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WRITING THE PARAGRAPH :COHERENCE

Tips:
A paragraph is usually linked to the previous paragraph by a connector
(connecting term, phrase or sentence)
Logical connectors and indicators highlight the logical relationships between
sentences leading to a cohesive and coherent paragraph.
Practice 1
Match the appropriate heading to the groups of connectors: result, example, enumeration,
result, addition and comparison, summary, passage of time.
_________________
firstly,
secondly,
thirdly etc
finally,
next,
last

____________________
in brief
in conclusion
in short
to conclude
on the whole
to summarise

_________________
after a short time
after a while,
afterwards
at last
lately
presently
shortly
since then
temporarily
then

_____________________
for example
for instance
incidentally
in particular
namely
specifically
that is
particularly
in other words
such as

_________________
accordingly,
consequently
hence
then
therefore
thus
as a result
thereby

______________________
after all
but
despite
on the other hand
stick
yet
whereas
however
in contrast
in spite of
nevertheless
notwithstanding
on the contrary
perhaps
while
and yet
at the same time
granted
naturally
of course

_______________________________
again
futhermore
also
in addition
and
too
and then
indeed
equally important
in fact
further
moreover
in a like manner
likewise
in the same way
similarly

Practice 2
Compare the following two paragraphs. Which is the more coherent and cohesive
paragraph? What are the functions of the transition signals used?
Paragraph 1
A difference among the worlds seas and oceans is that the salinity varies in different
climatic zones. The Baltic Sea in Northern Europe is only one-fourth as saline as the Red
Sea in the Middle East. There are reasons for this. In warm climates, water evaporates
rapidly. The concentration of salt is greater. The surrounding land is dry and does not
contribute much fresh water to dilute the salty sea water. In cold climatic zones, water
evaporates slowly. The runoff created by melting snow adds a considerable amount of
fresh water to dilute the saline sea water.
Paragraph 2
Another difference among the worlds seas and oceans is that the salinity varies in
different climatic zones. For example, the Baltic Sea in Northern Europe is only one-fourth
as saline as the Red Sea in the Middle East. There are two reasons for this. First of all, in
warm climatic zones, water evaporates rapidly; therefore, the concentration of salt is
greater. Secondly, the surrounding land is dry and consequently, does not contribute much
fresh water to dilute the salty sea water. In cold climatic zones, on the other hand, water
evaporates slowly. Furthermore, the runoff created by melting snow adds a considerable
amount of fresh water to dilute the saline sea water.
Paragraph 2 is more coherent because it contains these transition signals.
Another indicates that this paragraph is part of a longer essay.
For example indicates that an example of the preceding idea is coming.
Two indicates that there are two different reasons.
First of all indicates that this is the first reason.
Second and furthermore indicate that additional ideas are coming.
Therefore and consequently indicate that the second statement is a result of the first
statement.
On the other hand indicates that an opposite idea is coming.
Practice 3
Pick out the transitional signals in the following paragraphs and explain their use in the
passage.
Passage 1
Genetic research has produced both exciting and frightening possibilities. Scientists are
now able to create new forms of life in the laboratory due to the development of gene
splicing. On the one hand the ability to create life in the laboratory could greatly benefit
mankind. For example, because insulin is very expensive to obtain from natural sources,
scientists have developed a method to manufacture it inexpensively in the laboratory.
Another beneficial application of gene splicing is in agriculture. Scientists foresee the day
when new plants will be developed using nitrogen from the air instead of from fertilizers.
Therefore food production could be increased. In addition entirely new plants could be
developed to feed the worlds hungry people.
Not everyone is excited about gene splicing however. Some people feel that it could have
terrible consequences. A laboratory accident for example might cause an epidemic of an
unknown disease that could wipe out humanity. As a result of this controversy the
government has made rules to control genetic experiments. Still many people feel that
these rules are not strict enough even though the scientific community may feel that they
are too strict.
2

Passage 2
The womens lib movement towards greater equality for women has produced some
permanent changes in the vocabulary of English. The first change is that new words have
been added. The words feminist, sexist and male chauvinist for example became
common during the past ten years or so. Another new word is the title Ms which is often
used in place of both Miss and Mrs. A second change is that the sexist titles of many
occupations have been neutralized. A chairman is now a chairperson, a businessman is
now a businessperson and a salesman is now a salesperson. Moreover, a mailman is
now a mail carrier and an airline stewardess is now a flight attendant. Finally, attempts to
give equal treatment to masculine and feminine pronouns in English have led to the
search for a new pronoun to replace he (as he/she or s/he) when referring to neutral
nouns such as the student. In my opinion some of the new words such as Ms are quite
useful; you can use Ms to address a woman when you dont know if she is married. On
the other hand the lack of a clear neutral pronoun can lead to awkward sentence
construction.

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