Revising Your Paragraph: Achieving Coherence & Continuity Yang

Revising Your Paragraph: Achieving Coherence & Continuity Yang

Revising Your Paragraph: Achieving Coherence & Continuity Yang Ying 2010 What to cover in todays class? 1. Understanding coherence & continuity 2. Learning strategies to improve continuity

3. Improve coherence & continuity in your own writing What is coherence and continuity? Coherence: ideas are connected developed around a central idea heading towards a single conclusion or goal Continuity flow/link between sentences two closely related concepts

Understanding Coherence: an example Compare the two paragraphs on page 1 of your handout Pair work: Read and identify which one is better Whole class discussion: Why is one better than the other? Understanding Coherence Whats the topic/subject (1) Monticello, his home in Virginia, was Thomas Jefferson's central interest throughout his life.

His interest began when he was a small boy; according to legend, he dreamed even then of building a house on the mountain where he often played. He began to make his dream a reality in 1764, when he drew up the plans. Although he had no training in architecture, he studied the drawings of Andrea Palladio and based his drawings plan on them because he admired the grace and simplicity of Palladio's drawings of Roman buildings. After he drew his plans, Jefferson supervised the actual construction of the house over a period of thirty years. He began the building before he was married but allowed it to lapse when his wife died. After living in France for several years, he resumed work and added a wing to the original plans. In 1802, the mansion was completed.

From the time he began living in the house until his death in 1826, Jefferson invented many ingenious devices, including a giant clock to tell the day of the week besides telling the hour. He conceived of the idea of storm windows to keep out the cold and designed most of the furniture. Monticello was the product of a lifetime. of discussion? What is the controlling idea? Is this controlling idea developed throughout the paragraph? What is the pattern of organization used in this paragraph?

How does the author end his paragraph? Understanding Coherence (2) Does the Every year thousands of tourists visit Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States. They are also fascinated by the gadgets that show Jefferson's inventive mind. He supervised every detail in the building of the house. The construction took thirty years to complete, with an interruption after the death of his wife, and was completed in 1802. Jefferson designed much of the furniture and even invented a kind of storm window to keep out the cold. The plans that Jefferson drew were based on drawings by Andrea Palladio, a sixteenth century builder who designed many Italian buildings.

Jefferson admired the simplicity and grace of Palladio's drawings. He was interested in Roman culture and was a student of the classics. Some of his political philosophy was derived from his reading of the Latin authors. Monticello charms everyone who visits it. There is even a giant round clock that tells the day of the week as well as the hour. The surroundings are beautiful as the house itself. The house is located on the top of a small mountain where Jefferson played as a boy. The legend is that he dreamed even then of building a house there. Jefferson was one of the great men in our history and the first true liberal. He wrote the Declaration of Independence. paragraph have a central idea? What is the

pattern of organization used in this paragraph? Examine the topic in each sentence. Coherence Parts forming a whole

In-depth exploration of a subject Change of subjects -- brief and superficial treatment of a lot of subjects A pattern of organization appropriate for the development of the controlling idea Clarity of ideas -- easy to understand Current Problems in Students Writing

Body deviates entirely or partly from controlling idea in topic sentence Switches of topic/jumping suddenly to a different point Sentential level accuracy may be achieved Lack of flow Clarity of ideas is affected Improving Coherence through Improving Continuity between Do sentences link to each other? Sentences Do ideas build towards an overall controlling idea?

Learning Strategies to Improve Activity 1: group work Continuity Time (10 minutes) Step 1: read the two paragraphs given Step 2: decide which one has better coherence & continuity Step 3: underline the parts that are different Step 4: analyze the differences by answering the questions given Step 5: share with class group leader to make sure every member contributes to the discussion Compare two paragraphs (1) (1) Each of the U.S. manned space exploration projects had specific major goals. (2) Whether or not human beings could survive and function in outer space is important to study in the Mercury project.

(3) Rockets with the new Mercury space capsule, which could hold one person, are tested. (4) Some scientists also launched the Gemini project to examine if two people could work in the weightless environment of space. (5) Gemini astronauts took "spacewalks." (6) They floated outside their spacecraft in a spacesuit, connected to it by a tether. (7) Gemini astronauts tried out new flying skills. (8) Some astronauts flew two spacecraft extremely close together; people called this procedure "rendezvous." (9) On some Gemini flights, astronauts physically linked two spacecraft together. (10) Linking, or "space docking," was what the astronauts often did on the Gemini program. (11) Three astronauts on the Apollo project tested spacecrafts and skills so that people could actually fly to the Moon and land on it. (12) Performing scientific experiments on the lunar surface and collecting rocks for study on Earth were also important to find out. Comparing two paragraphs

