Finding Text Coherence

Tell me about it

Text coherence refers to the logical connections that readers or listeners perceive in a written or oral text. Students must learn that usually one idea in a text leads to another. Students must also learn that the reader is responsible for meeting the writer halfway by deliberately entering into this unspoken discourse with the author.

Considerations for instructional planning

  • Carefully review texts with students for text cohesion - the transitional words and phrases, and sentence and paragraph structures that create flow within a text.
  • Illustrate to students how the text fits together and moves from sentence to sentence.
  • Help students learn how coherence develops from the conversation a reader has with text while acknowledging that each reader brings a different experience to a text.
  • Help students recognize that finding cohesion in a text helps them find text coherence. 

Be sure to's

  • Directly teach what makes a text coherent so that students can recognize how a writer creates a discourse with the reader.
  • Explain the difference between cohesion and coherence.
  • Integrate writing to sources when teaching about coherence.

Tools and Resources

  • Use the analogy of puzzle pieces to teach coherence both in writing and reading.
  • Check out a lesson using coherence and cohesion as topics for instruction.
  • Don't miss these great examples for teaching coherence and cohesion!
  • Grammarly Handbook offers key definitions to better understand coherence.
  • This site looks at the difference between coherence and cohesion.
  • OneStopEnglish looks at the relationship between coherence and cohesion.