IELTS Writing And Cohesion

Improve Your IELTS Writing Cohesion For A Higher Band Score. The video below was produced by the part owners of the IELTS exam, the British Council, so their advice is definitely worth listening to! The script follows the video underneath.

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IELTS Writing Coherence & Cohesion – Improve your IELTS Writing (Script)

So, you have decided to take the IELTS examine. Congratulations, success starts with IELTS. Here we look at the criteria of coherence and cohesion.

This is one of four criteria on which your writing will be assessed. Look for our other three criteria videos (Available on this site from the menu above).

Coherence refers to the flow of your writing your ideas should be logically organized and appropriately sequenced into paragraphs so they are easy to understand and follow.

Cohesion refers to linking words that help you connect ideas and show the relationship between paragraphs, sentences or parts of sentences.

So, this criteria looks at how a writing test answer is organized, and how to link information and ideas.

How To Sequence Ideas

Here is one simple way to sequence ideas for effective coherence for this task 2 essay. For example,

♦ The threat of nuclear weapons maintains world peace.

♦  Nuclear power provides cheap and clean energy.

♦ The benefits of nuclear technology far outweigh the disadvantages.

♦  To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Possible Structure:

1. Introduction – Paraphrase question and include your opinion.

2. Body paragraphs – Arguments for nuclear technology.

3. Body paragraphs – Against nuclear technology.

4. Conclusion – Paraphrase your opinion.

Plan your essay like this before you start writing.


IELTS Writing Cohesion Tips:

♦  It’s important to use paragraphs. These give structure to a piece of writing. Think of paragraphs as a signpost telling whoever reads your work where your ideas are going and when you are moving on to a different points.

Since paragraphs are used to explain your argument in stages, express one idea or set of ideas in each paragraph.

♦  A good way to start a paragraph is with a short simple sentence that introduces the main idea of the paragraph, teachers often call this a topic sentence.

In the remainder of the paragraph provide explanations, evidence, examples or personal experiences to build on and extend that idea.

♦  Connect and show the relationship between your paragraphs and sentences by using a wide range of ‘linking words or phrases’ appropriately.

See the accompanying downloads for different examples, they are usually these types:

♦  (Introducing ideas – Adding similar ideas – Contrasting ideas – Giving examples or evidence – Explaining results – Providing explanations – Sharing your experience – Drawing conclusions – Introducing your opinions).


Linking can be done in a variety of other ways:

1. For instance through referencing by using pronouns. “Firstly I’m very happy to receive this award. Additionally, I would like to thank my colleagues without them I wouldn’t be standing here accepting this.

2. Also using substitution. “Famous people deserve a private life but celebrities also sell newspapers.”

3. As you practice writing essays review your writing and circle the different linking devices then think about how you could use different words to avoid repetition don’t overuse linking words or phrases however, this becomes irritating for the reader.

4. The key in using linking words is appropriacy. Ask yourself, Is this necessary and does it match the content that follows.


For more information please see our other writing test videos, task achievement, lexical resources and grammatical range and accuracy (These are all available on this site on the links in the menu bar).

Where To Next?

How To Do IELTS Writing Task 1

How To Do IELTS Writing Task 2

Improve Your IELTS Writing Cohesion

Improve Your IELTS Task Achievment