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SIL Forum for Language Fieldwork 2010-003

Improving the readability of technical papers by studying paragraph cohesion

Author  Peck, Charles W.
Abstract 

In this paper Charles Peck presents his ideas as to how the author of a technical paper might improve its readability through greater focus on semantic cohesion throughout the body of his/her text. Although the ideas that Peck presents here have been gleaned from descriptive works, the thrust of his argument is prescriptive, not just descriptive. After an in-depth analysis of grammatical cohesion and properties of formulaic sentences, Peck concludes with two means to check paragraphs for cohesiveness from slightly different points of view, viz., faithfulness to certain ‘promises’ an author makes to his/her target audience paragraph by paragraph, and certain questions an author should anticipate his/her audience asking with each sentence within a paragraph.

  Improving the readability of technical papers by studying paragraph cohesion
Published  2010
Subjects  Cohesion
Linguistics
Paragraph
Publishing
Scholarly writing
Translation
Keywords  cohesion; technical writing; topic sentence; Scholarly writing; Paragraph; Cohesion