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Coherence Between Sentences

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Coherence Between Sentences

Have you ever had a good idea but found it hard to put it into words? Putting words together coherently can be a challenge. However, it is also a necessary step in creating a strong piece of writing. Coherence between sentences is particularly important to argumentative essays and analyses.

Coherence Between Sentences Meaning

You want coherence in your arguments, essays, and timed test answers.

Something is coherent if it is easy and natural to follow.

You can make your arguments coherent in many ways, but the focus here is to make your sentences coherent.

Coherence between sentences is achieved when sentences connect naturally and logically.

There are significant benefits to achieving coherence between sentences.

Importance of Coherence Between Sentences

If you are making an argument, what are some things that help your argument succeed?

For one, be sure you have a good argument. To achieve that, have a strong line of reasoning, use solid deduction, and don’t commit a logical fallacy. You want to provide strong description and rhetorical analysis.

However, you also need people to understand your arguments. Your arguments will not be worth much if you can’t string them together in a presentable and easy-to-follow manner.

Enter coherence. You want coherence between sentences, coherence within sentences, and coherence within paragraphs. There are many levels of coherence, but for now, focus on coherence between sentences.

Coherence between sentences is necessary because it brings the argument to the reader. Coherent language is critical for your reader or grader to understand your thesis statement, evidence, and logic.

Methods to Achieve Coherence Between Sentences

To help you understand all that “coherence between sentences” entails, this topic has been split into three categories:

  • Coherence between sentences using transitions

  • Coherence between sentences using word placement

  • Coherence between sentences using sentence structure

Coherence between sentences. A thumbs up with three stars. StudySmarter.Achieve coherence with three skills. Flaticon.

Coherence Between Sentences Using Transitions

This is all about your ideas. Choose your sentence transition based on whether you are explaining an idea, supporting an idea, or starting a new idea.

A transition is any device that bridges two ideas.

In written media, these devices are words or phrases.

Explaining An Idea

If you explain an idea, you clarify its meaning. You explain an idea when you have more to say about it, and it can’t fit in a single sentence.

The proposed wilderness reserve is not only a place for endangered flora and fauna to thrive. It is also a place for people to come and enjoy their natural beauty.

The transition word in this example is "also."

Here are some strong transitions words and phrases that explain:

  1. Also

  2. In so doing

  3. In other words

  4. Additionally

  5. Specifically

  6. Critically

  7. To break that down

  8. More than that

Consider adding repetition when you explain an idea. This can help a reader stay engaged and follow along with a complicated topic. For instance, you might say, "Rhetoric is a complex arena wherein all forms of communication and argumentation collide. More than that, many different fields use rhetoric in different ways." This example uses "rhetoric" in both sentences so the reader follows along. It would be confusing if the reader said "it" in the second sentence. Still, don't overdo repetition! You don't want to sound like a broken record.

Supporting an Idea

You support an idea when you provide evidence or an example. You are not continuing to state the argument or starting a new argument; you are providing the logic behind your argument.

We need to establish a wildlife reserve. Doing this is important because 84% of the world’s black-bellied wombats live in this area.

This sentence provides evidence that “this reserve needs to be established.” It’s also the beginning of a discussion about the (fictional) black-bellied wombats, a fact made clear by the transition word “because.”

Here are some transitions that help support your arguments.

  1. Because

  2. For example

  3. For instance

  4. In support

  5. Actually

  6. To substantiate

  7. Provides proof

  8. Provides evidence

Although transitions are helpful between sentences, do not use them in every sentence. As a rule of thumb, only include a transition if you feel it is necessary. In other words, use one if you couldn’t otherwise explain, support, or start the idea. Aim for 1-2 transition words per paragraph, and probably no more than 3.

Starting a New Idea

You start a new idea when you want to move on to a different argument. This usually occurs after you have supported your last argument or contention.

However, you might have heard the argument that a new reserve would impact the foresting industry.

