Coherence

Coherence

A lot of research writing today gives the reader a series of sentences without actually connecting them.   For example, consecutive sentences may read something like this:


 

 

However, this tells the reader nothing about how the ideas in these sentences connect.  In fact, readers who are left to connect the dots on their own can come to diametrically opposite conclusions. 

 

 

 

Sidestepping, for now, the issue of why research writers are prone to leaving the dots unconnected, let's look at how the simple act of adding connector words and phrases can help you strengthen your paper.

 

How connector words and phrases matter

As you can see from the picture above, connector words matter for the type of point you want to make.   Here are some types of points with associated connector words and phrases: 

 

Compare and contrast

Although...

Despite....

Yet...

However...

 

Additional support

Moreover...

Furthermore...

In addition...

Cause and effect

Because...

Since...

 

 

 

Chronology

Before

After...

While...

Since connector words indicate the type of point you want to make, including them in your writing ensures first, that you're thinking of the right type of point for your argument and second, that readers see it the way you do.

So how well are you connecting dots for your readers?  Take a look at a paragraph of your writing and try to add a few extra connector words and phrases!

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