Coherence and Cohesion (CC)


Cohesion is the glue that sticks a sentence to another in a paragraph, or a paragraph to another paragraph.

A text can be cohesive through the use of the following devices:


In sentence B (the second of any two sentences), repeat a word or phrase from sentence A:

Delegates from Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia have arrived at the conference. The delegates from Malaysia are staying at the Hilton.


If direct repetition is too obvious, or if you are aiming to demonstrate a wide range of vocabulary, use a synonym of the word you wish to repeat.

Astronauts are again struggling to land on the surface of the moon. The lunar surface is covered with rocks and craters.

Only use a synonym if a suitable synonym is available!


Using the opposite word, an antonym, can also create sentence cohesion.

It is expected that there will be a dramatic increase in sales later this year. A decrease is extremely unlikely.

Transition Signals

Sometimes called connectives or discourse markers, these are used to communicate cause/effect, comparison, time order, logical relationships, etc.

Our product is not selling well. First of all its is expensive. In addition, the design is outdated.


Repeat a sentence structure. This technique is the oldest, most overlooked, but probably the most elegant method of creating cohesion.

If I have an exam, I look for a quiet place to study, switch off my phone, and leave a 'do not disturb' sign on the door.

(parallel clauses..)


Coherence means that the text is easy to read and understand because:

  • the organisation of ideas in the text is systematical
    (the text may have a 'generic' structure)
  • the text is logical
    (the relationships between claims and supports, objections and rebuttals, time order, cause and effect, compare contrast, etc., are clearly marked)