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  • 1. Basic Structures
    Paragraph and Above
  • 2. The Paragraph
    A paragraph is a collection of related sentences dealing with a single topic.
    The Basic Rule: Each paragraph is centered around one major idea
    The basic rule of thumb when paragraphing is to keep one idea to one paragraph. If you begin to transition into a new idea, it belongs in a new paragraph. Remember to break down complicated ideas into sub-unit in technical or lengthy essays.
  • 3. ParagraphStructure
    A topic sentence is often the first sentence of a paragraph. It states (often quite generally) the main issue to be discussed in the paragraph
    Topic sentences often appear at the beginning of a paragraph but they can be placed in any location.
  • 4. ParagraphTopics
    The topic (which is introduced by the topic sentence) should be discussed fully and adequately.
    Writers should avoid paragraphs that only have two or three sentences. Shorter paragraphs do not have time to adequately address topics. As a general rule, quotations should not make up the majority of the length of a paragraph.
  • 5. Cohesion
    Ulla Connor defines cohesion as - "the use of explicit linguistic devices to signal relations between sentences and parts of texts.” Halliday defines cohesive devices as the following:
    reference
    ellipsis
    substitution
    lexical cohesion
    conjunction
  • 6. Cohesion
    Halliday’s categories can be better applied if you think of the following structures:
    repetition of key nouns
    key noun substitutes including pronouns
    synonyms
    transition signals
    coordinating conjunctions – joins two main clauses – and, but, for, nor, or, so, and yet
    subordinating conjunction – joins subordinating clause to main clause – after, when, although, since etc..
  • 7. Simple Cohesion
    William Faulkner's work illustrates a narrative technique called stream of consciousness. A device that reveals a character's thoughts and feelings as they occur, stream of consciousness attempts to replicate the internal workings of the mind. This literary technique can be used to draw the reader into the literary work. When put into practice, it can be a powerful narrative feature.
  • 8. Coherence
    Cohesion is not coherence. Cohesion is lexical and grammatical. Coherence is semantic.
    Teun A. van Dijk argues that coherence is a semantic property of discourse formed through the interpretation of each individual sentence relative to the interpretation of other sentences, with "interpretation" implying interaction between the text and the reader (1980)
  • 9. Coherence
    The development of the discourse topic within an extensive piece of discourse may be thought of in terms of a succession of hierarchically ordered subtopics, each of which contributes to the discourse topic, and is treated as a sequence of ideas, expressed in the written language as sentences. Lautamatti (1978: 71)
  • 10. Coherence
    Coherence is the trait that makes paragraphs easily understandable to a reader.
    In order to cohere, the text needs to develop ideas throughout its length
    You can help create coherence between paragraphs by creating logical bridges and verbal bridges to help the reader follow your logic, but coherence is a feature of your ideas not your vocabulary.
  • 11. Coherence(example from BYU writingcenter http://humanities.byu.edu/english/writingcenter/)
    [1] Topics are crucial because they focus a
    reader's attention on a particular idea
    toward the beginning of each clause. [2]
    Cumulatively, these ideas provide thematic
    signposts that should focus your reader's
    attention on a well-defined set of
    connected ideas. [3] If a sequence of
    topics seems coherent, that sequence will
    move your reader through a paragraph
    from a cumulatively coherent point of view.
    [4] But if your topics shift randomly, then
    your reader has to begin each sentence
    out of context, from no coherent point of
    view. [5] When that happens, your reader
    will feel dislocated, disoriented, out of
    focus. [6] You must provide your readers
    with a coherent point of view, with a logical continuity that will guide them not only through individual sentences but through whole paragraphs.
    [1] Particular ideas toward the beginning of
    each clause focus the reader's attention, so
    topics are crucial. [2] Cumulatively, the
    thematic signposts that are provided by these
    ideas should focus the reader's attention
    toward a well-defined set of connected ideas.
    [3] Moving through a paragraph from a
    cumulatively coherent point of view is made
    possible by a sequence of topics that seem to
    constitute a coherent sequence of connected
    ideas. [4] A lack of context for each sentence
    is one consequence of making the reader
    begin sentences with random shifts in topics.
    [5] Feelings of dislocation, disorientation, and
    lack of focus will occur in the reader when
    that happens. [6] The rest of the sentence as
    well as whole paragraphs will be affected by a
    reader's point of view as a result of topic announcement.