Most people who repeat themselves don’t know they are operating in fear that the other person isn’t receiving what they have to say. It has become so natural to continue just repeating a certain instruction. However, in actuality, it is not natural. We adopt this type of fear because we don’t think people are listening to us. We always feel misunderstood; so as a defense, to make sure that people hear us, we repeat. We even get loud as we repeat key phrases, phrases that we believe are crucial to the other person’s hearing and memory. Otherwise, we believe that the person won’t remember the vital thing we are trying to convey.

In our papers, we repeat. On a personal level, we repeat because we don’t really think the professor is smart enough to catch on to the ideas we have outlined in the paper. We believe that the professor needs just a little more help from us. Therefore, we repeat to make sure that the professor hears us as he reads our papers. We do this also to make sure that the professor doesn’t misinterpret our ideas.

On an academic level, the most central reason why we use repetition as a tool within our papers is because we are at a loss for words. We have not allowed sufficient time to conduct research on the topic and on the literary work. In essence, if we knew the topic well and read the work thoroughly, we would have sufficient tools to create the analysis of our papers. We wouldn’t have to grasp for words or ideas, because the topic and the author’s work is doubly rich in content.

The best solution for revising repetitious wording is to locate those areas where you repeat phrases, statements, and ideas. Remove the repetition or rephrase the sentence. If your rephrased sentence provides the same ideas as the sentence that precedes it, then remove the rephrased sentence altogether. In addition, always trust that your professor has understood your points. When your professor writes “repetition,” she is saying to you that the repetition is distracting and redundant.

For extended explanations, see also the comments “Analyze This,” “Clarify,” “Discuss/Discuss This,” and “Redundant/Redundant Phrasing.”

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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