I Appeal

II Workers

III Effects
IV Thesis


Works Cited







Professor Stevens, English 28

Coherence is the product of many different factors, which combine to make every paragraph, every sentence, and every phrase contribute to the meaning of a written piece.  When a writing is coherent, it ties together:

1.     Words in a sentence

2.     Sentences in a paragraph

3.     Paragraph in an essay



Coherence Practice Lesson

               Read the following paragraphs below whose sentences are organized in logical order.  Add transitional words and phrases that make each paragraph coherent.  Please keep in mind that the following words have meanings; do not just choose a word or phrase that seems okay.  What you put in the blanks below have to help the reader understand the sentences and paragraphs.  Below are listed phrases and words you should consider.  Use each transitional word and phrase ONCE only:



  1. Copy and paste the Transitional words and Phrases along with the two paragraphs below into a Word document.
  2. Answers


Transitional words and Phrases—use each one once only


equally important

second...third..., etc.

for example
for instance


In addition

In conclusion In fact
moreover not only

but also

another reason


the least important

the most important



Paragraph 1

There are many reasons to support school sports.  1  _______________ is the education students get on the playing field.  Students in a sports program, such as basketball or track, learn teamwork, self confidence, and the value of physical fitness.   2  _______________ they feel a sense of belonging that athletes on a team enjoy.  3  _______________ schools often benefit financially from the sales of tickets to sporting events.   4  _______________ attending a football game may help provide students with new textbooks and other materials.  5  _______________ reason to support schools sports is the chance that a student athlete might go on to become a famous sports figure.  6  _______________such success is extremely rare, and young people should be encouraged to pursue other, more practical careers.


Paragraph 2

I have made some important decisions lately.  7  _______________ last year I decided to move from my home in rural California to an apartment in Los Angeles.  This move has had many benefits.  8  _______________ being in the city gave me more career opportunities.  9  _______________ it helped me to meet many more people than I could have in my small California town.  10  _______________ I found plenty of interesting thing to do with my time.  My new interests include surfing and salsa dancing.   11  _______________ I find the cultural mix in the city interesting and exciting.






Coherence Lesson



Combine sentences when possible using subordinators (151), coordinators (159) and transitional Words (292).  See sample below for use of all three techniques in italics and bolded.

As we move from small animals to large animals—from mice to elephants, brain size increases, but not as fast as body size does.  In other words, bodies grow faster than brains do, and large animals have low ratios of brain weight to body weight.  For example, brains grow about two-thirds as fast as bodies do.  Because large animals are not stupid, we must conclude that large animals require less brain to do as well as smaller animals do.  If we do not recognize this relationship, we are likely to underestimate large animals, for instance the dinosaurs.



Assignment begins here.  Copy and paste the following essay into a blank Word document:



Coherence Sentence Combining with Transitions

Writers need to link ideas clearly.  Readers expect to learn a paragraph’s main point in a topic sentence early in the paragraph.  A topic sentence should be limiting like this next sentence.   An open space classroom is not practical for my son.  Readers move into the body to find details about the topic sentence.  They expect to find specific details, facts, and examples.  The supports should refer to the topic sentence directly.  It can refer to the topic sentence indirectly.  A sentence that does not support a topic directly needs to be connected indirectly.

Repeating key words is an important technique for gaining coherence.  You can prevent repetitions from becoming dull.  You can use variations of a key word like hike, hiker, hiking. Use synonyms like run, dash, and race. Sentence about slaves plotting to escape can be tied together repeating words.  You can echo synonyms like plot, uprising, rise-up, rebellion, riots.  Repeating words ties each sentence together.  It enhances a reader’s ability to comprehend an article.

Coherence can suffer from a voice shift.  It suffers with a shift in verb tense.  A sentence should echo a subject in the previous sentence with the same verb tense.  A sentence should refer to subjects or objects in the previous sentence.  It is difficult to read a paragraph without sentences’ subjects tied to early subjects or objects.  New information is introduced with the subject of each sentence.  Be consistent with your voice.  The use of first-person should be the same in every sentence.  You are writing in the first-person.  The first-person subject pronoun—I—should be used in every sentence.

Transitions are bridges from the last read to the next.  Transitions help readers move from sentence to sentence.  They alert readers to connections of ideas.  They help readers understand ideas between paragraphs.  Choose transitions carefully.  Vary transitions carefully.  Each transition has a different meaning.  Use an appropriate transition.  You might confuse your reader.  A sample needs transitions below.  Add them:

Taking eight o’clock classes may seem unappealing.  Early classes have its advantages.  Early students avoid the worst traffic.  They find the best parking spaces.  They have a better choice of class offerings.




























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Answers for coherence practice lesson:

  1. the most important
  2. also
  3. in addition
  4. another reason
  5. the least important
  6. on the other hand
  7. for example
  8. for instance
  9. moreover
  10. furthermore
  11. in fact