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Coherences within Sentences

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Coherences within Sentences

Someone could have the best ingredients in the world, but the meal won't turn out great if they don't know how to cook. You need fundamentals to cook like you need fundamentals to write. A writer has a cupboard full of great words at their disposal, but a writer needs coherency to turn those words into great sentences.

Meaning of Coherence within Sentences

Coherence within sentences deals with coherence at the micro level: inside the sentence itself.

Something is coherent if it is easy and natural to follow.

A sentence is a unit of prose writing. A sentence has a complete thought and concludes with a period, exclamation point, or question mark.

Coherence within sentences is more or less coherence between words.

Coherence within sentences is achieved when a sentence flows naturally and accurately.

While the macro levels of coherence—coherence between sentences and coherence within paragraphs— deal primarily with ideas and logic, coherence within the sentence deals with spelling, word use, word efficiency, and punctuation. You achieve coherence within a sentence when you can use words and grammar fluently at a high level.

A coherent sentence is the basic building block of prose writing. Prose writing uses paragraphs and sentences, and it includes essays, short answers, stories, and articles.

Ways to Achieve Coherence in Writing

The four pillars of a coherent sentence are good spelling, correct word use, good word efficiency, and excellent punctuation.

Good Spelling to Achieve Coherence

It's difficult to imagine a more fundamental error in writing than misspelling a word. Spelling is the closest thing writing has to a simple math equation because there is only one right answer every time. If you misspell a word, you flat-out mess up.

Spelling is not an issue when you write an essay on the computer. Every operating system comes with some basic spell-checker. If you're particularly serious about your writing, you might use a third-party grammar and spell-checker. So you don't need to worry much about spelling on a take-home essay!

Spelling becomes a problem when staring at a blank sheet of lined paper. On timed tests and other in-class tests, you will need to spell things correctly with just a pencil and eraser.

To achieve coherence with good spelling in these situations, do two things:

  1. Use words you know

  2. Memorize keywords beforehand

For instance, and to the first point, if you aren't sure how to spell "necessity" when the time comes, don't take a stab at it and hope for the best. Instead, use a synonym.

A synonym is a word that means the same thing as another word.

In the case of "necessity," you can use the words "requirement" or "need" instead.

Coherence within sentences. Word blocks. StudySmarter.If you aren't sure about a word, try a different one. Flaticon.

To the second point, memorize any keywords beforehand. Memorize historical terms, technical terms, characters' names, and places. Knowing how to spell rhetorical devices you want to discuss is also a good idea. For instance, learning to spell "rhetoric" is a good idea so that when you analyze a short story or passage, you can refer to the rhetoric it uses.

Good readers make good writers. The best way to learn how to spell words is to see them in action. Find a genre you like and read to expose yourself to new words and ideas!

Correct Word Use to Achieve Coherence

Misspelling a word is not the only way to mess up a word. You can also misuse a word. Take this obvious example.

Their is no ballgame today.

"Their" is spelled correctly in this sentence. However, because the sentence requires "there," this usage of "their" is incorrect.

To achieve sentence coherence with word usage, use the right word at the right time. Here's another example that uses the wrong word. This one is more subtle.

The store described in the passage is a dilapidated dwelling filled with spiders and cobwebs.

The problem here isn't the word "dilapidated," which the writer uses correctly to mean "a place in ill-repair." The problem here is the word "dwelling." Although a dwelling and a store are both buildings where people go, a "dwelling" is a home. It is where people live. People do not typically live at a store, so to call a store a "dwelling" is poor usage.

To achieve coherent word usage, keep it simple and use words you understand completely. You need to know how to spell the word and use the word before you use it in a short answer or on a timed test.

Students sometimes learn poor word usage by misusing the thesaurus. A thesaurus can be misleading because it does not always provide exact synonyms. Instead, it often provides words similar to the word you want. For example, "bad" and "cheesy" can be synonyms, but whereas bad means "poor quality or harmful," cheesy refers to something that is cheap or lacking style. Always take into consideration the word's connotation, not just its denotation.

Word Efficiency to Achieve Coherence

Good word efficiency, also called good word economy, is using fewer words to mean more.

You achieve sentence coherence using word efficiency when communicating your idea in as few words as possible. Good word efficiency helps you to achieve natural-sounding sentences.

The following sentence contains poor word economy.

A doctor extraordinaire with a degree, Tabitha is won over by the elite circle of spies, even despite her scientific expertise in medicine.

Long sentences like this one aren't bad because they're long. Long sentences are bad because they potentially confuse the reader and waste time. This example sentence uses excess words and passive voice. Here is how you could fix it.

Spies win over Tabitha despite her medical doctorate.

There are countless ways to achieve good word efficiency, but here are three things to get you started.

  1. Don't fluff up your prose. In other words, don't add words to increase your word count or to sound sophisticated. This is especially true in academic writing.

  2. Identify and remove unneeded repetition. Look for repeated ideas, redundant descriptions, and points you have already made.

  3. Limit your adjectives and adverbs. Remember, adjectives describe nouns (e.g., strong) while adverbs describe verbs (e.g., strongly).

Good Punctuation to Achieve Coherence

Finally, you want to have good punctuation and grammar to achieve sentence coherence.

Punctuation is the usage of special marks (e.g., the comma, the apostrophe, and the semicolon) to organize a sentence.

Grammar is the way words fit together in terms of syntax and morphology.

Style guides like the Chicago Manual of Style contain hundreds of pages on correct punctuation and grammar in American English. Obviously, there is too much to say about good grammar and punctuation to give you exhaustive advice in this subsection. Here's one thing to keep in mind, though. Do not use fragments in formal writing.

