Using Reference Words
This section explains the system used to refer forward or backward from where you are in a text
to other words or concepts. You use reference words to show the connections between ideas,
giving greater cohesion and clarity to your writing.
You will already be familiar with the word ‘reference’,
meaning conventions for acknowledging authors or documents you have used in your research
and reading. You ‘reference’ these authors when you quote them or paraphrase them.
(See Module 2, Unit 3: Quoting and paraphrasing).
However, the term reference is also used to refer to a system of creating cohesion in a text.
Reference words point backwards or forwards to other words or concepts that have already
appeared in the text or are about to appear in the text.In the majority of cases, the word has already
occurred in the text i.e. the reference word is pointing backwards.
can strengthen the connections between different elements of your text and clarify the progression of ideas.