Learning Parallelism


Photo by Jason Rogers

In this lesson, students will learn the theory and application of parallel structures (parallelism) as a literary device in English writing. We will begin at an introductory level that will be applicable to students at all levels of English proficiency.

There is an ever-increasing demand of knowing the English language in personal, corporate, and academic environments. Parallelism is a component of writing that is heavily based in style, as opposed to grammar, and can be utilized to develop your writing to have a more sophisticated style.

Introducing: Parallelism

Parallelism is a stylistic literary device constructed from structural repetition. The rhythm of parallelism creates flow in English writing that improves clarity, conciseness, rhythm, and comparability (Callahan et al., 2010). It eliminates repetitive messages, allowing writing to be more effective and sophisticated.

Parallelism uses repetition of sounds, verbs, nouns, grammatical patterns, and more. It is also used at various levels of structure, such as phonology, syntax, semantics, and discourse to express comprehensive ideas.

Parallelism is often used in speeches and has been an effective tool for many notable speakers including Abraham Lincoln and Steve Jobs.





Callahan, S. M., Shapiro, L. P., & Love, T. (2010). Parallelism effects and verb activation: the sustained reactivation hypothesis. Journal of psycholinguistic research, 39(2), 101–118. Accessible at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2846240/

A TRU Writer powered SPLOT: Learning Parallelism

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