Thursday, October 11, 2007

4.4--Transitions II: Between Paragraphs

A. Here’s the problem:

We’ve already seen in section 3.4 that the statements within a paragraph need to be logically connected and that the coherence of a paragraph depends in large part on the effective use of transitions. But transitions play another crucial role, linking the paragraphs in an essay so that the development of your thesis proceeds smoothly from one main point to the next.

B. What to do:

By repeating a key word from the previous paragraph, or by using an appropriate transitional device (see the additional sources for section 3.4), create a link between the last sentence in one body paragraph and the topic sentence in the next. Depending on the relationship between the two paragraphs, the link may be either a single word, a phrase, or a subordinate clause (see section 2.11).

C. Example: A person living in todays [sic] times should see this novel as an ideal view of the dense minds of the rich and the lack of respect to the lower classes. ¶ Austen introduces pride and prejudice in the first ballroom scene . . .

Revised Version: The novel portrays the dense minds of the rich and their lack of respect for the lower classes. ¶ Austen introduces the pride and prejudice of the wealthy in the first ballroom scene . . .

D. Now you try—write corrected versions of the following sentences
1. The society sickens the reader because of its prejudices against anyone different, even a unique spirit like Elizabeth. ¶ Mr. Darcy, although a vital role in the novel, is one of the most mysterious characters of the story.

2. In this case marriage was not proposed out of love but out of an attraction to a rise in social rank, something very common throughout the novel. ¶ The title of the novel, Pride and Prejudice, can be interpreted as a theme running through the novel.

E. Finally, one example of an effective transition between paragraphs:

The Age of Innocence was written to explain the controlling universe made of “the manners, social customs, folkways, conventions, traditions, and mores” of New York society in the late nineteenth century; this is a novel of manners. ¶ Pride and Prejudice, however, does not focus on the effects of a social system or its frighteningly leech-like qualities; instead, Austin [sic] tells a story in which “the main events are that a young man changes his manners and a young woman changes her mind.”