A Survey of Cohesion in the Editorials of the Punch and Vanguard Newspapers

Esther Robert


This work analysed patterns of cohesion as are employed by the writers of the editorials of The Punch and Vanguard newspapers. The basic purpose of the study was to investigate how English cohesive devices are exploited in textual creations and how they aid in meaning comprehension. For the purpose of the analysis, fourteen editorial comments from The Punch and Vanguard newspapers were purposively sampled from the period of June to August, 2016. Halliday and Hasan's (1976) model of cohesion was adopted as the theoretical framework. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used for the analysis. This framework revealed the agglutinating effect of cohesive devices that contribute greatly to the creation of semantic understanding of the texts, especially the concepts of referencing, ellipsis, conjunction, substitution, reiteration and collocation as text-making devices through which the different parts of a text are knitted together as a whole. The study showed how these devices were utilised in the newspaper editorials studied. The analysis revealed that for a text to be cohesive, it must be held together by some grammatical and lexical devices. Two main types of cohesion were found in the editorial commentaries, viz reiteration and collocation. The quantitative analysis revealed that same-word repetition had the highest percentage (22.37%) of deployment in the editorial creation, while general-word reiteration type was least deployed in the texts studied, with only 1.31%. In the case of collocation device, its usage amounted to 42.06%. These devices ultimately contributed to clarifying the overall meaning of the different texts by binding them together, emphasizing central ideas and giving a sense of connection and order to meaning and ideas within the texts. Therefore, without cohesive devices in a text, there will be no cohesion and coherence.  Further investigation on other standards of textuality, in both literary and non literary texts, was recommended. Patterns of cohesion should be introduced in the English curriculum.

Keywords: cohesion, editorials, The Punch and Vanguard newspapers

DOI: 10.7176/NMMC/82-01

Publication date: August 31st 2019

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3267 ISSN (Online)2224-3275

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