Essay Writing, Part 5: How To Create Cohesion And Flow


In each part of a paper, specific types of statements direct the reader to your argument.  These sentences help create flow within the different sections of the essay as well as remind the reader of your argument.

Your TA or professor is looking for cohesion within your paper, so if these statements are absent, it can make the paper seem choppy.

Yes, this is yet another thing that will negatively affect your final grade. Sad but true! Keep reading to find out how you can make your next essay as smooth as butter.

What to include in the introduction of an essay

Within the introduction, there are three kinds of statements that you must include to properly organize your paper and help set the tone for the rest of your essay.

Introductory statement

The very first part of your essay will be the introductory statement (or statements), which grabs the reader’s attention and introduces the general topic.  The introductory statement can be:

  • a quotation
  • a memorable statement
  • a short narrative
  • a shocking statistic
  • or something else as long as it relates to the topic of your essay and is not a sweeping generalization

Thesis statement

Following that you have the thesis statement, which clearly states your topic as well as an arguable opinion.

Mapping statement

Lastly, your essay should contain a mapping statement (sometimes also called the essay map), which states the points you will argue in the body paragraphs in the order they appear.  When you are writing this sentence, you should try to keep it in parallel structure, as it is more readable that way.

How to structure the body paragraphs of an essay

Because university-level essays tend to be different stylistically than high school essays, how you structure your body paragraphs can vary.  Sometimes an argument will be composed of multiple paragraphs and that is OK.  However, you should still include two specific kinds of statements related to your arguments.

Topic sentence

The very first sentence will be a topic sentence, which:

  • transitions your new argument from the last paragraph
  • introduces the topic for the current paragraph, and
  • links this topic to the thesis

The important stuff

After the topic sentence, you should include the various arguments and proofs in order to prove your thesis.

Concluding sentence

Finally, you will end your argument with a concluding sentence (or sometimes two), which wraps up your topic and ties it back to the thesis.

And for each argument in your paper you will lather, rinse and repeat until all of your claims have been thoroughly supported.

How to write an essay conclusion

At this point, you’re almost done your paper but you need a couple of solid statements to wrap up everything in a neat little package (bow optional).

Repeat yourself

You have to re-state your thesis, except you should use different phrasing than you did in the introduction.  This reminds the reader what you were trying to prove within your paper.

Afterward, you must sum up the points you made within the body paragraphs.  It is preferable to sum up each argument into one or possibly two sentences, rather than summing them all up in one.  Again, this reminds the reader what you proved elsewhere in your paper.

Concluding statement

Finally, you want a strong and memorable concluding statement.  This should tie up any loose ends in your paragraph.  It should also mirror the introductory statement from within the introduction as much as possible, to develop a sense of cohesion from the start of the paper to the end.


More articles in the Essay Writing series:

About the author

Danielle Lorenz is a long-time contributor to the Career Incubator. Danielle is a PhD student in the Department of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Alberta. When procrastinating from schoolwork, you will find Danielle lurking on several social media platforms and trying to befriend the snowshoe hares on the U of A campus.