Now that you have an outline or idea of what you want to write, you can begin writing your draft. Your writing should be organized, developed, accurate, and original. It is always important to develop your ideas with accurate details, but in a persuasive essay, it is especially important that your development and ideas are organized in a logical way. You will need good cohesion for your reader to best understand your opinion and support that opinion.
Cohesion is when the ideas in writing logically flow from one idea to the next idea. 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 you will have an order from least important or impactful to most important or impactful. Sometimes the order is more flexible and there is not one perfect way to sequence the sentences.
Cohesion may happen at the sentence, paragraph, or essay level. You will need cohesion between parts of a sentence, between sentences in a paragraph, and between paragraphs in an essay. Compare the examples of paragraph-level cohesion below. The first paragraph has poor cohesion. Some details may seem to suddenly appear or the ideas may seem to jump around.
Example: Body Paragraph (Poor Cohesion)
Second. The important skill for future college students is keeping an active life. During college, because of the new technologies, the younger generation has become a sedentary generation that is always connected to technology, especially video games. If students learn how to have an active life they will be able to channel the stress that comes from their classes. Many students lock themselves in front of a TV screen and play video games hour after hour without a real benefit. Although exchanging an active life for a sort of new technology-based life, students waste time and important abilities to communicate with real people. They have a sedentary lifestyle which has negative effects on their relationships, physical, and mental health. Students should learn how to have an active life, learn to enjoy a walk outside, practice any kind of sports, and do activities outdoors. Students learn and develop this skill, and they will enjoy their college experience.
Example: Body Paragraph (Revised for Cohesion)
The second important skill for future college students is keeping an active life. If students learn how to have an active life they will be able to channel the stress that comes from their classes. However, during college, because of the new technologies, the younger generation has become a sedentary generation that is always connected to technology, especially video games. Nowadays, many students lock themselves in front of a TV screen and play video games hour after hour without a real benefit. When exchanging an active life for this sort of new technology-based life, students waste time and important abilities to communicate with real people and get moving physically, leading them to a sedentary lifestyle which has negative effects on their relationships, physical, and mental health. That is the de reason why students should learn how to have an active life, learn to enjoy a walk outside, practice any kind of sports, and do activities outdoors. If students learn and develop this skill, they will enjoy their college experience.
Cohesion throughout Your Essay
To write with cohesion, you will need to write with 'logical flow'. However, 'logical flow' may be different by culture. In American-style academic essays, the flow of an argument is very direct. It is like a straight river from point A to point B. There are no bends or deviations. Maybe the river is long; it might be from point A to point Z, but it will still flow directly. This can be seen at the essay level getting from the introduction ideas to the conclusion ideas, or it can be seen at the paragraph level going from the topic sentence to the concluding sentence. It can also be seen at the sentence level going from one idea in a word, phrase, or clause to the next idea in a word, phrase or clause.
Image: 2022 Barraza
Here you can see two paragraphs as rivers.
The first paragraph has clear cohesion between all the sentences. The idea that ends the sentence starts the next one as shown with the arrows. Where help understanding the connection is needed a cohesive device is used as shown with the boxed words. There is even cohesion with what would be other paragraphs because "one reason" implies that the other body paragraphs will look at other reasons public transportation is good.
The second version of the paragraph has all the same sentences as the first, but it also has two extra sentences, B1 and C1. These sentences seem a little connected with the topics of the previous sentences; they talk about dollars and gas. However, they don't really connect with the sentence that follows after them. So the reader may be confused why the writer went in a different direction for a while if it didn't really help the main idea of the paragraph.
There is also one last pattern of poor cohesion that is not shown in this image which is when the paragraph goes completely off-topic. For example, if the paragraph started talking about conversion rates between the dollar and the Euro and then what factors contribute to that and how the Euro compares to the Yen and so on. This leaves the main idea behind and is like a separate river splitting off to go in a different direction.
For an American-style academic essay, try to keep the river of thought flowing directly to the conclusion.
