Writers don’t let their thoughts wander aimlessly. They think logically. They organize details in patterns. In the written language these patterns help you follow ideas more easily and, therefore, improve your understanding of the text. Authors use transition words and phrases to create patterns within their writing. The following are common patterns of organization and transitions used in writing. Time Order/Process Pattern Ideas or events are presented in the order they occur. Sequences are told through dates, times, or numbers. Processes are explained through steps or stages. Time Order/Process Transition Words: first, second, later, next, as soon as, after, then, finally, meanwhile, last, during, when, by the time, over time, until, step, stage, method, procedure, how to Example: When Althea first began to drink, she just did not realize the risks she faced. Over time, her drinking slowly but surely took total control of her life. The transition words when, first, and over time indicate a sequence in Althea’s life. Listing Pattern Items are named or listed as the details, and the order of the details is not important. Listing Transition Words: first, second, third, another, also, too, finally, several, numerals (1,2,3 ), letters (a,b,c) Example: One way to overcome boredom is by turning on the television. Another way is to read a good book. The author is presenting a list of two ways to overcome boredom. The transition words one and another indicate the two ways. Addition Pattern This pattern is actually a form of listing. Changing the order of the details does not change their meaning. Transitions of addition indicate that the writer is using a second idea along with the first one. The writer presents an idea and then adds other ideas to deepen or clarify the first idea. Addition Transition Words: furthermore, additionally, also, besides, further, in addition, moreover, again, and, final, first of all, first, second, third, next, last of all Example: Weightlifting builds and tones muscles; it also builds bone density. The author first tells that weightlifting does two things: builds and tones. (Note – the order could be changed to tones and builds) Then the author wants to give additional information. The transition word also indicates another benefit of weightlifting. Definition Pattern A definition is given to explain a new, difficult, or special term. Examples are provided to clarify the definition. Definition Transition Words: consists of, is a term that, involves, is called, is characterized by, that is, occurs when, exists when, are those that, entails, means, for example, such as Example: Repression is the mind’s power to block fearful thoughts, impulses, and memories. For example, a person may repress or forget painful childhood memories. In the first sentence, the definition of repression is given. The second sentence provides an example of repression to help you better understand the meaning. (Note the transition for example.) 1
Transitions & Organ Patterns Jan 2009; g: ASC Eng/Read
Generalization and Example In this pattern the author gives a general statement or idea that is supported by one or more examples. In this pattern look for a topic sentence that is supported by one or more examples. The generalization statement is not always the first sentence. Generalization/Example Transition Words: for example, to illustrate, such as, for instance, including, typically, an illustration Example: Food labels provide important information. For example, the label on Rich Harvest Sweet Dark Whole Grain bread states that one slice has 120 calories. The first sentence is a generalization about food labels. The transition for example gives a specific example that supports the general statement. Classification Pattern Ideas are sorted into smaller groups and then the traits of each group are described. Because the groups are listed, transitions of addition are used...