UNITY & COHERENCE
A good paragraph has both unity &
What is Unity?
• Unity in a paragraph means that the entire
paragraph should focus on one single idea.
• The supporting details should explain the main
• The concluding sentence should end the
paragraph with the same idea.
• Thus, a unified paragraph presents a thought,
supports it with adequate details and completes
it with a conclusion*.
What is Coherence?
• Coherence means establishing a relationship between
the ideas presented in a paragraph.
• It brings about a rationale in the arrangement of the
ideas which are introduced either in the chronological
order or in the order of importance.
• Besides, transitions that compare, contrast, illustrate, add or show cause and effect build logical bridges.
• The ideas, thus expressed in the paragraph, flow
smoothly from one to the other in a logical sequence.
• This helps the reader to understand the paragraph.
How to create good paragraph &
Element #1: Unity
• Start with the topic sentence.
• Every other sentence supports this one
idea with information that points back to
it, or explains it!
• The paragraph is unified around that
Example: No Unity
• The start of this paragraph is incorrect:
• "Sunday is my favorite day, because I can watch
football with my dad. There are other sports on
other days to watch on TV."
• The second sentence detours from the
main topic: how watching football with dad
makes Sunday your favorite day.
Don't include unrelated details
• Sentences like these don't relate to the
main idea in the topic sentence:
• "There are other sports on other days to watch on
• "Some days my dad doesn't make it home from
work until after I'm in bed."
Example of Unity
This is a better start to the paragraph:
"Sunday is my favorite day, because I can watch
football with my dad. He spends the whole day
watching football on TV with me, since he
doesn't have to work that day."
The second sentence elaborates on the
main topic. This is a unified start.
Element #2: Order
You can order your supporting sentences in
1. by chronology: the order of events in time
2. by importance: the order of most to least
important, or least to most important
3. by logic: the order that makes the most
sense based on the topic
Besides, essays need order too
• You can organize an essay using :
– Cause and Effect order
– Problem-Solution order
– Order of importance
– Pro-Con order
Why is order important?
Random sentences cause confusion.
Without organization of your sentences, it's
hard to tell what your main idea is.
Order helps you make your point, and
helps the reader follow along from one idea
to the next one, until you prove your
Element #3: Coherence
This is how you make your writing
understandable to the reader.
You make your paragraph coherent by
connecting ideas to one another.
COHERENCE… achieved by
1. Repeating key nouns
2. Using consistent pronouns
3. Using appropriate transition signals
1.Repetition of Key Nouns
• The easiest way to achieve coherence is to
repeat key nouns frequently in your
Eg: Key nouns are not repeated below.
• "Sunday is my favorite day,
because I can watch football
with my dad. There are other
sports on other days to watch on
2. Use consistent Pronouns
• When using pronouns, make sure the same
person and number is used throughout the
• Don’t change from you or he or she (change of
or from he to they (change of number)
• or from we to I (change in person and number)
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