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  • Dr. V

Too Many Ands?

Writers want to avoid repetition in their documents. Though we need to include articles (a/an) and conjunctions (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so) throughout our writing, writers can still unintentionally overuse these words at times. See below for an example.

Sentence: Before exploring this issue in depth, we provide contextual background on tenure and promotion (T&P) AND tenure and promotion evaluation procedures.


Edited Sentence: Before exploring this issue in depth, we provide contextual background on tenure and promotion (T&P) AS WELL AS tenure and promotion evaluation procedures.

“And” is probably the most commonly used conjunction. In the above sentence, it is used three times within a six-word span. While nothing is wrong with using “and” that frequently, it can impede the readability of the document, especially when another word can be substituted for it. Therefore, in the edited sentence , the middle “and” is replaced with “as well as.” The substitution clarifies the two things that will be explored further without changing the meaning of the sentence.

Remember, academic writers need to be sensitive to style issues to ensure that their ideas flow well and are expressed clearly!

Until next week, happy writing!

Dr. V


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