Abstract: Improving coherence in written communication

TRAXLER, M. J., & GERNSBACHER, M. A. (1995). Improving coherence in written communication. In M. A. Gernsbacher & T. Givón (Eds.), Coherence in spontaneous text (pp. 216-237). Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins.

The theme connecting the chapters in this volume is that coherent communication conveys the message that a speaker or writer intended to convey; incoherent communication does not. Because we are cognitive psychologists, we will state this theme in terms of mental processes and mental representation. We propose that coherent communication enables the reader or listener to build a mental representation of what the writer or speaker intended to convey. In this chapter, we describe the cognitive processes that we propose enable writers to produce coherent text. In doing so, we present a series of experiments that were aimed at improving the cognitive processes and representations that writers employ while producing and revising their texts.