The Analysis of Cohesive Devices used by Tertiary English Students in Writing English paragraphs

Eka Finastie Nurhidayat, Eka Apriani, Sarwo Edy


The present research aimed at investigating kinds of cohesive devices and the problems of using those cohesive devices in writing English paragraphs. 10 undergraduate English students from an institute in Curup, Bengkulu, Indonesia were involved as the participants purposively. Document analysis was conducted towards students’ written paragraphs to garner the data about kinds of cohesive devices, and they were then interviewed to reveal information with respect to their problems of using cohesive devices. The data were analyzed using an interactive model. The present research revealed that the students had used some kinds of cohesive devices such as references in the form of personal pronoun and demonstrative reference. They used conjunctions in the form of additive, adversative, and clausal conjunctions. They used reiteration in the form of making repetitions of the same words. This condition indicated that they had moderately been able to use general cohesive devices. However, there were some more cohesive devices they had not used because of their complexities. In terms of problems, they had no problems of using references. However, they had varied problems in using substitution, ellipsis, conjunction, reiteration, and collocation. It implied that English writing lecturers needed to help students cope with such problems of using cohesive devices by applying explicit teaching.


Cohesive Devices; English,;Paragraph Writing; Writing Skill

Full Text:



Abdelwahab, E., & Rahmtallah, E. (2020). EFL Students’ Coherence Skill in Writing : A Case Study of Third Year Students of Bachelors in English Language. English Language Teaching, 13(8), 120–126.

Abu-Ayyash, E. A. S., & McKenny, J. (2017). The flesh and the bones of cohesive devices: towards a comprehensive model. Journal of World Languages, 4(2), 94–117.

Ahmed, A. H. (2010). Students’ Problems with Cohesion and Coherence in EFL Essay Writing in Egypt: Different Perspectives. Literacy Information and Computer Education Journal, December 2010, 211–221.

Ai, B., Kostogriz, A., Wen, D., & Wang, L. (2018). Student presentations as a means of teaching and learning English for Specific Purposes: an action research study. Teaching in Higher Education, 1–15.

Al-Pachachi, A. O., & Naser, A. A. (2016). The use of cohesive devices in English drama texts for adults and children. Angloamericanae Journal, 1(1), 28–60.

Arifani, Y. (2019). The application of small group and individual flipped model with WhatsApp to foster EFL learners’ cohesive writing skill. Library Hi Tech News, 36(4), 10–12.

Ary, D., Jacobs, L. C., Sorensen, C. K., Walker, D. A., & Razavieh, A. (2010). Introduction to research in education. In Measurement (8th ed., Vol. 4, Issue 43). Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

Craig, C. J., Zou, Y., & Poimbeauf, R. (2015). Journal writing as a way to know culture: Insights from a travel study abroad program. In Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice (Vol. 21, Issue 4, pp. 472–489). Routledge.

Deepa, R., & Gayathridevi, K. S. (2017). Outcome Assessment of a Writing Skill Improvement Initiative for Management Graduates. International Journal of Educational Sciences, 19(1), 71–78.

Ebadi, S., & Rahimi, M. (2019). Mediating EFL learners’ academic writing skills in online dynamic assessment using Google Docs. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 32(5–6), 527–555.

Feng, H., Crezee, I., & Grant, L. (2018). Form and meaning in collocations: a corpus-driven study on translation universals in Chinese-to-English business translation. Perspectives: Studies in Translation Theory and Practice, 26(5), 677–690.

Fraenkel, J. R., Wallen, N. E., & Hyun, H. H. (2012). How to design and evaluate research in education. McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Gall, M. D., Gall, J. P., & Borg, W. R. (2003). Educational research: An introduction (7th ed.). Allyn and Bacon.

Halliday, M. A. K., & Hasan, R. (2014). Cohesion in English. Routlage.

Hinkel, E. (2004). “Rhetorical Features of Text: Cohesion and Coherence”, Teaching Academic ESL Writing: Practical Techniques in Vocabulary and Grammar. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Hinkel, Eli. (2001). Matters of cohesion in L2 academic texts. Applied Language Learning, 12(2), 111–132.

