Making Sense of Coherence

Making Sense of Coherence

This article has been written by Liam McAlary, a Years 7 – 12, VCE Legal Studies and VCE English Language Tutor at Learnmate. If you’re interested in private tutoring from Liam then please check out his page here.


 

Hello everyone, my article for May is here, and as promised, I will be discussing coherence, which is another important discourse feature which you both need to analyse in texts, and demonstrate in your own writing. Whereas cohesion (discussed last month) helps to bind the text together within itself, coherence is a slightly broader concept, that are the features giving it meaning and allowing it to be understood, given the surrounding context, the text’s purpose, and the audience.

Coherence encompassed six main features, most of which will be discussed below. These are conventions, consistency, cohesion, logical ordering, inference, and formatting.

I will not discuss cohesion, but I will be nice enough to link you to the article I wrote about the topic last month. Overview of Face Needs for Unit 3 (learnmate.com.au) (I know it says overview of face needs, that is a website issue. I promise that this is a link to my April article about cohesion).

 

The main example I will use is a recipe for boiling an egg. A coherent recipe for boiling an egg (consistent, well formatted, ordered logically, relies on a degree of inference, cohesive, and adheres to the conventions of a recipe) may look like:

  1. Ensure egg is at room temperature
  2. Heat water until it boils
  3. Place egg in water
  4. Wait 4 and a half minutes
  5. Remove the egg and serve immediately

 

For the record, this is actually the best way to boil a large egg if you’re interested. Bonus cooking tips now come with my articles now it seems.

Consistency:

This is quite self-explanatory. This primarily relates to the register, topic, tone, etc. remaining consistent throughout the text. The above is consistent as everything relates to the topic of boiling an egg. If it looked something like the one below, then the lack of consistency clearly inhibits its coherence.

  1. Ensure egg is at room temperature
  2. Heat water
  3. Place egg in water
  4. Wait until octopus boils
  5. Wait 4 and a half minutes
  6. Remove egg and serve immediately

 

Conventions:

This is strongly related to formatting. Coherent texts usually adhere to the conventions that we expect of texts of that type. For example, a letter has a greeting and a sign off, doctor’s notes are set out in a certain way, and the above recipe breaks the process down into simple and manageable steps, which is what readers expect of a recipe.

Logical ordering:

Hold onto your hats. If a text is structured in an order than makes sense and flows well, it is easier to read and is more coherent. When you are analysing a text and you wish to discuss logical ordering (and it is one of the easier elements of coherence to identify and discuss), you need to first explain how the order is logical (briefly), before going onto (also briefly) explain how it enhances coherence, usually by allowing ideas to develop in a way that makes sense and is easy to follow. For example, the above text is ordered logically as the sequence of the text is the order in which the process of boiling an egg occurs, so it is easier for readers to follow and understand. An illogically ordered version of the above may look like this:

 

  1. Ensure Egg is at room temperature
  2. Heat water
  3. Remove egg and serve immediately
  4. Wait until water boils
  5. Wait 4 and a half minutes
  6. Place egg in water

 

Or even worse (also a major issue with the formatting):

  1. Ensure egg is at room temperature
  2. Heat water
  3. Remove egg and serve immediately
  4. Wait until water boils
  5. Wait 4 and a half minutes
  6. Place egg in water

 

Inference:

Texts rely on inference, rather than expressly using it (I mean, the very definition of inferring is to draw on external knowledge to interpret and read a text). The above example relies on people inferring that a stove and saucepan are also useful tools for boiling an egg (and hopefully to not use one’s bare hands to lower an egg into boiling water), and people’s understanding of this helps them to understand and follow the recipe.

I feel inference ought to receive a little bit more information. There can be textual inferences, which is where readers are asked to, ‘read between the lines,’ where an inference is created within the text. For example, “She was wearing a ring. Next time I saw her, her hand was bare.”

Moreover, inference can also be social or cultural, requiring a social or cultural understanding. This is common for idioms and puns. For example, the idiom, ‘doing a Bradbury,’ requires people to draw on their knowledge of Steven Bradbury’s famous gold medal in Salt Lake City (2002 winter Olympics), to infer that someone succeeded, despite not being in a position to, prior to those in a better position squandering their opportunity and leaving the proverbial door wide open.

