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.
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.
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.
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
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..
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.
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)
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)
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.
Coherence(example from BYU writingcenter http://humanities.byu.edu/english/writingcenter/)  Topics are crucial because they focus a reader's attention on a particular idea toward the beginning of each clause.  Cumulatively, these ideas provide thematic signposts that should focus your reader's attention on a well-defined set of connected ideas.  If a sequence of topics seems coherent, that sequence will move your reader through a paragraph from a cumulatively coherent point of view.  But if your topics shift randomly, then your reader has to begin each sentence out of context, from no coherent point of view.  When that happens, your reader will feel dislocated, disoriented, out of focus.  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.  Particular ideas toward the beginning of each clause focus the reader's attention, so topics are crucial.  Cumulatively, the thematic signposts that are provided by these ideas should focus the reader's attention toward a well-defined set of connected ideas.  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.  A lack of context for each sentence is one consequence of making the reader begin sentences with random shifts in topics.  Feelings of dislocation, disorientation, and lack of focus will occur in the reader when that happens.  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.