Scientific language: cohesion

The highlighted words are examples of Cohesion or the way ideas and information are linked to each other in a text.

Click on the underlined words in the extracts from the example discussion from the cholesterol experiment for more explanation.

Consumption of a high cholesterol diet did not significantly increase blood cholesterol concentration over a 12 week period (Figure 1). Similarly, over the same period, consumption of a low cholesterol diet did not significantly reduce plasma cholesterol concentration.

However after 12 weeks the plasma cholesterol concentration of the high-cholesterol diet group was 50% greater than that of the low-cholesterol group (P<0.05).

This result should be interpreted with caution because each of the 3 subjects used in the analysis for the high-cholesterol group finished the study with an identical plasma cholesterol concentration of 8 mM (probably coincidentally).

When the results were expressed as a change relative to the subjects' starting cholesterol concentration (Figure 2), there did appear to be a difference between the two dietary regimes.

Although this difference did not attain statistical significance (P=0.06) it is possible that a better designed study could have given more definitive results.

Read the 7 extracts from the discussion stage of a report on the cholesterol experiment. Try to find the linking devices between the extracts and then drag and drop the extracts to re-construct the discussion in a logical order. Click on the Submit button when you have finished.

  • (a) However, it should be mentioned that these results could be influenced by the fact that the full compliance of subjects with the consumption of either a high or low cholesterol diet could not be achieved.
  • (b) Nevertheless, the results of this study do tend to suggest that diet can influence cholesterol levels in middle-aged subjects.
  • (c) This would almost certainly have led to higher levels of blood plasma cholesterol concentration being measured for those participants.
  • (d) Some of the participants did not always follow the type of diet they were allocated to while others did not monitor their diet.

  • (e) During consumption of a high cholesterol diet, subjects' plasma cholesterol concentration increased by approximately 48%, whereas a low cholesterol diet had the opposite effect and caused subjects' plasma cholesterol concentration to fall by approximately 15%.
  • (f) As a result of the above mentioned problems, a future study should be undertaken where either high or low cholesterol meals are prepared for subjects and their consumption is carefully monitored. Incentives could be offered to improve compliance on testing days.
  • (g) Compliance with instructions prior to sampling was also poor. In particular, breakfast had been eaten on some testing days by some participants.

During consumption of a high cholesterol diet, subjects' plasma cholesterol concentration increased by approximately 48%, whereas a low cholesterol diet had the opposite effect and caused subjects' plasma cholesterol concentration to fall by approximately 15%.

However, it should be mentioned that the results could be influenced by the fact that the full compliance of subjects with the consumption of either a high or low cholesterol diet could not be achieved. Some of the participants did not always follow the type of diet they were allocated to while others did not monitor their diet.

Compliance with instructions prior to sampling was also poor. In particular, breakfast had been eaten on some testing days by some participants. This would almost certainly have led to higher levels of blood plasma cholesterol concentration being measured for those participants.

As a result of the above mentioned problems, a future study should be undertaken where either high or low cholesterol meals are prepared for subjects and their consumption is carefully monitored. Incentives could be offered to improve compliance on testing days. Nevertheless, the results of this study do tend to suggest that diet can influence cholesterol levels in middle-aged subjects.

Key linking structures are highlighted. Notice how the synonym participants links back to subjects. Notice how the phrase above mentioned problems links back to the whole of the previous paragraph.

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