Formatting:

Another that is quite easy to explain and analyse. Essentially, does the way that the text is set out help to make it easier to read and follow. Think bolded or underlined headings, numbered steps (like the above recipe), or any other formatting that impacts the way that the text is read.

For example, the recipe would be much less coherent if it had no numbers, and was just a paragraph, as it is harder to read and follow due to its formatting.

 

When analysing a text, ensure that you discuss how the features of coherence SPECIFICALLY contribute to the text’s coherence. Specificity gets marks, generality does not.

 

Wow this got long quickly, I hope it helps you understand coherence, and I will be back with more for you in June.

 


LearnMate is Australia’s leading tutoring agency offering private lessons in all primary & high school subjects including English, maths, science, humanities, foreign languages, and so much more. Our mission is simple: to provide professional, engaging and enthusiastic tutors to students, while also ensuring the student feels empowered and confident during their assessments! Ultimately, our goal is to empower students all over Australia to achieve amazing results and make their dreams come true!

LearnMate provides you with tailored, one-on-one lessons for tutoring in a variety of suburbs in MelbourneSydneyGeelongBrisbaneHobartCanberraPerth & Adelaide! With hundreds of tutors on the LearnMate platform, you’re bound to find someone local for any primary or high school year level! You can choose to have lessons in-person or online – whatever is easiest for you!

Making Sense of Coherence
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Short-Term Or Long-Term Tutoring?

Short-Term Or Long-Term Tutoring?

This article has been written by Lydia McClelland, a VCE French, Music Theory, Literature & VCE English Tutor at Learnmate.


 

As a tutor, I’ve sometimes been confronted with new students contacting me for last-minute tutoring – even less a week before the final Year 12 exam!

Far more common is students who are searching for one or two lessons to quickly focus on a specific area they struggle with. Whilst short-term tutoring is sometimes quite successful, especially for strong students with a small weakness in one area, it can be frustrating for both parties if the student’s overall improvement is not drastic. Of course, I will always help you to the best of my ability, even if it is last minute. But the rewards you reap from tutoring are correlated to the amount of time you give yourself to improve.

The most regular subject I tutor is English. If someone books me for one lesson, I can read over and make suggestions for essays, discuss ideas from a specific text, or perhaps help them develop a time plan for the exam. However, these are short-term solutions, very specific to certain situations. What I love about tutoring is my ability to help students develop skills which will last beyond schooling! When I work with a student over a longer period of time, we can target areas like sentence structure, grammar, written fluency, how to analyse texts and time management: in other words, preparing you not only for English in Year 12, but reinforcing skills that are important throughout life.

In first lessons with my new students, I like to spend some time getting to know them, their interests, their learning style, their targeted areas for improvement and their strengths. This is a really valuable part of long-term tutoring, and it allows me to tailor lessons very specifically to the student, which will result in the best possible outcomes!

If tossing up between short-term and long-term tutoring, always think hard about your aims. What do you want from tutoring?

 

If you loved this article, you will LOVE all of our other articles, such as: Why Perfectionism is a Problem, How to Write a Study Schedule and Tips on Studying for Exams – LearnMate Tutoring.

 


 

LearnMate is Australia’s leading tutoring agency offering private lessons in all primary & high school subjects including English, maths, science, humanities, foreign languages, and so much more. Our mission is simple: to provide professional, engaging and enthusiastic tutors to students, while also ensuring the student feels empowered and confident during their assessments! Ultimately, our goal is to empower students all over Australia to achieve amazing results and make their dreams come true!

LearnMate provides you with tailored, one-on-one lessons for tutoring in a variety of suburbs in MelbourneSydneyGeelongBrisbaneHobartCanberraPerth & Adelaide! With hundreds of tutors on the LearnMate platform, you’re bound to find someone local for any primary or high school year level! You can choose to have lessons in-person or online – whatever is easiest for you!

Short-Term Or Long-Term Tutoring?
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When You’re Your Own Worst Enemy in Year 12

When You’re Your Own Worst Enemy in Year 12

This article has been written by Lydia McClelland, a VCE French, Music Theory, Literature & VCE English Tutor at Learnmate. 


