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Different Types of Transitional Devices in Essays

Whether you are preparing to take the IELTS, the A-levels, or even the PSLE, you will have to take on the task of crafting an essay that will prove you are well-versed in the English language. There are a lot of methods to make sure that your essay comes out nice and pretty. And one of these methods is by utilizing specific transitional devices.

But what exactly are transitional devices? Well, transitional devices are cues used by the author to give the reader a clearer idea of what the author means. They are commonly used to connect ideas, bridge gaps, and make the jump from one idea to another a lot smoother. In essence, transitional devices can either be the glue that places ideas together or the lubricant that makes ideas flow smoother.

However, with all the different types of transitional devices out there, it can be difficult to choose the ones that are right for the job. This article will guide you through the different types of transitional devices, along with a few examples and where to place them.

Why are transitional devices necessary?

Transitional devices hold so much more purpose and meaning other than to beautify an essay and make it more elaborate. Transitional devices also hold functional purposes in the field of writing and literature. Here are a few examples of the purpose and uses of transitional devices in writing an essay:

1. Helps transition into a new paragraph or point

The primary function of a transitional device is, as the name implies, to transition from one paragraph to another or onto a new point. This will allow one to work their words and weave them together in a way that does not feel forced.

Without the use of any transitional devices in an essay, jumping from one paragraph to another will feel like a carriage ride on a bumpy road. Each new point introduced will also feel like it is not part of the original essay and was only placed for argument’s sake.

2. Makes the essay flow more smoothly

Aside from helping the reader move into a new paragraph or point, transitional devices also help make the essay flow more smoothly and become much more cohesive. Adding transitional devices will make it feel like riding a water slide for the first time; the laws of friction are hardly taking effect as an individual slides downward from a slide with running water into a cool and refreshing pool.

This means that the points or paragraphs in the essay flow in an orderly manner that provides little to no resistance whatsoever. This also makes the pieces and points of the essay feel connected and somewhat resembles a big jigsaw puzzle of words and arguments that fit snuggly with each other. 

3. Helps the readers distinguish different parts

Transitional devices may help to fit different points in the essay snugly with each other; however, they can also do the opposite and point out or emphasize the different parts and points in an essay.

There are different types of transitional devices, which we will get to later on. And different types of transitional devices also hold different purposes and uses. One of the uses is to make sure that the reader notices that the statement following the transitional device is an argument. Other times, another type of transitional device can also be used to provide hints that the statement intends to compare different ideas.

4. Adds supporting details and points

Just as was previously mentioned, there are different types of transitional devices to distinguish different parts of an essay. Similarly, there are also types of transitional devices that provide support to a claim or argument.

Transitional devices that are used to provide support to main ideas or claims are essential in argumentative essays or any form of academic paper for that matter. These transitional devices add cohesion and context to the parts of the essay that are being supported by a statement.

Different types of transitional devices

Now that the relevance and purpose of transitional devices have been covered, it is now time to discuss the different types of transitional devices. The different types of transitional devices can be found anywhere in the paragraph and hold different purposes. Without further delay, here are the different types of transitional devices:

1. Addition

The first type of transitional device is referred to as addition. These transitional devices serve the purpose of adding points, details, or support to a claim. These transitional devices can be used to give examples or just to add more detail to a claim.

The most commonly seen transitional devices belonging to this type are also, besides, first. These types of transitional devices are easy to identify and locate as they are always preceded by a claim or main point. These transitional devices can be seen at the beginning of a new paragraph or the middle part after the main sentence.

2. Concession

The second type of transitional device is referred to as concession, which is often used to reach or state an argument. These transitional devices are often used as the opening for a potential argument that the author might imply. Commonly found transitional devices that fall under this type are: even though, at any rate, admittedly, despite the fact, and regardless of, to name a few.

Whenever the author wants to state or reach an argument, the use of this type of transitional device is highly advised. This is why these types of transitional devices can often be found at the beginning of a new paragraph that would imply a new argument.

3. Comparison

The third type of transitional device on our list is often referred to as comparison. These transitional devices are commonly used to provide context that the author is comparing two different objects or ideas. These types of transitional devices are useful for giving similarities between two different objects.

Common transitional devices that fall under this type are: similarly, in the same way, likewise, and by the same token. Since these transitional devices are used to compare, they are often found in between paragraphs or at the start of one. These transitional devices can also be used as a substitute for addition-type transitional devices by adding support to the main point by means of comparing them to another object to prove the point.

4. Consequence

The next type of transitional device is commonly referred to as consequence. As the name implies, these transitional devices provide a fluid transition towards parts of an essay that state consequences. Transitional devices such as: as a result, accordingly, due to, because, and therefore are the ones that fall under this type.

These transitional devices are quite versatile and can be found in either the beginning, middle, or last sentences of a paragraph. Furthermore, any statement that will be provided as a consequence is subject to this transitional device. As a result, these transitional devices can be found in the introduction, body, or even conclusion of an essay.

5. Concluding

Another type of transitional device that is commonly used is known as a concluding type. These transitional devices are often used to provide a summary or wrap up the contents of an essay. Common transitional devices that belong to this type are: in essence, in conclusion, in fact, and in short.

Since these transitional devices are used to provide a summary or conclusion to the contents of an essay, these transitional devices can be found in the conclusion part of the essay. In short, these transitional devices stay true to their name by concluding the contents of an essay in the conclusion.

6. Sequence

We also have the sixth type of transitional device which is commonly referred to as the sequence type. These types of transitional devices provide the fluid flow of events by giving cues to the sequence of events in the essay.

The following transitional devices fall under the sequence type: next, meanwhile, then, and subsequently. Since these types of transitional devices provide the proper sequencing of events, they are naturally more abundant than the other types of transitional devices and can often be found huddled together in a specific part of the essay.

7. Contrast

The final type of transitional device in the list is often referred to as the contrast type. These transitional devices are used to establish contrast and differences between two or more objects or ideas. These transitional devices can be classified as the opposite of comparison-type transitional devices.

Common transitional devices found in this type are: however, still, nevertheless, nonetheless, and instead. Just like their counterparts, these transitional devices can be found in the middle of a paragraph or at the start of one. However, unlike the comparison type, it is very difficult to substitute this type of transitional device with the addition type.

Conclusion

These transitional devices are a great way to spice up and beautify your essays by making sure that the contents of the essay flow smoothly and coherently. However, transitional devices cannot carry your essay alone. One needs to have a fundamental understanding of the English language in order to incorporate the different mechanisms needed to create a literary masterpiece.

If you fear that you have no confidence in your English language skills, then you can always hire a tutor from Singapore’s leading home tuition agency: FamilyTutor. In addition to having quality tutors at the ready, we also handle a wide array of subjects to make sure that everyone’s academic needs are met, and that includes you!

Carelle

Carelle

Carelle is a teacher who has been through the ups and downs of the teacher and learner life. She wishes for every learner to gain educational satisfaction that will help embody the people they want to be in the future.

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