This sentence uses “however” to transition from the last topic (wombats) to a new topic. This new topic addresses an opponent’s argument regarding the forestry industry.

You start new ideas with pivot words. Here are some of them.

  1. However

  2. On a related note

  3. Regarding (something else)

  4. Although

  5. Additionally

  6. To look at another side

  7. Looking at a different angle

  8. That said

Remember, understanding and variety in transitions is only one part of coherence between sentences.

Coherence Between Sentences Using Word Placement

This kind of coherence is about being natural and grammatical. In the following example, look at how “additionally” is used in three different ways.

  1. Additionally, you need a life preserver.
  2. You additionally need a life preserver.
  3. You need a life preserver, additionally.

All of these sentences mean the same thing, but depending on your prior and upcoming sentences, one might sound more natural and more varied.

Say that the prior sentence is, “You need to be sober to pilot the boat.”

Which of the three sentences from above would best follow such a sentence?

The answer is probably the first sentence because it begins with a different word than “you.”

You need to be sober to pilot the boat. Additionally, you need a life preserver.

Now imagine the prior sentence is, "Out on the lake, you need to be sober to pilot the boat.”

Now, which one is best?

Probably the middle one, “You additionally need a life preserver.” The prior sentence begins with a prepositional phrase and a comma, so it would be nice to see a clear sentence follow it.

Out on the lake, you need to be sober to pilot the boat. You additionally need a life preserver.

When constructing sentences in your essays or on a timed test, place your transition words (and other helping words) in varied places.

Don’t worry. This takes practice! There will be more opportunities to practice your coherence later on.

Coherence Between Sentences Using Sentence Structure

Finally, you want to create coherence between sentences by varying your sentence structure. This adds variety and fluency to your essay or answer.

For instance, you can follow a simple sentence with a compound sentence.

Measurements take time. First, you install the meter, and then you wait for the meter to read the moisture levels.

“Sentence types” is a rich topic, so to master sentence structure, you should study simple sentences, compound sentences, complex sentences, and compound-complex sentences. Learning about clauses, punctuation, and phrases will also help you create coherent sentences and paragraphs.

Coherence between sentences. A document with edits. StudySmarter.Use sentence structure to make your sentences smooth and engaging. Flaticon.

Coherence Between Sentences Examples

Using what you’ve learned and read, try turning these clusters of simple sentences into more coherent ones. Combine them as you see fit! An example of how you might have achieved coherence follows each practice session.

There are many ways to achieve coherence between sentences, so don’t worry if your results don’t match the examples. Focus on whether or not you applied the same set of skills.

Practice #1

You need to look at the research results. You can see they indicate a change. You need to look at the precedent set by prior research. You can see they indicate a similar change.

Here is one way you might blend these sentences coherently.

If you look at the research results, you can see they indicate a change. Also, look at the precedent set by prior research. You can see a similar change indicated.

Don’t add “fluff” when making your sentences coherent, but don’t hesitate to elaborate on your ideas in a conversational tone.

Practice #2

The character has a hard time. The character has a hard time in Calcutta. The character then has a good time. The character has a good time in Albany. The character has different company in each place. The company the character has changes how the character feels.

Here is one way you might blend these sentences coherently.

The character has a hard time in Calcutta, then has a much better experience in Albany. Yet the place matters little, actually. The real difference is in the character’s company, which dramatically changes their feelings.

Practice #3

Opponents might not support a new wilderness reserve. Opponents might consider it a waste of resources. Opponents might not realize what resources are. Opponents might not realize we have resources. Opponents might not realize we can use these resources responsibly.

Here is one way you might blend these sentences coherently.

The wilderness reserve has opponents, of course, who consider it a waste of resources. Such people don’t realize what resources go into a wilderness reserve, however. Indeed, we have resources at the ready and a plan to use them responsibly.

Use a variety of vocabulary to engage your readers!

Difference Between Coherence Within Sentences and Coherence Between Sentences

Coherence between sentences focuses on blending one sentence into the next. On the other hand, coherence within sentences focuses on making a sentence sound good on its own.