 

We all know the feeling: opening up a laptop, with all the best intentions of getting some work done, before trawling through every single social media account you own, checking the time, and realising you’ve spent hours doing nothing…

It’s hard to fight long-held habits, but the best thing to do is to start a new habit – a habit of not procrastinating. Here are a few basic tips if you are determined to combat this side of yourself:

  • Limit social media. This is definitely easier said than done, but you can do many things to force yourself to follow this step. If you want to be extra strict on yourself, you could log out of Facebook/other accounts and get a trusted friend/family member to change the password for a predetermined amount of time. Also consider deleting apps from your phone or simply turning off app notifications, which doesn’t require you to log out completely. You could also create a pre-decided time each day (an hour or two) in which you can use social media, just to ensure that it doesn’t creep into the rest of your life.
  • Reward yourself for study. One of the main reasons we procrastinate is because we simply cannot convince ourselves that it is worth it. Set reasonable rewards which encourage you to actually do work (e.g. convince yourself not to watch that 10 minute YouTube video until you do 50 minutes of study; don’t eat that chocolate bar until you’ve attempted one practice exam… the possibilities are endless).
  • Find a study space where you aren’t interrupted. If you tend to, for example, study in your room, or with your friends, you may have set up inefficient study habits, where your brain does not associate the place you are in with study. Find somewhere you do nothing except study. This might be a specific desk in your house, or a library or school library – any place you can find where you do nothing but study, so your mind recognises this whenever you enter this place.

All it takes is determination to overcome long-held procrastination habits – now is not too late!

 

If you loved this article, you will LOVE all of our other articles, such as: VCE ENGLISH: How to Write a Text Response Introduction ,How to Become a Successful Tutor in Australia and  A Brief Analysis Of Formal Language In A Recent Political Interview.

 


 

LearnMate is Australia’s leading tutoring agency offering private lessons in all primary & high school subjects including English, maths, science, humanities, foreign languages, and so much more. Our mission is simple: to provide professional, engaging and enthusiastic tutors to students, while also ensuring the student feels empowered and confident during their assessments! Ultimately, our goal is to empower students all over Australia to achieve amazing results and make their dreams come true!

LearnMate provides you with tailored, one-on-one lessons for tutoring in a variety of suburbs in MelbourneSydneyGeelongBrisbaneHobartCanberraPerth & Adelaide! With hundreds of tutors on the LearnMate platform, you’re bound to find someone local for any primary or high school year level! You can choose to have lessons in-person or online – whatever is easiest for you!

When You’re Your Own Worst Enemy in Year 12
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How To Take Notes To Maximise Success

How To Take Notes To Maximise Success

This article has been written by Lydia McClelland, a VCE French, Music Theory, Literature & VCE English Tutor at Learnmate.


Year 11 and 12 subjects often focus very heavily on content, but rarely upon the methods of learning and consolidating memory. To efficiently learn everything that you need to know, you need to focus on every part of the learning process. Notes you take in class are most likely your best resource, but so many students don’t even take a second glance at their notes until cramming for the exam!

  1. Always focus actively on your notes
    Active note taking involves engaging with the content. A very simple way of doing this is to never write down exactly what your teacher says or has written on the board: by putting notes into your own words, you’re forcing your brain to process and deeply understand the content. This will lead toward better recall of information. Another important aspect of successful note-taking is to organise your notes in a way that makes sense for you. Group and colour-code similar concepts and underline areas you find more difficult so you can later revise these areas more carefully.
  2. Be discerning
    Many students write down as much as they possibly can from lessons, however, on the contrary, you should be aiming to condense the information you’re given as simply and in as few words as possible. Work out which information is most important and leave out extraneous details. Not only will you have less information to recall, but when you revisit your notes, they will be simpler and easier to comprehend.
  3. Revise notes soon after class
    Studies show that you need to regularly revisit notes in order to ensure good, consistent recall. If you engage with notes again within the first 24 hours of writing them, and then again within a week, the chance of laying a solid memory foundation is dramatically increased. This is far better than leaving everything to a week before the exam, when it will be overwhelming and too late to lay down long-term memory!
  4. Do more than just reading your notes
    Revision of notes needs to go beyond just reading them to ensure best recall. If you engage with notes again within the first 24 hours of writing them, and then again within a week, the chance of laying a solid memory foundation is dramatically increased. This is far better than leaving everything to a week before the exam, when it will be overwhelming and too late to lay down long-term memory!

 

If you loved this article, you will LOVE all of our other articles, such as: Why Perfectionism is a Problem, How to Write a Study Schedule and Tips on Studying for Exams – LearnMate Tutoring.