A fragmented sentence lacks a subject, a verb, or a complete thought.

Here are some examples of fragments.

The last line of the book.

This is a subject with no verb and no complete thought. Although you might want to be emphatic like this in your essay or short answer, you should not because it degrades your coherence. Fragments work better in creative writing, so there is no reason to risk them in formal writing.

Sam hit.

This contains a subject and a verb but lacks a complete thought. "Hit" is a transitive verb and thus requires an object, such as "the ball."

Coherence within sentences. A woman hits a volleyball. StudySmarter.Form complete ideas to achieve sentence coherence. Flaticon.

Read up on syntax, phrases, clauses, modifiers, and sentence types to grow your grammar and punctuation skills!

Coherence within Sentences Example

Now that you have an idea of what constitutes a coherent sentence, try to make the following sentence more coherent.

The story abruptly ends on a weak, not very good cliffhangar; defying our expectations and making it tough to want to read whatever story is next in the series.

Here are a few of the problems with this sentence.

  1. "Weak" and "not very good" are redundant.

  2. Cliffhanger is misspelled.

  3. The semicolon is incorrectly used.

  4. The phrase "Defy expectations" has a positive connotation, which makes this usage poor.

  5. The end of the sentence is wordy.

Here's how you could have fixed the sentence.

Ending on an abrupt, weak cliffhanger, the story doesn't inspire the reader to pick up the sequel.

This sentence has good spelling, word usage, word efficiency, and punctuation. Nice!

Difference Between Coherence within Sentences and Coherence Between Sentences

There are several levels of coherence. "Coherence within sentences" is the most fundamental level of coherence. From there, you graduate to "coherence between sentences" and "coherence within paragraphs."

"Coherence within a sentence" pertains to the words inside a single sentence. On the other hand, "coherence between sentences" mainly pertains to how sentences relate to one another.

To fully understand coherence, study up on all three levels of coherence in prose!

Adjectives and adverbs are generally unnecessary in essays and short answers. If you find you must use them, do so sparingly.

Importance of Having Coherence within Sentences

Because sentences are fundamental in prose, it stands to reason that your essays and short answers need sentence coherence.

Coherence within sentences is important because it helps your reader to understand your thesis, arguments, and conclusion.

To master the sentence is to master the fundamentals necessary to use words. If you can create one coherent sentence, then you can create ten, twenty, thirty, or a hundred coherent sentences—and if you can create a hundred coherent sentences, then you can create a great essay, short answer, paper, or story.

Coherent essays begin with coherent sentences.

Coherences within Sentences - Key takeaways

  • Coherence within sentences is achieved when a sentence flows naturally and accurately.
  • Coherence within the sentence deals with spelling, word use, word efficiency, and punctuation.
  • To achieve coherent word usage, keep it simple and use words you understand completely.
  • Good word efficiency helps you to achieve natural-sounding sentences.
  • Do not use fragments in formal writing.

Frequently Asked Questions about Coherences within Sentences

Coherence within sentences is achieved when a sentence flows naturally and accurately.

"Ending on an abrupt, weak cliffhanger, the story doesn't inspire the reader to pick up the sequel." This sentence has good spelling, word usage, word efficiency, and punctuation.

Coherence within sentences is important because it helps your reader to understand your thesis, arguments, and conclusion.

Improve your word economy, don't misuse or misspell words, and don't incorporate fragmented sentences.

Final Coherences within Sentences Quiz

Question

Where is coherence within a sentence found?

Show answer

Answer

Inside a sentence

Show question

Question

Coherence within a sentence is achieved when a sentence flows _____.

Show answer

Answer

Naturally and accurately

Show question

Question

A _____ is the basic building block of prose writing. 

Show answer

Answer

Coherent sentence

Show question

Question

Why is coherence within sentences important to your essay or short answer?

Show answer

Answer

Coherence within sentences is important because it helps your reader to understand your thesis, arguments, and conclusion.

Show question

Question

What are four ways to achieve coherent sentences?

Show answer

Answer

Good spelling, correct word use, good word efficiency, and excellent punctuation. 

Show question

Question

What are two things you should do on a handwritten exam to ensure good spelling?

Show answer

Answer

  1. Use words you know

  2. Memorize keywords beforehand

Show question

Question

If you don't know how to spell a word on a handwritten test, use a _____.

Show answer

Answer

Synonym

Show question

Question

What are some terms you might memorize in preparation for good spelling on a handwritten exam?

Show answer

Answer

Historical terms, technical terms, characters' names, and places.

Show question

Question

What is this an example of?

"There friends are my friends."

Show answer

Answer

Word misusage

Show question

Question

How can you achieve coherent word usage?

Show answer

Answer

To achieve coherent word usage, keep it simple and use words you understand completely.

Show question

Question

Regarding good word usage, what is the potential problem with studying a thesaurus? 

Show answer

Answer

A thesaurus can be misleading because it does not always provide exact synonyms. Instead, it often provides words similar to the word you want.

Show question

Question

What is the meaning of "good word efficiency"?

Show answer

Answer

Using fewer words to mean more.

Show question

Question

What is another name for word efficiency? 

Show answer

Answer

Word economy

Show question

Question

What should you avoid to achieve good punctuation and grammar in a sentence?

Show answer

Answer

Fragments

Show question

Question

What are three things you can do to better your word efficiency? 

Show answer

Answer

Don't fluff up your prose, identify and remove unneeded repetition, and limit your adjectives and adverbs. 

Show question

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