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Effective Writing: The Unity of Ideas

Updated on October 9, 2012
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1. Connecting Paragraphs with Transitions

When you use certain words to connect ideas, paragraphs come together and share a common bond. Transitional devices are words or phrases that add style and cohesion to the progression of paragraphs.

You can use transitional words and phrases that add, compare, prove, repeat, show time, emphasize, and summarize.

Transitional Devices

Much too many words to list here, these are a few examples of transitional devices. Again, and then, besides, finally, further, nor, too, next, lastly, in addition, first, second, third, on the other hand, however, nevertheless, on the contrary, by comparison, where, compared to, but, although, conversely, meanwhile, after all, in contrast, and although this may be true.


Transition Examples and Revisions

Example: Use sentences to construct ideas into paragraphs. Each paragraph adds to the general idea and builds the big picture.

Another thing to include in the content is proper use of grammar.

Now join these 2 paragraphs together with a transitional device and connect ideas:

Revision of the Example: Use sentences to construct ideas into paragraphs. Each paragraph adds to the general idea and builds the big picture.

Equally important, the content should include the proper use of grammar for clarity.


You can also join paragraphs by highlighting ideas from the last idea to the next paragraph:

Example: The end of the 3rd quarter produced a high rate of profits and increased clients from the automotive industry. Approximately 80 percent of customers remained with their original markets.

Many people in the new client base were attracted from campaigns in Europe in the 3rd quarter.

Instead of treating paragraphs as separate ideas, transitions can help readers follow the thoughts of the writer in a sequence of ideas.

Example: The end of the 3rd quarter produced a high rate of profits and increased clients from the automotive industry. Approximately 80 percent of customers remained with their original markets.

Revision: These impressive profits are largely due to the corporation's expanded international influence.


Connect ideas in 2 separate paragraphs by using a transition device to compare information

Example: Don’t mistake more expensive sunglasses for better protection. Many sunglasses with higher prices lean more towards fashion than protection. A less expensive pair may actually offer more protection, so always check the UV block details.

Many fashionable sunglasses are stylish and trendy and do provide UV protection.

Compare the 2 paragraphs with a transition that smooths the break between paragraphs.

Example: Don’t mistake more expensive sunglasses for better protection. Many sunglasses with higher prices lean more towards fashion than protection. A less expensive pair may actually offer more protection, so always check the UV block details.

Revision: On the other hand, some fashionable sunglasses do offer trendy styles with UV protection.

2. Managing Wordiness:

If sentences are “wordy” and “redundant”, your reader will become tired and lose interest in your writing. Managing the wording of sentences gives you credibility as a writer, communicates effectively with your reader, and creates persuasive and interesting ideas for your readers. In the following example, the ideas of the sentence are less “wordy” with little or no change in the meanings.

People listen and think 4 times faster than they speak, and listening to a slow talking speaker puts people in a proverbial coma. Reading is no different and “too many” words will put them to sleep, or convince them to move on. Trim down sentences to the least words and still keep the main idea.

Example: The long road twisted and turned over the windy and breezy country side.

Revision: The road twisted over the windy country side.

Example: The one time I went sky diving and I just wanted to scream after I left the plane and almost forget to open my parachute.

Revision: Once I went skydiving and became so nervous I almost didn’t open my parachute.

Example: So many people feel like they can’t understand what I’m trying to write because my sentences use too many words.

Revision: When my sentences are wordy, many people can’t understand what my ideas are.

3. Create Beauty with Parallelism

Use the same pattern of words to show that two or more ideas have the same importance. Readers actually expect to see parallelism in writing and may perceive breaks as “bumps” in the text. Maintaining a parallel structure gives balance and increased clarity to the English language. The most common errors are the mixing of –ing and –ed word forms.

Not Parallel: An important part of instruction is speaking, linking, and to make assumptions of the audience’s comprehension.

Parallel: An important part of instruction is speaking, linking, and assuming the comprehension of the audience.

Mixing patterns of infinitive phrases (to do) is another common mistake in parallelism

Not Parallel: The text is this Hub is forcing me to sleep, to yawn, and start thinking about rearranging my sock draw.

Parallel: The text is this Hub is forcing me to sleep, to yawn, and to think about the rearrangement of my sock draw.


Another common error in parallelism is mixing the forms of words

Not parallel: The manager was asked to write his white paper quickly, accurately, and in a detailed manner.

Parallel: The manager was asked to write his report quickly, accurately, and thoroughly.

