Cohesive Essay Example

“The pen is mightier than the sword,”

This axiom by Shakespeare holds the verity and relevance when compared to a sword. On the contrary, delving deep into the nuances of writing; the pen itself is not enough to make an effective writer. Although most of us may envision ourselves as the budding writers (no less than Shakespeare) but brainwave alone is not the key to effective essay writing.

The generic formula for effective essay writing is shared below:

The Five Paragraph Essay

Paragraph 1: Introduction
Paragraph 2: Body 1
Paragraph 3: Body 2
Paragraph 4: Body 3
Paragraph 5: Conclusion

The Introduction

The principle purpose of the introduction is to present your “thesis” on the topic. The essay should begin with a “hook” that grabs the reader’s attention and makes them want to read on. Hence we start with a general idea about the topic and subsequently arrive to the main idea. The thesis should be a clear, one-sentence explanation of your position in an unambiguous manner .Following the thesis, a mini-outline is proffered which previews the examples you will use to support your thesis in the rest of the essay. Finally, designing the last sentence in this way has the added benefit of seamlessly moving the reader to the first paragraph of the body of the paper.

The Body Paragraphs

The middle paragraphs of the essay are collectively known as the body paragraphs supporting the main purpose of spelling out in detail the examples that support the thesis.

For body paragraph 1: The strongest argument or most significant example ought to be used at this juncture. The first sentence of this paragraph should be the topic sentence of the paragraph that directly relates to the examples listed in the mini-outline of introductory paragraph. Seal the deal by directly stating why this example is relevant. The topic sentence should be ornate with a transitional word and have a common thread to bind the other body paragraphs.

The Conclusion

As the final paragraph represents your last chance to make your case and, as such, should follow an extremely rigid format. One way to think of the conclusion is, paradoxically, as a second introduction because it does in fact contain many of the same features. Effective conclusions open with a concluding transition (“in conclusion,” “in the end,” etc.) and an allusion to the “hook” used in the introductory paragraph.

Introduction Paragraph

  • Attention grabbing hook
  • A thesis statement
  • A preview of the three subtopics you will discuss in the subsequent body paragraph.

Body Paragraph 1

  • Topic sentence with the subtopic coupled with a transition word
  • Supporting details with relevant examples
  • An explanation how the example supports the thesis.

Body Paragraph 2

  • Topic sentence with the subtopic coupled with a transition word
  • Supporting details with relevant examples
  • An explanation how the example supports the thesis.

Body Paragraph 3

  • Topic sentence with the subtopic coupled with a transition word
  • Supporting details with relevant examples
  • An explanation how the example supports the thesis.

Conclusion

  • Concluding transition, reverse hook and reinstatement of thesis
  • Global Statement or call to action

Tips to make your essays shine

  1. Plan and make a framework of your essay
  2. Include variety of expressions (ideas)
  3. Use transition words
  4. Use varied lexical range
  5. Engage in the art of paraphrasing
  6. Give your thoughts a structured approach
  7. Practice makes a man perfect

Hope these tips and techniques are useful and that they help you take your essay-writing to new heights.

EnglishMate is a chain of English Speaking Institutes by Hindustan Times that offers a range of courses to help you speak better English and get smarter.

Cohesion is revising to make sure that your words, ideas, and paragraphs fit together. Without cohesive sentences, readers feel like they are reading a long list of unrelated ideas.  They often have trouble remembering what you said. 

They also have trouble understanding how these ideas connect to one another, which may mean that they don’t understand the main point in your essay.  When your writing is not cohesive, it’s very difficult to be an effective communicator.

Cohesive Papers:

  1. Group similar ideas together
  2. Constantly refer back to the thesis or main idea
  3. Use a well-defined structure that is easy for the reader to follow

Incorporating these connecting words and phrases into your essays will help the reader understand how your sentences and ideas relate to one another:

  • also
  • anyway
  • consequently
  • finally
  • furthermore
  • however
  • incidentally
  • indeed
  • therefore
  • thus
  • instead
  • likewise
  • meanwhile
  • nevertheless
  • next
  • nonetheless
  • otherwise
  • still
  • then
  • after all
  • as a result 
  • at any rate
  • at the same time
  • by the way 
  • even so 
  • for example 
  • in addition
  • in fact 
  • in other words   
  • on the contrary 
  • on the other hand

Using this phrases and coordinating conjunctions (and, so, yet, but, or, for) will ensure that your reader can follow your meaning, and trust your voice as a writer.

5 Ways To Improve The Cohesiveness Of Your Writing:

  1. Check the first sentence in each paragraph.  Ask yourself:  does this sentence explain the connection between the ideas in the previous paragraph and the ideas that I’m about to discuss?
    Example:  Let’s say that I’m writing a paper about the personalities of different household pets.  If my first paragraph is about cats and my second paragraph is about dogs, I can make my writing more cohesive by beginning the 2nd paragraph with the following statement:  “While cats tend to be moody and self-centered, dogs are usually cheerful and aim to please their owners.”

  2. Check the first few words in each sentence.  Ask yourself:  Have I made it clear exactly how this idea relates to the previous one?  Will readers be able to move smoothly from one idea to the next?
    Example:  Instead of using two disjointed, short sentences like “She ran outside.  Her shoe fell off,”  I might make the sentences more cohesive by emphasizing a connection.  I’d change it to:  She ran outside so quickly that her shoe fell off.

  3. Use topic sentences.  Read each paragraph and ask yourself 2 questions:  What is the main point in this paragraph?  How does this point support my thesis statement or main purpose in this essay?  Make sure that your topic sentences answer BOTH questions.
    Example:  If the purpose of my essay is to argue that the death penalty should not be used in the U.S., I’ll want to make sure that each of my paragraphs helps defend my opinion.  Rather than beginning a paragraph about innocent people being mistakenly executed using this system with the vague words “Innocent people in the U.S. are dying every day” I’d make my writing more cohesive and remind the reader of my main purpose by saying “The death penalty system allows our country to take away innocent lives, therefore it should not be used as a form of punishment.”

  4. Underline the subject in longer sentences.  Check to make sure that you’ve placed the subject as close to the beginning of the sentence as possible, rather than hiding it in the middle or towards the end.
    Example:  If my paper is about the effects of global warming, I’ll want to avoid sentences like this:  “There are several harmful effects on our environment like global warming and people not cleaning up their garbage.”  That sentence is confusing because it drags on too long and does not emphasize any particular main point; it also mentions garbage, which doesn’t really relate to what I’m talking about at all.  It would be better to change the sentence to:  “Global warming is the most dangerous environmental problem that we must face.”

  5. Don’t be afraid to re-state your thesis or main idea several times throughout your essay.  Just make sure that you do so in slightly different words!
    Example:  If my thesis statement reads, “The best way to learn to drive is to practice in a vacant parking lot,” then throughout my essay I might use statements like:  “Practicing in a large, open space is also helpful because…” or “Learning to drive on the road will cause a lot more anxiety than practicing in a less cluttered space because…”

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