Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Logo
Apply to SIUE
Instructional Services
Instructional Services
Institutional Header





Coherence means each idea is linked to each succeeding idea logically and smoothly.

A. Coherence and Organization - Coherence demands an orderly arrangement of ideas. There are two kinds of order:

1. Natural Order

a. Chronological Order - records a chain of events

b. Spatial Order - records what one observes

2. Logical Order

a. Deductive Order - supports a general statement with particular details

b. Inductive Order - presents a series of details which lead to a general statement of conclusion

B. Coherence within Paragraphs - can be maintained by using connectives (grammatical consistency, pronoun reference, and transitional markers) to link ideas.

1. Consistent Grammatical Pattern

a. One Point Of View - I, you, he, they, she, etc.

b. Voice - active, passive, subject, tense

2. Parallelism - Stating similar ideas in similar grammatical construction helps link ideas coherently.

3. Pronoun Reference - Using pronouns is a good way to keep one subject running through a paragraph without monotonous repetition.

4. Transitional Markers - Words or phrases that relate a sentence to a preceding sentence:

a. Simple connectives (and, or, nor, but, for)

b. Introductions of illustrations (thus, for example, for instance, to illustrate)

c. Introduction of another phase or the same idea (secondly, in the second place, next, moreover, in addition, similarly, again, also, finally)

d. Pointing out a contrast or qualification (on the other hand, nevertheless, despite this fact, on the contrary, however)

e. Showing a conclusion or result (therefore, in conclusion, to sum up, consequently, as a result, accordingly, in other words)

C. Coherence Between Paragraphs - link paragraphs together by organizing before you write and using transitional devices

1. Organize before you write:

a. Decide your thesis

b. List main supporting ideas

c. Make a detailed outline

2. There are 3 transitional devices to link paragraphs:

a. Repetition of key words

b. Repetition of significant ideas

c. Restatement of the thesis

facebookoff twitteroff vineoff linkedinoff flickeroff instagramoff googleplusoff tumblroff foursquareoff socialoff