The Occasion/Position Statement, Transitional Expressions, and the Conclusion for Grades 7-9

The Occasion/Position Statement is basic, but it is the key to organized writing.

An occasion/position statement is the first part of the topic sentence. The occasion introduces your reason for writing. An occasion can be any event, problem, idea, solution, or circumstance that gives the writer a reason to write. The position states what the writer plans to prove or explain in the paragraph.

An occasion/position statement is a complex sentence and begins with one of these words or phrases: If, After, Since, Before, So that, Whenever, As long as, In order that, Even though, Although, Unless, While, When, Even, As if, As, Until, Where, Though, Even if, Because, wherever, As soon as.

Some examples of occasion/position statements are:

*Although my family and I have taken some wonderful vacations together, none was more fun than our camping trip to the Grand Canyon.

*Before you make the decision to light up a cigarette, consider the problems caused by smoking.

*Even though bike helmets are sometimes unfashionable and uncomfortable, all cyclists should wear them.

*If student use chemical to do science experiments, it is important that they learn the proper way to dispose of them.

Transitional Expressions

The writer can use transitional expressions in writing to get spatial and chronological organization (or both) in writing. Transitional expressions help the reader follow the writing easily. In an Accordion Paragraph, the writer needs a transition each time a new reason/detail/fact is introduced. The writer can use the transitional sets listed here when writing a paragraph. Words in these sets may be mixed. To check and see if the transitions make sense, the writer should read the paragraph aloud.

Some common transitional sets are: first, second, third; one, another, next; first of all, also; first, then; at first, after; one, equally important; the first, the second; one, another, last; first, in addition, finally; first, also besides; one, the other; the first, a second; one example, another example; a good example, a better example; an important, an equally important.

More advance transitional sets are: a good, a better, the best; to begin, then, consequently; it started when, as a result, then, therefore; at the beginning, then, following this, finally; one way, another way, a final method; one, one other, along with, last; in the first place, after that, later on, at last; one important, another important, the most; important; initially, then, after that; a bad, a worse, the worst; as soon as, at the same time; finally; first of all, besides, in addition; to start, furthermore, additionally, last; first, along with, likewise.

The Conclusion

When concluding a paragraph or essay, the writer

  • restate the position to remind the reader of the tropic,
  • use key words from the topic sentence,
  • summarize the paragraph and convince the reader of the position,
  • challenge the reader to think about the position and encourage him or her to take action.

should not:

  • introduce a new topic
  • use phrases such as "as I have said, as I proved, as you can see."

These words and phrases may help the writer conclude: in fact, obviously, truly, clearly, certainly, in conclusion, definitely, to sum up, all in all.

Writing at Lincoln