What is paragraph linking?

Paragraph linking is a special writing skill to lead your readers to your destination in a certain essay, making your writing more smooth and coherent. This means making connections between different paragraphs in an essay in order to make your writing seemed logical.

Why do we need paragraph linking?

Mainly there are two effects that the linking can bring us. First, linking can lead our readers forward and make them clear about what the author are talking about and where he/she is going. When we write something, we usually have a topic in mind. We may want to express our ideas to our readers and try to convince them or to describe something objectively and express our feelings to them. No matter what our purpose is, we are going somewhere and we know clearly where we are going. But we should be keenly aware of the fact that our readers do not know. While they are reading an essay, they are in a relatively passive position. So linking will give clues to them and put them in a more active position. Second, linking is important to give the readers the feeling to be talked to, not to be regarded as robots. It will be easier for the readers to understand agree with the author when they are communicated. Therefore, linking can make our writing more convincing and persuasive.

Ways to link paragraphs

Basically, there are three ways to link different paragraphs together, using linking words and phrases, repetition of key words, groups of words, or even whole sentence structures (called parallelism)[1] and signposting.

First,
linking words and phrases are useful especially when you want to establish logical links between paraphrases. For example, in the following paragraphs:
But to suppose that such changes never “amount to anything” is to underestimate the power of names. ……
The linking word “but” clearly show us that this paragraph is a transition from the previous one.
There are a number of linking words and phrases listed here in the following table for your reference.
To start a new point
At first, in the beginning, to begin with, first of all, for one thing, on one hand, etc.
A transition in the meaning
But, however, despite, although, instead, nevertheless, regardless of, on the contrary, while, otherwise, yet, etc.
Cause and effect
As a result, accordingly, therefore, so that, consequently, hence, since, so long as, etc
Explanation
As a matter of fact, frankly speaking, in this case, etc.
Progressive relation
Additionally, besides, moreover, furthermore, last but not least, etc.
comparison
In comparison with, in contrast, instead, not only…but also…, different from, etc.

There are many linking words and phrases which can be used in our writing. But we have to avoid using them too much so as to make our writing more specific and clear. Therefore, repetition is more effective here.
Another basic quality of good writing is simplicity. ……
From the first sentence of this paragraph, we can clearly know that what the author was talking was the qualities of good writing. By the repetition of the core words of the essay “basic quality of good writing”, we are guided by the author towards the destination of the essay, that is, the conclusion.

Signposts are found in good academic essays and they will also help the reader to understand the writing more easily. They help to link what has already been said with what is about to be discussed.
[2]
Here are some expressions of signposting.
  • This programs ...
  • Despite these difficulties ...
  • These suggestions ...
  • However, in the modern world ...
  • In the next section, ...
  • This suggestion ...
  • These ideas ...
  • This brief outline suggests ...
  • Such proposals...

Exercise[3]

Look at the passages (Beauty, A basic truth, Marangu) and find the sentences that provide links with any subsequent paragraphs. When you've done that, look at the notes below.
Look at the passages above (Beauty, A basic truth, Marangu) and find the sentences that provide links with any subsequent paragraphs. When you've done that, look at the notes below.
Notes:
In these paragraphs, the last line of each paragraph leads into the following paragraph.
However, for me, beauty does not reside in music alone. (And my next paragraph will develop this idea and explain what else exemplifies beauty for me.)
However, despite the prevalence of these attitudes, change is on the way. (And in my next paragraph I will outline about these changes.)
It brings back some striking memories. (And in my next paragraph, I will describe some of about these memories.)
References

[1] paragraph linking-cohesion and coherence
[2][3] making links between paragraphs in academic writing -waylink English
External links
http://www.waylink-english.co.uk/?page=61180
http://www.real.gold.ac.uk/essayguide/paragraphs/paralinking.html