Bridge Sentences — Types and Examples

Imagine a world without bridges, and we mean the bridges that connect pieces of land together for us to travel from one place to another. The bridge could be as short as those build over rivers or as long as the Golden Gate Bridge along the Pacific, yet their purpose remains the same. In a similar sense, bridge sentences in writing and speech serve as transitions to connect two similar or opposing ideas together. In this article, we will discuss the basic function of bridge sentences in communication.

Defining Bridge Sentences

A bridge sentence, also known as a paragraph bridge, is a type of topic sentence that helps connect an old paragraph or idea to a new one. It conveys what the new paragraph is about and how it relates to the one introduced prior to it. The trick to doing so is to create a smooth shift of thoughts by bringing these ideas closer together. If the bridge isn’t constructed properly, then it will fail to convey the right message to its readers. These transitions can sometimes be found in the first line of the paragraph, but you can also find them at the end of a paragraph in some cases.

1. The Purpose of Bridging Paragraphs

While writing an essay or any academic or business paper, using transitional devices such as bridge sentences is essential in connecting similar thoughts together. This serves as an escort from a previous topic being discussed to a new one.

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For example, the bridge sentence of an introductory paragraph is typically found between the ‘hook’ and the thesis statement. The hook is crafted to draw attention, while the bridge sentence is used to slowly introduce the thesis statement to readers. They serve as a clue for readers to understand what was being mentioned in a given article or study, what will be discussed next, and how the two topics relate to one another.

The function of a bridge sentence within multiple paragraphs of an essay writing is also similar to the one previously stated. But, instead of starting each paragraph with a topic sentence, the bridge is used to create a smooth transition of thoughts. Here, the speaker briefly discusses the previous point given in order to tie it to a new point.

2. Types of Transitions

When it comes to writing a paper, bridge sentences are generally referred to as transitional statements. These statements may consist of a few words or they can make up a whole sentence outline or paragraph. But, keep in mind that these transitions would depend on the relationship being conveyed in the write-up. To understand the proper use of these transitions, you can study the following types:

  1. Sequential Transitions – Bridge sentences with sequential transitions that demonstrate a logical flow of ideas in a write-up. For example, words such as ‘thus’, ‘therefore’, and ‘then’ show a relationship between the past and the current point being discussed.
  2. Comparative Transitions – This type of transitional words and phrases can come in handy, especially when the relationship between two ideas isn’t so obvious. These words serve as an effective instrument in drawing analogies that are difficult to comprehend at first. Examples of such include words and phrases like ‘also’, ‘just as’, ‘like’, and ‘similarly’.
  3. Contrastive Transitions – For instances when you’re neither looking at similarities nor describing relationships but instead focusing on contrasting qualities, these transitions can be extremely useful. Not only can these transitions help emphasize central ideas in a compare-and-contrast essay, but they can also help debunk a claim or point out the opposite side of an issue. Examples that fall under this category include ‘though’, ‘but’, ‘however’, ‘nevertheless’, ‘nonetheless’, ‘then again’, ‘on the other hand’, and ‘at the same time’. You may also see Short Sentence Example.
  4. Summing Up Transitions – After proving your point, you’d want to throw in that one last thought, to sum up, every important detail provided. To ensure that readers don’t miss the main idea of your paragraph or article, these transitional sentences can help in introducing your final thought in a quick yet appropriate manner. Transitional words in this category include ‘essentially’, ‘basically’, ‘ultimately’, ‘in short’, and ‘in other words’.

3. Examples of Bridge Sentences

Listed below are brief samples of paragraphs consisting of bridge sentences. The bridge sentence in these examples have been italicized for your reference: You may also see Cumulative Sentence Example.

Example #1

Sandra and her father played out in the rain despite the strong protest coming from her mother. They danced to the tune of the rain and watched as each droplet fell from the dark skies. She smiled, thinking of the days when she and her father listened helplessly to the endless rants of her mother as their soaking bodies form small puddles of water inside the house. You may also see Balanced Sentence Examples.

Now, thirty years later, Sandra looks back to these memories with tears filling her baby blues.

Example #2

The documentary concluded its feature with North Korean soldiers dumping corpses onto a military truck.

Why would any news program carry such gruesome footage? Surely they knew what the consequences were for doing so…Instead, representatives from the news network considered it newsworthy because the clips featured exclusive content and startling visual images that viewers were interested in. You may also see Complex Sentence Example.

Example #3

The World Health Organization began forming a highly-classified group of scientists to study the outpouring origins and effects of disease X. Though the disease remains unknown to society, it is likely to be a hybrid of past diseases that have been carried by animals. The team of scientists was tasked to discover the possible symptoms of the disease, along with the regions it is likely to spread in first. You may also see Compound Sentence Examples.

In other words, disease X is an existing, scientifically-generated epidemic that is yet to sweep a mass number of the earth’s population in the near future. 

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Ultimately, the main objective of a bridge sentence is to help promote clear communication. By defining the relationship between two separate ideas, readers are able to grasp the connection that exists between them. This creates a smooth flow of thoughts to provide an exceptional reading experience for individuals. You may also see Parallel Sentence Example.

More Education

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