Cohesion: In English, grammar is the logical organisation of phrases, sentences and clauses to make them easier to read and comprehend. The most common way to organise writing in this way is through cohesive devices. Readers will quickly follow when words, concepts, and descriptions come together clearly, and the writing is coherent. The concepts flow together easily and simply.
Writing is most frequently organised using cohesive devices. They are also known as linking words or connectors. Linking words are a great way to join your ideas and make your sentences and paragraphs much more logical.
As a result, IELTS writing requires the use of connectors, but you should try to use them properly and selectively. Additionally, they are also useful in following the pace of the audios in the IELTS Listening test.
Types of Cohesive Devices
Pronoun: Referring back to a person or object already named without having to repeat it.
Jim closely followed his wife.
Prepositions: Shows relationships between noun and rest of the sentence.
Alex will come home from vacation on Saturday.
Conjunctions: words like or, and, but, so are used within the sentence to join sentences and phrases.
Petra doesn’t like broccoli, butter beans and olives.
Below is the list of cohesive transitional devices that you can use for IELTS Writing task 1 and 2. Coherence and cohesion together contribute 25% to the Writing section. Hence, in order to achieve a high band score, it is essential that you use a wide range of cohesive devices accurately:
|Example: My uncle will visit us next week and stay with us for sometime
|Example: Apart from English, Prerna also speaks Spanish.
|Example: He got a car as well as a motorbike.
|Example: You have eaten too many of those cakes.
|Example: Ravi said he had not discussed the matter with Vinnie. Furthermore, he had not even contacted her.
|Example: I studied journalism in college. In addition, I did a part-time job at a newspaper agency.
|Example: This vehicle has GPS tracking capabilities, along with the keys.
|Example: Firstly, I would like to clearly state that it is not my fault.
|Example: Firstly, thank you for coming. Secondly, let me introduce our host.
|Example: Next , the powder has to be ground to a fine paste.
|Example: Finally, the processed goods are sent to the market.
|Example: I will go to the mall. Then I will eat something.
|Example: Before I go to work each morning, I stop at starbucks for coffee.
|Example: You can set the table. Meanwhile I’ll start cooking dinner.
|Example: Above all, her hospitality was appreciated by everyone
|Example: I prefer listening to music, especially melodious ones.
|Example: she is indeed a smart girl.
|Example: Donations have significantly increased over the past few years.
|Example: His behaviour in particular bothered me so much
|Example: Robin was feeling sick. However, he did not hesitate to go to school.
|Example: The old system was fairly complicated whereas the new system is really very simple.
|Example: I’ll have coffee instead of tea.
|Example: On the other hand, maybe buying a large wasn’t a good idea.
|Example: She was very tired, nevertheless she kept on working.
|Example: In this forest, you’ll see many types of coniferous trees, such as pine and spruce.
|Example: There are a number of improvements; for instance, both mouse buttons can be used.
|Example: In case of failure, you should try again.
|Example: You can use any two colours – for example, purple and yellow.
|Example: To summarise, this is the ideal approach to a common problem.
|Example: In conclusion, I would like to say how much I enjoyed myself.
|Example: To sum up, you must exercise regularly for a healthy life.
|Example: To wrap, use a blanket on cold days.
|Example: On the whole, I would like to thank you for your patience.
Cause and Effect
|Example: She couldn’t sleep because of the noise outside her window.
|Example: He worked hard. Therefore he got the promotion.
|Example: She didn’t wake up early. Consequently, she was late to work.
|Example: These show-pieces are antique and, hence quite expensive.
|Example: Many local citizens died as a result of a bomb blast.
|Example: The traffic jam was due to a terrible accident.
|Example: I bought a pen, but I lost it.
|Example: However, there was no need to repeat the details.
|Example: Although David is young, he is independent.
|Example: Unless you are tired, it is good to go for a walk at the park.
|Example: Nothing else matters to him apart from his job.
|Example: As long as we’re happy, don’t worry about others.
Reasons why students score low because of inappropriate usage of Cohesive Device
Extensive use of Cohesive Devices
Many students make the mistake of using cohesive devices in virtually every sentence, which is why they get low band scores on the Writing section. The marking criteria of the IELTS writing section clearly states that ‘range of cohesive devices should be appropriately used. The overuse of cohesive devices will make your writing look mechanical. The overuse of linking devices within a paragraph will cause problems in readability.
Incorrect Usage of Cohesive Devices
One of the problems students have in this area is that they learn various types of cohesive devices but fail to look at their usage in a sentence. Incorrect use of these words makes your answer difficult to understand. Students often emphasise learning complicated words and expressions while overlooking the importance of understanding and mastering simple connectors. You don’t need to learn a lot of cohesive devices. Learn just a few and be able to use them correctly.
Tips to ameliorate Cohesive Device usage for IELTS exam
- The most effective way to learn how to use cohesive devices is to read. Choose a topic that interests you and make a habit of reading 20 to 30 minutes every day.
- Highlight any cohesive devices you come across and check how they are used in each sentence.
- Use a dictionary or British Council site and look up the definition and grammar related to each word. Also, try to look for synonyms and sample sentences to understand when and where these words are used and what words can appropriately replace them.
- Make a list of the devices and practise using them in your answers.
- Proofread your answers and underline wherever you have used the connectors, and check for repetitions.
- Try to replace the connectors which you feel is inappropriate.
- Learn to eliminate any unnecessary use of connectors.