An Analysis of Coherence
The brief essay on this page, "Accounting for Taste," was written by James Gleick, former editor for the New York Times, lecturer at Princeton, and author of three books about how technology affects our lives. (Two of those books were Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalists. Excerpts from his most recent book, Faster: The Acceleration of Just About Everything are available online.) Mr. Gleick has graciously given us permission to use his article in this Guide to Grammar and Writing.
Using blank text blocks, we have divided Gleick's essay into several parts. We want you to analyze how the language above each blank is held together by the four mechanical devices for coherence: pronoun reference, repetition of key terms, transitional tag words, and parallel form. (Click HERE to review those concepts.)
If you would like to read Gleick's essay without being interrupted by the blank text blocks, click HERE. (There are hyperlinks to several of James Gleick's essays on that page.)
The first bit of analysis has been done for you. When you are done (and not before, or your computer will turn into a toadstool!) click HERE for our analysis of the mechanical devices that hold this essay together.
First published in the New York Times Magazine 25 October 1998
Principles of Composition
Guide to Grammar and Writing