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How to Achieve Cohesion

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To achieve cohesion, the writer should pay close attention to how words, phrases, and sentences are linked within the paragraph. Cohesion in writing can be achieved through the following devices:

1. Lexical Chains

Lexical chains refer to the sequence of related words in writing sentences or paragraphs. Through the effective use of lexical chains, a writer is able to present his/her ideas in a cohesive manner.

Examples:

  1. The choir sang as the pianist played a series of familiar Christmas carols, which created a melodious atmosphere inside the church.
  2. We helped Grandma set up the huge white Christmas tree in the middle of the living room. I was assigned to sort all the colorful ornaments like ribbons, garlands, and Christmas balls, while my little sister was in charge of putting up the Christmas lights and additional decorations.

2. Cohesive Nouns

Cohesive nouns are single words that name an idea presented by the writer in the preceding sentence/s. These create a clear connection between the first and the succeeding sentences.

Examples:

  1. Some families spend thousands of pesos during the holiday season. Their expenses usually include food, gifts, and travels.
  2. The father feels worried because his boss has not allowed his request for early leave. He might not be able to go home before Christmas Eve. He needs to find a way to solve this predicament.

3. Pronoun Reference

Pronoun reference is another way to achieve cohesive writing. Basically, pronouns are used to replace nouns. The word/group of words that a Pronoun replaces or refers to is called antecedent. Cohesion is achieved when the relationship between the pronoun and its antecedent is clear.

Pronoun Reference

4. Ellipsis

Ellipsis is another cohesive device. It is done by omitting a word or phrase and substituting them with those dots. Instead of repeating, the writer omits words without changing the meaning of the sentence.

Examples:

  1. Christine likes to go shopping during the Christmas rush, but her best friend Anne hates to. (go shopping during Christmas rush)
  2. Some employees work overtime during Christmas day just to get extra pay although they know, deep in their heart, that they must not. (work overtime during Christmas Day just to get extra pay)
  3. For the Christmas party’s dress code, the organizers are requested to wear pastel colors. However, the guests can wear any. (color)

5. Substitution

Unlike ellipsis where the writer leaves out words, substitution achieves cohesion by replacing a word or an idea with a more general word.

Examples:

  1. The father asked his son,”Which toy car do you like as Christmas gift? “The son repliedexcitedly,
    “I like the big one!”
  2. Students always look forward to a long, stress-free Christmas break. The same is true to working
    adults.

6. Conjunctions

Through the correct use of conjunctions—coordinators and subordinators—writers are able to connect ideas logically.

Examples:

  1. Mother should start buying grocery. items as early as September, so she won’t have to  suffer the hassles of the Christmas rush.
  2. Children innocently think that they will receive more gifts from Santa Claus if they behave properly at all times.
  3. Christmas is the merriest time of the year because it is a season of love and giving.

7. Transitional Words

A writer can link one sentence to another smoothly by using transitional words. The following are the most commonly used transitional words.

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