Hoey, M. (1996). Patterns of Lexis in Text. Oxford University Press.

Kang, J. Y. (2009). Referencing in a second language: Korean EFL learners’ cohesive use of references in written narrative discourse. Discourse Processes, 46(5), 439–466.

Ketabi, S., & Jamalvand, A. A. (2012). A corpus-based study of conjunction devices in English international law texts and its Farsi translation. International Journal of Linguistics, 4(4), 1–10.

Kirkpatrick, A. (2018). The development of English as a lingua franca in ASEAN. In J. Jenkins, W. Baker, & M. Dewey (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of English as a Lingua Franca (pp. 138–150). Routlage.

Lauder, A. (2008). The status and function of English in Indonesia: A review of key factors. Makara, Social Humaniora, 12(1), 9–20.

Lin, V., Liu, G. Z., & Chen, N. S. (2020). The effects of an augmented-reality ubiquitous writing application: a comparative pilot project for enhancing EFL writing instruction. Computer Assisted Language Learning.

Ma’azi, H., Janfeshan, K., & Wang, S. (2018). The effect of Edmodo social learning network on Iranian EFL learners writing skill. Cogent Education, 5(1), 1536312.

Manser, M. H., & McGauran, F. (2003). Oxford Learner’s Pocket Dictionary. Oxford University Press.

Mauludin, L. A. (2018). Dynamic assessment to improve students’ summary writing skill in an ESP class. Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, 36(4), 355–364.

Mauranen, A. (2018). Conceptualising ELF. In J. Jenkins, W. Baker, & D. Martin (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of English as a Lingua Franca (pp. 7–24). Routlage.

McCarthy, M. (1991). Discourse Analysis for Language Teachers. Cambridge University Press.

McDonough, K., & Crawford, W. J. (2020). Identifying effective writing tasks for use in EFL write-to-learn language contexts. Language Learning Journal, 48(4), 469–480.

Miles, M. B., Huberman, A. M., & Saldana, J. (2014). Qualitative data analysis: A methods sourcebook. SAGE Publications, Inc.

Mohammed, A. S. (2015). Conjunctions as Cohesive Devices in the Writings of English as Second Language Learners. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 208, 74–81.

Morganna, R. (2017). Teachers’ attitudes towards conducting interlanguage analysis to prepare better instructions. International Journal of Pedagogy and Teacher Education (IJPTE), 1(2), 127–138.

Nugraheni, R. (2015). Cohesive Devices in Learners ’ Writing. LLT Journal, 18(1), 51–62.

Rahatlou, M. B., Fazilatfar, A. M., & Allami, H. (2018). English as a lingua franca in Iran: An attitudinal investigation into the in-service teachers. Cogent Education, 5(1), 1–19.

Rankema, J. (2004). Introduction to Discourse Studies. John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Reid, J. (1993). Teaching ESL writing. Prentice Hall.

Rezaee, A. A., Marefat, H., & Saeedakhtar, A. (2015). Symmetrical and asymmetrical scaffolding of L2 collocations in the context of concordancing. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 28(6), 532–549.

Swan, M. (2005). Practical English Usage (3rd Ed). Oxford University Press.

Wang, X., & Cho, K. (2010). Computational linguistic assessment of genre differences focusing on text cohesive devices of student writing: Implications for library instruction. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 36(6), 501–510.

Webb, S., & Nation, P. (2017). How vocabulary is learned. Oxford University Press.

Wells, N. A. (1997). Class journals, grading writing, and teaching writing style. Journal of Geoscience Education, 45(4), 314–316.

Wolf, M. K., Oh, S., Wang, Y., & Tsutagawa, F. S. (2018). Young Adolescent EFL Students’ Writing Skill Development: Insights From Assessment Data. Language Assessment Quarterly, 15(4), 311–329.

Yasuda, S. (2019). Children’s meaning-making choices in EFL writing: The use of cohesive devices and interpersonal resources. System, 85, 102108.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2021 International Journal of Multicultural and Multireligious Understanding

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

International Journal of Multicultural and Multireligious Understanding (IJMMU) ISSN 2364-5369
Copyright © 2014-2018 IJMMU. All rights reserved.