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Cohesive devices come in all different shapes and sizes, including determiners, pronouns, conjunctions, adverbs and ellipsis. Find out more with this brilliant article and activities.
Pupils should be taught to draft and write by… using a wide range of devices to build cohesion within and across paragraphs.
(National Curriculum for English, Writing, Years 5 and 6)
The term ‘cohesive devices’ in the 2014 National Curriculum may at first seem unfamiliar. However, teaching children how to use words, phrases and techniques to ensure their writing links together and flows well is nothing new, and is essential for effective writing. Once the term is unpicked, there are several ways in which children can develop the skill.
Note: The old National Curriculum referred to some cohesive devices as connectives. This term loosely covered a range of conjunctions and adverbials. The new term, cohesive devices, is much broader. It covers any words or phrases that are used to show how the different parts of a text fit together.
What are cohesive devices and why are they useful?
Cohesive devices are words or phrases that are used to link different parts of a text together, creating a logical ordered piece, rather than a series of random and unconnected sentences. In other words, they create cohesion. They help the writing to flow better and show how information in one sentence or paragraph relates to the previous one.The examples of cohesive devices listed in the National Curriculum are:
- determiners and pronouns, which can refer back to earlier words
- conjunctions and adverbs, which can make relations between words clear
- ellipsis of expected words
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