Country Report (Pro)


Smooth It Out

You're almost done building your sandwich. The basics are there, but it may need smoothing out. (Perhaps a little mayonnaise?)

In particular, you may need to smooth the transition between your topic sentence and your signal phrase. To this end, the following three transition phrases are especially useful:

Study the following examples below. (All of them are taken from student papers). Then take a look at your own paragraph and ask yourself if one of these phrases may improve it.

Third, in Egypt it is common for women to experience sexual harassment. For example, according to journalist Gheani Raknee, "Walking through the main bazaar in Cairo, it is crowded as to be expected. What I didn't expect was to have hands coming at me from every direction possible, it was impossible to try and avoid it, so my only option was just to leave. Men would yell out on the street, stare in a very unsavory way or call out to grab my attention."
Third, the city of Montreal is famous for its culture and cuisine. In the words of travel writer Steve Paolina, "From what I've seen so far, I really like Montreal. The city just oozes with culture . . . "
The leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un,is a liar. For example, he claims that he was born on a sacred mountain, but he was actually born in the Soviet Union (Urban). Do you really want to visit a country where the leader is a liar?
First, Scotland is famous for its historic castles. For example, Edinburgh castle has been around for over 800 years and is on most people’s top ten list for things to see in Scotland (“Top 10 Scotland”). Whether you are taking a tour of this castle, or just doing a drive by, you will definitely enjoy its beauty.
Second, police officers in the U.K. are approachable and understanding. In fact, according to travel writer Ben Curtis, friendly police officers are one of the best ten things about the U.K. In his own words, “One policeman we talked to while waiting for a crashed car to be pulled off an icy road was a thoroughly nice chap” (Curtis).
Third, the amount of rainfall in the U.K. can be a hassle for many people. In fact, the amount of rain that fell in 2013 was “the most significant in almost 250 years of recorded measurement” (“Top 16”). Rainfall in the U.K. causes many road and walking accidents (“Top 16”).
First, driving in Italy can be a problem. For example, the traffic in Rome is a nightmare. Traffic laws aren't’t enforced, and people drive wildly (sexliesandnutella). The roads are downright scary.
Second, Brazil has a very high crime rate. In fact, the crime rate is higher than in other countries (Bruha). Furthermore, reports of rape have increased dramatically in recent years (Bruha). 
First, China has a lot of great food. In fact, according to a food blogger named Dino Lingo, "Chinese food is very popular all over the world" (Lingo).
Second, China has a lot of great landmarks. For example, two of the most popular attractions are the Great Wall of China and the Terracotta Army. According to author Annie Wu, the Terracotta Army is "amazing" (Wu). 
First, the toilets in Malaysia are disgusting. In the words of a commentator on Virtual Tourist: "The toilets can be very dirty, very wet and very smelly; sometimes they are seldom cleaned. Usually, you would have to squat awkwardly and the worst of all, there is not toilet paper" (Longsanborn).
First, racism is like a joke to the citizens of Spain. For example, in an interview, Erin, a Chinese-American female blogger, stated that she faced more discrimination in Spain than she does in the United States. In her own words, "People are very open with their racist thoughts. . . .They’re not afraid to tell me about the stereotypes they hold against los Chinos, nor do they differentiate between the many countries in Asia in making these comments" (Estrada).
Second, Spain’s economy has gone downhill the past few years. In fact, according to Rick Newman, an author for US News & World Report, during the first three months of 2013, the unemployment rate reached 27.2% (Newman). Clearly, the economy is terrible. 
Third, Spain has a lot of crime. For example, Larissa, a travel blogger, claims, “Getting robbed in Barcelona is like getting a suntan in the Caribbean” (Olenicoff). In other words, you should not be surprised if you get robbed.

Your Turn


Examine the transition between your topic sentence and your signal phrase or evidence. Is there a way to smooth it out? Consider inserting one of the following phrases:

  • In fact,
  • For example, .
  • In the words of . . .

You may have to juggle other words in your paragraph accordingly.

2 Congratulations! You're done with this lesson.