BlogHow to Use ProWritingAidHow to use... The Transition Report

How to use... The Transition Report

The ProWritingAid Team
ProWritingAid: A grammar guru, style editor, and writing mentor in one package.
Published Apr 25, 2019

Imagine a road with no street signs. How would you follow the right route if you didn’t have a sign showing you which way to go?

Transition words are the road signs in writing. And great transitions help your reader follow your train of thought without becoming bogged down trying to discern your meaning. Words and phrases like “similarly”, “nevertheless”, “in order to”, “likewise,” or “as a result” show the relationships between your ideas and can help illustrate agreement, contrast or show cause and effect:

  • Mark avoided the campus dining hall where his ex-friends hung out. He didn’t like its food.
  • Mark avoided the campus dining hall where his ex-friends hung out. Equally important, he didn’t like its food.

In the second example, you understand that the two thoughts are both important and related. Mark is not just avoiding the dining hall because he doesn’t like the food; he is also avoiding the people who used to be his friends.

  • Kate thought her mother was over-reacting to her announcement. She waited two days after the first phone call to visit.
  • Kate thought her mother was over-reacting to her announcement. Because of this, she waited two days after the first phone call to visit.

The use of “Because of this” in the second sentence makes clear to the reader that the gap in time between the call and the visit was a direct result of the over-reaction.

  • The boy kicked the ball into the street. A speeding car came around the corner.
  • The boy kicked the ball into the street. At the same moment, a speeding car came around the corner.

Now we see the action in a wider lens: the ball goes into the street just as a car comes careening around the corner. The first illustration is short and choppy. It doesn’t flow well. The second sentence with a transition leads you smoothly between two related, but different thoughts.

The ProWritingAid Transition Report will scan your writing and give you a “transitions score”, which is based on the percentage of sentences that contain a transition. We recommend that you aim for a score of 25% or higher, which means that you use at least one transition word or phrase every four sentences.

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The ProWritingAid Team
ProWritingAid: A grammar guru, style editor, and writing mentor in one package.

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thanks
By Certified Hater Exterminator on 06 June 2018, 01:09 PM
This seems like this feature would be more useful for nonfiction than for fiction since the transition examples listed above would most likely pull readers out of the story.
By lparys3 on 25 August 2018, 02:41 PM
This feature is helpful writing my dissertation. This feature is making writing the dissertation a little bit easier.
By rlino27 on 08 March 2019, 03:51 AM
In your very first example above you suggest a transition with an adverb. Your own software flags such words. I've tried removing my adverbs and used the verb form. But that creates a flag for PWA and also creates glue words. PWA hates phrases like "in order to" and "as a result." Which rule should I break and which is most important given my above problems. (Oh, and sorry for the word "very." :-) )
By james152 on 26 August 2019, 09:26 PM
It would be helpful if you referenced the reception studies that demonstrate the efficacy of the 25% transition word protocol.
By mhowe1 on 19 September 2019, 04:15 PM
When it's not used to announce that a list follows, the colon is a transition marker and spares us a plethora of becauses. A simple regex can identify the role of a colon. I suggest you include all non-listing colons in your transition count, and give the ratio of becauses to non-listing colons.
By mhowe1 on 20 September 2019, 02:18 PM
Is it possible to have too much transition? I was looking at 167% transition. Didn't know if that is overdosing, therefore, I'm here.
By nomacno on 22 September 2019, 08:54 PM
can you list all the n-word phrases you classify as transitions? and can the user disable such phrases that she/he considers untransitional?
By mhowe1 on 24 September 2019, 08:43 AM
How can I have over 100% transitions?
By paulaPP on 14 October 2019, 06:41 PM