18 Apr 2013

Help! I Need to Avoid Repeating Myself in My Essay and Raise My Grade! Great Tricks and Useful Phrases

Yum! Biscuits!
A student explained today that she had a problem. Maybe it's one that you have too. When writing about a text - novel or poem, or play, she kept repeating the phrase 'this creates a feel of', or 'this suggests'.

We figured out there were two possible issues:
1. she needed more phrases
2. she was using a repetitive structure in her essays, and needed to find a way to join her ideas rather than list: the writer creates a feel of... the writer creates a feel of... the writer creates a feel of...

You could say this is the difference between good grades and great grades.

How to Avoid a Repetitive Structure
Link your ideas, as in the examples below.

Do write 'Quote', 'quote' and 'quote', from the semantic field of [something] suggest [whatever].
Don't write: 'Quote' creates a feel of [whatever]. 'Quote' creates a feel of [whatever]. 'Quote' creates a feel of [whatever]. These are all from the semantic field of [something].

Another option, is to say upfront what the 'feel' is. Then quote the evidence. Like so:
The writer creates a dark mood. Words like 'quote', 'quote' and 'quote' from the semantic field of [something] begin to build tension, suggesting that [x] is like [something]. After this, a series of negatives 'quote', 'quote' and 'quote' in quick succession, further darken the mood. The idea of [something] at the end of the stanza is a grim end to this bleak view of humanity [or whatever]. The writer questions [something].

More Phrases
this makes us think of
this suggests
this makes us feel
this gives the feel of
this creates a [type of] mood
this creates a [breathless, ominous, dark, uplifting] feel
this builds a mood [or atmosphere] of
this builds tension [or suspense]
this builds fear