In this day and age, writing is becoming a more and more important skill for those who desire to be successful. Not only is it necessary in schools, but it is also a huge part of most jobs and businesses. If you have ever wondered how you can make your writing flow better, you have come to the right place!

Below is a list of ways that you can make your writing more coherent and smooth. If you can master your writing skills early on (like in elementary school and high school) the chances of you being successful in the future professional field are much, much higher. So, without further ado, here are a few things you can do to improve the flow and the cohesiveness of your writing.

Improving the Flow

1- Sentence Variety

You should avoid using the same kind of sentences in the same length and beginning. You can phrase the same sentence in several different ways. For example, “Vanessa loved going to school and eating ice cream.” “Ice cream and school were two things Vanessa loved.” “Vanessa loved ice cream and school a lot.”

The same message is conveyed here, but the sentences all begin differently and have somewhat different lengths. If you use variety with your sentence structures, it will prevent the readers from getting lost in your words. If. you never shake up the structure, your writing could become monotone and repetitive.

2- The Wording

The wording you use must be clear and concise. If you are crowding your sentences with more words than are necessary, readers will quickly get tired and lose interest in what you are saying (see an example here). Trim the fat on your sentences until only the necessary words remain. Your readers are smart and they will usually be able to pick up on what you are trying to say.

3- Tying Together Ideas

Make sure you aren’t spouting off random pieces of information without making clear connections between each point. Tying your ideas together will not only help improve the flow of your writing, but it will also help you to cut down on any wordiness you might be struggling with. You can use a series of techniques to do this and you can read more about those here.

4- Cause and Effect

Also referred to as stimulus and response, cause and effect is a technique that a lot of people use to draw their readers in. First, a stimulus is written (usually an action) and a response occurs after that. This technique makes it easier for words to flow without feeling rough or awkward. It will keep your readers interested and it will prevent the writing from feeling disjointed.

5- Topic Sentences

Clear topic sentences will help your reader to see where you’re coming from and what you’re trying to talk about. Using the tips from above, make your topic sentence as clean and tidy as possible. Reduce the wordiness of your topic sentence until only what is necessary is left behind. Your topic sentence should clearly state what you will be talking about.

6- Logical Connections

Keep your thoughts coherent. When you are making connections they must be logical. Otherwise, your writing will appear disjointed, random, and not well thought out. If this is the case, you will soon lose the interest of any readers because they will doubt that you even know what you’re talking about. You will need to remove these roadblocks because if they remain, your readers will get confused and frustrated while they try to figure out what you’re trying to say.

7- The Transitioning

While we’re talking about logical connections, let’s not leave out transitions. Smooth transitions are essential for a good flow of reading and writing. Transitions can be made by using words like “additionally” or “however”. The transition is the bridge between two different ideas. As the writer, you are responsible for guiding readers through your writing with as little difficulty as possible.

8- Reading Out Loud

Reading out loud isn’t always fun or easy for people, but believe it or not, this is one of the quickest and easiest ways to root out the imperfections and flaws in your writing. Reading out loud will help you to get a feel for how the writing flows. If you have difficulty reading out loud without cringing or accidentally changing words up, that probably means whatever you’re reading could do with a few edits or even a full rewrite.

After you have done some revisions, read it out loud again to see whether or not you have improved the flow at all. If you still don’t like the way it sounds coming out of your mouth, make a few more changes. Repeat this process until you like the way the writing flows.

Improving Cohesion

Linking Words

Along with improving the flow of your writing, you will want to improve your cohesion. Your writing might be as smooth as it could possibly get, but if you’re not making any sense, it will all be for nothing. Using linking words such as “whilst, and, because, however,” and others can make it easier to transition between ideas and link them together coherently, which, as mentioned above, is a must for clear writing.

Another good way to improve your cohesion (especially in academic writing) is to limit yourself to one idea per paragraph (or several if needed). If you start to overcrowd your paragraphs with a billion different thoughts, you will not make a good case for whatever you’re writing about. Keep one idea contained in a single paragraph and take the time to explain it well. Then, using a smooth transition, move on to the next one.

The more you write, the smoother your writing flow will become. It can seem intimidating at first, but it only gets easier as you go. If you feel like your message really gets lost in the writing, try breaking it down into smaller sentences. If you have fewer words, there’s less room for confusion.

Ol Adams

Letter Review is currently edited by Ol Adams, who is a PhD candidate in Creative Writing, casual academic, and guest lecturer at the University of New South Wales. Ol Adams has had short stories published in leading literary journals such as Overland, Southerly, Seizure, and TEXT. Ol has had novels long listed for major awards such as the KYDUMA, has received government funding to produce plays from Create NSW and screenplays from Screen NSW, and has performed / produced professional work at major theatrical venues such as the Sydney Opera House.