Translate this Page




ONLINE
5



 

 

 

 



Total de visitas: 331614
IELTS Writing – How to Succeed

Parallel Structure Exercises

Absence of One Word

Most sentences with faulty parallel structure merely lack one word that, once added, repairs the damaged equivalence. The multiple examples in this section illustrate an array of problematic sentence constructions.

1. More diverse corporate leadership will lead to better decision-making and products and services that are more relevant to customers.

The adjective better refers only to decision-making, not to products and services, which share a distinct phrase that, like better, qualifies a benefit; inserting to before those terms to match the preposition preceding “better decision-making” clarifies that the sentence has a compound predicate: “More diverse corporate leadership will lead to better decision-making and to products and services that are more relevant to customers.”

This problem also occurs in sentences that feature an in-line list (a succession of equivalent words or phrases, set off by identical punctuation marks, that appear within the horizontal structure of a sentence rather than being formatted vertically, like items on a shopping list).

Often, a compound predicate is mistaken for an in-line list, which requires insertion of a supporting conjunction and deletion of an intrusive punctuation mark.

2. Crowds fled in panic, taking shelter in shops, hotels, or leaping off the elevated pavement onto the beach below.

This sentence is formatted as a list, implying that people employed one of three methods to escape danger—resorting to shops, hotels, or the beach. However, only two survival strategies were employed: taking shelter in one of two types of business establishments, or leaping onto the beach. The sentence, therefore, must be slightly revised to refer collectively to shops and hotels as two examples of the implied category “structures in which to seek refuge”: “Crowds fled in panic, taking shelter in shops or hotels or leaping off the elevated pavement onto the beach below.”

3. The contraception app has become a popular alternative because it doesn’t involve taking any medicines, inserting devices, or hormone patches.

Here, the three alternative contraception methods must be treated with the same structural support—because verbs accompany medicines and devices, “hormone patches” requires equivalent treatment: “The contraception app has become a popular alternative because it doesn’t involve taking any medicines, inserting devices, or using hormone patches.”

4. Those complaints ranged from water dripping from ceilings and walls, gas leaks, electrical shorts, and stopped-up toilet bowls—or no toilet bowls at all.

Often, a “from . . . to” construction is flawed because in the assembly, to has been omitted, but it is required to complete the equivalence: “Those complaints ranged from water dripping from ceilings and walls to gas leaks, electrical shorts, and stopped-up toilet bowls—or no toilet bowls at all.” (Note that no punctuation interrupts the from . . . to continuum; this is true even if to is employed more than once.) Better yet, however, when the order of words or phrases in the list does not obviously express an ascending significance, employ a simple list structure that omits from and to: “Those complaints included water dripping from ceilings and walls, gas leaks, electrical shorts, and stopped-up toilet bowls—or no toilet bowls at all.”

Incorrect Word Order

The sequence of words, rather than an absence of words, can impede logical syntax.

5. Employers frequently have resource needs, both as part of digital-transformation initiatives and other projects.

“As part of” applies only to “digital-transformation initiatives,” not to the corresponding phrase “other projects,” so “as part of” must be repeated before the latter phrase: “Employers frequently have resource needs, both as part of digital-transformation initiatives and as part of other projects.” Better yet, simply transpose both and “as part of” so that the phrase applies to both corresponding phrases: “Employers frequently have resource needs, as part of both digital-transformation initiatives and other projects.”

Absence of One Word and Incorrect Word Order
Sometimes, a sentence is flawed in both respects.

6. The cynic in me believes it’s rarely done for aesthetic reasons but for strictly commercial ones.

This sentence requires a counterpoint to rarely, and because that adverb and its opposite must share the verb done, the verb must precede both adverbs: “The cynic in me believes it’s done rarely for aesthetic reasons but often for strictly commercial ones.”

Insertion of Extraneous Word

Here, a superfluous repetition of a preposition disrupts a sentence’s parallel structure.

7. These processes can be used to evaluate internal controls to prevent and detect drug diversion in inpatient and outpatient pharmacies, research facilities, and in clinical and procedural areas.

Repeating the preposition in before each example of a place where drug diversion can occur is a valid (but unnecessary) alternative to allowing a single iteration to support the entire list, but this sentence is flawed in that it does not succeed in applying either choice—either “research facilities” must be preceded by in, or, as shown here, the instance of the preposition before the final list item can be omitted: “These processes can be used to evaluate internal controls to prevent and detect drug diversion in inpatient and outpatient pharmacies, research facilities, and clinical and procedural areas.”

