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Section 6.9

Lack of Parallelism

Parallelism refers to the principle that parts of a sentence that are the samein function should be the same in structure. Words or phrases joined by coordinating conjunctions should have the same form.


When NASA first organized the Viking Lander missions to Mars, one of themost vexing problems its scientists faced was devising andagreeing upon tests to detect life.

--Kai Wu, "Artificial Life," SciTech Magazine.


Make sure phrases joined by coordinating or correlative conjunctions are parallel. All phrasesmust be of the same type.


Unacceptable

An important consideration in orthopedic surgery and how to implant prostheses is the possibilityof infection.

Acceptable

An important consideration in orthopedic surgery and prosthesis implants is the possibility of infection.

--Linglei Xu, "Bone Talk," SciTech Magazine (modified)


Make sure all items or phrases in lists are parallel.


Unacceptable

The comparison will cover
  • possible mechanisms of change [noun phrase]
  • how the fissures widen because of regional tectonic stress [noun clause]
  • are there changes in permeability from increased microcracking? [question]

Acceptable

The comparison will cover
  • possible mechanisms of change [noun phrase]
  • fissure widening from regional tectonic stress [noun phrase]
  • permeability from increased microcracking [noun phrase]

Make sure all headings and subheadings are parallelwith the other headings and subheadings of the same level.

Make sure all entries of the same level in an outlineare parallel.


Unacceptable

3  Strategies for developing tooling systems for high-   speed machining   3.1  How chemically stable materials are made           [noun clause]   3.2  Diffusion-limited wear regimes  [noun phrase]   3.3  Isolate the tool from the workplace [imperative]

Acceptable

3  Strategies for developing tooling systems for   high-speed machining   3.1  Chemically stable materials  [noun phrase]   3.2  Diffusion-limited wear regimes  [noun phrase]   3.3  Isolation of the tool from the workplace         [noun phrase]

See also NonparallelComparisons.

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## Lack of Parallelism ##
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