Essay Writing: Cohesion (paragraphs)

Cohesion means the action of forming a united whole. It is very important that your essay is cohesive - that your essay's different parts (introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion) are linked together to form a unity. Cohesion is one of the factors that an IELTS examiner considers when they grade your Part 2 writing.


The simpliest way to create cohesion is through linking. You need to link:

  1. Your introduction and your conclusion to the essay topic statement & instruction

  2. Your topic sentences to the essay topic statement

  3. The ideas and examples in your body paragraphs to your topic sentences

Let's look at 3) making your body paragraphs cohesive. You can do this using the formula below:


Topic sentence (TS)

+ linker (L)

+ supporting idea (SI)

+ linker (L)

+ example (EX) or reason or result (RE)


So, for example, if the essay topic statement is 'Health education is an important part of Community Health", then my first body paragraph could begin:

Education is critical for the success of many community health initiatives. Perhaps most crucially, education serves to make people self-aware of the causes of illness, which can result in community members taking greater responsibility for their wellbeing.

The above paragraph is constructed by using:

TS Education is critical for the success of many community health initiatives.

L Perhaps most crucially,

SI education serves to make people self-aware of the causes of illness,

L which can result in

RE community members taking greater responsibility for their wellbeing.


Then, if I want to add another supporting idea, I begin by using another linker:

Furthermore, when community members are educated about health issues, they can identify symptoms of diseases more quickly.

L Furthermore,

SI when community members are educated about health issues, they can identify symptoms of disease more quickly.


This is now a cohesive paragraph, that links together effectively and also links to the essay topic statement, 'Health education is an important part of Community Health".


Education is critical for the success of many community health initiatives. Perhaps most crucially, education serves to make people self-aware of the causes of illness, which can result in community members taking greater responsibility for their wellbeing. Furthermore, when community members are educated about health issues, they can identify symptoms of diseases more quickly.


Some common and useful linkers you can use to make your paragraphs cohesive are:

(1) Linkers to introduce your first supporting idea:

Most importantly / One of the main .... / Significantly / Firstly / A critical .... is

(2) Linkers to add another supporting idea:

Secondly / Thirdly / Furthermore / Moreover / In addition / Also important is...

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