Parallel Structure

By Emily Lydakis

Definition:

Parallel Structure is using the same pattern of words to show that two or more ideas have the same level of importance. This can happen at the word, phrase, or clause level. Usually you join parallel structures with conjunctions.


https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/623/01/

Examples:

Without parallel structure:

Madison likes to play the guitar and scooping ice cream.


With parallel structure:

Madison likes playing the guitar and scooping ice cream.



Without parallel structure:

My dog not only likes to play fetch, but also chase squirrels.


With parallel structure:

My dog not only likes to play fetch, but also likes to chase squirrels.



Without parallel structure:

Rori went running and to lunch.


With parallel structure:

Rori went on a run and to lunch.

Benefits/Challenges:

Parallel Structure helps avoid using repetition of words, and increases clarity of thought and consistency of the message. However, it also results in shorter, more concise phrasing, making it easier to read and comprehend the material.


The only challenge would be training yourself to get in the habit of writing with parallel structure, but other than that it is mainly beneficial.