dogs' eyes

Windows to the soul

Posted by on November 19th, 2019 | 0 comments | coherence, coherence and cohesion, cohesion, cohesive devices, IELTS, referencing, substitution, vocabulary, writing

Another post highlighting and analysing cohesive devices in academic writing, this time a summary of research looking into the facial expressions of animals.

Again, if you’re not sure what is meant by coherence and cohesion, take a look at some other posts on gurueap by following tags relating to coherence, cohesion, and coherence and cohesion!


Click on a cohesive device to see it highlighted in the text:

  • This/These to refer back to previously mentioned ideas here, here1, and here2
  • Classification, including examples of members of a class.
  • Repeated words and phrases (here, here, here)
  • Synonyms (here, here, here)
  • Pronouns
  • Signals showing cause/effect, introducing more specific information, etc.
  • Parallel structures
  • Topically related vocabulary
They say that eyes are windows to the soul. Indeed, research suggests this might also be true for our four-legged friends. Since the days of our most celebrated natural historian, Charles Darwin, humans have been interested in how animals communicate via their facial expressions, and how different species might express themselves in similar ways. However, it wasn’t until relatively recently that scientists began to study animal faces systematically, to understand what this might tell us about their specific feelings or intentions. Most of this research has focused on trying to understand how their faces look when in pain, using “grimace scales”. Grimace scales include a series of images that show how facial expressions change when animals experience no, moderate and severe pain. While mice were the original “guinea pigs” for these studies, similar scales have now been developed for a range of domesticated animals including horses, rabbits, ferrets, piglets, sheep, rats and also cats. Interestingly, for many of these species, their faces seem to change in a similar manner when in pain. For example, their eyes become squinted, tension appears in their nose, mouth and cheeks, and their ears may look a bit flattened or drawn back.

1 Notice that ‘research’ is uncountable while ‘studies’ is countable.

2 Notice that ‘this’ and ‘these’ are often followed by words that act as labels for the ideas that they refer back to. At the same time notice that the words ‘that’ and ‘those’ are NOT used!

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