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Coherence in Writing

Mini lesson on achieving Coherence in writing. Give it a try! But before you do, why not try some Coherent Breathing (i.e., breathing "from the heart")- to get in the mood?

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Coherence in Writing

  1. 1. Coherence in Writing October 1st, 2012
  2. 2. liquid honey• it flows• it sticks together
  3. 3. a working definition co·her·ence – noun Coherence refers to a certain logical interconnection; overall characteristic or aspect of sense or understandability. writing. Literally, the word means "to stick together.“ Linguistics. the property of unity in a written text that Coherence in writing means that stems from the links among its all the ideas in a paragraph flow underlying ideas and from the smoothly from one sentence to logical organization and the next sentence. With development of its thematic coherence, the reader has an content. easy time understanding the ideas that you wish to express. [Dictionary.com - Reference] [TOEFL- Prep Writing: Coherence]
  4. 4. Coherent… or not?For me, the worst thing For me, the worst thing about waiting tables was theabout waiting tables was uniform. At the last place Ithe uniform. All the worked, all the waitresses hadwaitresses had to wear to wear an ugly brown striped jumper. Underneath it we hadthis ugly brown striped to wear an even uglierjumper. The shirts were polyester shirt. Sometimespolyester. Sometimes someone I knew would come in and Id feel embarrassed bysomeone you know my outfit. Now I have a job incomes in. Now I have a an office, where I can wear myjob in an office. own clothes.
  5. 5. ways to achieve Coherenceordering principlespronounscombining sentencestransitional wordsrepetition
  6. 6. ordering principles (paragraph type)narration e.g. chronological orderdescription for narrative paragraphsprocessexemplification choose principle that fitscomparison/contrast your materialdefinitioncause &effect use it consistently
  7. 7. cause & effect ordering principleWhile there were many contributing factors to the FrenchRevolution, a primary cause was a financial crisis brought on byroyal extravagance. For years before the revolution finallyexploded in 1789, the royal government had been borrowingheavily to cover deficit spending. (Cobb, 1988.) Even thoughFrance’s high courts of appeal cautioned against suchborrowing, the royal’s extravagance continued, eventuallyresulting in a financial crisis that required the government toinstitute a series of taxes. As the press highlighted thegovernment’s spending with cartoons and stories, thepeasants, already burdened by high taxes, low wages and poorharvests, began to resent the demands of the royals. Finally, in1789, the Third Estate- the common people- became soenraged, they demanded a new constitution and refused tocompromise with the existing government until it was written.This demand set off the first sparks of revolution.
  8. 8. pronouns (antecedent!?)Murdoch could hear Seymour’s whoopsand Katie’s laughter. He stepped up tothe window and, leaning inclose, rapped hard… He let himself intothe hall, hung up his hat and coat, andopened the door to the parlour.Seymour greeted him with moreexuberance than Murdoch had everseen him express before.
  9. 9. combining sentencesFred Smith has a problem. Fred Smith has a problem. HeHe has too many cats. This has too many cats. Thisproblem started innocently problem started innocentlyenough with one female cat. enough with one femaleShe had kittens. They grew cat, but she had kittens thatup, and the kittens had grew up and had morekittens. Fred has thirty cats. kittens. Fred now has thirtyHe spends most of his cats and spends most of hisenergy and resources on energy and resources onmaintaining them. He is maintaining them. He isexhausted. exhausted.
  10. 10. transitional words (linking words)addition: also / in addition to / additionally reinforcement of ideas:detail or example: also / in other words / in for example / that is / more addition / for example / specifically moreoverlogic: change in ideas: therefore / thus / in conclusion instead / on the other hand / yetcontrast: / although / however / but / in yet / nevertheless / on the contrast / nevertheless other hand conclusion:similarity: thus / therefore / in conclusion / likewise / similarly / in other finally / accordingly / so words
  11. 11. repetition (optimal redundancy; deliberate & judicious)It’s perhaps not surprising that Marshall McLuhan, themost influential communications expert of thetwentieth century, was a Canadian. As a nation , wehave been preoccupied with forging communicationlinks among a sparse, widespread population. The oldCanadian one-dollar bill, with its line of telephone polesreceding to the distant horizon, illustrates thispreoccupation. Year after year we strive to maintain anational radio and television broadcasting system inthe face of foreign competition. We have beenaggressive in entering the international high technologymarket with our telecommunications equipment.
  12. 12. putting it all togetherThroughout most of my school days my eyes failed tofocus correctly when reading. Consequently, I sawdifferent symbols every time I read a sentence. As a orderingresult, the printed page was a chaotic kaleidoscope of principlesconstantly changing letters that made no sense. Forexample, when reading the last sentence I would see: “ pronounsA tters made sense,” or “As le ter that made no ense,” or combining“Letters mad no sens,” depending on how my eyesfocused on a sentence. After my eye problem was sentencescorrected, my real problems began because it was transitionalassumed that I could now read like everyone else. Thiswas a big mistake that overlooked the psychological wordseffects created by my visual disability. Most repetitionimportantly, I was left doubting my understandingwhen reading unfamiliar material while teachers beganto give me increasingly complex material to read.
  13. 13. Coherent for you?Test Yourself: Make It Coherenthttp://www2.athabascau.ca/services/write-site/paragraph-resource/make-it-coherent/quiz/Athabasca University Write Site 