Some transitional words or phrases function as smoothers: They smooth the way between sentences in which the logic flows in an expected direction. Although a transition word or phrase is not required when the meaning continues on as expected, a judicious use of such optional transitions smoothes readers' ability to follow along as your writing moves from idea to idea. Use of optional transitions is easy and natural for most writers. However, overuse of smoothers will weaken your writing and distract your readers. Check your photocopied articles for how often successful authors use them. [Figure 3.1.]

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