Writing tips: use of transitionals for improving essays…

  • Transitionals should be used to connect paragraphs within essays


1. ACCORDINGLY                                                15. INSTEAD
2. ACTUALLY                                                         16. LIKEWISE
3. AGAIN                                                                  17. MEANWHILE
4. ALSO                                                                    18. MOREOVER
5. BESIDES                                                             19. NEVERTHELESS
6. CONSEQUENTLY                                              20. NEXT
7. ESSENTIALLY                                                    21. NONETHELESS
8. FINALLY                                                              22. OTHERWISE
9. FIRST (SECOND, THIRD, etc.)                       23. SIMILARLY
10. FURTHERMORE                                              24. STILL
11. HENCE                                                               25. SUBSEQUENTLY
12. HENCEFORTH                                                  26. THEN
13. HOWEVER                                                          27. THEREFORE
14. INDEED                                                               28. THUS


1. AS A MATTER OF FACT                                        12. IN OTHER WORDS
2. AS A RESULT                                                           13. IN SUMMARY
3. FOR EXAMPLE                                                        14. IN THE FIRST PLACE(SECOND, etc.)

5. IN ADDITION                                                           15. IN THE MEANTIME
6. IN ANY EVENT                                                         16. IN THE SAME WAY
7. IN BRIEF                                                                     17. ON THE CONTRARY
8. IN CONCLUSION                                                      18. ON THE ONE HAND
9. IN EFFECT                                                                   19. ON THE OTHER HAND
10. IN ESSENCE                                                              20. ON THE WHOLE
11. IN FACT                                                                        21. TO BEGIN WITH

Remember to use period, semicolons, and commas appropriately
with the following :

1. (between two clauses joined by semicolon):
A Clockwork Orange is a thought-provoking film; however,
it digressed from the novel too much.

‚Äúhowever‚ÄĚ here starts a new clause following the semicolon.

2. (between two separate sentences):
A Clockwork Orange is an intriguing book.  I feel, however, the film is even better.
(Note the use of two commas because the transitional interrupts a sentence.)

3.(between two paragraphs):

Burgess‚Äô novel was way ahead of its time. ‚Üź (consider this
the end of a paragraph)
¶ Furthermore, Kubrick’s depiction of a future culture saturated with sexual images was prescient.

‚ÄúFurthermore‚ÄĚ starts a new sentence or new paragraph.

¶ shows where a new paragraph starts. You do not actually draw the symbol in!

Essay one: comparing Lolita, the novel to both film versions

Assignment:  compare and contrast the two film versions of Lolita with the novel. 

  • This is a three-way comparison, whether you use point-by-point or the one-side-at-a-time method.
  • Be clear which version, which character, you are discussing.  If you use ’62 put the apostrophe where the “19” is missing, not at the end, i. e. 62′ is incorrect, ’62 is correct.
  • When you refer to female characters written before the invention of the title “Ms.” (circa 1969) do not use it.  Use Miss or Mrs.
  • The essay is due at the end of class next week.
  • The more details you include, the better.
  • While you are writing, include your opinions of why you think changes were made and if the changes were effective or ineffective. Please remember:  ‚ÄúHumbert ‚Äô62‚ÄĚ would just be a way of indicating which version of the character you are discussing.  It is not an actual title!  Also, remember NOT to use quotation marks around film or novel titles:  use underlining or italics for such titles.  If you say Lolita ‚Äô62 you mean the 1962 movie. 

You must include at least three things to compare and contrast but doing more will probably improve, increase your grade…

You may do the comparison contrast in one of two ways:  point by point or one side at a time.

Comparing or Contrasting explanation

Comparison and contrast are two everyday thought processes. When we compare two things, we show how they are similar; when we contrast two things, we show how they are different. We might compare or contrast two brand-name products (for example, Nike versus Adidas running shoes), two television shows, two instructors, two jobs, two friends, or two courses of action we could take in a given situation. The purpose of comparing or contrasting is to understand each of the two things more clearly and, at times, to make judgments about them.

In this section, you will be asked to write a paper of comparison or contrast. First, however, you must learn the two common methods of developing a comparison or contrast paragraph. Read the two paragraphs that follow and try to explain the difference in the two methods of development.

Paragraphs to Consider

My Senior Prom

My senior prom was nothing like what I expected it to be. From the start of my senior year; I had pictured getting dressed in a sleek silvery slip dress that my aunt would make and that would cost $200 in any store. No  one else would have a gown as attractive as mine. I imagined my boyfriend coming to the door with a lovely deep-red corsage, and I pictured myself happily inhaling its perfume all evening long. I saw us setting off for the

evening in his brother’s 2000 BMW convertible. We would make a flourish as we swept in and out of a series of parties before the prom. Our evening would be capped by a delicious shrimp dinner at the prom and by dancing  close together into the early morning hours. The prom was held on May 15, 2000, at the Pony Club on Black Horse Pike. However, because of sickness in her family, my aunt had no time to finish my gown and I had to buy an ugly pink one off the discount rack at the last minute. My corsage of red roses looked terrible on my pink gown, and I do not remember its having any scent. My boyfriend’s brother was out of town, and I stepped outside and saw the stripped-down Chevy that he used at the races on weekends. We went to one party where I drank a lot of wine that made me sleepy and  upset my stomach.  After we arrived at the prom, I did not have much more to eat than a roll and some celery sticks. Worst of all, we left early without dancing because my boyfriend and I had had a fight several days before, and  at the time we did not really want to be with each other.

