Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Sainani SciWrite 3.3

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So, in this next module,

we're going to talk about writing

sentences that are in parallel structures. So, we're using parallelism.

And, I'll give you an example here to start.

I used this example from Strunk and White, again.

I'm going to refer to them a lot, today.

so here's an example of a sentence that unparallel, not parallel.

Locusts denuded fields in Utah, rural Iowa was washed away by

torrents, and in Arizona the cotton was shriveled by the placing heat.

Notice that's unparallel because all those items in the

list are write, written in different forms, different structures.

So, we get locusts denuded, that's subject-verb, and then we

get rural Iowa was washed away by torrents, that's in

the passive voice.

And then, in Arizona, which is a preposition.

So, you can see that we end up, these all don't match.

So, we want, when we're doing a list like this, we want those things to match.

So, to make this match, you want to

be putting them probably all in subject-verb form.

So, you could write in parallel form, locusts denuded fields in

Utah, torrents washed away rural Iowa, and blazing heat shriveled Arizona's cotton.

So, we get subject-verb, locusts denuded, subject-verb,

torrents washed away, and subject-verb, blazing heat shriveled.

So that's now in parallel form.

Here's an example of, you know, basically when you, when you

want to write in parallel form, you have to make a choice

of what those structure of those items in the list are

going to be and you gotta make a choice and stick to it.

So, here's a, an example of a sentence that's nicely in parallel structure.

I pulled this from a recent article I was reading on the, the Mars rover, Curiosity.

So it says, NASA's intrepid Mars rover, Curiosity,

has been thorugh a lot in the past year.

It flew 354

million miles, blasted through the Mars

atmosphere, deployed a supersonic parachute, unfurled

a giant sky crane, and touched down gently on the surface of Mars.

So, notice that in that second sentence, it's

got a list of things, but they're all parallel.

They all form the same structure.

we've got subject-verb, subject-verb, subject-verb.

It flew, blasted, it deployed, it unfurled, it touched down gently.

And, I also, I like this example, I want to point out

to you the really nice verbs that are in this sentence.

It flew, it blasted, it deployed, it unfurled, it touched down gently.

So, they're really nice verbs. Nicely done in parallel form.

So, pairs of ideas, lists of things, and pairs of ideas that are

joined by and, or, or but, need to be written in parallel form.

So, here's an example.

The velocity decreased by 50%, but the pressure decreased by only 10%.

So, we've got subject-verb, subject first.

So, those have to be written in the same

form, subject-verb, but subject form like structure, like that.

And if

you want to read more about this, I'll

refer you, especially those of you in the bio-medical

sciences, to a really good book on scientific writing

by Mimi Zeiger called Essentials of Writing Biomedical Papers.

she gives some examples like this of, of pairs of ideas joined

by and, or, or but, that need to be in parallel form.

And, this is a really nice reference if you've got time to do some extra reading.

It's quite a bit longer than Strunk and

White, but has some really good information and

I'll be referring to some materially,

material from her book throughout this course.

Here's another example of pairs of ideas joined by

and, or, or but, needing to be in parallel form.

So, you would say, we aimed to

increase the resolution and to improve picture quality.

So, notice we've got an and, here, connecting

those two ideas and they're both an infinitive phrase.

So, we get an infinitive phrase and infinitive phrase.

So, you have to be careful, when you've got

pairs of ideas like that, make sure those are in parallel form.

And, of course, when you're writing lists, you

want to make sure that those lists of ideas,

or numbered lists of ideas even should be

written, that those need to parallel form, as well.

And, I'll just remind you, here, as we talked about

in the last module or two modules ago, that if you're

writing a list of examples or a list of ideas, you're

not exactly sure how many items to include in that list,

default to the rule of threes.

You'll see that a lot of these examples

I'm going to show you have, indeed three items.

So, here's an example of something that's a

list of items that is not in parallel form.

If you want to be a good doctor, you must study hard,

critically think about the medical adventure,

and you should be a good listener.

You could hear, that sounds funny when you read it out loud.

You must, critically think, you should.

Right, we need to make these in parallel form.

You could say, you must study hard, critically think, and be a

good listener, or something like that, but they all need to match.

So, we could change this to make it parallel to, if you want to be

a good doctor, you must study hard, listen

well, and think critically about the medical literature.

I inverted the order a little bit there just so there, since the

think critically came with medical literature, we

put a little more at the end.

But, in the case we've got imperative, imperative,


You must study hard, you must listen well, and you must think critically.

So those are parallel.

The other way to restructure this one so that it's parallel would

be to turn all of those items in the list to nouns.

I don't think this is quite as good, but you

could say, and this would be parallel, if you want to

be a good doctor you must be a good student,

a good listener, and a critical thinker about the medical literature.

So, that would work to because they would then all be nouns.

Of course, I always prefer verbs. Here's another

example of something that's not parallel in the list of items.

Now, this is a list of items that's numbered, but even

when you've got numbered items, those have to be parallel, as well.

So, it says, This research follows

four distinct phases, one, establishing measurement instruments,

two, pattern measurements, three, developing interventions,

and four, the dissemination of successful interventions.

So, notice we've got two that match and two others that match.

We've got an establishing and developing, those match.

And, the measurement and

dissemination, those match.

So, we want to make them all match, so probably the

way to do that would be to turn them all into


and -ing words.

So, you would say, this research follows four distinct phrases, one, establishing

measurement instruments, two, measuring patterns, three,

developing interventions, and four, dissemination successful interventions.

So, pay attention to this especially when you're writing lists.

This is something students often get wrong.

you know you get kind of varied in lists and you lose your, you lose your place.

So, you have to be really careful and go back and make sure everything is parallel.

So, I'm just going

to do one practice example, here.

If you'd like to test yourself, you might pause the video at this

point and see if you can get this one into a, a parallel structure.

if you have less time, I'll just lead you

through it and there'll be some more practice examples, later.

So, this one reads, Bates describes five principles for the success of

decision support systems in clinical settings,

speed, real-time delivery, integration into workflow,

simplicity and to avoid data entry.

And, you can kind of hear the non-parallel structure there when you read

that when out loud, that to avoid data entry is a sudden shift.

You're going from noun, speed, delivery and aggregation

simplicity to suddenly an infinitive phrase, to avoid.

So, this one's actually fairly simple to fix,

you just have to turn everything into nouns.

So, we would fix that one by just

saying, Bates describes five principles for the

success of decision support systems in clinical

settings, speed, real-time delivery, integration into workflow,

simplicity, and the avoidance of data entry.

We do have to add some extra words there to get that one into

into parallel form but now it is correct and, and it reads in parallel form.

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