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#TuesdayTutorial: Using Parallel Structures

#TuesdayTutorial: Using Parallel Structures published on

Reminder of How Today’s Posts Work
#TuesdayTutorial posts demonstrate or tell you how to do something. It may be how to write a specific thing (like a memo) or how to revise something you have already written (like revising for concise phrasing).

The Tutorial

The columns of information in your Analysis project should use parallel grammatical structures. I’m sure that you all know what the word parallel means. You probably encountered it before you came to Virginia Tech in a geometry course.

You have probably seen the concept in courses here at Tech as well. Consider these examples:

  • A mechanical engineering major is likely to be aware of parallelism control and parallelism tolerance.
  • A building construction major surely knows that various parts of a building need to be parallel. (Imagine how annoying a staircase would be if the steps weren’t parallel.)
  • A computer science or computer engineering major knows all about parallel processing.
  • A finance major would probably be familiar with parallel portfolio optimization, parallel loans, and parallel markets.
  • A business major may know about organizational parallelism, including parallel leadership and parallel learning.

In all these examples, parallel generally means that two or more things match in some way. That is essentially what parallelism means in a writing course as well. When you are composing your Analysis table, choose parallel phrasing for the information in each column. For example, you might start everything in the purpose column with infinitive verbs (verb phrases that start with “to,” such as to explain or to provide).

You can find out more about parallelism in the video on Parallel Structures (6m40s). The video begins with details on parallelism within a single sentence. At 4m50s into the video, the video discusses parallelism in bullet lists, outlines, and headings. That section of the video is closest to the kind of parallelism you will use for the columns of your Analysis table. Login Help videos are free to Virginia Tech students with your VT.EDU login. Start at the VT.EDU login page to access these resources.

Screenshot of the Parallel Structure video

Note: This video has closed captioning, so it does not need a transcript.


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