Despite having the most convincing and brilliant ideas in the world, no one is likely to pay attention if those ideas are not properly structured and connected.
Your readers need to transition smoothly from one thought to another, else they will definitely find something else to read or do.
The question that comes to your mind after reading the above prompt is, how do I get to achieve this, or am I doing it the right way? To answer your question(s) here are some tricks to connect different Ideas in writing.
Whether you are writing and the academic essay, a creative paper or any other kind of writing, they all have a common denominator; the need to keep the audience engaged. Capturing the attention of the reader from the beginning to the end of your write up depends on the coherence and clarity of the ideas. To achieve this in essay writing, you need to use various prewriting strategies before putting the pen to paper. Prewriting strategies helps writers create and organize content before they start the writing process.These strategies include: writing essay outlines; brainstorming, free writing, clustering, and using the six journalists’ questions.
- Essay outlines present the structure your write up will take.
- Brainstorming allows writers to explore their ideas without any restrictions or rather allows them to think outside the box.
- Free writing allows the writer to write the random thoughts and ideas established from brainstorming without paying attention to structure and the conventional writing styles.
- Clustering also referred to as mind mapping involves creating a visual representation of ideas helping to establish how ideas are connected visually.
- The journalists’ questions seek to answer the Who?, What?, When?, Where?, Why?, and How?
The Actual writing
Having established the ideas and how they relate to each other, it is now time to put pen to paper. Connecting different ideas in writing is mainly a matter of attitude where you assume that the readers not only need to know what you know but also need to know how you arrived at that point. This is achieved by providing links in your writing or transitions between ideas.
Making links between Ideas
The first step creating smooth paragraph transitions is establishing the relationship between the paragraphs which are typically connected via writing hooks. To establish these hooks consider whether the next paragraph:
- Makes a similar point?
- Makes a different point?
- Expands on the previous idea?
- Contradicts an argument?
- Provide emphasis?
- Continues an argument?
- Shows an exception?
- And more.
The above list is not exhaustive but only serves as a guide to show you how to establish the relationship between two paragraphs to enable you to achieve effective paragraph transitions in your writing.
How to Make Paragraph Transitions
Having established the relationship between two paragraphs, you can now implement various paragraph transitions to keep your ideas connected throughout the paper. Paragraph transition takes two forms: Starting the new paragraph by linking it to the previous paragraph or ending a paragraph with a phrase that leads or rather introduces the next paragraph using Transition signals.
The use of the Transition signals is also referred to as Signposting because, they act as signposts that for the reader to follow your ideas from one paragraph to another, sentence to another, or between paragraphs or topics.
Some examples of sign posts include:
- followed by
- In this case
- in contrast
To sum up the above tricks on how to connect different ideas in essay writing, you need to understand how to use paragraph transitions through the use of writing hooks and sign posts; your paragraphs should not operate in a vacuum.