Redundancy is only good with twins Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone:

Some things are good when repeated, like twins, for example. There’s nothing cuter than two identical little kids, even if they’re deer, like the ones pictured in this blog posting.

However, redundancy is not fun in your college essay. It is, quite frankly, boring and trite. I had a recent paper submitted by a student who wrote something like this:

This paper is about….This paper will cover…This writing is about….According to Smith (2016),….According to Smith (2016),… This paper will cover…This paper is about….This paper will cover….(You get the idea!)

And that was just the abstract. (For the uninitiated, an abstract is a 120 word summary that says what your paper will be on.) Don’t do it, people! This is the fastest way to set your professor’s teeth on edge. It will drive us to drink something stronger than iced tea (or wish we could).

A student in my communication class gave a five-minute speech. In that talk, he used the word “like” 54 times. That translates into almost 11 times per minute. Like you know like I like want like to talk about like how like to like makes like a peanut butter like and jelly like sandwich like.  Come again?

Redundant wording is saying the same thing over and over and over again, repeatedly. While you may think you have managed to stretch a one-page paper into two pages or a two-minute speech into five, your teacher is no fool. Your grade will suffer, so be aware and don’t do it.


Dr. Sheri


Sheri Dean Parmelee has a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from Regent University. She writes books on practical tips for people who become unexpectedly unmarried and is working on her second novel in a series of contemporary romance/suspense novels. She teaches at three colleges, working with students from freshmen to graduate students. Her hobbies include running 8 miles a day and reading biographies and fiction.

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