This article will help you to understand how the ideas you come up with can be transformed into a logical progression, thus helping readers to follow the argument you are making. A good writer needs to know how to build paragraphs and present evidence in a linear progression with the help of signal phrases, verbs and transitions. The paper in general, as well as each paragraph separately should:
- Introduce the chosen topic/idea.
- Prove the made argument with evidence.
- Outline the evidence significance.
Thus, in a paragraph with the introductory evidence that supports my ideas, I will write a few sentences to provide a transition from the previous paragraph, and will make a brief introduction of the main idea, as well as will introduce the coming quotation or evidence. After that, I would insert a relevant paraphrased text or direct quotation. When the evidence is provided, I would analyze (not summarize) the evidence to help the reader understand why this evidence was chosen to support the argument. The main idea is that it is important to show a clear connection between the argument and evidence.
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If the thoughts are put in a logical progression, the transitions have a role of showing how sections and paragraphs follow the preceding ones; there has to be an echoing of main key words or quotations. Use the appropriate transitions between paragraphs/sections. The reader may not understand the reason for this piece of evidence/quotation is included or what it means. The transitions in the essay will be guiding the reader throughout the text.
If you know how to make a logical progression of ideas, it will be easy for you to convince the readers by leading them through your ideas. Writers are aware that it is a challenge to make the writing structure clear, while also allowing for complication. A writer has to keep in mind that there is no writing project that is 100% finished; thus, some new evidence may mean that you have to restructure the previously made argument, possibly even take a different stance, etc.
In the logical progression, all described and mentioned ideas should be smoothly connected to each other. All readers appreciate a logical order of thoughts. For that reason, the writer should use different transitions or helpful links in order to be apparent to the reader. Therefore, the argument must progress forward, complicate or develop the issues, instead of simple restating of the main idea.
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Stitching requires from the writer good transitions and strong verbs, which are indications for the reader. These signposts help the reader to see in what way a new sentence, section or a paragraph follows the previous one.
Below are some of the examples of strong active verbs usage in academic writing.
- “Assist”, not “help out.”
- “Establish”, not “set up.”
- “Increase”, not “go up.”
Remember that writing is a process, and as you are working on building strong arguments, your ideas become solid and the ways to structure your argument may change.