A coherent text can be described as a text where the information is organised and connected together into a logically-connected unit with cohesive devices joining the parts, so that the text makes sense.
One important cohesive device is the topic sentence. This is the sentence which introduces the subject of the text and usually occurs at the beginning of the text. (Open this link and scroll down to the table for information on how to organise a text.)
The continuity and organisation of the information is also an important factor in constructing a coherent text.
In addition, there are many words called linking words, which act as links between clauses and sentences in a text.
Examples of Linking Devices
and, but, or, so, nor, for, yet, also, too
Other sentence connectors
- Ordering: firstly, secondly, next, in addition, furthermore, finally, in conclusion
- Contrasting: however, on the other hand, in contrast, in comparison, nevertheless
- Drawing conclusions: as a result, thus, therefore, consequently, in conclusion
I, he, she, it, we, you, they, them, us, etc.
this, that, these, those
(These connect clauses to form a sentence. They can come at the beginning or in the middle of the sentence.)
- Comparing and contrasting: while, whereas, although, though, even though, besides
- Time: after, before, when, until
- Cause: since, because, so that
Cause and Effect
- Because of
- Due to As
- Owing to
- Thus (formal)
- As a consequence
- As a result
- In contrast to
- In comparison
- On the contrary
- Even though
- Compared with/to
- On the other hand
- Just as
- The same is true for
- In the same way
- The same can be said for
- So as to
- In order to
- For the purpose of
- So that
Addition and Amplification
- As well as
- In addition
- In fact
- For example
- For instance
- Such as
- That is to say
- And by this I mean
- This shows
- This means
- In other words
- This indicates that
Reference and Introducing
- I would like to start by( -ing)
- What I want to discuss is
- I am going to discuss/write about…
- My objectives are
- N.N. mentions that..
- N.N. claims that..
- According to N.N. ..
- What N.N. seems to think is ..
Turning to a New Topic
- Now I would like to turn to
- The next point I would like to deal with is..
- The next aspect I would like to present is ..
- Another point to consider is ..
Returning to a Point
- As I mentioned earlier..
- To return to what I wrote earlier ..
- As I said / wrote in the introduction ..
- It is quite clear that ..
- What this shows is ..
- As you can see ..
- It is evident that
- So, to sum up ..
- I would like to conclude by (-ing)
- In conclusion ..
- Finally Finally, I could say that ..
- Eventually, I would say that ..
Attitude and Intention
- I believe that ..
- I think ..
- What I am trying to say ..
- In my opinion ..
- As far as I am concerned ..
- It seems to me that ..
- I feel ..
- The point I am trying to make ..
- As I see it ..
- What I feel is ..
Example of Text Cohesion
Compare these two texts and identify the linking devices in the second text.
Bobby was a Skye Terrier. Bobby roamed the streets of Edinburgh. Bobby met John Grey in the 1850s. Grey worked as a night watchman in the Edinburgh police. Bobby kept John Grey company. The winters in Edinburgh can be very cold. Grey fell sick with tuberculosis. Tuberculosis was a fatal disease back in the 1800s. On 15 February 1858, Grey died.
Bobby followed John Grey to his grave at Greyfriars Kirkyard in the old part of Edinburgh. Bobby did not leave the grave except for when he was hungry. Bobby did not leave the grave except for when he was very cold.
People started to notice the dog in the churchyard. People started worrying about Bobby. The City of Edinburgh had decided that ownerless dogs should be shot. The city council bought a licence for Bobby. Bobby could keep on watching his master’s grave. Bobby survived his master by 14 years. He died in 1872. He was buried just inside the gate of the churchyard. He could not be buried together with his master. The church ground is sacred.
Bobby was a Skye Terrier roaming the streets of Edinburgh in the 1850s until he met John Grey. Grey worked as a night watchman in the Edinburgh police and Bobby kept him company. The winters in Edinburgh can be very cold and one day Grey fell sick with tuberculosis. This was a fatal disease back in the 1800s and on 15 February 1858, Grey died.
Bobby followed him to his grave at Greyfriars Kirkyard in the old part of Edinburgh and he did not leave the grave except for when he was hungry or very cold.
People started to notice the dog in the churchyard and they started worrying about Bobby because the City of Edinburgh had decided that ownerless dogs sh,ould be shot. However, the city council bought him a licence and he could keep on watching his master’s grave. Bobby survived his master by 14 years, and when he died in 1872 he was buried just inside the gate of the churchyard. He could not be buried together with his master, since church ground is sacred.
Tasks and Activities
Try the following tasks:
Study The Given-New Principle to learn more about text coherence.
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