College Humanities Writing Tips II – Transitions

Welcome to the second installment of a few quick tips I put together for college humanities students writing about literature and history – and anyone else, really. Well chosen transitions function not only to polish your writing, but also to develop your ideas and strengthen your arguments.

2. Transitions

Build a complex and well supported argument seamlessly with language that clearly connects your ideas to textual evidence and develops and expands your thesis. Here are some constructions that can help:

Further complicating this idea, Woolf also suggests…
Woolf goes on to critique xyz when she writes…
In addition to undermining xyz, Woolf also discredits abc when she writes, “____ ” (Woolf 6). In other words,
Indeed, Woolf goes on to explore this theme later when she suggests…
Woolf builds on this idea later when…
Further, Woolf suggests…
Later, Woolf invites…
Moreover, according to Woolf,
Furthermore, Woolf explains…
While she demonstrates the absurdity of abc when she writes that “_____” (Wolf 6), this very assertion reveals Woolf’s own privileged class position, weakening her argument. That is,
At the same time, however,
Woolf examines another aspect of this theme when she…
Woolf reveals the absurdity of this notion when she playfully examines the mating rituals of bunnies: “_________” (17).
However,
Indeed,
Therefore,
Thus,
Clearly, then,
Additionally,
Conversely,
Ultimately,
In other words,
In spite of the fact that…
In a turn of logic,
In a seeming contradiction, Machiavelli also suggests that
Machiavelli also suggests that…
On the one hand, Machiavelli… On the other hand, Machiavelli…

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About sarahjpurdy

I am a writer, editor, English teacher, and Spanish student living in Valparaíso, Chile, where I teach English at the Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María. I also telecommute to the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), where I have worked as a marketing publications writer and editor since 2004. Prior to joining UNR, I worked as a journalist, editing and writing features and news stories for the Reno Gazette-Journal. I earned a master’s degree and a bachelor’s degree in English literature from UNR, where I was chosen for a graduate research assistantship in Victorian literature and graduated with a 4.0/4.0 cumulative GPA. I also taught at UNR for three semesters as a discussion leader for cross-disciplinary Core Humanities 201 and 202 courses, which examine Western literature, history, and culture from Mesopotamia and Ancient Greece through the Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution to World War II, the postcolonial era, and postmodernity. For eight months prior to moving to Chile in February 2011, I volunteered as ESL tutor for the ESL In-Home Program of Northern Nevada. In fall 2010 I earned a 50-hour TEFL Certificate from the University of Arizona and a 30-hour Social Media Marketing Certificate from UNR, and completed a graduate TESOL course through UNLV.
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