Cohesion and Coherence in Pakistani Expository Argumentative Essays: A Corpus-Based Study

  • Shahbaz Haider Department of Applied Linguistics, Government College University, Faisalabad, Pakistan
  • Prof. Dr. Muhammad Asim Mahmood Dean, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Government College University, Faisalabad, Pakistan
  • Ayesha Asghar University of Agriculture , Faisalabad, Pakistan
Keywords: Grammatical Metaphor, Ideational Grammatical Metaphor, Systemic Functional Linguistics, Argumentative Writing, Nominalization


The current study aims to investigate the cohesion and coherence strategies employed by Pakistani English Language Learners (PELLs) in expository argumentative essays.  For this purpose, the concept of Ideational Grammatical Metaphor premised upon Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) theory proposed by Devrim (2015) was applied to 50 expository essays drawn from International Corpus of Learner English (ICLE).  The deployment of IGM linguistic resources (i.e., lexically dense nominal groups) in the text generates lexically condensed clauses, text cohesion, and causal linkages within the clauses (Thompson, 2014).  The results reveal that most PELLs in this research contained an inadequate understanding of the cohesion and coherence realized by IGM linguistic resources in argumentative writing. The overuse of communicative conjunctions in the PELLs’ texts common in spoken English primarily formed their expository essays into descriptive texts. Pedagogically, it is safe to assume that, through the research findings, English Language Teachers (ELTs) can systematically teach PELLs about the employment of IGMs to produce cohesion and coherence in their argumentative written texts.