When it comes to writing, people usually emphasise the importance of good grammar and proper spelling. However, there is a third element that actually helps authors get their thoughts across to readers, that is cohesiveness in writing.
In writing, cohesiveness is the quality that makes it easier for people to read and understand an essay’s content. A cohesive essay has all its parts (beginning, middle, and end) united, supporting each other to inform or convince the reader.
Unfortunately, this is an element that even intermediate or advanced writers stumble on. While the writer’s thoughts are in their compositions, all too often readers find it difficult to understand what is being said because of the poor organisation of ideas. This article provides tips on how you can make your essay cohesive.
1. Identify the thesis statement of your essay
A thesis statement states what your position is regarding the topic you are discussing. To make an essay worth reading, you will need to make sure that you have a compelling stance.
However, identifying the thesis statement is only the first step. Each element that you put in your essay should be included in a way that supports your argument, which should be the focus of your writing. If you feel that some of the thoughts you initially included do not contribute to strengthening your position, it might be better to take them out when you revise your essay to have a more powerful piece.
2. Create an outline
One of the common mistakes made by writers is that they tend to add a lot of details to their essay which, while interesting, may not really be relevant to the topic at hand. Another problem is jumping from one thought to another, which can confuse a reader if they are not familiar with the subject.
Preparing an outline can help you avoid these difficulties. List the ideas you have in mind for your essay, and then see if you can arrange these thoughts in a way that would make it easy for your readers to understand what you are saying.
While discursive essays do not usually contain stories, the same principle still applies. Your writing should have an introduction, a discussion portion and a conclusion. Again, make sure that each segment supports and strengthens your thesis statement.
As a side note, a good way to write the conclusion of your essay is to mention the points that you raised in your introduction. At the same time, you should use this section to summarise main ideas and restate your position to drive the message home to your readers.
3. Make sure everything is connected
In connection to the previous point, make sure that each section of your essay is linked to the one after it. Think of your essay as a story: it should have a beginning, middle, and end, and the way that you write your piece should logically tie these elements together in a linear manner.
4. Proofread before submitting your essay
Make sure to review your composition prior to submission. In most cases, the first draft may be a bit disorganised because this is the first time that your thoughts have been laid out on paper. By reviewing what you have written, you will be able to see which parts need editing, and which ones can be rearranged to make your essay more easily understood by your readers. Try to look at what you wrote from the point of view of your audience. Will they be able to understand your train of thought, or do you need to reorganise some parts to make it easier for them to appreciate what you are saying? Taking another look at your essay and editing it can do wonders for how your composition flows.
Writing a cohesive essay could be a lot easier than you think – especially when you follow these steps. Don’t forget that reading complements writing: try reading essays on various topics and see if each of their parts supports their identified goal or argument.