The term coherence refers to the text working as a whole. When speaking to someone, we can count on tone of voice, facial expressions, and body language to give us more information; because there are no non-verbal cues in writing, we must depend entirely on the words. When checking your text’s coherence, have a look at these things:
- Logic: does your text follow a logical path? If your logic was used in another situation, would the outcome be the same?
- Organization: is your paragraph ordered in a way which would make sense to your reader? Does it follow a pattern: a, b, c; first, second, third; smallest to largest; most important to least important?
- Paragraph unity: do your paragraphs work together, or do they look like they come from different texts?
- Sentence cohesion: do your sentences follow grammatically correct patterns? Do they transition smoothly?
- Repetition of key words: can your subject matter be found several times in each paragraph, or is it only mentioned at the beginning of the text?
- Consistency: is everything the same throughout the text? Do all your points support your thesis? Have you changed tone or verb tense or point of view?
- Concise: have you written exactly what you mean? Are there any extra words which can be removed?