Structure & Coherence: Conceptual Introduction

Some of the most important writing concepts and strategies have to do with development (selection of content), organization, and coherence (continuity, transitions). Has it ever struck you as strange that these concepts and strategies are taught little or not at all? Have you ever noticed how little space these writing concepts and strategies get in rhetorics and handbooks?

Have you ever wondered why we don't have some well-known, well-established method of diagramming paragraphs and sequences of paragraphs such as we do for sentences?

Actually, progress was being made in that direction in the 1970s until the writing-teaching took a sharp turn towards some entirely different topics. As xxxxx has pointed out, "." And thus little was done with work of people like Francis Christensen, who developed a method of understanding and even diagramming paragraphs and whole documents.

I recognize that these practice collections would be tedious to go through and then to apply in a revision phase. To answer, first, I know that as writing teachers we want learning writing skills and practicing writing to be fun and uplifting—not boringly technical. Well, if physics and calculus, for example, can be challengingly technical, why can't learning writing skills? Second, the collection of practice items here are meant to raise awareness—not to be slavishly applied to every writing project.

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