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. On a piece of paper, write a number for each sentence A-E to show a logical order for sequencing the supporting sentences.
Topic Sentence: Robots are becoming more advanced with advances in technology.
- NASA has robots in space that "are performing tasks with sub-millimeter precision" (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2015, para. 3).
- Today's robots are very powerful.
- On the other hand, the robots of twenty years ago were not able to do as much or make such exact movements.
- In addition to being powerful, today's robots are also very precise.
- Robots in the United Kingdom, for example, were strong enough to harvest five tons of barley from a farm run by robots last year (Pultarova, 2017).
Conclusion Sentence: With the amazing advances we have seen recently, it is very likely that robots will continue to improve and become capable of doing even more.
2 Exercise: Insert a sentence
The underlined numbers represent places that the bolded sentence could be inserted into the paragraph. Choose the most logical place to insert the bolded sentence below.
1 Everyone experiences stress. 2 Some of these causes include health, relationships, life changes, and conflicts between your beliefs and your values ("Causes of Stress," 2018). 3 Regardless of the cause, everyone should understand stress because they will have to know how to handle it. 4
Even though all people have different lives and circumstances, stress is universal because it has so many different causes.
3 Exercise: 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.
The skin is one of the most important lines of protection that the human body has against infection. If a germ makes it past the skin, the body has several mechanisms in place to destroy it. For example, the body uses white blood cells to find and destroy germs that enter the body ("Components of the Immune System," 2015). These mechanisms don't always work quickly enough to prevent people from becoming sick, but they do begin fighting the bacteria or virus and help people recover. In order to become infected, either bacteria or viruses have to enter the body. The skin prevents this from happening most of the time, as we encounter thousands—if not millions—of germs every day. Thus, the skin is one of the best ways to protect the body from germs because it blocks the majority of them.
The skin is one of the most important lines of protection that the human body has against infection. In order to become infected, either bacteria or viruses have to enter the body. The skin prevents this from happening most of the time, as we encounter thousands—if not millions—of germs every day. If a germ makes it past the skin, the body has several mechanisms in place to destroy it. For example, the body uses white blood cells to find and destroy germs that enter the body ("Components of the Immune System," 2015). These mechanisms don't always work quickly enough to prevent people from becoming sick, but they do begin fighting the bacteria or virus and help people recover. Thus, the skin is one of the best ways to protect the body from germs because it blocks the majority of them.
4 Exercise: Revise for cohesion
Revise the paragraph for cohesion.
The languages spoken in Haiti and the Dominican Republic are one evidence of their distinct cultures. On one side of the island, they speak French, while on the other side they speak Spanish. Interestingly, both of these languages were imported, and they are both "...the result of centuries of European colonization and numerous power struggles" (Silver, 2010, para. 3). The indigenous people of the island originally spoke Taino. However, France and Spain both established colonies, bringing their languages with them. There are a few words of Taino that remained in Spanish like huracán (tornado) and maíz (corn) (Reichard, 2017). Due to these new influences, most of the native Taino language was conquered. Both sides of the island are certainly distinct because they now have different languages.
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.
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
5 Exercise: Identify connectors
- The following research comes from an article by Peri (2018). If you wanted to include all of this research in a body paragraph, what kind of cohesive device could you use?
- Sleep plays a critical role in thinking and learning.
- Lack of sleep impairs attention, alertness, concentration, reasoning, and problem solving.
- Various sleep cycles play a role in "consolidating" memories in the mind.
- If you don't get enough sleep, you won't be able to remember what you learned.
- The following research comes from an article by DiSalvo (2017). If you wanted to include all of this research in a body paragraph, what kind of cohesive device could you use?
- Controlling your breathing calms your
- Breathing regulates your blood
- Counting breaths taps into the brain's emotional control regions.
- The rhythm of your breathing affects
- Controlled breathing may boost the immune
- The following research comes from an article by Jacobs (2017). If you wanted to include all of this research in a body paragraph, what kind of cohesive devices could you use?
- To give someone a business card, a Japanese business person will hold the card with two hands as she passes the card to the costumer. The card should be studied and discussed as part of the conversation.
- When an American business person passes a business card to another person, they do not hold it with two hands, and they may not even have a card with them. Many millennials prefer to have business contacts go to their LinkedIn Failure to present a business card is not offensive in American culture.
Now that your planning stage is complete, you can begin writing your draft. Remember to think about the characteristics of good writing. Your writing should be organized, developed, accurate, and original.
Exercise: Write a body paragraph
Use this quote to write a paraphrase or a summary for a body paragraph about recycling.
"Recycling is the process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash and turning them into new products. Recycling can benefit your community and the environment."
"Benefits of Recycling:
- Reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and combustion facilities
- Conserves natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals
- Prevents pollution by reducing the need to collect new raw materials
- Saves energy
- Reduces greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change
- Helps sustain the environment for future generations
- Helps create new well-paying jobs in the recycling and manufacturing industries in the United States" (EPA, 2017, 1-2)