When I write, I find the most difficult thing is to shape all of the information into a cohesive narrative for the reader. I’ve got all these ideas swimming around in my mind, not to mention all the different pieces of research to juggle. All this can be difficult to manage. My papers often used to come back with comments that they are lacking in flow or cohesion.
What I’ve realized is that during the revision process, it’s important to shape my narrative into a long chain of logic. Each paragraph in the paper is like a link in the chain. I need to connect each link by (1) showing how they are related to each other and (2) showing how they connect to my thesis, which clasps both ends of my ideas together like a necklace.
To build this chain, I like to make an outline. I put my thesis at the top of the page and list the first sentences of each paragraph underneath. Then I go back and insert transition sentences that show the relationship from idea to the next, and ultimately to my thesis. When I do this, I am better able to help my reader understand how each idea in the paper is relevant and connected.
Graduate Assistant, Virtual Writing Center