From Gerald R. Lucas
📝 English Composition Writing FAQ 11011102📖

Avoid Redundancy; Use Repetition Strategically

Redundancy in writing refers to the unnecessary repetition of words, phrases, or ideas, which can make your writing feel tedious, dull, and bloated. Here are some tips to help you avoid redundancy in your writing:

  • Use precise language: Try to use specific words that convey your meaning clearly and accurately. Example: Instead of writing “very big,” write “huge.”
  • Eliminate unnecessary words: Cut out words and phrases that do not add value to your writing. Example: Instead of writing “in order to,” write “to.”
  • Vary your sentence structure: Mix up your sentence structure to keep your writing interesting and avoid repetition. Example: Instead of starting every sentence with “I,” try starting with a different word or phrase.
  • Use pronouns: Once you’ve established a subject, you can use pronouns like “he,” “she,” or “they” to avoid repetition. Example: Instead of writing “The cat climbed the tree. The cat then jumped down from the tree,” write “The cat climbed the tree and then jumped down.”

By being mindful of your word choices, varying your sentence structure, and eliminating unnecessary repetition, you can improve the clarity and flow of your writing.


Unlike redundancy, repetition may be used strategically to improve writing in certain instances. Here are a few examples:

  • Emphasis: Repetition can be used to emphasize a particular point or idea. By repeating a word or phrase, you can draw attention to it and make it more memorable for the reader.
  • Rhythm: Repetition can also be used to create a rhythmic effect in your writing. By repeating certain words or phrases, you can create a cadence that is pleasing to the ear and helps the reader to follow along.
  • Parallelism: Repetition can also be used to create parallelism, which is when two or more parts of a sentence have a similar grammatical structure. This can create a sense of balance and symmetry in your writing, and can help to make your ideas more clear and easy to understand.

 note: While repetition can be used effectively in writing, it should not be overused. Too much repetition can become tedious and distracting for the reader. So, use repetition strategically and sparingly, and always keep the reader’s experience in mind.


In a persuasive essay, repeating a key phrase or idea can help reinforce your argument and make it more memorable to the reader. For example, in an essay arguing for increased funding for public schools, you might repeat the phrase “investing in our children’s future” throughout the essay to emphasize the importance of education.

In a literary analysis, repetition of certain words, phrases, or motifs within a text can be a significant aspect of the author’s style or theme. Drawing attention to these repetitions can help illuminate the deeper meaning of the text. For example, in Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved, the repetition of the word “rememory” underscores the idea that the past is not truly gone, but continues to live on in the present.

In creative writing, repetition can be used for emphasis or to create a sense of rhythm or pattern. For example, a poem might repeat the same phrase at the end of each stanza for a haunting effect, or a short story might use repetition of a key image to tie together different scenes or ideas.

Written: 2002, 2022; Revised: 05-1-2023; Version: Beta 0.7 💬