Cohesive Devices and Referencing
Discover the skills and techniques you need to create a fluent, cohesive and coherent essay. (The decision to place this lecture at the end of this section was taken post-production, so apologies for referring to it as 'moving to a new section of the course').
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Hi everybody. Welcome back to the course. Today we’re going to look at a new section and that’s Section 3 which is all about structuring the essay in band descriptive terms. This is all about coherence and cohesion. And we’re going to begin by looking at cohesive devices and referencing or how to achieve flow in your writing. Let’s begin by asking the question what are cohesive devices in the band descriptors. They obviously point them out. They say four bands seven that you need to use accurate and appropriate cohesive devices with not too much overuse or under use but what good is that if we don’t know what cohesive devices are so cohesive devices are the words and phrases which link your sentences and the clauses within your sentences. Together they link the ideas between separate sentences and close together so really cohesive devices create flow. I want you to read an extract now from a model tasks to essay and mark what you think the cohesive devices are. Identify the cohesive devices I’ve used in this paragraph. One of the main drawbacks of driving a car is the amount of pollution it causes. This is because the fumes from car exhaust contain chemicals which pollute the atmosphere as a result. People who live in places with many cars like cities may suffer from respiratory related illnesses. Furthermore air pollution has a negative impact on a global scale. To illustrate the polar ice caps are melting as a consequence of global warming too which air pollution contributes. So in this paragraph what are the cohesive devices I’ve used. This is because as a result. Furthermore to illustrate. And as a consequence of so we have one two three four five cohesive devices being used in this paragraph and you can see how they all link back to the previous sentences before them. So we’re linking ideas here. This really gets to the oils the wheels of the. Of the paragraph. It just increases that flow in a dramatic way. And so what I’ve got on this slide is a table full of cohesive devices that you can use in your own essays. We’re going to use these cohesive devices. You know the purposes such as begin an opinion describe a result. Give a reason give example. You going to use these more than once. So it’s important that we have a variety of different cohesive devices so that you don’t repeat yourself. It’s a very bad idea to write for example twice in one paragraph. It’s about x is a bad idea to write. For example twice in one essay you won’t need to. You should you have a number of different ones here for example to illustrate. For instance to illustrate this point. Okay so you should never have to repeat a cohesive device. It would be a good idea here to pause the video and take a screenshot of this table or perhaps even write it down to help you memorize the devices themselves. And on this next slide we have even more useful cohesive devices for different purposes. Here we’ve got clarifying a point linking ideas switching arguments making another point. Okay so lots of different cohesive devices that you can use to improve that flow in your essay. Again pause the video take a screenshot printed out and try experimenting with these cohesive devices to see if you can improve that flow in your essay. Perhaps you’ve been struggling to achieve flow in your essay. This is how you would remedy that. So let’s look at cohesive devices in use. Now using the cohesive devices we’ve looked at in the past two slides in the table. I want you to try it yourself to change this paragraph to make it sound more coherent more cohesive and more fluent. A disadvantage of Prisons is there I agree. Arguably luxurious conditions in mates are given televisions to watch video games to play an expensive sports facilities to use. This does nothing to deter the criminals from committing crimes once they are released. This pleasant environment requires a great amount of money to be maintained. The taxpayer whose taxes pay for the upkeep of these prisons is left out of pocket in order to keep prisoners entertained in their cells. Just as a side note a little bit of extra vocabulary for you here to be out of pocket means to have lost money so there might be something you can include especially if you are doing the general training module. As it’s quite idiomatic language. So what I want you to do then is to see if you can use the cohesive devices we’ve looked at in the past two slides to modify this paragraph to make it more fluent to make it more cohesive. You can remove words and add words expressions phrases. But what we’re trying to do here is just improve the coherence and cohesion of the paragraph itself. OK. So pause the video now and see if you can have a go at this exercise. I’m okay. You ready. Let’s have a look at how I’ve modified this paragraph. Okay. So firstly one disadvantage of Prisons is they’re arguably luxurious conditions for example inmates are given televisions to watch video games to play and expensive sports facilities to use. This is a problem because it does nothing to deter the criminals from committing crimes once they are released. Moreover this pleasant environment requires a great amount of money to be maintained as a consequence the taxpayer whose taxes pay for the upkeep of these prisons is left out of pocket in order to keep prisoners entertained in their cells. As you can see every cohesive device that’s been used here has a purpose. It either introduces a point it introduces an example it explains a reason for your previous a dear introduces another point it introduces a results of the previous idea they’re all referring back to previous sentences. Okay previous ideas and that really creates a well developed argument that is also very fluent and cohesive. One side points to make here is you should not over use cohesive devices. This paragraph works because every cohesive device serves a purpose and it improves the paragraph as a result. But if you’re using cohesive devices all over the place that will really look very force and it in fact has the opposite of effect of reducing the fluency of the paragraph reducing the flow because it just it looks hard to read when it’s like that. Make sure you’re only using about four or five cohesive devices per paragraph. Okay now let’s have a look at referencing which is very similar to cohesive devices but less so with the vocabulary and their expressions and it’s usually single words. We’ll have a look at what it means now and will have a look at what it means by comparing two paragraphs so I want you to look at these two paragraphs and decide which one looks more fluent. One reason sports stars deserve high salaries is that the sports stars set good examples for children. It is because they show children that if the children believe in themselves the children can achieve anything. If top athletes didn’t do it then the children would lose out on a role model. It is why successful sports professionals should earn more money than other professionals. So what do you think. Does this sound fluent. Let’s look at the next one. One reason sports stars deserve high salaries is that they set good examples for children. This is because they show children that if they believe in themselves they can achieve anything. If top athletes didn’t encourage this idea then these children would lose out on a role model. This is why successful sports professionals should earn more money than other professionals. So which one. The first paragraph or the second paragraph which one looks more fluent Which one looks more cohesive. Hopefully you’ve all picked the second paragraph. Let’s a look at why this is. So as you can see here we added some words and we took away other words. Let’s look at the words in bold. So one reason sport stars deserve high salaries is that they set good examples for children. So we’ve remove the second sport stars and just added the pronoun they. This reduces repetition and increases the flow. This is because they show children so this is because this refers to the previous idea about setting good examples. How do they set good examples. Well this is how this is because okay instead of it this is referencing back. It’s much more it’s much often much better to use this than in its prochnow. If they believe in themselves they can achieve anything. Again we’re reducing the repetition. We’re not repeating children but instead we use today. If top athletes didn’t encourage this idea here we’ve kind of had to modify the entire section instead of didn’t do it. We’ve had didn’t encourage this idea but it’s necessary because I encourage First of all is more accurate. It’s more a better collocation with idea. But the important thing here is looking at the this instead of the it. So this idea the previous idea that we’ve just spoken about we’re referencing back again. Then these children these children which we’ve spoken about again referencing would lose out on a role model. This is why instead of it is why am I going to keep repeating myself. You can see how it works. This is why successful sports professionals should earn more money than other professionals. So now you know a bit more about cohesive devices and referencing. Try experimenting with them tried seeing if you can use a few more in your essays. If you’re struggling with flow then this is probably the fastest way to remedy that problem.
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