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Coherence is part of the IELTS Writing Coherence & Cohesion (CC) band descriptor, which applies to both Tasks 1 and 2.


In IELTS writing, it is concerned with how clear and fluent the message is, in other words, ‘how easy it is for the reader to understand the writer’s ideas’.


In particular, this relates to the consistency of information, ideas, and/or opinions. How these are organised and whether or not there is a logical progression in the content across the whole script both within and between paragraphs. Scripts that do not display a logical progression, throughout, will be marked down in CC.


The literal meaning of coherence is "to stick together." In IELTS writing, it means that all the ideas in a paragraph flow smoothly from one sentence to the next sentence. If the script is coherent, the reader will have an easy time understanding the ideas the writer wishes to express.


Information and ideas must be clearly organised and logical, with clear progression throughout the script, to achieve a CC Band score above 5. Spending a little time planning the basic structure of the script is a good way to assist in achieving an overall coherent approach.


It is essential to stop and read the preceding sentence/s after each new one is completed to ensure coherence at the sentence level and between paragraphs, to ensure it is a clear and logical progression, and that the ideas and message are not lost or confused.


Reading the whole script slowly, on completion, is another useful technique to check for coherence. Often in the middle of writing, it can be difficult to stand back and take a detached view, as the writer's mind is often preoccupied with completing the next part. It is more likely that a detached approach can be taken, and possible issues may then be more easily identified, once the script has been completed.


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