Ways to Teach Cohesion in Writing

Kim Fernandez and Alyssa Toomes

Strategies to Add Cohesion to Narrative Writing

Here are 7 strategies for adding cohesion

  • Cohesive Nouns
  • Substitution
  • Conjunction
  • Lexis
  • Reference
  • Ellipsis
  • Sentence Structure

Combining Sentences to Create Cohesion in Narratives

1. Bullet sentences in a paragraph.

2. Identify short, choppy sentences.

3. Try ways to combine these sentences.

Click on the link above to  find more examples of these strategies.

Grow your Conjunctions….

1. Highlight conjunctions used

2. Identify one-word conjunctions

3. Try different conjunctional phrases

4. Choose the best phrases to substitute for one-word formulaic conjunctions

Using Synonyms

  1. Reread, one paragraph at a time
  2. Identify repeating words or phrases and highlight
  3. Make a list of synonyms for the repeated words
  4. Try different words by whispering the sentences aloud to oneself
  5. Choose which words/phrases sound the best

When the big parts fit, we call that good feeling coherence; when sentences connect, we call it cohesion.

What is a Writing Toolkit?

*Examples of writing samples

*Teacher created writing samples

*Student created writing samples

*Excerpts from published mentor texts

*Blank paper

Architecture of a Conference

Writing Conferences FAQ

The purpose of a writing conference is to move your students from one point in their writing life to another. Find one strategy, teach it well, and then get out of the way and let them try it. Reflect on how the student has "MOVED" and acknowledge their growth as a writer.

Strategies to Add Cohesion to Expository Writing

Combining Sentences to Create Cohesion in Expository

1. Bullet sentences in a paragraph.

2. Identify short, choppy sentences.

3. Try ways to combine these sentences.

Mix up Your Sentence Structure to avoid formulaic conjunctions….

Highlight conjunctions used

2. Identify one-word conjunctions

3. Try different ways to organize your sentence by flip-flopping your dependent clauses.

4. Choose the best order to avoid repetitive sentence structure and conjunctional phrases

Choose Powerful Conjunctions

1. Identify and highlight weak, repetitive conjunctions used

2. Try stronger conjunctional phrases

3. Choose the best phrases to substitute for the weak, formulaic conjunctions