• Academic A Writing
  • Objectives
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  • Introduction to Academic Essays
  • Process Essays
  • Comparison Essays
  • Problem/Solution Essays
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  • Cohesion

    Writing has cohesion when the ideas logically flow from one to the next. Writing paragraphs that have good sequencing will help your readers understand your ideas more clearly. Sometimes you will have a clear order that relates to time. Sometimes the order is more flexible and there is not one “perfect” way to sequence the sentences.

    1 Exercise: Identify logical order of sentences.

    Each of these sentences combine to make a paragraph. Write a number by each sentence A-H to show a logical order for sequencing the supporting sentences. 

    TOPIC SENTENCE: Making pancakes is easy to do. 

    _______ A. Pour about 1/4 cup of the mixture onto a hot frying pan. 

    _______ B. First, put the pancake mix and water in a bowl. 

    _______ C. Then add an egg and stir again. 

    _______ D. You can check the bottom after a minute to find out if it is cooking. 

    _______ E. Heat the frying pan. 

    _______ F. When bubbles start to rise to the surface and pop, turn it over with a spatula. 

    _______ G. Stir the mix and water together. 

    _______ H. When both sides of the pancake have cooked fully, they will look light brown. 

    CONCLUDING SENTENCE: Then you are ready to enjoy your pancakes! 

    2 Exercise: Insert a sentence.

    The bolded numbers represent places that the bolded sentence could be inserted into the paragraph. Choose the most logical place to insert the bolded sentence. 

    1 French toast is another breakfast food that is easy to make. 2 Season the mixture with cinnamon. 3 To prepare the toast, quickly dip a slice of bread into the mixture and put it on a hot pan to cook. 4 When the toast has turned light brown, it’s ready to eat. 5 You can top the toast with butter, syrup, and powdered sugar. 6 Making French toast is as easy as that! 7

    Make an egg mixture by cracking a few eggs into a bowl and stirring in some milk. 

    3 Exercise: Revise for logical order of sentences.

    These paragraphs lack cohesion. Identify the sentences that break the logical flow of the ideas. Explain your answer to a partner.

    1. Reading is a popular hobby for people of many ages. Children often enjoy reading for entertainment. Other adults enjoy reading because they have found specific authors or genres that move them and they can create a connection with the story. Teenagers enjoy reading as a hobby because they are able to learn about other places and cultures by reading about them. Little children may also enjoy reading because they enjoy spending time with their parents. Young adults may enjoy reading for a hobby because it can help them socialize with other young adults who are reading the same stories. Some adults read to relax after a long day at work. It is obvious that reading is such a popular hobby due to the reasons people of all ages choose to read.

    2. However, reading is more than a hobby; it is also a great tool for eduction. If people want to learn new skills, they can learn about those skills in books. If people want to understand history, they can learn it in a book. If they want to learn how scientific processes occur, there are books that can explain them. The education you can gain from a book can include skills, history, science, and even how to succeed in business. If people want to learn about successful business practices, there are also books that can teach about that topic. Reading can open the door to learn many new things.

    3. Reading stories that were written by people from a different culture helps the reader understand that culture better. The culture of a group of people includes their beliefs and traditions, which are frequently included in the stories they write. For example, many people have written stories to teach a lesson that shows the importance of a certain characteristic. The Little Red Hen is one such story in American culture. Many other cultures have similar types of stories that show pieces of their cultures. This story teaches the value of hard work, which is traditionally valued highly in America. Thus, by reading, people can learn more about other cultures. 

    Cohesive Devices

    One way to improve the cohesion of your writing is by using cohesive devices properly. There are many types of cohesive devices: pronouns, adjectives, determiners, prepositions, conjunctions, repeated words, transition words, etc.

    Some cohesive devices show certain relationships between ideas, like showing contrast or a cause/ effect relationship.

    Showing Addition
    Another Another reason to use public transportation is that it is reliable.
    Also Public transportation is also reliable.
    Besides Besides being efficient, public transportation is reliable.
    In addition In addition to being efficient, public transportation is reliable.
    First, second, etc. Second, public transportation is reliable.

    Showing Similarity
    Both The two sports share both a wide fan base and a name.
    Likewise The two sports share a wide fan base. Likewise, they share a name.
    Similarly The two sports share a wide fan base. Similarly, they share a name.

    Showing Contrast
    However The reading states that research distracts from teaching. However, the professor feels that research enhances it.
    In contrast The reading states that research distracts from teaching. In contrast, the professor feels that research enhances it.
    On the other hand The reading states that research distracts from teaching. On the other hand, the professor feels that research enhances it.
    Whereas Whereas the reading states that research distracts from teaching, the professor feels that research enhances it.
    Yet The reading states that research distracts from teaching, yet the professor feels that research enhances it.

    Giving Examples  
    An example of Squats are an example of exercises that strengthen our muscles.
    For instance Many exercises strengthen our muscles. For instance, squats are an... 
    To illustrate Many exercises strengthen our muscles. To illustrate, consider how exercises like squats strengthen your muscles.

    4 Exercise: Add Cohesive Devices.

    Add cohesive devices to the essay. 

    Many students take the TOEFL every year as part of the requirements to be admitted to an American University. This test is often used as a way to measure a student’s English proficiency. Since the result of getting a low score can mean that students are not able to go to the college they desire to attend, it is important to prepare well for this exam. In order to prepare for the exam, students need to improve their knowledge of English, become familiar with the format of the exam, and practice. 

    _____ students need to learn English. The English skills that need to be learned are reading, listening, speaking, writing, and grammar (especially as those skills are used in academic settings). Learning grammar is different on the TOEFL from what you might think. Other types of English exams include a written grammar test to measure students’ knowledge of grammar. _____ the TOEFL uses a different grammar assessment. Grammar is measured by the application of grammar knowledge in context. When a test taker speaks and writes on the test, the grammar they use is evaluated. It takes time to improve your English, so do as much as you can to build your vocabulary, grammar, and fluency in each of the skills. 

    _____ learning the format of the test is essential. Even a native speaker would not be able to score perfectly if they were unfamiliar with the format of the test. First, you need to know about the timing of the test. You should _____ be familiar with the types of questions you will be asked. _____ element of the format you should be familiar with is how the test will be scored. _____ there are some questions on the reading section that are worth two points instead of one point.

    This content is provided to you freely by BYU Open Learning Network.

    Access it online or download it at https://open.byu.edu/academic_a_writing/cohesion.