Friday, July 22, 2011

BUILDING TEXTS

building texts
When we write any text that consists of more than one sentence we use a number of techniques to ensure that it holds together. This is done in two main ways:
■ Structure
■ Cohesion
Structure
Different kinds of writing require different structures. A personal letter is organized very differently from a newspaper report. But all have a structure and most use paragraphs. The way in which one paragraph leads into the next is an essential part of the way in which text is built.
Cohesion
We also use vocabulary and grammar to help ‘glue’ our sentences together and make life easier for the reader. There are three main devices we use:
1. Reference. We use certain types of word to refer back to things that have already been explained. The commonest of these are pronouns. For example:
When we write any text that consists of more than one sentence we use a number of techniques to ensure that it holds together. This is done in two main ways …
The words it and this make the sentence shorter. Otherwise we would have to write:
When we write any text that consists of more than one sentence we use a number of techniques to ensure that the text holds together. Making sure that the text holds together is done in two main ways …
Using pronouns in this way not only makes the writing shorter, it also links sentences closely together.
2. Ellipsis. It is also possible to miss out single words and phrases or replace them with much shorter forms. For example:
As it turned out, I knew the Bible better than he did.
This is a shorter version of the much more long-winded:
As it turned out, I knew the Bible better than he knew the Bible.
Again, not only is it shorter, but also by referring back to the reader's previous knowledge, it gives the sentence cohesion.
3. Sentence adverbials. These are words or short phrases that show how parts of a text link together. They do this in a number of different ways. For example:
■ Making lists
First you have to think of it and secondly you have to say it.
■ Giving examples
In addition, students choose from other units in which the emphasis is on a particular aspect or approach to history, for example the history of the Origins of Modern Science.
■ Explaining cause or result
Unemployment rises and so increases the army of industrial reserves: as a result wages are driven down even further.