(1) Each of the U.S. manned space exploration projects had specific major goals. (2) For example, the Mercury project was designed to test whether or not human beings could survive and function in outer space. (3) In addition, the Mercury project tested rockets with the new Mercury space capsule, which could hold one person. (4) As another example, the Gemini project was intended to find out whether two people could work in the weightless environment of space. (5) One way of doing this was by having Gemini astronauts take "spacewalks." (6) That is, they floated outside their spacecraft in a spacesuit, connected to it by a tether. (7) Gemini astronauts also tried out new flying skills. (8) For example, some astronauts flew two spacecraft extremely close together; this procedure was called "rendezvous." (9) On some Gemini flights, astronauts physically linked two spacecraft together. (10) This linking, or "space docking," was a major goal of the Gemini program. (11) Finally, the Apollo project, with three astronauts, had the goal of testing spacecraft and skills so that people could actually fly to the Moon and land on it. (12) Other goals included performing scientific experiments on the lunar surface and collecting rocks for study on Earth.

Paragraph Analysis: 1 2 (1) Each of the U.S. manned space exploration projects had specific major goals. (2) (2)For Whether example, or not thehuman Mercury beings project

could wassurvive designed andtofunction test in outer space whether or not is human important beings to could study in survive the Mercury and function project.

in outer space.with the new Mercury space capsule, which (3) Rockets (3) could In addition, hold onethe person, Mercury are project tested. tested rockets with the new Mercury space capsule, which could hold one person. (4) Some scientists also launched the Gemini project to examine if two people could

work in the weightless environment of space. (5) Gemini astronauts took "spacewalks." (6) They floated outside their spacecraft in a spacesuit, connected to it by a tether. (7) Gemini astronauts tried out new flying skills. (8) Some astronauts flew two spacecraft extremely close together; people called this procedure "rendezvous." (9) On some Gemini flights, astronauts physically linked two spacecraft together. (10) Linking, or "space

docking," was what the astronauts often did on the Gemini program. (4) As another example, the Gemini project was intended to find out whether two people could work in the weightless environment of space. (5) One way of doing this was by having Gemini astronauts take "spacewalks." (6) That is, they floated outside their spacecraft in a spacesuit, connected to it by a tether. (7) Gemini astronauts also tried out new flying skills. (8) For example,

some astronauts flew two spacecraft extremely close together; this procedure was called "rendezvous." (9) On some Gemini flights, astronauts physically linked two spacecraft together. (10) This linking, or "space docking," was a major goal of the Gemini program. (11) Three astronauts on the Apollo project tested spacecrafts and skills so that people could actually fly to the Moon and land on it. (12) Performing scientific

experiments on the lunar surface and collecting rocks for study on Earth were also important to find out. (11) Finally, the Apollo project, with three astronauts, had the goal of testing spacecraft and skills so that people could actually fly to the Moon and land on it. (12) Other goals of the project included performing scientific experiments on the lunar

surface and collecting rocks for study on Earth. Summary of Strategies to Develop Continuity (1) 1: Repeating/rephrasing key words e.g. project, goal, test, Summary of Strategies to develop continuity (2) 2. Placing known information before new information e.g. mention project first before

introducing the specific goals of a project Strategies to develop continuity (3) 3. use transitions/logical connectors (e.g. effective use of Pron references) e.g. for example, in addition, as another example, finally that is, this procedure, this linking Strategies to develop continuity (4) 4. Use Parallel structures e.g. The Mercury project was designed to

The Gemini project was intended to The Apollo project had the goal of One more example (1) It is commonly recognized that dogs have an extreme antagonism toward cats. (2) This enmity between these two species can be traced back to the time of the early Egyptian dynasties. (3) Archaeologists in recent years have discovered Egyptian texts in which there are detailed accounts of canines brutally mauling felines. (4) Today this type of cruelty between these two domestic pets can be witnessed in regions as close as your own neighborhood. (5) For example, when dogs are walked by their masters, and they happen to catch sight of a stray cat, they will pull with all their strength on their leash until the master is forced to yield; the typical result is that a feline is

chased up a tree. (6)The hatred between dogs and cats has lasted for so many centuries; it is unlikely that this conflict will ever end. Identifying strategies for maintaining coherence & (1) It is commonly recognized that dogs have an extreme continuity antagonism toward cats. (2) This enmity between these two species can be traced back to the time of the early Egyptian dynasties. (3) Archaeologists in recent years have discovered Egyptian texts in which there are detailed accounts of canines brutally mauling felines. (4) Today this type of cruelty between these two domestic pets can be witnessed in regions as close as your own neighborhood. (5) For example, when dogs are walked

by their masters, and they happen to catch sight of a stray cat, they will pull with all their strength on their leash until the master is forced to yield; the typical result is that a feline is chased up a tree. (6)The hatred between dogs and cats has lasted for so many centuries; it is unlikely that this conflict will ever end. Comments on the paragraph

