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2.12: Creating Cohesion between Paragraphs

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    Making paragraphs stick together

    We have talked about how you can create cohesion within your paragraphs, but you will also want to make sure that each paragraph sticks to the next one.


    One way to do that is to start each new paragraph with a transition word in the topic sentence. Here is what that might look like in an essay with four body paragraphs, including a concession:

    • The first reason that . . . .
    • Another reason is that . . . .
    • The most significant reason that . . . .
    • Although some argue that [opposing view], it is crucial that we consider [my opinion]

    Bridging techniques

    In addition to using transition words, you can also use your words to connect one body paragraph to the next. These act like a bridge between the two paragraphs (see figure 2.11.1).

    tall bridge across a riverFigure 2.11.1 "bridge" barnyz is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Here are some examples of paragraph bridges:

    • Repeat key words from the previous paragraph in the topic sentence of the next paragraph.
    • Include the idea of the previous paragraph in the topic sentence of the next paragraph. Here are some examples:
      • In addition to [last paragraph], another benefit of X is [new paragraph topic]
      • Despite the advantages of [last paragraph], this has not been implemented because of [new paragraph topic].
      • As a result of [last paragraph], [new paragraph topic]
      • Though [last paragraph] is well-known, fewer people recognize [new paragraph topic]

    Of course, you must make sure that your topic sentence matches the meaning of your two paragraphs!

    Adding bridges to your paragraphs

    Now, let's apply this to your writing.

    Apply this!

    Look at your own or a classmate's draft. Underline or highlight the last sentence of each body paragraph and the first sentence of the next paragraph. Do they lead into each other smoothly?

    1. Think about how the ideas are connected and write a topic sentence that shows the connection. You may also need to add a conclusion sentence to the previous paragraph to make the connection smooth.
    2. If it is not clear how the paragraphs are connected, you may need to reorganize them!

    Licenses and Attributions

    Authored by Elizabeth Wadell, Laney College. License: CC BY NC.

    This page titled 2.12: Creating Cohesion between Paragraphs is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Gabriel Winer & Elizabeth Wadell (ASCCC Open Educational Resources Initiative (OERI)) .

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