Incorrect Inflectional Form

Occasionally, the error is the wrong inflectional form of a word, rather than omission of a necessary word or insertion of an extraneous one.

8. It has chosen to reach settlements rather than levying civil monetary penalties in all but the rarest of cases.

Here, to match the bare inflectional form reachlevying must be pared down to levy: “It has chosen to reach settlements rather than levy civil monetary penalties in all but the rarest of cases.”

Misuse of “As Well As”

The phrase “as well as” is often misunderstood to be a conjunction.

9. This type of assessment helps further inform management’s overall risk tolerance, target fit, valuation assessments, as well as the overall strength of the target.

“As well as” is not equivalent to and or or, so when the last item of an in-line list is preceded by that phrase, rephrase the sentence so that “as well as” and what follows constitute a clause separate from the list (and insert a conjunction before what is now the final list item): “This type of assessment helps further inform management’s overall risk tolerance, target fit, and valuation assessments, as well as aiding in measuring the overall strength of the target.” Alternatively, do so but replace “as well as” with an additional conjunction (“This type of assessment helps further inform management’s overall risk tolerance, target fit, and valuation assessments and aids in measuring the overall strength of the target”) or incorporate the clause into the list (“This type of assessment helps further inform management’s overall risk tolerance, target fit, valuation assessments, and measure of the target’s overall strength”).

 

 

 

 

How to Write a Lead Paragraph 

 

Absent — or in spite of — a photograph or other visual information, the headline is the first thing most readers notice. But even the most captivating headline has to be followed by a lead paragraph (known in journalistic jargon as a lede) that convinces the reader that the article is worth reading.

What’s the function of a lede? (The odd spelling supposedly derives from the tradition of distinguishing the noun lead or the adjectival form in “lead paragraph” from the homonym lead, as in “lead type.”) An article is a story, and the lede is the pitch to woo the reader. But that analogy is of dubious use if your storytelling overtures are along the lines of “Let me tell you about this crazy thing that happened to me today” — no more useful than clearing your throat or shuffling papers before you give a speech. In person, your audience might patiently and politely await your account, but readers, knowing you’re not there to have your feelings hurt, will likely not hesitate to move on.

 

Five Tips to Improve Academic and Formal Writing 

 

 

But what if you cut to the chase and said, “A guy pulled a gun on me today”? Your audience will almost certainly invest some time and effort into hearing what comes next. By the same token, a lede must be constructed to attract attention.

What content, exactly, goes into a lede? The first paragraph of an article provides the main points without digressing into details; those can follow in subsequent paragraphs. A lede tells the reader something interesting and/or newsworthy, providing context and perspective. Ideally, it speaks to the reader’s curiosity, and perhaps their desires or fears. It might introduce conflict or controversy.

The traditional lede for a news article includes what journalists call the 5 Ws (and sometimes an H thrown in for good measure): This term is shorthand for whowhatwhenwhere, and why (plus how). Of course, a lede that includes all five (or six) elements is usually overstuffed; it’s better to focus only a couple or at most a few of these. (One of the most celebrated newspaper-article ledes, in reference to a man who was shot and killed because he attacked a fast-food worker over an order of fried chicken, tells you only who and what — and is reticent about the what: “Gary Robinson died hungry.”)

 

 

The challenge to writing a good lede is achieving both specificity and brevity. To be specific, remember who and its friends. Pick one, or another question, to answer, and wrap the lede around it. To accomplish brevity (ideally, a lede should consist of less than thirty words), choose strong, vivid nouns and verbs, eschew verbosity and redundancy, and make every word count. To test the lede, read it aloud, and omit adjectives, adverbs, and wordy constructions — and, especially in these search-engine-driven times, focus on keywords.

 

 

To craft an effective lede, avoiding writing what readers already know and telling readers what you’re going to tell them. Keep to one point, and avoid attribution and specific numbers (an exception to the specificity rule). Think of the lede as an elevator speech — the proverbial opportunity to sell your story to a movie producer or book publisher with a brief pitch during the interval the two of you share an elevator ride. This is your chance; take it.

 

Opening For Writing

 

 

What if you just can’t put a lede together? Write a placeholder sentence, and come back to it later after you’ve completed the rest of the article — the result may show you the way. You might also think about potential ledes before you even begin to report or research, or during the process. You may not end up using anything you come up with at that stage, but it will get you thinking.

 

Linking or Transition Words Chart 

 

 

Also, keep in mind that the traditional journalistic lede isn’t the only way to go. Besides the summary form, there’s also the anecdotal lede, the question, the quotation, and the direct approach — or a combination of forms.