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Coherence vs Cohesion

Coherence vs Cohesion

Difference Between Coherence vs Cohesion

The following article provides an outline on Coherence vs Cohesion. Whenever we write the documents, articles, blogs, descriptions, brochures or advertisements it is very necessary to make sure that the content is understandable and the flow of the written material is integral. How your ideas are conveyed through the written sentences consisting of logical transitions when switched from one to another is another crucial point. Cohesion and coherence are the two important things considered while writing any content and are properties of written material considered in discourse analysis and text linguistics.

Cohesion word is derived from the word cohere which means “to stick together”. So while framing the sentences and phrases, cohesion is how you have put your ideas and views collectively together while framing your sentences while coherence is the superset of cohesion which includes cohesive sentences as well as other properties like consistency and understandability of the content and how using logically connected and related sentences while representing your ideas and transiting from one idea to another.

Head to Head Comparison Between Coherence vs Cohesion (Infographics)

Below are the top 6 differences between Coherence vs Cohesion:

Coherence vs Cohesion info

Key Difference Between Coherence vs Cohesion

Let us discuss some of the major key differences:

  • Let us see with the help of an analogy of a building. The building represents the coherence while the bricks represent cohesion. Bricks are internally strong because their content is stick together. Similar is the case with sentences and paragraphs is they are grammatically correct and represent a certain idea. But when these sentences and paragraphs are put together to form our writing then the coherence is determined with the help of parameters like the organization of the cohesive components and connection of the ideas and understandability of the content as a whole. In our above example when the bricks( cohesive objects) are organized together then only the building(coherence) is constructed.
  • The cohesion properties focus only on the grammatical and lexical structure of sentences while coherence deals with the semantics. The cohesive content doesn’t need to be always coherent. But coherent content is always cohesive as it is the arrangement of cohesive sentences together to put up a meaningful and understandable article.
  • It can be understood with the help of one more example of puzzling pieces that are connected to form a particular picture. Even if the shape and size of parts fit correctly does not conclude that the picture is correct. Proper placement and arrangement of the pieces will only ensure the formation of the picture.
  • Repeated words/ideas, reference words, transition signals, substitution, and ellipsis are some of the techniques which can be used to achieve cohesion while topic sentences, thesis statement, the summary are the techniques used to achieve coherence. Coherence can be improved with the use of an outline of the content which can be made before writing the articles or even after completion of writing which will give us an understanding of the flow of ideas and concepts in the article and their relationship.
  • Peer review can also help in enhancing the coherence. You can ask your peers for feedback about your content and see whether they can understand what you are trying to convey through your content.

Coherence vs Cohesion Comparison Table

Let’s discuss the top comparison:



Coherence mainly deals with logic and appropriate organization of the sentences to form meaningful and understandable content.  Cohesion focuses more on lexical syntax and grammar in sentence formation. 
Coherence is more sort of a pattern in the collected parts of writings.  Cohesion is just the individual parts that are collected together and are stick together for representation.
Coherence is the attribute that is decided by the end-user or reader which determines whether the content seems meaningful, understanding and useful.  Cohesion is the attribute decided by the writer and which is brought by using different techniques like repeated words/ideas, reference words, transition signals, substitution, etc. 
Coherence is not a measurable property and very hard to achieve.  Cohesion is a measurable property that can be measured by checking the lexical syntaxes and grammar rules. 
It is abstract as it deals with the ideas. It is observable as it is dealt with the actual written content.
Coherence is a qualitative property.  Cohesion is a quantitative property. 


Cohesion and coherence are the two properties that are used in discourse analysis and text linguistics for determining the quality of the article or any content written. Cohesion means sticking together different sentences, phrases, and paragraphs with each other. Cohesion is completely in the hands of the writer and can be improved by using different techniques. Coherence is the property determined by the reader which tells the understandability of the article and whether the idea is being conveyed to the reader appropriately. It determines the quality of the content. Cohesion is a subset of coherence. Hence, whenever the cohesion is achieved we can’t say the coherence is achieved or not but if coherence is achieved then the content is cohesive too for sure.

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Coherence vs Cohesion


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