Stitching Words

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Stitching Defined:

Words that tie together the parts of an argument, most commonly (a) by using transition (linking or turning) words as signposts to indicate how a new section, paragraph, or sentence follows from the one immediately previous; but also (b) by recollection of an earlier idea or part of the essay, referring back to it either by explicit statement or by echoing key words or resonant phrases quoted or stated earlier. The repeating of key or thesis concepts is especially helpful at points of transition from one section to another, to show how the new section fits in.

-Gordon Harvey, The Elements of the Academic Essay, 2009

Below are some of the most commonly used transitions or stitching words and phrases in academic writing grouped by their function and theme:

Credit: Adapted from Gordon Harvey, The Elements of the Academic Essay, 2009; The Writing Center At UNC, “Transitions,” 2020.