Coherence and Development /Paragraphs/

Coherence and Development /Paragraphs/

In academic essay writing, a good paragraph is organised so that makes sense to the reader. Each sentence leads logically to the next, and is connected through transition words or other connecting words. In addition to a topic sentence and a main idea, an effective paragraph is coherent and develops its idea.


Coherence makes a paragraph understandable to a reader. You can help create coherence in your paragraphs by using logical and verbal connections. You can develop logical connections by making sure that each sentence in a paragraph relates in some way to the topic sentence. You can also create these connections through the use of words (”verbal connections”). For example, you can:

Repeat key words
Use synonyms for key words
Use pronouns to link sentences together
Link sentences with transition words


Development refers to the support you have for your topic sentence. A well-developed paragraph should have an adequate number of sentences to support the main idea. What’s an ”adequate number”? That depends on the idea, and how much development it needs. Here are some ways you can make sure your paragraphs are developed. You can:

Use examples
Give data (for example, statistics, data, information, examples)
Quote others, either directly or through paraphrasing
Tell a story
Define your key words
Compare or contrast ideas
Examine causes and effects