How to Make an Essay Flow
While rivers flow on their own, writers have to work to make their writing smooth and coherent. An essay that flows is well-organized, well-written, concise and logical. Choppy sentences, poor word choice, nonexistent transitions and illogical structure can make an essay unclear and difficult to understand. Imagine yourself as the reader and improve parts of the essay that might give someone pause. Showcase your research by concentrating on the quality of the writing you use to communicate your findings. A variety of methods create stronger flow, or coherence.
Create an outline to help determine where key points, which are the topics of your paragraphs, should go. Organize key points in a logical fashion, so that each paragraph leads into the next in a way that makes sense, whether it's chronological order, order of importance or another approach.
Write topic sentences and conclusions for each paragraph. Introduce the main point of each paragraph before you write supporting sentences. Conclude each paragraph with a brief summary of the ideas you’ve just addressed.
Include transitional words and phrases to indicate the relationships between connected ideas. Place words and phrases such as “consequently” and “even though" at the beginning of paragraphs or sentences to guide the reader through your paper.
Repeat important words and phrases throughout the essay. Repetition helps connect paragraphs.
Read your paper, and rewrite it to tighten up the structure, word choice and transitions. Writing a second draft gives you a chance to perfect your work.
When revising, read the essay out loud, listening for places where the writing seems awkward.
- When revising, read the essay out loud, listening for places where the writing seems awkward.
Nadria Tucker holds a Master of Arts in creative writing from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She has contributed articles to "Birmingham Magazine" and "Lipstick Magazine" and her fiction has appeared in "THE2NDHAND," "New Southerner" and the fiction anthology "All Hands On: THE2NDHAND After 10."