theysend the information on a beam of penetrating short-wave X rays, and then convert it back into images wecan see on a screen or photograph.
Thus almost everytype of electromagnetic radiation yet discoveredhas been used to extend our sense of sight in someway.
George Harrison, "Faith and the Scientist"
In a coherent paragraph, each sentence relates clearly tothe topic sentence or controlling idea, but there is more tocoherence than this. If a paragraph is coherent, eachsentence flows smoothly into the next without obviousshifts or jumps. A coherent paragraph also highlightsthe ties between old and new information to make thestructure of ideas or arguments clear to the reader. Alongwith the smooth flow of sentences, a paragraph'scoherence may also be related to its length. If you havewritten a very long paragraph, one that fills a double-spaced typed page, for example, you should check itcarefully to see if it contains more than one controllingidea. If it does, you should start a new paragraphwhere the original paragraph wanders from itscontrolling idea. On the other hand, if a paragraph isvery short (only one or two sentences, perhaps), you mayneed to develop its controlling idea more thoroughly, orcombine it with another paragraph. A number of othertechniques that you can use to establish coherence inparagraphs are described below.
Repeat key words or phrases
.Particularly in paragraphs in which you define oridentify an important idea or theory, be consistent inhow you refer to it. This consistency and repetition will bind the paragraph together and help the readerunderstand your definition or description.
Create parallel structures.
Parallel structures are created by constructing two ormore phrases or sentences that have the samegrammatical structure and use the same parts of speech.By creating parallel structures, you make your sentencesclearer and easier to read. In addition, repeating apattern in a series of consecutive sentences helps yourreader see the connections between ideas. In theparagraph above about scientists and the sense of sight,several sentences in the body of the paragraph have been constructed in a parallel way. The parallelstructures (which have been underlined) help the readersee that the paragraph is organized as a set of examplesof a general statement.
Be consistent in point of view, verb tense, and number.
Consistency in point of view, verb tense, and number aresubtle but important aspects of coherence. If you shiftfrom the more personal
to the impersonal
, frompast to present tense, or from
, for example,you make your paragraph less coherent. Such