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The Use of Transitions

A well presented lesson progresses by steps. When presented smoothly, the parts are connected by transitional words, phrases, sentences, or statements. Transitions make it easy for the students to follow the material, know when one point is finished, and the next point is introduced. Some techniques that help instructors make smooth transitions follow:

Refer to the subject. If, for example, the lesson is the principles of war, proceed to the next principle by referring back to the subject. “another principle of war that we must consider is the principle of mass.”

Use frequent subsummaries. This is a valuable transition technique because it makes use of repetition. The internal summary is also an excellent way to move from one point to another. For example, in the lesson the principles of war: “We have considered the principles of simplicity, unity of command, and the offensive; now let us consider the principle of maneuver.”

Use rhetorical questions. For example, “What other principle can we use as a guide to the exercise of command? We gain advantage over the enemy by applying the principle of surprise.” Here the instructor answers his own question.

Use connective word and phrases. Words such as, however, moreover, therefore, and accordingly all serve as signals that one idea is being closed and another being opened. Do not overwork one particular connective word.

Number points. Use ordinal numbers such as “first” or “second.” List points on a board or chart.

Source: U.S. Navy

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