XENA005 Academic Writing Modules: Cohesion and Coherence (2 cr)

Study level:
Other studies
Grading scale:
Pass - fail
Responsible organisation:
Language Centre
Curriculum periods:
2017-2018, 2018-2019, 2019-2020



The cohesion and coherence module is intended for doctoral students.

Cohesion and coherence, which refer respectively to the connectivity of ideas between sentences and paragraphs and the way the whole text fits together, affect the clarity, communicative effectiveness and social acceptability of a manuscript. An additional stumbling block to achieving a publishable standard during the writing process is that problems in these areas often result in feedback from readers and editors in imprecise and variable terms (flow, readability, redundancy, etc.). Fortunately, these issues are easily demystified and understood as a number of interlocking phenomena that can be learned separately and then combined to achieve a text that can be fine-tuned for greater degrees of coherence and cohesion when needed. Elements of coherence and cohesion we may focus on developing in our research writing include the following:
- certain expected rhetorical moves in sections of an article
- creating paragraphs which follow a predictable structure
- using pronouns and noun phrases more deliberately to link sentences and paragraphs
- using conjunctions and transitional words and phrases carefully to highlight the logic and sequence of ideas
- using sentences, as appropriate to the field and journal, to preview and summarize the organization of a scientific text
- adding punctuation to accentuate the rhetorical flow of a text
- checking that lists in an academic text are parallel

Completion methods

Two scheduled meetings; full participation on both days is required for credits.

Assessment details

Compulsory and active participation. Successful completion of core assignments. Final grading is based on the applicable grading scale for the course.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module participants are expected to:

- create paragraphs that follow a predictable structure
- connect ideas between sentences and paragraphs by using cohesive markers
- use expected rhetorical moves to deliberately highlight the logic and sequence of ideas in their research writing
- use metatext to guide the reader through their text
- understand how the principles and strategies of cohesion and coherence affect the clarity, communicative effectiveness and social acceptability of an academic text
- recognize the use of these principles and strategies in published texts in their discipline or field

Completion methods

Method 1

Select all marked parts
Parts of the completion methods
Unpublished assessment item