Improving your writing

Text structure


Text cohesion

Text cohesion (fluent writing) is achieved through the use of cohesive devices – transitional words or connectives.

Sentences within a paragraph need to connect to each other and work together as a whole. One of the best ways to achieve coherency is to use transition words (or cohesive devices).

These words create bridges from one sentence to the next. You can use transition words that show order (first, second, third); spatial relationships (above, below) or logic (furthermore, in addition, in fact).

Here are some examples of the use of cohesive devices.


Desktop computers are cheaper and more reliable than laptops; furthermore, they are more flexible.


Prices fell by more than 20% last year. As a result, sales increased by 15%.


On the whole, his speech was well received, despite some complaints from new members.


The South East of the UK often has the coldest weather in the winter. Conversely, the North West of Scotland frequently has the mildest temperatures.


It was a very expensive holiday, the weather was bad and the people weren’t very friendly. Nevertheless, we would probably go back to the same place.







Completeness. Completeness means a paragraph is well-developed. If all sentences clearly and sufficiently support the main idea, then your paragraph is complete. If there are not enough sentences or enough information to prove your thesis, then the paragraph is incomplete. Usually three to four supporting sentences, in addition to a topic sentence and concluding sentence, are needed for a paragraph to be complete. The concluding sentence or last sentence of the paragraph should summarise your main idea by reinforcing your topic sentence.