Understanding and remedying loss of cohesion in academic writing

Jeremy Jones

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookConference contributionpeer-review


For native English-speaking (NS) and non-native English-speaking (NNS) tertiary students, their academic future is dependent on their writing as it is mainly through this medium that they are assessed. While the NNS is at a distinct disadvantage in many respects, it is quite apparent that both NS and NNS students are known to have significant difficulties in communicating through writing, to the extent that many academics now claim that their students ‘can’t write’. Analysing one essay by a NS, this paper confronts a common and very significant challenge that such students face: forming cohesive relations between sentences. In the course of analysis, the author identifies and probes the instances of non-cohesion, and suggests steps that can be taken towards remedy. An explicit purpose of the paper is to inform the methodology of teaching writing. With this improved understanding of the nature of the problem, classroom and one-to-one teaching may be enhanced to provide targeted support to writers as they learn strategies to help overcome it.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2010 TWN Colloquium proceedings
Place of PublicationNew Zealand
PublisherTertiary Writing Network
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventTertiary Writing Network: Writing the future - Wellington, New Zealand
Duration: 2 Dec 20103 Dec 2010


ConferenceTertiary Writing Network: Writing the future
Country/TerritoryNew Zealand


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