Let's look at how sentences might have cohesion with one another.
Example Using Sequencing
1) Sentence 1 = idea A then idea B. All students should be required to study abroad.
2) Sentence 2 = idea B then idea C. Studying abroad exposes students to new perspectives.
3) Sentence 3 = idea C then idea D. Learning new perspectives will help students think creatively.
Notice how the idea that finishes one sentence starts the next sentence. If we were to take out sentence 2 and just say "All students should be required to study abroad. Learning new perspectives will help students think creatively.", the reader might infer the connection between the two sentences. However, the sentences in this example are simple sentences with simple ideas. With longer more complex sentences containing many ideas, your reader might not be able to infer the connection and would just be confused. It would seem like you jumped from one idea to a completely unrelated idea.
The sentences connect through the order or sequencing of ideas. The B idea of the first sentence is repeated or referenced in some way at the start of the next sentence to show how the ideas are connected. If an idea isn’t repeated or the next sentence is just idea C, then a cohesive device (word or phrase such as those from the list below) is needed to show how the ideas connect.
Example with Cohesive Device
1) Sentence 1 = idea A then idea B. All students should be required to study abroad.
2) Sentence 2 = idea C. Students will learn of new perspectives through this experience.
3) Sentence 3 = idea C then idea D. Learning new perspectives will help students think creatively.
In this version, there is no repeat or reference to idea B, so a cohesive device is needed. While students often think cohesive devices can only be adverbs or subordinating conjunctions, there are also many other possibilities such as the demonstrative pronoun "this" used in this sentence. "this" shows that the experience being talked about in sentence 2 is the same experience, studying abroad, from sentence 1. This shows the connection between the ideas of sentence 1 and the ideas of sentence 2. The preposition "through" also helps to explain what exactly the relationship is between learning new perspectives and the experience.
For more information about cohesive devices, see "Cohesive Devices" at the end of this section.
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.|
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||RNA is able to leave the nucleus of the cell. However, DNA isn't.|
| || |
RNA is able to leave the nucleus of the cell. In contrast, DNA isn't.
|On the other hand||RNA is able to leave the nucleus of the cell. On the other hand, DNA isn't.|
|Whereas||Whereas RNA is able to leave the nucleus of the cell, DNA isn't.|
|Yet||RNA is able to leave the nucleus of the cell, yet DNA isn't.|
| || |
|Show Cause/Effect|| |
|Thus||Excessive stress weakens the body, thus making it easier to get sick.|
|As a consequence||Excessive stress weakens the body. As a consequence, stress makes it easier to get sick.|
|Therefore||Excessive stress weakens the body. Therefore, stress makes it easier to get sick.|
|As a result||Excessive stress weakens the body. As a result, stress makes it easier to get sick.|
|Consequently||Excessive stress weakens the body. Consequently, stress makes it easier to get sick.|
| || |
|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 exercise that improve muscle strength in your legs.|
|To illustrate||Many exercises strengthen our muscles. To illustrate, consider how your muscles are strengthened when you do an exercise like squats.|
Exercise 1: Identify logical order of sentences
Each of these sentences combines to make a paragraph. On a piece of paper or the lines below, write a number for each sentence A-E to show a logical order for sequencing the supporting sentences.
Topic Sentence: Internet research allows researchers to gain the necessary information in a quick way.
- The world wide web offers a much quicker way to access information compared to finding a book at a library and looking up the information in a specific chapter.
- Some may argue that websites like Wikipedia and Quora are not reliable, but using a website like an online academic search engine such as EBSCO can be a reliable fast way to find more scholarly information.
- This is much faster than the time it would take to look for a book on the same topic, find in physically on a library shelf, and find an applicable quote or paraphrasable information in support of a research topic in a specific chapter of that book to use.
- Many people begin doing research using a simple Google, or Google Scholar search.
- According to Urs Holzle, senior vice president of technical infrastructure at Google, "As you type, we predict the rest of your query, comb through billions of web pages, rank the sites, images, videos, and products we find, and present you with the very best results. The entire process takes, in many cases, less than a tenth of a second – it’s practically instant" (2012, para.1).
