Redundancy in Writing
What is Redundancy?
Redundancy is saying the same thing over again in your writing. In your writing you should never be redundant. Being redundant is something you should not do. If you're redundant, your readers will become bored with what you wrote. What you wrote won't be worth reading if you say the same thing over again too much. Saying things over again is boring, and your readers won't like to read what is put on the page if it says the same thing too much. If it says the same thing too much, it's redundant.
Okay, you get the idea...
On to the next part.
What to Do?
Think of as many different ways to say something as possible. Make sure the same word doesn't appear in the same sentence, or even in the same paragraph.
The dogs were a little afraid of the new sight of seeing a turtle in their yard. They barked at the turtle and chased it out of the yard.
The dogs were a little afraid of the new sight--a turtle in their yard! They barked at it and chased it off their turf.
The first illustration is redundant in two ways:
1. sight and seeing repeat the same idea
2. the word "yard" is used twice when it isn't necessary
What is the difference between redundancy and parallelism? Both repeat words and phrases, but only one is considered unacceptable.
"We were the greatest team, the greatest players. No one ever did what we did."
The above is parallelism, a literary device that gives a bit of bounce to the syllables, a bit of vibe to the verse. More often it is used in poetry, although some prose also employs it. It's perfectly okay to repeat if you're creating parallels, and I encourage you to try a few.
Tools of the Trade
Keep the rust out of your writing. Use dictionaries and search engines to dig up and define new words. Read a lot. Fiction expands the imagination and keeps the working vocabulary in shape. Do crossword puzzles, even if you don't like them. Free online word games like Chicktionary and Bookworm can dramatically improve your skills. Keep your mind sharpened by using it, and keep your arsenal of English well stocked with usable units!
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