Cohesive devices

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By Christine Jenkins

Specialist tutor and freelance educational writer

Original article published 27 April 2016

Cohesive devices come in all different shapes and sizes, including determiners, pronouns, conjunctions, adverbs and ellipsis. Find out more with this brilliant article and activities.


Pupils should be taught to draft and write by… using a wide range of devices to build cohesion within and across paragraphs.

(National Curriculum for English, Writing, Years 5 and 6)

What are cohesive devices and why are they useful?

Cohesive devices are words or phrases that are used to link different parts of a text together, creating a logical ordered piece, rather than a series of random and unconnected sentences. In other words, they create cohesion. They help the writing to flow better and show how information in one sentence or paragraph relates to the previous one.

The examples of cohesive devices listed in the National Curriculum are:
  • determiners and pronouns, which can refer back to earlier words
  • conjunctions and adverbs, which can make relations between words clear
  • ellipsis of expected words
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  1. Jasmine Morris
    on 21 February 2017

    Amazing Cohesion

    Tells you exactly what cohesion is. Very impressive!

    5out of 5