Text has cohesion if
Text has cohesion if
* it is clearly organised so readers
can find their way round the ideas
* it includes words and phrases that
act like ‘signposts’, helping readers
to follow the author’s train of
* the writing ‘holds together’, so
that it is easy to read and
Headings and Some ways of Layout conventions
subheadings helping the show what sort
give an overview reader see how of text it is, e.g.
of the text’s your ideas are diary, letter,
Paragraph breaks Punctuation
show shifts of time, place, shows where one chunk of
viewpoint, topic, etc. meaning ends and another
begins. (See The Punctuation Book)
* Plan your writing in Presentational devices
advance on a skeleton draw attention to sections of
framework. text and make meaning clearer
* Frequently re-read e.g. speech bubbles,
your work to check timelines, flowcharts, etc.
organisation is clear. boxed information.
a shift of
Paragraphing a new topic or
aspect of a topic
Paragraph breaks one paragraph
Three weeks later…
can help readers per category
to follow your
train of thought a new step or
a shift of by showing… stage in a
Meanwhile, deep in
a new speaker
in direct speech
(See The Sentence Book)
a move from one
* In non-fiction writing, main point (or
a shift of plan paragraphs group of points
mood or beforehand.
viewpoint * In fiction, beware of
all shifts of emphasis.
Suddenly, they leapt * * *
* * *
Tom, on the other hand, was furious…
* * *
Words and phrases sentence
These show links
can act like connectives
within a sentence, signposts to help Words and phrases
e.g. when, readers see that show links
because, until, significant links in between one
sentence and the
although. the text. next, e.g.
Connection words, phrases and sentences are important Consequently,
throughout written work. However, they are particularly
sentence On the other hand…
useful at the start of a new paragraph.
punctuation Where nouns or verbs act as
signposts, you can make a
Some punctuation marks ‘sentence frame’, e.g.
(: ; -) can show links Begin by…
between clauses. The reason that… is…
Collect examples from texts Use these ‘signposts’ to link
you read. Read sentences your own ideas. Practise
aloud to get the feel of the the sentences in speech
language patterns. before you write.
Use time links to show the Vary the linking devices so
passage of time in fiction they guide the reader
and recounts. without being too obvious.
e.g. setting the scene time passing conclusion
connectives Yesterday,… Next,… Then,… Finally,…
On 4th June 2000,… After that,… Eventually,…
A few weeks later,…
One wintry morning,… At last,…
By the end of October,…
conjunctions As time went by,…
linking When Jane was When it was
clauses four years old,… After she had left,… all over,…
sentence It all began with Several weeks passed. It was the end of
frames an invitation. the adventure.
Cause and effect
conjunctions The room is cold because the window is open.
linking When the window is open, the room is cold.
clauses If the window is open, the room is cold.
The window is open so the room is cold.
sentence The window is open. Therefore, the room is cold.
connectives Consequently, the room is cold.
As a result, the room is cold.
sentence The window is open. This means that the room is cold.
frames This results in the room being cold.
This causes the room to be cold.
The reason (that) the room is cold is that the window is open.
Note that some sentence Cause and effect links are
frames lead to changes particularly important in
in the form of the verb. explanation writing.
+ Addition + Opposition
and as well too but yet
Also, Moreover, while whereas
Furthermore, However, Alternatively,
In addition, What is more, On the other hand,
Another point is … On the contrary,
A further feature is … The opposite point of view is…
These links are useful in
• descriptive writing
• texts which argue for or
against a point of view.
Comparison, e.g. Contrast, e.g.
____________ and _______ are ____________ and _______ are
similar in several ways. One different in a number of ways.
similarity is that __________. For instance, __________ is
Another way in which they are _______, while __________ is
alike is ________. They are ____________. Another difference
both ____________. A further is that ________. They also differ
feature they have in common in that _________ is ________,
is____________. whereas ________is ________.
In instructions and explanations, signpost stages in the process,
1 2 3 4
First,… Secondly,.. Next,… Finally,…
The next When the mixture Finish off
stage is… is ready… by…
Definitions and examples help make meaning clear,
Use key words and sentence frames to introduce them.
Introducing definitions Introducing examples
• a bloop, which is a …………… e.g. such as including
For example, For instance,
• a ……………, known as a bloop
This can be seen in …
• a …………… called a bloop
This is illustrated by …
• a bloop (a …………) Examples include …
Holding text together 1
Nouns, noun phrases
Make sure pronouns are
and pronouns help bind consistent in person and
text together by number. If not, the
making references back text may be confusing
Rob knocked on the door. If one wants to be a top-class
An old woman opened it and player, we have to practise
stared down at the boy. He because players do not make
smiled back. This must it to the top unless you
be Mrs Gunn. give a hundred per cent.
Use a variety of nouns, In impersonal text,
noun phrases and stick to third person
pronouns. If you start
• avoid repetition
• improve the cohesion in the singular, don’t
of your writing. drift into the plural.
Holding text together 2
Some texts Some texts
are mostly Make sure verb tenses are mostly
past tense: are consistent. If not, present
• recount the text may be tense:
confusing to read. • instruction
fiction • report
Reported speech Direct speech
is in the is usually
past tense. present tense. • discussion
Exceptions The general said that
* most direct
speech and his men were fit “My men are fit
* references to and highly trained. and highly trained.
continue to exist They would be They will be
narrative ready when the ready when the Exceptions
* sudden changes * historical reports
into the present invasion began. invasion begins,” and explanations
tense for dramatic * reference to or
effect. said the general. examples from
Holding text together 3
Make sure your overall
style and viewpoint are
consistent, depending on
purpose and audience.
personal or impersonal
I, we, you third person
(see The Complex Sentence Book)
informal or formal
(see The Standard English Book)
subjective or objective
your opinion just the facts
Skeleton Poster Books