Improve Your Academic Writing: How to Avoid Incorrect Parallelism

Improve Your Academic Writing: How to Avoid Incorrect Parallelism
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Parallelism is the term used when referring to various components of the sentence with the same meaning, sound, or construction. Academic writing requires an author to make sure that tenses, prepositions, and words agree in a sentence. If they don’t, this is incorrect, or faulty, parallelism. Faulty parallelism is a common problem even among experienced writers, especially when parallel structures are subtle and difficult to identify. In this article, College-Writers.com will tell you what are the most common mistakes and how to avoid faulty parallelism in your writing. Most often, people make mistakes when using comparisons or writing lists and series. Parallel structures are a great tool for increasing readability and clarity of your writing, ensuring a proper logical connection both between sentences and within them. Parallel structures make your content easier to understand, while faulty parallelism can ruin the logic of your text.

Words That Don’t Match

When you create a list of items, make sure to check this segment of your paper for faulty parallelism.

Incorrect sentence: Strategy for improving writing skills includes careful reading, how to write proper sentences, and creating a proper structure.

Correct sentence: Strategy for improving writing skills includes careful reading, writing proper sentences, and creating a proper structure.

Quite often, you can also see the following type of mistakes:

Incorrect sentence: Brian went to France, Germany, to the UK, and Italy.

Correct sentence: Brian went to France, Germany, the UK, and Italy.

Uncoordinated Conjunctions

Conjunctions are intended to connect different sections of a sentence. When used correctly, they improve your flow and help to create clear sentences. However, uncoordinated conjunctions result in faulty parallelism.

Incorrect sentence: Kate’s research focuses on the importance of conjunctions and helps in improving writing.

Correct sentence: Kate’s research focuses on the importance of conjunctions and improves writing.

Conjunctions That Don’t Correlate

When using conjunctions, you should make sure that they correlate in the right way. To write a grammatically correct sentence, conjunctions should correlate. For example, if X and Y are the first and second parts of your sentence, you may create the following constructions:

  • X or Y
  • Neither X nor Y
  • Both X and Y
  • Not only X but also Y
  • Whether X or Y

Incorrect sentence: Bill not only forgot to pay but also was saying some unpleasant words.

Correct sentence: Bill not only forgot to pay but also said some unpleasant words.

Contrasts and Comparisons Misusing “As” or “Than”

Such mistakes often occur when people use phrases like “as much as,” “more than,” or “as well as” to compare things. This type of faulty parallelism is very difficult to spot.

Incorrect sentence: Comparisons are used in academic writing as well as creative.

Correct sentence: Comparisons are used in academic as well as creative writing.

Function Words That Don’t Match

Such words are called functional because they don’t have any particular meaning but serve certain functions, ensuring the right sentence structure. If you use functional words incorrectly, it will result in faulty parallelism. The infinitive, articles, and prepositions are considered function words.

Incorrect sentence: Some people think that Shakespeare was not a great poet and his Romeo and Juliet is overrated.

Correct sentence: Some people think that Shakespeare was not a great poet and that his Romeo and Juliet is overrated.

Now you know the difference between proper parallel structures and faulty parallelism. Use our tips to create perfect academic papers and don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any help!

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