If a sentence begins with a parallel clause, it must continue to use parallel clauses throughout.

Not Parallel: The thesaurus is used for these purposes: to find word meanings, pronunciations, correct spellings, and looking up irregular verbs.

Parallel: The thesaurus is used for these purposes: to find word meanings, pronunciations, correct spellings, and irregular verbs.

Writing well includes transitional devices, the management of wordiness, and parallelism in sentences.

Good writers know how to communicate effectively and persuade them with arguments and ideas. The English language can be challenging in writing because of the huge differences in the spoken word and the written word. Keep your readers listening to your writing with good structure and a well defined unity of ideas.

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    • ib radmasters profile image

      ib radmasters 

      5 years ago from Southern California

      eHealer

      No problem, I have a keyboard where the v doesn't always make contact, so I have very strange results.

    • eHealer profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah 

      5 years ago from Las Vegas

      Hello Paradise, this is a lot of info and I didn't handle it as well as I would have liked and never got around to revising it. This was done a while ago. Thanks for you comments, this is not a hupfleet hub.

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 

      5 years ago from Upstate New York

      For some reason, I found the layout of this hub to be confusing, though I thought the overall content was good, and that staircase in the photo at the top is simply stunning!

    • eHealer profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah 

      5 years ago from Las Vegas

      Thanks IB, it's s typo, I'll fix it. Thanks for your comments and I appreciate your help.

    • ib radmasters profile image

      ib radmasters 

      5 years ago from Southern California

      eHealer

      I just reread your hub and I am not sure about the following.

      -----

      Mixing patterns of infinitive phrases (to do) is another common mistake in parallelism

      Not Parallel: The text is this Hub is forcing me to sleep, to yawn, and think about rearranging my sock draw.

      Parallel: The text is this Hub is forcing me to sleep, to yawn, and to think about the rearrangement of my sock draw.

      ------------

      The text is

      or

      The text in?

      Thanks

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 

      5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      You got me into this hub. I felt a little guilty about my grammar. Since, English is our secondary language, I still think in Filipino and translate it in your language.

    • eHealer profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah 

      5 years ago from Las Vegas

      Thank you YogaKat, I appreciate your comments.

    • YogaKat profile image

      YogaKat 

      5 years ago from Oahu Hawaii

      Awesome opening photo with the white staircase. Very useful hub . . . voted up.

    • eHealer profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah 

      5 years ago from Las Vegas

      Thanks Rajan, always nice to see you. Thanks for your comments.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Very fine and useful writing ideas. Thanks for sharing, eHealer. Voted up.

    • eHealer profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah 

      5 years ago from Las Vegas

      Hi IB! Thanks for stopping by. Creative writing and poetry are different and carries it's own rules, this is strictly for general writing and communicating at optimal for your reader. But it does apply to fiction and the same rules apply. I'm on my way to your new hub as we speak. See Ya!

    • ib radmasters profile image

      ib radmasters 

      5 years ago from Southern California

      eHealer

      Great hub on writing, and I like the picture diagram.

      Do you think that these rules apply equally to fiction, and non fiction?

    • eHealer profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah 

      5 years ago from Las Vegas

      Thanks Laurinzo, glad you find it helpful. It's a great review of what we do everyday. See you soon!

    • Laurinzo Scott profile image

      Live To Write 

      5 years ago from Phoenix, Az.

      Yes I needed this one eHealer. This is textbook worthy, and definitely one I will be SAVING and REVIEWING, great one!!!!!

      Laurinzo

    • eHealer profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah 

      5 years ago from Las Vegas

      Hi Girishpuri, yes, you are right, English is very difficult to write and has a lot of rules. I hope it's helpful and will continue to write a few others about writing. See you soon to!

    • eHealer profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah 

      5 years ago from Las Vegas

      Hello Mhatt, just on my way to your new hub! You are so welcome and I am so glad you find it helpful. See ya soon!

    • girishpuri profile image

      Girish puri 

      5 years ago from NCR , INDIA

      Very much useful hub, specially for writers like me, where English is not our first language, thank you so much, voted useful.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      5 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this article. Good writing is always developing. Article, like this, keep us in touch.

    • eHealer profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah 

      5 years ago from Las Vegas

      Thank you Docmo for your kind comments. I really love your hubs, and always look forward to a new one!

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 

      5 years ago from UK

      Really useful hub on some salient points here eHealer- I loved the title pic as it really summarized the key points beautifully. Well done! Voted up and pinned on pinterest.

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