Meet 3

Written Discourse

By Dr. Bejo Sutrisno, M.Pd.

Recognize the nature of written discourse to obtain theoretical knowledge based on the rule of Cohesion.

Watch the explanation of Cohesion and Cohesive Device from YouTube!

Written Discourse

Basically, most texts display links from sentence to sentence in terms of grammatical features such as PRONOMINALISATION, ELLIPSIS and CONJUNCTION of various kinds known as COHESION.

What is Cohesion?

How's the function of Cohesion?

What is Cohesion?

  • Cohesion concerns the flow of sentences and paragraphs from one to another.
  • It involves the tying together of a sentence to another.
  • Cohesion is an important feature of academic writing.
  • Creating cohesion means 'tying' our words, phrases, sentences and paragraphs together, to create a text where the relationships between these elements is clear and logical to the reader, giving the text 'flow'.

A cohesive sentence 

  • A cohesive sentence must be able to stick together.
  • It must have cohesion:  the ability to stand alone as an independent sentence.
  • cohesive sentence always has a noun and a verb.
  • cohesive sentence must make sense.
  • Pronouns (I, you, he, she, it, we, they) must agree in cohesive sentences.

Example of Cohesion

Read the example of cohesion!

Example of Cohesion
  • "My favorite color is blue. I like it because it is calming and it relaxes me. I often go outside in the summer and lie on the grass and look into the clear sky when I am stressed. For this reason, I'd have to say my favorite color is blue."

(Each sentence is connected to the sentence before)

Types of Cohesion

  • It refers to resources for referring to a participant in the form of pronoun
  • Pronouns cohesion can occur from anaphoric, cataphoric and exophoric reference.
  • Anaphoric reference occurs when a word or phrase refers to something mentioned earlier in the discourse;
  • Cataphoric reference occurs when a word or phrase refers to something mentioned later in the discourse.
  • Exophoric reference occurs when a word or phrase refers to something outside the discourse.

Ellipsis refers to resources for omitting a clause, or some part of a clause or group, in contexts where it can be assumed.

In English conversation, rejoinders are often made dependent through omissions of this kind:

  ~ Did they win?

  ~ Yes, they did.


Some languages, including English, have in addition a set of place holders which can be used to signal the omission – e.g. so and not for clauses, do for verbal groups, and one for nominal groups.


    ~ Jim attended the meeting, and so did Mary.

    ~ Who knows the news?  – I do.

    ~ There are five cars parked on the road and mine is  the red one.

Another example:

  ~ Elinor: Where are you going to hide it?
  ~ Tim: Somewhere you can’t have it.

In the above example, Tim could have said, ‘[I am going to hide it] somewhere you can’t have it’, but the first six words were omitted.

  • Conjunctions and connectives are cohesive  devices that work to improve the flow of the writing. 
  • Conjunctions operate within sentences and connectives relate to meaning between sentences.
  • Different types of conjunctions are used to express different types of relationships between ideas.

Example of Written Discourse


Pick out the cohesive items between clauses and sentences in this text extract in the same way as was done for the telephone text:

(1.24)   British men are a pretty traditional bunch, when it comes to shaving;   two out of three use a blade and soap, rather than an electric shaver.   Which? readers are more continental in their tastes; around half of   you use an electric shaver, about the same proportion as in the rest   of Europe. For women, shaving is by far the most popular method of   removing body hair. 85 per cent of the Which? women readers who   removed body hair told us that they used a shaver


Here are some extracts from real texts. Decide what kind of relation exists between segments separated by a slash (/) in each case, and note any supporting evidence such as syntactic parallelism.

  1. The BBC has put off a new corporate advertising   campaign due to be aired this month, extolling the   virtues and values of both television and radio. / A BBC   spokesman delicately suggests that this may not be the   most appropriate time to be telling the audience how   wonderful the Beeb is.


McCarthy, M. (2000). Discourse Analysis for Language Teachers, Cambridge: University Press.
Penny, W. K. (2002). Form and Function of Linguistic Items in Discourse: Analysis of a Spoken Text.
Schiffrin, D., Tannen, D. & Hamilton, H.E. (2001). The Handbook of discourse analysis. UK: Blackwell Publisher.

Youtube Ceal Elss (2018). Cohesion with Cohesive Devices.