Cohesion, that sense of smooth flow from one part of a text to the next, is an essential feature of effective academic writing in English. There are a number of ways to create cohesion in your own writing.
Cohesion is generally created on the higher-order level, by structuring a text to follow a logical sequence in which arguments follow one another in the sense of building upon the last. Depending on their content and focus, essays or research papers may follow a chronological, geographical, or other clear order. However, language usage can either obstruct or build cohesion within a text as well. Clearly, the aim is to create cohesion, as it is important to the reader of English-language texts who seeks a smooth, easily understood paper.
One of the most obvious and straightforward ways is to employ those classic cohesive devices called linking phrases or connectors. Several things are essential in using them in your writing. The first is to understand exactly what they mean and how to use them correctly, so that they become smooth riverbanks rather than rocky rapids. You can get a first idea of the meanings of certain such linkers with this exercise.
An essential part of using these expressions correctly is knowing the syntactic patterns they follow. Here is another exercise, with which you can see exactly how such phrases and words are correctly integrated into a text.
Cohesion also results from the effective use of pronouns and other referential phrases. Have a look at this exercise to see how they look in a passage, and identify the kinds of referential phrases you have just found. The passive voice can help you to create cohesion by picking up on the information given earlier in the text. Here is a fun and easy explanation of how the passive is used.
To summarize, cohesion can be contributed to by the conscious employment of a few very simple principles. These principles will remind you to keep your language clear and simple. In fact, if these are used with care, they can make the use of linking phrases superfluous.