ORDER AND SEQUENCE
A high score for Coherence and Cohesion depends on the ability of test-takers to write an essay in a logical and organised way.
It is important to include language of order and sequence. The table below shows language that can be used to show the beginning, middle and end of a sequence.
|At the beginning
|Secondly / thirdly etc. *
*In American English these words are written ‘first, second etc.’
Sequence language can be used on two levels. The inter-paragraph level shows the organisation of the main ideas in the essay. Some writers like to use this language as the first word of the body paragraphs. For example:
Body paragraph 1: Firstly, travelling to work by bike reduces pollution as bikes do not cause emissions.
Body paragraph 2: Secondly, cycling to work is a form of exercise that will help improve a person's health.
Conclusion: In conclusion, it is better to cycle to work than to drive.
This approach is fine, but I find it a little basic. For me, it is better to start paragraphs by addressing the importance of the main idea.
Instead, sequence language works better on the intra-paragraph level, connecting supporting points within a paragraph. In many occasions (especially when dealing with problems, solutions, advantages and disadvantages) two supporting points is appropriate. The paragraph below shows sequence language in this context:
However, there are also two compelling arguments why some information should be shared as freely as possible. Firstly, when scientific information is easily available progress is faster because more scientists can work on problems together. This can lead to eradication of diseases, for example, or to technological advances that benefit mankind as a whole. Secondly, poorer nations can benefit from unrestricted information, especially when research is too advanced or expensive for their own universities and companies, leading to stronger economies and a decrease in the wealth gap. Therefore, sharing as much information as possible would have enormous benefits worldwide.
In any case, it is important to show the examiner that you are ordering your ideas carefully. Plan you ideas before you write, and use a variety of techniques to show the examiner how you have chosen to oder your essay.