Just like writing is a journey, so is reading. When you write, you move from one idea or action to the next. You want to make it easy for your readers to move along with you. How can you do this? Use transitions to map out connections between ideas. Here’s how to improve the flow of your writing:
Use chronological transitions.
Words like first, next, then, finally, before, and after work well for taking your readers through a sequence of events. These transitions are a staple of narrative writing. Especially in plots involving flashbacks. There’s no easier way to confuse your readers than traveling through time without guiding them. Thankfully, there’s an abundance of transitions you can use to indicate time so you don’t leave your readers behind.
Use spatial transitions.
These are words like here, there, over, under, and between. Spatial transitions help readers envision a setting by showing them where things are in relation to one another. This type of transition is particularly useful in descriptive writing.
Use transitions to show relationships among ideas.
In addition to indicating time and place, transitions can also be used to connect ideas in any type of writing. You can use them to point out similarities or differences, link causes to effects, illustrate abstract concepts with concrete examples, and wrap up your piece of writing.
Transitions for making comparisons: likewise, similarly
Transitions for contrasting ideas: on the other hand, however
Cause/Effect transitions: as a result, since
Transitions for giving examples: for instance, for example
Concluding transitions: all in all, to sum up
For a more extensive list of transitions, check out the Grammarly Handbook. When you need a transition for clarity, be sure to choose the right kind to fit the function. Remember, you want to provide the best guideposts you can to help your readers travel through your writing without the delay and frustration of getting lost.