Day versus Evening Students

As a part-time college student who has taken both day and evening courses, I have observed notable differences between day and evening students. First of all, day and evening students differ greatly in age, styles, and interests. The students in my daytime classes are all about the same age, with similar clothing styles and similar interests. Most are in their late teens to early twenties, and whether male or female, they pretty much dress alike. Their uniform consists of jeans, a T-shirt, running shoes, a baseball cap, and maybe a gold earring or two. They use the same popular slang, talk about the same movies and TV shows, and know the same musical artists. But students in my evening courses are much more diverse. Some are in their late teens, but most range from young married people in their twenties and thirties to people my grandparents’ age. Generally, their clothing is more formal than the day students’. They are dressed for the workplace, not for a typical college classroom.  Many of the women wear skirts or dresses; the men often wear dress shirts or sweaters. And they are more comfortable talking about their mortgages or work schedules or child care than about what was on TV last night. Day and evening students also have very different responsibilities. For day students, college and a part-time job are generally the only major responsibilities. They have plenty of time to study and get assignments done. However, evening students lead much more complicated lives than most day students. They may come to campus after putting in a nine-to-five day at work. Most have children to raise or grandchildren to baby-sit for. When they miss a class or hand in an assignment late, it’s usually because of a real problem, such as a sick child or an important deadline at work. Finally, day and evening students definitely have different attitudes toward school.  Day students often seem more interested in the view out the window or the cute classmate in the next row than in what the instructor is saying. They doze, draw cartoons, whisper, and write notes instead of paying attention. Evening students sit up straight, listen hard, and ask the instructor lots of questions. They obviously are there to learn, and they don’t want their I time wasted. In short, day students and night students are as different as …day and night.

Complete this comment: The difference in the methods of contrast in the two paragraphs is that

“My Senior Prom” discusses one side fully before addressing the other side in a point-by-point manner.

Compare your answer with the following explanation of the two methods of development used in comparison or contrast paragraphs.

Methods of Development

There are two common methods, or formats, of development in a comparison or contrast paper. One format presents the details one side at a time. The other presents the details point by point. Each format is explained below.

One Side at a Time

Look at the outline of “My Senior Prom”:

Topic sentence: My senior prom was nothing like what I had expected it to be.

  1. Expectations (first half of paper)

1. Dress (expensive, silver)

2. Corsage (deep red, fragrant)

3. Car (BMW convertible)

4. Parties (many)

5. Dinner (shrimp)

6. Dancing (all night)

B. Reality (second half of paper)

  1. Dress (cheap, pink)
  2. Corsage (wrong color, no scent)

3.    Car (stripped-down Chevy)

4.    Parties (only one)

5.   Dinner (roll and celery)

6.  Dancing (none because of quarrel)

When you use the one-side-at-a-time method, follow the same order of points of contrast or comparison for each side, as in the outline above. For example, both the first half of the paper and the second half begin with the topic of what dress would be worn. Then both sides go on to the corsage, the car, and so on.

Point by Point

Now look at the outline of “Day versus Evening Students”:

Topic sentence: There are notable differences between day and night students.

  1. Age and related interests and tastes in clothing

1. Youthful nature of day students

  1. Older nature of evening students
  1. Amount of responsibilities

1. Lighter responsibilities of day students

2. Heavier responsibilities of evening students

C. Attitude toward school

  1. Casual attitude of day students s
  2. Serious attitude of evening students

The outline shows how the two kinds of students are contrasted point by point. First, the writer contrasts the ages, clothing styles, and interests of the young day- time students and the older evening students. Next, the writer contrasts the limited responsibilities of the daytime students with the heavier responsibilities of the evening students. Finally, the writer contrasts the casual attitude toward school of the daytime students and the serious attitude of the evening students.

When you begin a comparison or contrast paper, you should decide right away which format you are going to use: one side at a time or point by point. An out- line is an essential step in helping you decide which format will be more work- able for your topic. Keep in mind, however, that an outline is just a guide, not a permanent commitment. If you later feel that you’ve chosen the wrong format, you can reshape your outline to the other format.


Point-by-point method: 

Discuss–back and forth–the book, the first film, the other film; the book, the first film, the other film, the book, the film, the other film, and so forth (making sure you are comparing at least three aspects of the story and/or characters‚ÄĒprobably resulting in numerous shorter paragraphs, in addition to an introduction and a conclusion )‚Ķ


 One-side-at-a time- method

The middle sections will either discuss various points about the book first, then comparable points about the two films (three BIG paragraphs, in addition to an introduction and a conclusion).