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Section 5.2

Paragraph Coherence

A coherent paragraph does more than simply lay down the facts--it organizes them,creating a logical argument that makes sense from idea to idea. Coherentparagraphs have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Elements that contribute tocoherence, such as transitional devices, linking pronouns, and repetition of key words, are discussed in the following sections.


Weak

Limited investment in the housing sector makes it practically impossibleto allocate sufficient resources for urban dwellers' housing needs. A high rateof urban population growth has increased the country's needs for housing. Asmall group of city officials has laid out a new plan to combat the crisis. Asolution to the housing-shortage problem is a vital policy issue here. Thehousing problem has grown in the last twenty years. [Although related bytopic (housing shortage), each sentence makes its own separate point with no linkto the sentences before or after. The result is a group of related yet separateideas instead of one coherent paragraph.]

Improved

Limited investment in the housing sector makes it practically impossibleto allocate sufficient resources for urban dwellers' housing needs. Infact, the problem has grown in the last twenty years. Because a high rate of urban population growth has increasedthe country's needs for housing, a solution to thehousing-shortage problem is a vital policy issue here. A small group of cityofficials has laid out a new plan to combat the crisis. [Each separatefact now flows into the next, creating a coherent whole.]

--Samuel Nunn, "Role of Local Infrastructure Policies and Economic DevelopmentIncentives in Metropolitan Interjurisdictional Cooperation," Journal ofUrban Planning and Development


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