Friday, July 18, 2008

(41) Writing Lacking Focus and Cohesion

Effective writing achieves a central focus—an argument, a point, a mood, a theme, a question, etc.—that anchors the entire text. [ADD/REVISE]

Writers achieve coherence be establishing a focus and returning to that focus throughout a text. A wide variety of techniques both establish and maintain focus.

Traditional and mechanical views of academic and scholarly writing promote the use of direct thesis sentences and overt references to that thesis throughout the text. Most writers can achieve coherence and focus in far more engaging and effective ways than the traditional essay form.

Look carefully at George Orwell's "Why I Write." What is the central focus of this essay? How soon does the reader recognize that focus and how does Orwell achieve that focus? [Additional essays by Orwell are available in the menu to the left of "Why I Write"—also excellent examples for considering focus.]

For an on-line discussion of coherence, visit: