Linking it all Together

Reference chains can be used to focus on any subject and link ideas in a narrative both within paragraphs and through a whole text. Look at the following extract from a narrative. Highlight the words that link the same sense of place through the text.

Once you have highlighted your choices, click to see the answers.

The forest has always held a special place in my heart. Those vast acres of woodland swathed in lush greenery contain the hidden glades that encapsulate the happiness that was my childhood. The immensity of the ancient trees filled me with awe as I watched their outstretched branches touch across the leaf-strewn pathways. At times, the silence of my solitude helped me to reach a level of calm I have since found it difficult to achieve in adult life. I once watched as some saplings were planted in the midst of the giant towers of wood and I wondered who would be around to see these fragile sticks grow up to dominate the landscape like their elders.

The forest has always held a special place in my heart. Those vast acres of woodland swathed in lush greenery contain the hidden glades that remind me of the happiness that was my childhood. The size and sheer presence of the ancient trees filled me with awe as I watched their outstretched branches touch across the leaf-strewn pathways. At times, the silence of my solitude helped me to reach a level of calm I have since found it difficult to achieve in adult life. I once watched as some saplings were planted in the midst of the giant towers of wood and I wondered who would be around to see these fragile sticks grow up to dominate the landscape like their elders.

Linking it all Together

What is the link in the reference chain? What is the effect on the reader of the reference chain?

Discuss with a partner and write your answer in the box below.

Then click for an exemplar answer.

The link is the continuous references to trees. The reader feels as though they are in the forest through the repetition of tree-related visual cues. The place is firmly rooted (!) in the reader’s mind.

Linking it all Together

Practise using reference chains in a deliberate way to develop a description and link ideas. Try describing one of the following:

  • A damaged field after a battle
  • Someone overwhelmed with feelings of sadness

Linking it all Together

Look at the extract from a narrative below. There are gaps where the connective language used by the writer has been removed. Select words and phrases from the box and drag them in to the place that you feel is most appropriate.

Once you have placed the selections in the spaces that you feel are appropriate, click to see the correct answers.

The writer is describing his first sight of a refugee camp.

Although the dazzling shafts of morning sun blazed through the windscreen, it was still not difficult to see the line of refugees walking towards the border. The dust driven up by the thousands of shuffling feet filled the air above the mass of humanity whereas the view of the lush green fields either side was as clear as a staged photograph. My conscience was being torn in two directions. On the one hand I felt ashamed as a human being to witness such a tragedy, on the other, I knew I had a duty as a reporter to record the suffering so that the truth could be told – despite the lies of governments and some corrupt news agencies. In other words, I had been sitting on the fence doing nothing about the human tragedy unfolding in front of my eyes. Initially I had been reluctant to take the job - however, I was persuaded by my daughter asking me who was going to tell the stories of those ‘poor people’ after watching a report on the news. Some other reporters tried to persuade me not to go and take risks after so many years surviving unscathed in war-zones around the world. Nevertheless, I sent the e-mail accepting the post. Consequently, I found myself here only a week later looking over a ridge into a valley in Eastern Europe - ready to hear those stories and make the rest of the world listen. Not only that, I knew my duty was to make sure that what I was going to do would make a real difference. Therefore, I had to succeed - it was as simple as that. Otherwise, what the hell was I doing here?