Coherence is one of the two qualities that give a written or spoken text unity and purpose. The other is cohesion. Coherence refers to the general sense that a text makes sense through the organisation of its content. In writing, it is provided by a clear and understood structuring of paragraphs and sentences in writing.


A learner's argument essay is coherent because it has a structure that gives unity and follows an accepted form. It begins with a statement of belief, gives the opposing arguments, refutes these, and summarises in a final paragraph.

In the classroom
Coherence in written work and extended speaking, e.g. presentations, can be practised by looking at suitable organisation of content, and by planning exercises.

Further links:

Research and insight

We have hundreds of case studies, research papers, publications and resource books written by researchers and experts in ELT from around the world. 

See our publications, research and insight

Sign up to our newsletters for teachers and teacher educators

We will process your data to send you our newsletter and updates based on your consent. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the "unsubscribe" link at the bottom of every email. Read our privacy policy for more information.