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Essay Writing: Paragraphs and Transitions

The Monroe College Guide to Essay Writing presents the information necessary to write effective essays.

Paragraph Structure

I. INTRODUCTION

A. Begins with a sentence that captures the reader’s attention

1) You may want to use an interesting example, a surprising statistic, or a challenging question.

B. Gives background information on the topic.

C. Includes the THESIS STATEMENT which:

1) States the main ideas of the essay and includes:

a. Topic

b. Viewpoint (what you plan to say about the topic)

2) Is more general than supporting data

3) May mention the main point of each of the body paragraphs

II. BODY PARAGRAPH #1

A. Begins with a topic sentence that:

1) States the main point of the paragraph

2) Relates to the THESIS STATEMENT

B. After the topic sentence, you need to fill the paragraph with well-organized details, facts, and examples.

C. Paragraph may end with a transition.

III. BODY PARAGRAPH #2

A. Begins with a topic sentence that:

1) States the main point of the paragraph

2) Relates to the THESIS STATEMENT

B. After the topic sentence, you need to fill the paragraph with well-organized details, facts, and examples.

C. Paragraph may end with a transition.

IV. BODY PARAGRAPH #3

A. Begins with a topic sentence that:

3) States the main point of the paragraph

4) Relates to the THESIS STATEMENT

B. After the topic sentence, you need to fill the paragraph with well-organized details, facts, and examples.

C. Paragraph may end with a transition.

V. CONCLUSION

A. Echoes the THESIS STATEMENT but does not repeat it.

B. Poses a question for the future, suggests some action to be taken, or warns of a consequence.

C. Includes a detail or example from the INTRODUCTION to “tie up” the essay.

D. Ends with a strong image – or a humorous or surprising statement.

Transition Words and Phrases

 

To begin / 
introduce first or main point:

at the outset

from the inception

from the beginning

first

first of all

in the first place

initially

one . . . the other one . . . another

originally

primarily

to begin (with)

 

 

 

To continue with other points or
details:

accordingly

also

another

besides

consistent with this

in addition

in succession

next

in the second (third) place

in turn

to continue

To conclude or
summarize:

as a result  

at last

finally

in conclusion

to sum up

ultimately

in brief

in other words

it is apparent

it is evident

in summation

therefore

thus

to conclude

to recapitulate

to review

 

More Transitions and Linking Expressions

More Transitions and Linking Expressions

 

accordingly

earlier

in the second place,

presently

after

even if

etc.

previously

after all

even so

in the meantime

similarly

after that

eventually

in the future

subsequently

after which

finally

in summation

simultaneously

afterward

first (second, third,

later

soon

also

etc.)

likewise

that is

and

for example

meanwhile

then

another

for instance

moreover

therefore

an additional

for this reason

nevertheless

to begin with

as a result

from that moment

next

to illustrate this

as soon as

furthermore

one . . . the other

to support this

at first

hence

one . . . and another

thus

at last

hereafter

once . . . now

ultimately

at the same moment

however

on the contrary

when

before long

in addition

on this occasion

while

besides

in comparison

or

whenever

but

in fact

other

yet

conclusively

indeed

otherwise

 

conversely

initially

preceding this

 

consequently

in the first place

prior to this