Conclusion Sentence: Therefore, the internet offers a faster and better way for researchers to research.
Order: _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
Exercise 2: Insert a sentence
The underlined numbers represent places where the bolded sentence could be inserted into the paragraph. Choose the most logical place to insert the bolded sentence below.
There are students that already have the knowledge, and they feel well-prepared to choose a major.
1 Many universities require students to study general subjects before choosing a major. 2 Some people agree with this implementation, but others do not. 3 On the other hand, there are others who did not have enough preparation or they are not sure about the major they want to study. 4 I agree with requiring university freshman students to complete one year of college classes before selecting a major because it will allow them to be enough prepared to develop well in class and give them more time to be sure about the major they are going to choose. 5
Exercise 3: Identify misplaced sentences
Read the original paragraph. Identify the sentences that seem to be out of place. Then compare the original to the revised version.
Furthermore, the development of sustainable goals in Mexico would reduce the carbon footprint. Mexico was responsible for 1.2% of the emissions globally in 2021. Therefore, some actions should be taken to reduce its contribution to emissions. Those actions are related to the use of oil in liquid fuels. The implementation of new technology can significatively impact greenhouse gas emissions. For example, some scholarships are given to students to develop research about the potential use of biofuels. However, this fact could be viewed as something that still needs support. Due to the fact that there are still some hotspots about this, the government is considering a renewable energies evaluation through a life cycle methodology (FOLĘGA et al., 2022). Recent studies have shown that still renewable energies and liquid fuels pollute even more than fossil fuels. An approach says that any kind of renewable energy is still less when comparing the emissions of fossil fuels (Woolcock & Brown, 2013). Therefore, Mexico should develop a sustainable energy agenda to reduce carbon emissions.
Furthermore, the development of sustainable goals in Mexico would reduce the carbon footprint. The implementation of new technology can significatively impact greenhouse gas emissions. Mexico was responsible for 1.2% of the emissions globally in 2021. Therefore, some actions should be taken to reduce its contribution to emissions. Those actions are related to the use of oil in liquid fuels. For example, some scholarships are given to students to develop research about the potential use of biofuels. However, this fact could be viewed as something that still needs support. Recent studies have shown that still renewable energies and liquid fuels pollute even more than fossil fuels. Due to the fact that there are still some hotspots about this, the government is considering a renewable energies evaluation through a life cycle methodology (FOLĘGA et al., 2022). An approach says that any kind of renewable energy is still less when comparing the emissions of fossil fuels (Woolcock & Brown, 2013). Therefore, Mexico should develop a sustainable energy agenda to reduce carbon emissions.
Exercise 4: Revise for cohesion
Revise the paragraph for cohesion. This is the second body paragraph from an essay about whether graffiti is art.
A reason why graffiti is considered art is because people can share their opinions through this type of art. In the past, people were trying to transmit an idea or leave a legacy. People use it as a modern language which helps to speak up about their opinions and be listened to by the authorities. “The notion of communication is in essence that of information transmission in its simplest form—the semiotic encoding and decoding of messages that occur in every type of language, be that written, verbal, non-verbal, or animal” (Casino, 2019, para.1). It is clear to say that graffiti is a way of communication where people creatively express their ideas and try to be listened to instead of doing a march.
Exercise 5: Identify connectors
1. The following information comes from an article by Machemer (2020)If you wanted to include all of this information in a body paragraph, what kind(s) of cohesive device could you use? Write the type(s) of cohesive device on the line below.
- The wildlife overpass crossing Interstate 80 in Utah is successful.
- A variety of animals use this crossing
- Deer and elk to predators such as bears have been recorded crossing the bridge.
- Human drivers benefit from the bridge to with fewer accidents in this location.
2. The following information comes from an article by Miller, 2014. If you wanted to include all of this information in a body paragraph, what kind(s) of cohesive device could you use? Write the type(s) of cohesive device on the line below.
