San Jose City College

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Establishing Cohesion (connections)
for Coherence (clarity and logic) in Writing

Writing is coherent when all of the ideas flow smoothly and logically from one to another so that the writer's train of thought is clear and easy to follow. In other words, the writer establishes continuity from one thought to the next. When all the parts of an essay connect logically with various pronouns, repetition, and connecting words, the essay has cohesion.

One idea    next idea    next idea
Ideas flow logically from one to another.

Writers use several cohesive devices, or surface signals, to establish a coherent paragraph or essay.

    Personal and possessive pronouns and adjectives used consistently
    Demonstrative adjectives and pronouns
    Repetition of key words or their alternate word forms
    Use of synonyms
    Transitions and other connecting words and phrases
 Practice by selecting the best signal for continuity between sentences. Hit the tab key or click outside the box to see if your answer is correct (green). Click the teacher icon after each item for an explanation. Use the dictionary if necessary.
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1. Many Mexican immigrants have settled in the small town of Pearson, Georgia.   have been attracted by abundant agricultural work and new manufacturing jobs. When   first arrived in the 1990s, was a sleepy town with one traffic light, no Mexican food in the local grocery store, and residents who stared openly at foreigners in a county that saw  last wave of immigrants in the 1850s.    The surface signals for coherence are:
These immigrants: a demonstrative adjective and repetition of key noun.
these newcomers demonstrative adjective and a synonym
Pearson: repetition of the name of the town
its: possessive adjective referring back to the noun county.

2. Today, hundreds of thousands of   , mainly from Mexico, have poured into towns across the southern states to work in thriving industries. Atkinson county is just one area where daily life is being transformed.   and their children now make up a third of the residents.   sudden shift in demographics is unsettling to whites and blacks as they grapple with community's evolving ethnic identity.   The surface signals for coherence are:
immigrants: repetition of a key word
Mexican immigrants: more focused repetition
This sudden shift: Demonstrative in the noun phrase referring back to information in previous sentence
their: possessive adjective referring to whites and blacks

3. A Salvation Army center in San Diego is a far cry from the plain buildings that are associated with  organization's operations. The San Diego  is an $84.5 million dollar complex with three swimming pools, indoor ice and skateboard rinks, playing fields, and a 600-seat theater. these facilities, on the grounds of the stands a $2.5 million sculpture by Henry Moore, which is used as a jungle gym by low-income children who come to this Salvation Army for summer camp.   The surface signals for coherence are:
that organization's : the demonstrative adjective and the general noun (synonym) refer back to the Salvation Army.
center : repetition to keep the subject of the paragraph in front of the reader
In addition to: a transition signaling there's even more
facility: another synonym for center or complex

4. The funds for   elaborate center came from Joan Kroc, widow of the McDonald's Corporation founder, Ray Kroc.   died in 2003 and bequeathed $1.5 billion to the Salvation Army to build 30 or 40 more Kroc centers in low-income neighborhoods around the country. Some officers of the have worried that such sleek   will confuse donors about  mission, which has always been to serve the needy. , many others point out that the San Diego center provides the Salvation Army's traditional services   parenting classes, collecting and distributing food to the needy, and making referrals to social service programs. , during the 2003 wildfires, 500 people found shelter in the gym, and the kitchen prepared meals for emergency workers. With new planned for Salem, Atlanta, Phoenix, Honolulu and San Francisco, among other places, the Salvation Army will be better equipped to provide a wide variety of recreational facilities, services to the poor, and disaster relief.    Surface signals for coherence are:
this: refers back to the center discussed in #3.
Mrs. Kroc : repetition of donor's name
Salvation Army: repetition - name of organization receiving the funds
centers: repetition referring to the 30 or 40 to be built
its: posssessive adjective referring back to Salvation Army
However: A transition introducing a contrasting idea to the previous one
like: preposition introducing examples of traditional services
Moreover: a transition leading into another service
centers: repetition of key word


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