That said, you practiced making coherent sentences in the previous section. As you probably saw, “coherence between sentences” and “coherence within sentences” are not perfectly distinct concepts. The same idea and words can be a single sentence or multiple sentences, depending on how you choose to write it.

When working in levels of coherence, don’t worry too much about the technicalities of each level. The levels work together toward the same goal. With practice and study, you will find that many aspects of rhetoric blend together in this way.

Coherence between sentences. Colors blending together in a line. StudySmarter.Blend rhetorical strategies to create coherence. Flaticon.

Coherence between Sentences - Key Takeaways

  • Coherence between sentences is achieved when sentences connect naturally and logically.
  • Coherent language is critical for your reader or grader to understand your thesis statement, evidence, and logic.
  • Achieve coherence between sentences using transitions, word placement, and sentence structure to your advantage.
  • Use transitions to explain, support, and start new ideas.
  • Coherence between sentences focuses on blending one sentence into the next. On the other hand, coherence within sentences focuses on making a sentence sound good on its own.

Frequently Asked Questions about Coherence Between Sentences

Coherence between sentences is achieved when sentences connect naturally and logically.

"If you look at the research results, you can see they indicate a change. Also, look at the precedent set by prior research."
This example uses transitions and sentence variety to achieve coherence between sentences.

Coherence between sentences is necessary because it helps to bring the argument to the reader. Coherent language is critical for your reader or grader to understand your thesis statement, evidence, and logic.

With transitions, word placement, and varied sentence structure.

Repetition involves using the same word across sentences so that a reader knows what you're talking about. There are many transitional devices, which consist of words and phrases that bridge ideas such as "however" and "also."

Final Coherence Between Sentences Quiz

Question

Something is _____ if it is easy and natural to follow.

Show answer

Answer

Coherent

Show question

Question

_____ is achieved when sentences connect naturally and logically.

Show answer

Answer

Coherence between sentences

Show question

Question

Coherence helps people _____ your arguments.

Show answer

Answer

Understand

Show question

Question

"Coherent language is fairly important for your reader or grader to understand your thesis statement, evidence, and logic."

True or false?

Show answer

Answer

False. It is critically important that your language is coherent! 

Show question

Question

What three ways create coherence between sentences? Using what three things?

Show answer

Answer

Transitions, word placement, and sentence structure.

Show question

Question

What is a transition?

Show answer

Answer

A transition is any device that bridges two ideas.

Show question

Question

What three ways can transitions relate to your idea when creating coherence between sentences?

Show answer

Answer

Transitions can help explain an idea, support an idea, and start a new idea.

Show question

Question

"Transitions are single words."

True or false?

Show answer

Answer

False. They can be words and phrases.

Show question

Question

How can you use repetition to help explain an idea?

Show answer

Answer

Repetition can help a reader stay engaged and follow along with a complicated topic. 

Show question

Question

What is a potential issue with using repetition to explain an idea?

Show answer

Answer

It can make you sound like a broken record. Don't overdo it!

Show question

Question

"Although transitions are helpful between sentences, do not use them in every sentence. As a rule of thumb, only include a transition if you feel it is necessary."

True or false?

Show answer

Answer

True.

Show question

Question

Aim for _____ transition words a paragraph, and probably no more than _____.


Show answer

Answer

1-2, 3

Show question

Question

Which sentence best follows, "You need to be sober to pilot the boat."

Show answer

Answer

Additionally, you need a life preserver.

Show question

Question

What is the difference between coherence between sentences and coherence within sentences?

Show answer

Answer

Coherence between sentences focuses on blending one sentence into the next. On the other hand, coherence within sentences focuses on making a sentence sound good on its own.

Show question

Question

"Coherence between sentences and coherence within sentences never overlap."

True or false?

Show answer

Answer

False. For instance, the same idea and words can be a single sentence or multiple sentences, depending on how you choose to write it.

Show question

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