 


 

LearnMate is Australia’s leading tutoring agency offering private lessons in all primary & high school subjects including English, maths, science, humanities, foreign languages, and so much more. Our mission is simple: to provide professional, engaging and enthusiastic tutors to students, while also ensuring the student feels empowered and confident during their assessments! Ultimately, our goal is to empower students all over Australia to achieve amazing results and make their dreams come true!

LearnMate provides you with tailored, one-on-one lessons for tutoring in a variety of suburbs in MelbourneSydneyGeelongBrisbaneHobartCanberraPerth & Adelaide! With hundreds of tutors on the LearnMate platform, you’re bound to find someone local for any primary or high school year level! You can choose to have lessons in-person or online – whatever is easiest for you!

How To Take Notes To Maximise Success
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Academic Benefits of Sports to Students

Academic Benefits of Sports to Students

This article has been written by Lydia McClelland, a VCE French, Music Theory, Literature & VCE English Tutor at Learnmate.


 

In a high-pressured period of your life such as late high school, it can be tempting to focus all of your efforts on academics, to the detriment of all else. However, research has demonstrated that such an approach can be counterproductive. Exercise and sports have been shown to improve academic performance – so hold off on cancelling all of your extra-curricular sport for Year 12!

What are some of the academic benefits of sports for students?

Improved sleep: you know that feeling after a long stretch of exercise? Sports and exercise are very beneficial to your quality of sleep, and often help you with troubles falling asleep. Anything that will help the quality of your sleep is bound to come in handy when it comes to academics – sleep has a very important role in the laying down of memory pathways.

Release of endorphins: playing sports contributes to increased levels of serotonin, which creates feelings of happiness. This can only be helpful when long periods of studying are demoralising – sports are a great way of lifting you back up. Regular exercise actually increases levels of energy, giving you more energy towards that late-night study session.

Improved cognitive functions: some studies have demonstrated that sports actually contribute towards improved academic outcomes. Not only do sports indirectly help academic performance, but they have a direct impact upon memory and cognitive abilities. Sports have also been shown to contributing towards reduced levels of stress, which will only benefit academic performance.

Self-confidence: this one is less obvious than the others. However, experiences of victories and losses aid a student to develop self-confidence. After all, one can only improve at something when they have experienced failure. Such experiences help a student take ownership of their study and have the confidence to succeed, often a quality which is underestimated in success.

Discipline: playing sports, and particularly team sports, requires hard-work and discipline. These are qualities which are essential to a successful student, and drawing upon these skills helps to create a pattern of behaviour which can be then easily applied to academics.

Tenacity: playing sports helps develop a person’s dedication and ability to bounce back from failure. This is essential to success in academic pursuits: you cannot let one bad result stop you from performing well; instead, failure can be used to create motivation to propel you forward to work harder in the future.

Teamwork: team sports teach you nearly everything you need to know about working in a team. When it comes to study, it’s important to be able to work with your peers so you can resolve issues which you may not be able to resolve alone. When it comes to group assignments, your teamwork skills learnt from sports will come in handy.

Leadership skills: taking on a leadership role in sports can help you in day-to-day life, as well as academics. Make sure you draw on your confidence and ability to choose a direction when it comes to studying.

If you loved this article, you will LOVE all of our other articles, such as: 3 Facts You Should Know About Your ATAR, Tips for Supporting Your Child in Year 11 and 12! and Will anyone care about your ATAR in a year?

 – LearnMate Tutoring.

 


LearnMate is Australia’s leading tutoring agency offering private lessons in all primary & high school subjects including English, maths, science, humanities, foreign languages, and so much more. Our mission is simple: to provide professional, engaging and enthusiastic tutors to students, while also ensuring the student feels empowered and confident during their assessments! Ultimately, our goal is to empower students all over Australia to achieve amazing results and make their dreams come true!

LearnMate provides you with tailored, one-on-one lessons for tutoring in a variety of suburbs in MelbourneSydneyGeelongBrisbaneHobartCanberraPerth & Adelaide! With hundreds of tutors on the LearnMate platform, you’re bound to find someone local for any primary or high school year level! You can choose to have lessons in-person or online – whatever is easiest for you!

Academic Benefits of Sports to Students
read more