1. All the sentences effectively relate back to the topic sentence 2. All of the sentences have something to do with dogs not liking cats. 3. There is a flow of thoughts and ideas among the sentences 4. There are good transitions employed in the paragraph. 5. The writer also presents her idea in an orderly fashion that the reader can follow easily. 6. The paragraph is developed. The writer gives herself enough space to develop the topic. 7. She gives us at least two reasons to defend her argument 8. She incorporates examples in order to give those reasons more validity. Positive examples

Children cannot talk to adults about being bullied because they are afraid of retaliation. This fear causes children to have no choice but to keep their problems in mind, leading to stress. Positive examples To satisfy the requirements of the population, new industries are built every day. These industries, in the process of producing goods, release a lot of air pollutants like sulphur and nitrogen oxides. A students sample writing

Academic-related matters occupy a huge proportion of young peoples life in this modern world. Inevitably, improper management of academic work has become one of the main causes of stress for young people nowadays. Statistics from tertiary education institutes such as NTU and NUS has shown an uprising trend in the number of requests for counseling advice especially during the critical examinations period. For instance, there is a case about a tertiary student resorting to suicide as a means to resolve all his difficulties. In this case, the student had his scholarship revoked, in addition to many hiccups and problems in his Final-Year Project. He was obviously not coping well with his academic matters at that point of time and the revoking of his scholarship further dealt him a huge blow which he could not grapple with. Hence, these supports have further reinforced the fact that improper handling of academic-related matters will inflict immense stress on young people.

Revised version Academic-related matters occupy a huge proportion of young peoples life in this modern world. Inevitably, difficulties or failure in the management of academic work has become one of the main causes of stress for young people nowadays. Statistics from tertiary education institutes such as NTU and NUS has shown an uprising trend in the number of requests for counseling advice especially during the critical examinations period. In a more extreme case recently, a tertiary student resorted to suicide as a result of insurmountable stress caused by academic difficulties. In addition to many hiccups and problems in his FinalYear Project, the student had his scholarship revoked due to disappointing academic performance, which further dealt him a huge blow which he could not grapple with. The above examples have further reinforced the fact that problems related to academic-related matters will inflict immense stress on young

people. Practice work Activity 2: Time: 30 min Step 1: Read the excerpts from students writing Step 2: Improve the excerpts coherence & continuity by using the strategies learned. Step 3: Share your improved version Excerpt 1

Students have a chance to learn both in and out of class. For example, communication in everyday life helps them use and practice language more effectively. Reference Answer for Excerpt 1 Students have a chance to learn English both in and out of class. In class, they listen to the professors lectures, make oral presentations and even take notes in English. Outside class, communication in English in their everyday life helps them use and practice the language more effectively.

Excerpt 2 These days, the number of people that commit suicide is increasing. We need to think about this fact from two aspects. Reference Answer for Excerpt 2 These days, the number of people that commit suicide is increasing. This alarming fact can be examined from two aspects. Excerpt 3

Another aspect is the suicide of adults. This is caused by the recession. In Japan, it is culturally perceived that males go to work to earn money for their family and females work in their homes as housewives. Reference Answer for Excerpt 3 Another aspect is the suicide of adults, which may be caused by the recession. For example, in Japan, a man may be driven to kill himself if he loses his job in recession as it is culturally perceived that males go to work to earn money for their family. When failing to

do so, Excerpt 4 Student suicide can be led by many causes, among which pressure may probably be the most common one. Successful students mostly set very high standard for themselves and worked extremely hard. Reference Answer for Excerpt 4 Student suicide can be led by many causes, among which pressure may probably be the

most common one. For example, students who are keen to succeed mostly set very high standards for themselves and worked extremely hard. In the process, Excerpt 5 Students are going overseas to pursue study instead of studying locally might be due to better educational opportunities. One major reason is that local institutions might have limited number of seats allocate to students. Reference Answer for Excerpt 5

Students may go overseas to pursue study instead of studying locally for better educational opportunities. Overseas institutions generally offer more seats than local institutions References Adapted from: http:// www.engl.niu.edu/sourcebook/II-3-8.html Students writing samples

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