Cohesion in Texts: A Discourse Analysis of a News Article in a Magazine


This paper aims to analyse an English text from a magazine for the purpose of identifying cohesive elements in text : which type of cohesion is the most substantive contribution to texture ;and whether this type is effective or not.
Texture is created within text when there are properties of coherence and cohesion, outside of the apparent grammatical structure of the text. Cohesion, the most important principle and criterion of textuality, is the connection or the connectedness manifested when the interpretation of one textual element (a word located in one sentence) is dependent on another element in the text (a word usually but not necessarily in another sentence). Cohesion relates to the “semantic ties” within text whereby a tie is made when there is some dependent link between items that combine to create meaning. Halliday and Hasan (1976) identified five different types of cohesion: reference, substitution, ellipsis, conjunction, and lexical cohesion. In the five main types of cohesion ,’’the interpretation of a discourse element ,is dependent on another element that can be pointed out in discourse.’’ (Renkema 1993: 40) .
Using the Newsweek article "Ruins With A View" as a basis, the textual aspect of meaning through cohesion will be analyzed. The principles of referencing, substitution, ellipsis, conjunction, and lexical cohesion put forth by Halliday and Hasan (1976) and Bloor and Bloor (1995) will be applied to the article and will be analyzed to demonstrate the relevance of the cohesive elements that are present in texts which contribute to the overall meaning of the text. Understanding how cohesion functions within text to create semantic links could be beneficial to students of English as a second or foreign language to help “decode” meaning.