Cohesive devices: grammatical

time to complete: 10 minutes

1. Pronouns and reference words

Pronouns and reference words help writers avoid repetition by referring to something which has already been mentioned. These words refer to something else in the text. 

e.g. this/these, that/those, it, they, them, he, she, which

2. Linking words and phrases

These are words that signal relationships between ideas and have different functions such as to give examples, to summarise, to make lists or to express an alternative. Try the task below to check how many you are familiar with. 

Task: Drag the correct words to match their correct function on the right

3. Substitution

This is similar to reference words. Substitution substitutes (=replaces) an earlier word with another. 

e.g. the graph on the left shows average calorie intake by age, while the one on the right shows the daily exercise levels. 

We use the word one to avoid repeating the word graph. If we have a plural noun, we need the word ones, e.g. the richest countries…compared the poorest ones

4. Ellipsis

Ellipsis is when we leave out words because the meaning is clear. 

e.g. I’ve finished the essay, but not the report is the same as I’ve finished the essay but I have not finished the report

Here we have left out the words I, have and finished because they are implied from the first part of the sentence. 

Task:Read the paragraph and answer the questions about the words/phrases in bold

Cohesion is an important feature of academic writing. It can help ensure that your writing coheres, which will make it easier for the reader to follow the main ideas in your essay or report. You can achieve good cohesion by paying attention to five important features. The first of these is repeated words. A second key feature is reference words. A third one is linking words. A fourth is substitution. The final important aspect is ellipsis.