TRANSITIONS

Logical Transitions connect premises together to form reasoned arguments.


Modular arguments support a single conclusion, but may contain MANY premises. The premises of an argument must be connected together to reasonably lead to a conclusion. How can premises be connected together?


Using straightforward "Logical Transitions" to connect premises together and to indicate conclusions can simplify and clarify scientific writing.


DEFINITION: "Logical Transitions" are words that indicate the logical relationships between separate elements of an argument (e.g. premises).


Among the many written transitions available to writers, three basic Logical Transitions commonly relate premises:


1. CONJUNCTIONS: Connecting premises that may both be true together into specific relationships.

2. DISJUNCTIONS: Separating premises into exclusive categories (both premises cannot be true).

3. CONCLUSIONS: Indicating the logical outcome of the premises.


The following sections review the basic logical transitions, and some of the many English words that can indicate each type of transition.

SUMMARY

To effectively communicate with an audience, the elements of reasoning (conclusions, assumptions, facts, clarifications) must be connected together to express concepts and arguments. Elements of reasoning can be connected with logical transitions. Two basic types of logical transitions that are sufficient to construct many reasoned arguments are conjunctions (AND, Hierarchical transitions, and BUT) and disjunctions (OR).

Practically, if the logical transitions that connect each element of a reasoned argument are clear, then it’s likely that arguments will be easier to follow. Therefore, a helpful part of revision can be to identify the logical transitions that connect elements of reasoning, and make sure the logical transitions are evident and appropriate.