Types of Cohesive Devices

Types of Cohesive Devices

What are Cohesive Devices?

Cohesive devices, sometimes called linking words, linkers, connectors, discourse markers or transitional words  and these are words or phrases that show the relationship between paragraphs or sections of a text or speech.

What are some examples of Cohesive Devices?

There are many examples of cohesive devices, they can be grouped by category. If you want so show similarity, you can use; and, also, too, similarly, equally, identically, equally  and important.

If you want to introduce an item in a series, you can use first, in the first place, * in the second place, then, in addition, finally and last

If you need a full list of cohesive devices, have a look at my Full List of Cohesive Devices by Category 

What are the Different Types of Cohesion?

Cohesion is the grammatical and lexical linking within a text or sentence that holds a text together and gives it meaning. There are two main types of Cohesion, grammatical cohesion and lexical cohesion.

Methods of Cohesion with Examples

1. Anaphoric reference means that a word in a text refers back to other ideas in the text for its meaning.
‘I went out with Jo on Sunday. She looked awful.’ ´She` clearly refers to Jo, there is no need to repeat her name.

2. Cataphoric reference means that a word in a text refers to another later in the text and you need to look forward to understand

‘When he arrived, John noticed that the door was open’.

3. Exophoric reference  refers to an idea outside the text. This is a reference to world knowledge shared by the reader


” The Prime Minister responded quickly to the threat. Here we are expected to know who the Prime Minister is”

4. Tense agreement refers to the way that writers use tenses to make a text hang together


“She knew then that he… “had found her letter” is a logical ending to the sentence. We are not surprised to see past perfect after simple past in a narrative sentence.”

5. Linkers refers  to words or phrases that describe the relationship between ideas in the text


“And, but, therefore, first of all”

6. Substitution or Ellipsis refers to eplacing words, or leaving them out– this is how writers reduce repetition in a text


“Now we’re finishing our essays. I know you want to go out, but before you can do that, please finish. ‘do that’ avoids a repetition of ‘go out’. Instead of repeating ‘finish our essays’ ‘our essays’ is dropped from the sentence”


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