CERTAIN COHESION ELEMENTS AND THE READABILITY OF TECHNICAL PARAGRAPHS.

Jack Selzer

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

To determine how certain cohesion elements - the given-new contract, pronouns, synonyms, and topic sentences - affect the readability of technical paragraphs, six alternative paragraphs were composed, two ″models″ and four other carefully varied to feature the four factors under consideration. Then each passage was tested for its readability when subjects were administered a cloze procedure and a recall exercise for each paragraph. The results show that violations of the given-new contract make technical paragraphs more difficult to read; that changing repeated words to pronouns makes passages more difficult to follow; that using synonyms (instead of repetitions) makes prose harder to read; and that deleting a topic sentence may impede a reader's comprehension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages285-300
Number of pages16
Volume12
No4
Specialist publicationJournal of Technical Writing and Communication
StatePublished - Jan 1 1982

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Education

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