AP English Language

Review the Knowledge You Need to Score High


Comprehensive Review—Analysis

A Few Words About Coherence


Coherence is accepting your responsibility as a writer to “deliver the goods.” Your reader has expectations you are obliged to meet.

• Basically, the reader looks for some kind of announcement as to what is to follow (the thesis, assertion, claim).

• Near the end of the introduction, the reader expects to find some hints about the major points that you will discuss in your piece of writing.

• The body of the presentation will develop the discussion of each major point.

• The reader will expect to be led logically from one major point to another via “connective tissue.”

• The reader expects some sort of final comment or remark, not a summary. Among the many possibilities, this final “point” could be:

— an interpretation of the significance of the points of your discussion;

— a prediction;

— an anecdote;

— a question; or

— a quote.

Make certain that your ending/conclusion is related to your discussion. Don’t introduce new or irrelevant ideas or comments. Also, make sure that the final comment is consistent in tone and attitude with the rest of the paper.

Just as the reader has particular expectations of you as a writer, YOU have expectations when you read the writing of others and when you complete a rhetorical analysis of another’s written work. Ask the very same questions that are asked of you.