- Potatoes are vegetables.
- They have a high glycemic load.
- Glycemic load involves the ability to cause blood sugar and insulin levels to increase or decrease quickly.
- "They're a great source of potassium, vitamin C and vitamin B6--and fiber, if you eat the skin"(Miller, 2014, para. 6).
3.The following research comes from an article by Task Group Report (1954). If you wanted to include all of this research in a body paragraph, what kind(s) of cohesive devices could you use? Write the type(s) of cohesive device on the line below.
- Detergent is a cleaning agent.
- Soap, "a sodium or potassium salt of a long-chain organic (fatty) acid" is considered a detergent.
- Certain things such as acids and components of water that cause hardwater can stop soap's cleaning agent qualities.
- Calcium and Magnesium are hard water-causing components.
Exercise 6: Draft a body paragraph
Fill in between the sources with your own commentary to draft a body paragraph about why people should meditate. Use cohesive devices to connect your commentary to the ideas in each source.
TS: When applying to a university or college, one should act with integrity.
- Integrity is the personal quality of being honest and keeping to your strong moral principles (Cambridge University Press, 2022).
- "Studies show that people tend to take their cues as to how to act, even in situations with ethical dimensions, from those around them" (Ethics Unwrapped, 2022, para.8)
- Wealthy people are more likely than average people to know people who sent their children to college via a backdoor. (Ethics Unwrapped, 2022); such may be the case with the 2019 Varisty Blues admissions scandal.
Cambridge University Press. (2022). integrity. dictionary.cambridge.org. Retrieved December 19, 2022, from https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/integrity.
Casino, K. 2019. Graffiti as Art as Language: The Logic of a Modern Language.
Ethics Unwrapped - McCombs School of Business-The University of Texas at Ausitn. (2022). College admissions scandal. Ethics Unwrapped. Retrieved December 19, 2022, from https://ethicsunwrapped.utexas.edu/video/college-admissions-scandal
Folega, P., Burchart, D., Marzec, P., Jursova, S., & Pustejovska, P. (2022). Potential Environmental Life Cycle Impacts of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles Powered By Hydrogen Produced From Polish Coke Oven Gas. Transport Problems, 17(1), 151–161. https://doi.org/10.20858/tp.2022.17.1.13
Hoelzle, U. (2012, January). The google gospel of speed. Google. Retrieved December 19, 2022, from https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/future-of-marketing/digital-transformation/the-google-gospel-of-speed-urs-hoelzle/
iSeeCars, & Nexstar Media Wire. (2022, February 28). How high is the average used car price in Utah? ABC4 Utah. Retrieved December 11, 2022, from https://www.abc4.com/news/how-high-is-the-average-used-car-price-in-utah/
Machemer, T. (2020, November 30). Animals are using Utah's largest wildlife overpass earlier than expected. Smithsonian.com. Retrieved December 19, 2022, from https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/animals-are-using-utahs-largest-wildlife-overpass-earlier-expected-180976420/#:~:text=The%20wildlife%20overpass%20was%20built,the%20safe%20point%20to%20cross.
Miller, A. M. (2014, October 29). The Great Potato Debate: Healthy or not? - US news & world report. health.usnews.com. Retrieved December 20, 2022, from https://health.usnews.com/health-news/health-wellness/articles/2014/10/29/the-great-potato-debate-healthy-or-not
Task Group Report. (1954). Characteristics and Effects of Synthetic Detergents. Journal (American Water Works Association), 46(8), 751–774. http://www.jstor.org/stable/41254044
Woolcock, P. J., & Brown, R. C. (2013). A review of cleaning technologies for biomass-derived syngas. Biomass and Bioenergy, 52, 54–84. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biombioe.2013.02.036
XE.com. (2022). 1 USD to EUR - convert US dollars to euros. 1 USD to EUR - US Dollars to Euros Exchange Rate. Retrieved December 11, 2022, from https://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/convert/?Amount=1&From=USD&To=EUR