Coherence of a Passage Memo
Date: July 18, 2013
Subject: Coherence Problems of the Passage
The purpose of this memo is to highlight the coherence problems identified in the passage and their solutions in accordance with the chapter. According to the chapter on writing coherent documents, the draft from Melissa violates three guidelines of writing such a document that include logical headings, lists and paragraphs. First, the draft does not have specific and informative headings. Secondly, the draft lacks a list structure that makes it easy for readers to follow. Finally, the paragraphs are long and unstructured, as well as lacking coherence devices.
Title and Headings
The title is general and provides no specific information concerning the research methods. A general title does not give the reader an idea concerning what the document is addressing. Further, the draft lacks headings. As a result, the general title without headings fails to indicate the kinds of methods used in the research. Consequently, this makes it hard for the reader to identify the different methods used in the research. Moreover, this gives the draft a weak outline. An outline shows coherence in the whole document thereby enabling readers to identify different sections of the draft or have a bird’s-eye-view of the content.
As such, to make such a document coherent, several headings are required considering it addresses more than one research method. For instance, the third paragraph addresses spreading questionnaires and conducting of interviews. However, one has to read the paragraph in order to know what it entails. A reader interested in finding out the research methods used would do so easily if such a paragraph had a heading. A heading for this paragraph could be, for instance, ‘Spreading Questionnaires to Blaine Pipe Co. Employees and Conducting Interview with David Rose’. Such a heading is long and clearly identifies the specific issues addressed. Further, it is informative, thus telling the reader about the participants and their involvement in the research. Although it is long, it serves the purpose.
Although conventional paragraphs can be used, such a paper with paragraphs addressing information that can be itemized can be enhanced using a list. Lists provide a stronger visual dimension to the content. Additionally, lists make it easy for the reader to understand the issues addressed since they show the relationship clearly. Further, a list would make is easy for the reader to follow the discussion by first understanding the general overview before delving into details.
For instance, the third paragraph talks about qualities that are deemed necessary in order to protect the pipes from UV rays and adverse weather. The draft identifies three qualities that are written within the paragraph. Instead of writing these qualities as sentences within the paragraph, they should be itemized in a list. A list will enhance the visual dimension, which further indicates the relationship between the three qualities. Additionally, this will help the reader in following through, as well as knowing the purpose of the three statements.
In the draft, structure and ideas in the paragraph are not linked. Rather, most of the sentences stand on their own instead of coherently linking one idea to the other. At the start of the paragraphs, topical sentences are not identifiable. For instance, the first sentence is supposed to identify the overall view of whole draft. Instead, it addresses a specific idea that is not supported by the following sentences. The topical sentence seems displaced since it is located in the final line. This statement is, ‘we evaluate these to investigate protective shelters for the inventory of pipes.’ This should be the first statement in the paragraph and should identify what is evaluated. Therefore, this paragraph could be more coherent if it stated, ‘we evaluate financial losses caused by UV degeneration on pipe tensile strengths and calculate the cost of gas and hourly wages of delivering the pipes to customers to investigate the protective shelters for the inventory of pipes.’
The paragraphs have not made good use of coherence devices within and between paragraphs. Most of the sentences can stand on their own. As such, the draft is quite incoherent. This can be corrected using transitioning statements between ideas, especially those leading to another. An example is in the second paragraph where she mentions the prices of shelters from different manufacturers. The statement, ‘all are within our capital budget,’ is not well linked to the previous sentence since the reader does not know what is within budget. One would have to read the previous sentence again. This can be corrected by repeating a key word. The sentence can better read as, ‘all the shelters were within our capital budget.’ The following sentence also does not connect with the next. This would require using a transitioning statement. The next statement could read as, ‘As a result, we researched journals and articles to study what contribute to UV degeneration and how to prevent it.’ This way, the reader would follow through as well as understand the discussion.
By focusing on the suggested corrections, the draft would be increasingly coherent and provide not only clear information, but also visual dimensions that make it easy to grasp the whole document without much effort. Specifically, the draft needs to add headings to enhance visual dimension, create list paragraphs to show the relationship of ideas, structure them properly and use coherence devices.