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This sentence really tied the room together.
Transcript of This sentence really tied the room together.
along with basic pronouns like
effectively can bind your sentences together like a chain.
Used poorly or ambiguously,
can make your
confused. "This what? Those who? Argh!"
scream, tossing your manuscript into the fireplace.
Related to this point, you are writing about the text. Not the reader. Don't direct your reader through the clumsy use of "you" or "one." Instead, just make a clear statement about the text.
: "You might think that Don Quixote is crazy, but..."
: "Don Quixote's apparent madness complicates his character, but..."
Your Key Terms
Find a touchstone in your argument--a key phrase or set of phrases that you used in your opening paragraph or thesis. Try to emphasize it once or twice throughout your paper. It's like a shining beacon aimed directly at the point.
Repetition not Redundancy
Lots of these techniques involve ways of
, but with a slight difference.
Moving your paper forward
doesn't necessarily mean cramming every new idea you can think of into your paragraphs.
the concept, but not necessarily with the same words. Strengthen
to your previous paragraphs and cultivate them for your next paragraphs.
These are echoes that
your main argument, but allow your reader to more easily
to your next point. If you
yourself in varied and interesting ways as a means of
advancing your argument
, you aren't redundant.
You are scaffolding an argument that moves from the foundation of a
to the structure of
and the capstone of a
In transitioning between paragraphs, it is often not enough to rely on adverbs or short transitional phrases.
Some ideas are simply too big
In these cases
, you should
strive to create a conceptual link between the topics of each paragraph. Here are a few ideas.
To keep your readers following along, you should
connect your sentences,
indicate the kind of connection you make.
Addition and Elaboration
Examples and Conclusions
as an illustration
to take a case in point
Comparison and Contrast
along the same lines
in the same way
in the same manner
Cause and Effect / Concession
as a result
in other words
to put it another way
to put it bluntly
to put it succinctly
not only...but also
as a result
to sum up
on the contrary
on the other hand
although it is true
to be sure
The interesting thing about transitions is that they
allow your readers to follow your argument,
but they also
force you to have an argument in the first place. Use them!
It's clear, then, that the
majority of people are not in favor of pickles
on their Chick-Fil-A sandwiches.
Despite the overwhelming evidence against the practice
, however, CFA continues to insist on ruining a perfectly good sandwich with pickles.
Expanding and Connecting Ideas
On the whole,
students at the University of Tennessee
showed a much larger appreciation for the color orange than the national average--nearly 95% of them are big fans.
This phenomenon is
by no means unique
to UT. Students at Clemson and the University of Texas also seem to favor the bright color, although they had some quibbles over the specific hue.
Holland soccer team
had no comment.
Narrowing the Focus
After these long years of research, Smith and Jones finally published
on the secrets of the universe.
Taking a closer look
at their published findings, we only find more evidence of their brilliance.
Take a look at your draft.
within the paper--both at the sentence and paragraph level.
What tricks do you use to keep the paper moving?
Does your paper
Are there passages that are difficult to follow?
Choose at least 3 of these transition opportunities and rewrite them using some of the techniques we just introduced.
For the Rest of Class
How Close Reads Work
Makes a claim
about how to read your text by focusing on a smaller portion of the text.
This means you've found an interesting way to understand a character's motivations, a plot development, or a theme.
Also called a
Uses a key quote or example
from the text that illustrates (but only a taste!) your point.
Clarifies and Defines
the boundaries of your argument (chapter, character, specific theme, terminology, etc...)
to your evidence.
a small passage that can support your reading.
, thoughtful commentary.
Answers these questions (and others): Could another reasonable person have a different opinion on this passage? Why is your reading more likely? What happens when you pair possibly contradictory pieces of evidence? How do you resolve the tension? Why is your interpretation valid?
to your argument.
How could people misunderstand your text if they misread or overlook a key passage?