Do you see coherence and cohesion similar to each other? “My grade is low but I don’t know to write my essay to gain a better score.” This is the article for you. This paper aims to show the differences between cohesion and coherence. This is followed by a series of vocabulary words that increase cohesion and how to develop ideas that help increase coherence.
1. What are Coherence and Cohesion?
– Coherence is the association by the meaning level that your ideas must be closely related, logical, and coherent.
Coherence is assessed by the way you develop, organize, use examples to support the main idea. I temporarily call it “figurative alignment” when I write my essay.
– Cohesion is a form-level association (grammar and vocabulary), that is, how you use linking words to connect ideas, sentences, and paragraphs for readers to follow. To write my essay, I call it “literal association”.
Thus, in order to meet the criteria for Coherence and Cohesion, using a lot of linking words and phrases doesn’t mean you will get a high score.
An essay may have a cohesion but no coherence. It means it appears to be coherent, but it is still loosely logical. For example:
Example 1: People are getting busier with their jobs nowadays. Thus, they are more likely to gain weight.
2 sentences on absolutely no errors in grammar and vocabulary, connected by the conjugated “thus”. But obviously, after reading, we still do not understand what these two ideas have to do with each other, why idea 1 leads to idea 2.
This is an example of a cohesive argument (with grammatical links) but not coherent (not coherent in meaning). We can fix the following:
People are getting busier with their jobs nowadays. Thus, they have less time for fitness exercises and become more likely to gain weight.
This is an example of a developmental error. We can look at another example of layout errors in paragraphs:
The consumption of beef sharply increased from … in May to … in July. By contrast, the figures for fish and pork significantly decreased from … to …, respectively. Meanwhile, the volume of chicken exported showed a slight rise during the period.
Temporarily ignore the issue of citing figures. At first glance, this paragraph is cohesive, both grammatically (using linking devices “by contrast” and “meanwhile” to clarify the contrast) and vocabulary (subject paraphrase: “the consumption of”, “the figures for “and” the volume of … absorbed “refer to the amount of meat consumed at site X between May and July of Y).
However, incoherence, this segment has a problem, because the author is analyzing the uptrend to jump to the downtrend, and then back to the uptrend. It is more logical when up and downtrends are divided into 2 distinct streams, for example:
Example 2: The consumption of beef sharply increased from … in May to … in July. Likewise, the volume of chicken consumed showed a slight rise during the period. By contrast, the figures for fish and pork significantly decreased from … to …, respectively.
2. How to increase Coherence points
You can write 3 paragraphs or more in the body of the essay after the introduction.
However, limit your focus to a different idea.
- There is only one main idea per paragraph
- Add 3/5 sentences to each paragraph.
Start each body paragraph with the main thesis and then add other sentences to create a logical bridge.
In this way, the whole paragraph will focus on only one idea.
If you write like that, it will become very easy to understand with examiners.
A simple formula that will help you better understand is the P.E.E. method.
P – Point
E – Explain
E – Example
Thesis: Create a strong thesis as shown in the topic sentence or statement;
Illustrations: Give some practical evidences;
Explanation: Show how these evidences support the main thesis.
Your topic sentence is the most important sentence of the paragraph.
When I write my essay, the topic sentence always includes an idea or a topic + my opinion (about that idea).
Online education has become a more popular form of distance education in recent years.
In this case, the topic is online education and your opinion is it has become more popular in recent years.
Remember, a good topic should not be too general or too specific.
Too general: Online education has become popular.
Too specific: Online education has become a very popular form of distance education in Japan, China, the US, and Canada, with nearly 25% of students enrolled in all online learning institutions.
Now, you must illustrate the idea expressed in the topic sentence.
You have illustrated the topic just now for specific reasons.
So now is the time to clarify how the examples will connect to your point. Otherwise, the examiner may be overwhelmed with too many examples that you give. Or they may think that your example does not fit the point you mentioned at the beginning of the paragraph.
That is why you need to clarify it in a sentence, as below:
“This flexibility of online learning makes it a very powerful and popular medium of education.”
Interestingly, the whole paragraph is focused on a single topic – the popularity of online learning.
- That’s the main point – writing each paragraph with a unique topic.
- Do not include new topics / new ideas in this paragraph.
- Write a separate paragraph for a new topic.
- Remember, each new thesis needs its own paragraph.
To write my essay, especially to explain, I usually provide some examples to support the topic sentence. These examples will help you make sentence statements clearer.
For example, let’s look back at the point just now:
“Online education has become a more popular form of distance education in recent years.“
You need to give some reasons why online education becomes popular.
“Students have the freedom to take lessons from home, they don’t have to be present themselves physically in the lecture room. The experience of a virtual learning environment via the internet whenever needed makes it time-independent. For many learners, it provides the ability to maintain personal busy schedules and take classes on the same day. “
3. How to increase cohesion points
When I write my essay I usually pay attention to the way I use conjunctions to link sentences with sentences, paragraphs with paragraphs.
In order to increase cohesion points you can use some following conjunctions:
From some details I have shared with you I hope you can understand the differences and the importance of coherence and cohesion. From then you can apply them to your essay and make it become better. “Write my essay” now is not a scared thing as before.