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Section 1.1.4

Coherence

Look for ways to improve the coherence of your writing. Coherence is the quality of hangingtogether, of providing the reader an easily followed path. Writers promote coherence by makingtheir material logically and stylistically consistent, and by organizing and expressing their ideas inspecific patterns. Efforts to emphasize the relationships amongthe elements of a document strengthen its impact. Coherence can dramatically improve the reader'sability to understand your material by promoting its flow or readability. Coherence is especiallyvalued in science and technology because of the inherent complexity of the subjects.

At the level of the whole document, coherence helps to provide the larger picture, in which theconnections among the parts of the document are made clear by the writer. Give readers a roadmap to help them anticipate the content of your work. Abstracts,clear titles, introductions, and problem statements all promote coherence by linking various parts of a piece of writing.

The paragraph is one of the most powerful instruments ofcoherence. By organizing material into a topic sentence andsupporting sentences, paragraphs pull together material and emphasize various forms of conceptualdevelopment. Paragraph development is achieved partly throughthe specific strategies of exemplification, analysis, comparison and contrast, definition, enumeration, and description, all of which furnish distinct approaches to developing ideas. Transitional devices also operate at the paragraph level to providelinks between sentences and between paragraphs.

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