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PTE writing: coherence and cohesion in essay writing

In the PTE Writing section, the essay task assesses your ability to express your ideas coherently and cohesively. Coherence refers to the logical flow of ideas, while cohesion focuses on the smooth connection between sentences and paragraphs. To achieve a high score in this task, it is essential to understand and apply the principles of coherence and cohesion in your essay. In this blog, we will explore strategies to enhance coherence and cohesion in your PTE Writing essays.

Plan and Organize Your Ideas:

Before you start writing, spend a few minutes planning your essay. Clearly outline your main points and supporting details. This step helps you establish a coherent structure and ensures a logical progression of ideas throughout your essay.

Use Paragraphs Effectively:

Divide your essay into paragraphs to provide a clear structure and facilitate readability. Each paragraph should focus on a single main idea and be supported by relevant details and examples. Start each paragraph with a topic sentence that introduces the main point and use appropriate transitions to connect paragraphs smoothly.

Develop Clear Topic Sentences:

Ensure that each paragraph begins with a clear topic sentence that reflects the main idea of the paragraph. This helps readers understand the focus of each paragraph and enhances the coherence of your essay. Avoid vague or generic topic sentences that may confuse the reader.

Employ Transition Words and Phrases:

Effective use of transition words and phrases is crucial for cohesive writing. These words and phrases establish connections between sentences and paragraphs, guiding the reader through your essay. Examples of transition words include "furthermore," "in addition," "however," "on the other hand," and "therefore." Use them appropriately to indicate relationships and show the logical flow of your ideas.

Maintain Consistent Verb Tenses:

Consistency in verb tenses contributes to the overall coherence of your essay. Choose a specific verb tense and maintain it throughout your writing. Shifting verb tenses unnecessarily can confuse the reader and disrupt the flow of your ideas. Proofread your essay to ensure consistency in verb usage.

Provide Clear Pronoun References:

When using pronouns, such as "it," "they," or "this," ensure their references are clear and unambiguous. Ambiguous pronoun references can lead to confusion and hinder the cohesion of your essay. Make sure it is clear which noun the pronoun refers to in order to maintain clarity and coherence.

Use Cohesive Devices:

Cohesive devices, such as pronouns, conjunctions, and referencing words, play a vital role in connecting ideas and creating a smooth flow within your essay. Utilize words like "this," "these," "that," "such as," "for example," "in summary," and "consequently" to link sentences and paragraphs and demonstrate logical relationships.

Maintain Parallel Structure:

Maintaining parallel structure helps in creating coherence and cohesion. Ensure that words, phrases, and clauses within a sentence or a list are grammatically and structurally parallel. Parallelism improves the readability and flow of your writing.

Use Clear and Concise Language:

Clarity and conciseness contribute to the overall coherence of your essay. Use clear and straightforward language to convey your ideas effectively. Avoid unnecessary repetition, wordiness, or jargon that may obscure the meaning or make your essay less coherent.

Proofread and Edit:

After completing your essay, allocate some time for proofreading and editing. Check for any inconsistencies, unclear references, or disruptions in the logical flow. Revise sentences and reorganize paragraphs if necessary to enhance the overall coherence and cohesion of your essay.


Coherence and cohesion are fundamental aspects of effective essay writings in the PTE exam. By planning and organizing your ideas, using paragraphs effectively, employing transition words and phrases, maintaining consistent verb tenses, providing clear pronoun references, using cohesive devices, maintaining parallel structure, using clear and concise language, and proofreading and editing your essay, you can ensure that your writing demonstrates a high level of coherence and cohesion. Practice these strategies to enhance the readability and coherence of your PTE Writing essays and increase your chances of scoring well in the exam.