Parallel construction: Sound boring? Well, if you don’t take heed of parallel construction, your writing Parallel structure means using the same pattern of words to show that two or more ideas have the same level of importance. For example, here’s what you should avoid: ‘Dr Duffy lectured, was shouting and waved his arms.’ Here’s the same information, but using parallel construction: ‘Dr Duffy lectured, shouted and waved his arms.’ That is so much more powerful.
IT/Business Journos: Does this sound familiar? “My organisation believes in three-dimensional third-generation projections.” Or ” The consultants recommend remote transitional flexibility”. Avoid the jargon and the buzzwords. They confuse the reader and often render your piece of communication useless. Just for fun, can anyone translate these sentences into Plain English?
Some simple writing tips from Em & En Word Craft:
• For journalists, articles should follow the ‘inverted pyramid’ structure: begin with the most important parts of your story – the who, what, where, why, when and how – followed by the details to flesh out this summary. Conclude with a broader context or background information.
• Use inclusive language. Be mindful of using gendered terms or any words that exclude groups of people.
• If you can express a point in fewer words, go for the shorter version. It carries more of a punch.
• Use active case, not passive unless you have to.