COHERENCE ASPECTS CAN IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF WRITING IN JUNIOR HIGH STUDENTS
By : Risa Fatimah, S. Pd
English has been one of subject in school. In learning English there are four language skills, they are listening, speaking, reading and writing. One of them is writing skill. Writing is one of basic language skills used as a means of communication. It is a kind of communication happened indirectly, whereas there is no feedback directly of readers.
As one of language skill, writing gives a significant affect to students in practicing their ability to express their ides to convey message to the reader. Writing in Junior High students has another significant function, besides it is a major tool for learning. Writing on a subject makes us active learners than passive receivers of information. However, most of students in Junior High school are still doing wrong in writing English. They make incoherent paragraphs, many of them find difficulties when make a good paragraphs, which has continuity (Coherence). This mistake can affect the content of their writing, and as the result, the reader will be confused or do not understand their messages.
The characteristic of good writing is coherence. Coherence is a technique of connecting ideas smoothly and logically in written communication. It means in a coherent piece of writing we lead the reader clearly and logically from one idea to another in our developing thought.
Five qualities of good writing
- FOCUS An essay should have a single clear central idea. Each paragraph should have a clear main point or topic sentence.
- DEVELOPMENT Each paragraph should support or expand the central idea of the paper. The idea of each paragraph should be explained and illustrated through examples, details, and descriptions.
- UNITY Every paragraph in an essay should be related to the main idea. Each paragraph should stick to its main point.
- COHERENCE An essay or paper should be organized logically, flow smoothly, and "stick" together. In other words, everything in the writing should make sense to a reader.
- CORRECTNESS A paper should be written in generally correct standard English, with complete sentences, and be relatively error-free.
It is important to focus on coherence when writing at the sentence level. There are various ways to ensure coherent writing:
- Write sentences that flow by varying the lengths and structures, the use of correct punctuation, and broadening your word choices
- Use simple transitions, such as “in addition, additionally, furthermore, therefore, thus, on the contrary, by the same token, at the same time, in other words, etc.”
- Repeat your keywords but be careful of excessive repetition
- Repeat sentence structures, which is used as a rhetorical technique rather than cohesion to highlight parallelism between sentences
- Ensure thematic consistency
- Start every sentence or paragraph with information that hints at the content of the next sentence
Tips and Strategies
There are six ways for creating coherence, which you will find useful while polishing your manuscript. Creating coherence is not as difficult as it seems, but you will need the right tools and strategies to achieve it.
- Lexis creates cohesion using synonyms, hyponyms, and superordinate. The use of lexical chains creates variety in writing and avoids monotony.
- Reference creates cohesion by using possessive pronouns (e.g. your, their, etc.), pronouns (e.g. she, me, etc.), and determiners (e.g. those, these, etc.).
- Substitution, which is the use of a different word in place of a previously mentioned word (e.g. “I bought a designer bag today. She did the same.”)
- Ellipsis is the removal or omission of words because their meaning is implied through context (e.g. “He goes to yoga classes in the afternoon. I hope I can too.”)
- Cohesive nouns are also called umbrella nouns because they summarize many words in one.
- Conjunctions include words that list ideas (e.g. first, next, then, lastly, etc.)
In conclusion, coherence can improve the quality of writing in Junior High students. The teacher has to give remedial teaching focusing on coherence aspect.
The teacher, therefore, should give them the right material and activities and She/ He should also create a pleasant atmosphere in the classroom in order to stimulate and arise the students’ motivation in learning writing.