One of the ways to ace IELTS exam is to know how the test is scored as this will help you to increase your band score. Understanding the scoring pattern of the test enables you to recognize the expectation of examiner. You can then focus on those essential things and fetch a good score.

One of the significant out of the four criteria on which the IELTS Writing Test Task 2 is scored is Coherence & Cohesion.

Coherence & Cohesion holds the maximum weightage in IELTS Writing – Academic and General Tests. But, aspirants usually overlook this criterion and due to this they score less in this task.

So, let’s get familiar with these important factors that play a vital role in fetching a high score in Task 2 (Essay Writing) of IELTS Writing exam.

What is Coherence?


Coherence refers to the flow of your writing. It relates to how well your essay is organized and how logically your ideas are sequenced.

The main motive behind writing an essay is to express the ideas precisely whereas the aim of examiner is to understand the thought process of the candidate while reading it. This is why, Coherence is essential in the Essay Writing task.

Tips for Coherence:

  • Divide the Essay in different paragraphs.
  • Use Linking Phrases and connectors to make a connection between the paragraphs.
  • Follow a Logical Sequence with paragraphs.

Let’s say you are given the following topic to write your essay:

Some people claim that there are more disadvantages of the car than its advantages. Do you agree or disagree? Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of having a car.

Give reasons for your answer.

You should write at least 250 words.

The following essay structure shows your Coherence skills – 

  • Introduction: Here, you will paraphrase the essay question provided and then present your point of view.
  • Body Paragraph 1: You can start by discussing the advantages.
  • Body Paragraph 2: Discuss the disadvantages.
  • Conclusion: Summarize all your arguments and restate your point of view.

It is essential that you paraphrase the question of the essay and maintain a connection between body paragraphs. For that, you can use Linking Phrases. That is, to start with another advantage you can use phrases like ‘in addition to’ or ‘furthermore’. To bridge a logical sequence between advantages and disadvantages, you can begin writing disadvantages using some of the phrases like ‘however’‘on the other hand’.

Keep these points into consideration while you write your essay for IELTS Writing Test – whether Academic or General.

What is Cohesion?


Cohesion means linking words that help you connect ideas.

 Tips for Cohesive skill in your essay:

  • Focus only on 2 to 3 points in each paragraph.
  • Write complete sentences with the appropriate use of punctuation.
  • Link your ideas with Syntax instead of making excessive use of linking phrases.

For your essay to be cohesive, you must elaborate your each point adequately and do provide a relevant example. Write complex sentences where ever possible and check on the subject and verb usage in your sentence. Be careful with your punctuation as it will help you to form complex sentences easily.

 Use Cohesive Devices to signify the relationship between different clauses, sentences and paragraphs. Let’s understand what cohesive devices are.

What are Cohesive Devices?

Connectors, linking words/phrases and transitional words are the Cohesive Devices.

Here are some examples of Cohesive Devices that you can use in your IELTS Essay Writing Task

  • Adding Ideas: ‘furthermore’, ‘in addition to’
  • Contrasting Ideas: ‘however’, ‘on the other hand’, ’let’s not forget the fact that’
  • Stating Examples: ‘for instance’, ‘for example’, ‘to illustrate this’
  • Explaining Results: ‘consequently’, ‘as a result’
  • Maintaining the Sequence: ‘firstly’, ‘next’, ‘to begin with’
  • Providing Explanations: ‘because of’, ‘to sum up’
  • Introducing your point: ‘another point that I would like to add’, ’in my opinion’

Note– You must avoid the use of excessive connectors in a single paragraph. With too many linking words, your writing will not sound natural and fluent. It may also distract examiner while reading your essay. An alternative to prevent unnecessary connectors is to use pronouns and dependent clauses to fulfill your purpose.

Use Cohesive Devices Correctly and in Right Quantity as excess usage can affect the originality of the task.

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