Making Your Paragraphs Coherent

Hate academic writing for it squeezes your brain off? Having problem organizing thoughts? Ever get confused on how to make your sentences look coherent? Well, those are normal feelings for beginners. And how can you deal with this? Just read through and you'll find out.
Paragraph structures serve as a map for your ideas, guiding your readers through your reasoning. Try to keep this simple set of principles in mind while you write your papers, and you'll not find yourself confused or intimidated with developing coherent academic pieces.

      • Use topic sentences

State the main idea of each paragraph explicitly in a sentence. This is your topic sentence. In academic writing, the topic sentence usually works best at the beginning of a paragraph so the readers are given a hint of what to expect. Don't depend on your readers to guess what your paragraph is going to be about.

      • Expand on your topic sentences

The body of your paper develops and demonstrates what is stated in your topic sentence. You can use some of these common patterns:

  1. Explain and expound fully what you mean. Give definitions or indicate distinctions.
  2. Offer details, examples, or relevant quotations and put your personal comments.
  3. Follow through a logical sequence. Show the connections among your ideas in a pattern such as cause and effect, or comparison and contrast.
      • Show connections

Make sure that your intended logic is clear. The simplest words most of the times do the most to pull ideas together. Pronouns such as it and they keep the focus on the ideas stated at the beginning of the paragraph as long as they are clearly linked to the specific nouns.
Deliberate repetition of key words may help you. Also, there are certain specialized linking words that are powerful tools for pulling ideas together. But don't just insert them into your sentences - use them to support your logic. Some of which are:

  1. Also, for example, moreover, in other words, in addition, more importantly – to signal reinforcement of ideas.
  2. But, instead, although, yet, on the other hand, however, in contrast, in spite of – to signal a change in idea.
  3. Thus, therefore, so, accordingly, in conclusion to signal a conclusion.
      • Have an appropriate paragraph length

A series of long paragraphs can your paper prose dense and unpleasant to read. Also look for paragraphs only two or three sentences long. They tend to make academic writing seem disjointed or skimpy.
Try following these simple reminders and you'll be just fine.