Day 7: Coherence

Today you will learn to:

--identify the three types of information in an EAP;
--apply different strategies to check how coherent your paragraphs are;
--describe healthy paragraph patterns;
 --re-write paragraphs so that they were coherent.

As we discussed before, writing an academic paper, we have to make sure our intended meaning/ideas/implications/statements matches with the perceived meaning and ideas, remember the communication model.

Have you ever been in the following situation, look at you paragraphs and see that there is nothing wrong with them, you can single out transition words, there are no grammatical mistakes, your punctuation is correct, but you academic advisor still tells you it does not make any sense to them... What is the reason? Do not panic! In this lesson you will learn two strategies for analyzing your writing and constructing good, understandable patterns. Namely, KNO (Known New Old) strategy and the Word Chains strategy.

Now, go to this PPT

Coherence practice handout

Watch these videos if you still have problems telling one type of information from another.

Strategy 1: Known-New-Old (KNO) Information
This video introduces the different types of information in a paragraph. It defines known, new and old information and explains how it connects to what you have learned so far about the communication model.
Next, this video walks through a sample paragraph for identifying the different types of information in a paragraph: known, new and old information. and shows what a healthy paragraph pattern should look like.
Strategy 2: Word Chains
This video introduces application of word chain identification to diagnosis of paragraph-level coherence.

Self-Test: Work through this self test carefully. Be sure that you prepare your own answer before viewing the video.
Self test: Copy the paragraph below to a word document.

  1. Do two separate highlights: one for word chains and one for KNO.
  2. Then, try to write a diagnosis for what you think is wrong with the paragraph based on those patterns.
  3. Finally, write a revision of the paragraph.

Business analysts have noted the different ways managers operate. Sometimes all the decisions are made by a manager and employees are given orders or procedures to follow. The success of this kind of manager is not long-term, since leaders are not developed as potential successors. The opposite type is the manager who avoids making decisions, tending to delay by forming committees and requesting endless studies. Managers of this sort are also not effective. Employees find themselves between these extremes with managers who encourage their participation in planning. Responsibility for making the final decision remains in the bosses' hands. These are effective managers.

Watch this video to check your answers.


1. Diagnostic Essay Analysis will be due next Friday 2/15/2013 at 11:59 PM, so make sure you start working on it. Read the whole description of this assignment here if you still have question about the assignment. Note, it should be a COHERENT piece of work, so make sure you connect your ideas and paragraphs.

2. Required Homework: Choose a paragraph from your diagnostic essay, copy it and paste twice into a new Word document called Engineering Activity #5, apply the KNO and the Word Chains strategy to the paragraph. Write a brief analysis of the problems you are having, re-write the paragraph based on this self-analysis.     

3. Recommended Assignment: See Self-Test above.