed well, speech transitions help make a speech understandable.
When executed poorly, speech transitions can obscure meaning and frustrate audiences.”

8. Transition to a Supporting Quotation

  • X said: …
  • In 1968, X said: …
  • This idea was expressed clearly by X who said …

9. Transition from Introduction into Speech Body

  • Let’s begin …
  • To get started, let’s examine …
  • Let’s get started talking about …
  • Now that we’ve given an overview, let’s start with …

10. Transition from Speech Body into Conclusion

For a short speech, you might conclude with a single statement:

  • In short …
  • In summary …
  • In conclusion …

In a longer presentation, your conclusion might include a review of a the key points:

  • Let’s summarize the key lessons …
  • Let’s recap what we’ve covered today …

11. Transition to Another Speaker

In a team presentation, it is necessary to transfer control between speakers.

The abrupt way to do this is to simply have one person stop talking, and then have the other person start talking. It is much smoother, however, to pass the verbal baton to the next speaker (X):

  • To talk about our next topic, we have X
  • I’ll pass the microphone to X who will describe …
  • To guide us through a demonstration of this, we have X

12. Transition Back to an Earlier Point

There are many occasions when you need to jump back to an earlier idea to add additional information. e.g. after a break, following an exercise, or returning from an unplanned interruption

  • Let’s return …
  • Let’s revisit …
  • Let’s go back to …
  • We introduced X earlier; let’s explore that further now.

Avoid Faulty Transitions

When executed well, speech transitions help make a speech understandable.

When executed poorly, speech transitions can obscure meaning and frustrate audiences.

Beware these three types of faulty transitions:

  1. Miscount Transition
    This faulty transition occurs when a speaker begins counting main points, but does not do so consistently. (e.g. First, Second, Next, Next, Third, Third, …) Faulty counting can also occur when a speaker tries to number both the main points and the sub-points and gets mixed up.
  2. Incompatible Transition
    This faulty transition occurs when a speaker uses a transition word or phrase which doesn’t match the relationship. (e.g. they start with the word “however”, but they follow it with an example)
  3. Tangential Transition
    Transitional phrases like “That reminds me…”, “Ironically…”, or “As an aside…” are dangerous because they often lead to an off-topic diversion which blurs the focus of the speech and wastes time for you and your audience. Just. Don’t. Do. It.

 

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Andrew Dlugan is the editor and founder of Six Minutes. He teaches courses, leads seminars, coaches speakers, and strives to avoid Suicide by PowerPoint. He is an award-winning public speaker and speech evaluator. Andrew is a father and husband who resides in British Columbia, Canada.

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Twitter: @6minutes


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