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Using Time-Order Transitions

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Using Time-Order Transitions

illustration of a clock character holding a pencil
© Thoughtful Learning 2015

By adding transition words or phrases between paragraphs and sentences, you can make your ideas easier to follow and understand.

Time-order transitions signal changes in time. You can include these words in your narrative or explanatory writing to show the order in which things happen. Anytime you are asked to describe an event or process in chronological (time) order, these words can help you.

Time-Order Transitions

about

after

all the while

as soon as

at

before

during

finally

first

just then

later

meanwhile

next

second

slowly

soon

suddenly

then

third

today

tomorrow

until

when

yesterday

Transitions also help your writing flow from one idea to the next. Notice how choppy a paragraph sounds without transitions and how much smoother it sounds when transitions are added.

Sample Paragraph Without Transitions

We had to build a frame for the floor of the house. We used a rope to raise all the wood up into the tree. We carefully nailed the board to the frame. We had a floor.

Sample Paragraph With Transitions

The first thing we had to do was build a frame for the floor of the house. Then we used a rope to raise all the wood up into the tree. Afterward, we carefully nailed the board to the frame, and soon we had a floor.

Your Turn The following paragraph does not include transition words. Add time-order transitions to make the details in the paragraph easier to read and understand. Afterward, compare your revision with a classmate's.

Andre and I headed straight for the tallest and fastest water slide in the park. We reached it. We climbed five flights of stairs to the top. Andre said he would go first. He shot down the slide. It was my turn. I took a deep breath. The lifeguard gave me a nudge. Away I went.

From page 95 in Writers Express

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