Linking your ideas

Link your ideas

What does it mean to link your ideas?

  • Linking your ideas, or cohesion add clarity to your writing.
  • Helps the reader see connections between ideas, in a single paragraph, between two different paragraphs and across a whole text.

Achieving Cohesion: Making Words and Sentences Stick Together 

Cohesion refers to the specific ways in which writers guide readers through a piece of writing. Cohesion techniques include choosing certain words and constructing sentences that stick together. 

Make Word Choice Cohesive: There are FOUR specific ways you can choose to achieve cohesion in a piece of writing: Word Repetition, Synonyms, Pronouns, and Determiners.

Word Repetition: This method includes both exact repetition and the use of different grammatical forms of the same key word.

Synonyms for Key Words and Phrases: Writers sometimes will try to avoid overusing repetition by substituting close synonyms, words or phrases that mean about the same thing.

Pronouns: Writers will use pronouns of various types to refer to the noun or noun phrases elsewhere in the text. Like using synonyms, this is a way to maintain connections between ideas without repeating the same noun phrase.

Determiners: Like pronouns, determiners refer to a specific noun phrase in the text. These words are often articles but are sometimes “limiting adjectives”


(Source: University of Pretoria, Humanities Writing Centre)

Old Information/New Information Order in a Sentence

If you want to make information clear to your reader, it is often useful to use the following structure:

  • the old (or known) information is placed at the beginning of the sentence
  • the new (or unknown) information is placed at the end of the sentence.

Example 1

Populations of co-existing, closely related, but diverging variants of HCV RNA molecules (Old information) are termed qausispecies (new information). Quasispecies (old information) occur in many RNA viruses (new information).

Old Information/New Information Example 2

Exercise: Practice Using Old/New Information

The following resources are useful guides for your assignment writing:

Manchester University Phrasebank

Connecting ideas in writing

The Academic Word List