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Shift Phrases!

An unspoken rule in writing is not to repeat the same word or phrase too closely together in a sentence or paragraph. While this rule isn’t one of “right or wrong,” it can elevate your writing style, improve the flow of your ideas and eliminate repetition. The sentences below provide a simple example.

Sentence: Most leaders do not showcase their weakness in public settings. IN PUBLIC SETTINGS, they tend to rely on experience and credentials to display strength.


Edited Sentence: Most leaders do not showcase their weakness in public settings. They tend to rely on experience and credentials to display strength IN PUBLIC SETTINGS.

Notice the phrase “in public settings” ends the first sentence and opens the next sentence. A great clue that you need to shift or delete a word or phrase is when you use the word to end one sentence and begin the next sentence. Sometimes, you can combine the two sentences to correct the issue.

To get rid of the repetition in these sentences, the second “in public settings” is moved to the end of the second sentence. Notice that shifting the phrase does not change the meaning of the sentence; however, it improves the flow and eliminates the redundancy.

Until next week, happy writing!

Cultivating Writers


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