In Academic module for writing often we get a process flowchart or a procedure. In this particular blog, we will be looking at the language you can use to describe process including transition signals.
Flowchart for the topic “Salinity”
Please read the extract below:
One of the main causes of salinity is water logging. First, land is cleared for crops to grow. Now, instead of trees pumping water out of the ground, and keeping the salt stored, whatever water the crops don’t use percolates down into the soil.
Gradually, over a number of years, the Earth gets wetter and wetter and eventually it water logs. Then the water table starts to rise to the surface. As it rises, it dissolves the tons of salt stored in the soil.
Once the water table comes to within two meters of the surface, it begins to evaporate. Lastly, the Sun extracts the moisture from the ground, leaving the salt concentrated on the surface.
- As seen in the pictorial representation of a process, start with a topic sentence which should be about the main idea of the paragraph and what the process is leading to.
Use transition signals to order the stages of the process. One type of transition signal is ordinal numbers.
We can either start the sentences with First, Second, or we can use them in phrases like:
The first step is;
The second stage begins when;
The third part is.
We can also add ‘ly’ to ordinal numbers to make adverbs: firstly, secondly etc.
- Another type of transition signals which can be used is time phrases
Gradually, slowly, over a number of years, over many years
Eg : Gradually over a number of years, the earth gets wetter.
‘Over a number of years’ is a time phrase. Using time phrases helps to make the descriptions of process clearer.
Other useful time phrases :-
At the stage;
During this process;
After several days.
Eg: Then the water table starts to rise to the surface, as it rises, it dissolves the tones of salt stored in the soil.
The word ‘as’ tells us that two actions are taking place together or simultaneously
Other phrases indicating two actions taking place simultaneously could be ‘at the same time, meanwhile’.
- Make sure to use a wide variety of them in your writing, rather than just repeating them.
Others include Finally, subsequently, later, afterwards.
Eg: Lastly, the sun extracts the moisture from the ground, leaving the salt concentrated on the surface.