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Parallelism and the
Serial Comma
What Do You Notice?
His room smelled of cooked grease, Lysol,
and age.
- Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (19...
What Do You Notice?
Hector’s room smelled of gym socks, Hot
Cheetos, and lies.
- Mr. Anderson’s writer’s notebook
The Serial Comma
 Commas separate items or actions written in a series.

 Lists consist of three or more items or action...
Parallelism
 Parallelism is about making things match.
 In a list of actions, each verb should be in the same
tense:
He ...
Parallelism
 Use parallel structure to emphasize similar elements in
paired items, comparisons, and items in a series.

...
What Do You Notice?
Jared Grace took out his red shirt, turned it
inside out, and put it on backwards. He
tried to do the ...
What Do You Notice?
The gym smells like melting hair spray and
aftershave.
- Tony Johnston, Any Small Goodness (2003)
What Do You Notice?
The gym smells like melting hair spray,
sweat, and aftershave.
What Do You Notice?
I close my fingers around the cool, smooth
silver.
- Elisa Carbone, Blood in the River (2006)
What Do You Notice?
I close my fingers around the cool, smooth,
and valuable silver.
- Elisa Carbone, Blood in the River (...
Thesis Statements
 Use keywords from the prompt.

 Have a clear assertion (main idea).
 Give a preview of your three su...
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Parallelism & serial comma

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Transcript of "Parallelism & serial comma"

  1. 1. Parallelism and the Serial Comma
  2. 2. What Do You Notice? His room smelled of cooked grease, Lysol, and age. - Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969)
  3. 3. What Do You Notice? Hector’s room smelled of gym socks, Hot Cheetos, and lies. - Mr. Anderson’s writer’s notebook
  4. 4. The Serial Comma  Commas separate items or actions written in a series.  Lists consist of three or more items or actions.  Two items or actions are a pair, not a list, and do not require commas.
  5. 5. Parallelism  Parallelism is about making things match.  In a list of actions, each verb should be in the same tense: He read a book, wrote an essay, and cleaned the garage.  This polishing point makes a list feel balanced and clear.  Working on parallelism can force us to rework our sentences, which is usually a good thing.
  6. 6. Parallelism  Use parallel structure to emphasize similar elements in paired items, comparisons, and items in a series.  Use parallel structure when you connect ideas with FANBOYS.  Also use parallel structure for paired items joined by both… and, not only… but also, either… or, neither… nor, and rather… than.  Use parallel structure for items in a series – words, phrases, or clauses.
  7. 7. What Do You Notice? Jared Grace took out his red shirt, turned it inside out, and put it on backwards. He tried to do the same with his jeans, but that was beyond him. - DiTerlizzi and Black, The Spiderwick Chronicles: Lucinda’s Secret (2003)
  8. 8. What Do You Notice? The gym smells like melting hair spray and aftershave. - Tony Johnston, Any Small Goodness (2003)
  9. 9. What Do You Notice? The gym smells like melting hair spray, sweat, and aftershave.
  10. 10. What Do You Notice? I close my fingers around the cool, smooth silver. - Elisa Carbone, Blood in the River (2006)
  11. 11. What Do You Notice? I close my fingers around the cool, smooth, and valuable silver. - Elisa Carbone, Blood in the River (2006)
  12. 12. Thesis Statements  Use keywords from the prompt.  Have a clear assertion (main idea).  Give a preview of your three supporting ideas (sub-topics, body paragraphs).  Use a parallel structure.  Do not use I or you in a thesis statement.
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