Skip to Main Content

Writing Style

Parallel Structure (=)

Organize your ideas and keep their meaning clear by following parallel structure.

Parallel structure is repetition of the same grammatical form or pattern of words and phrases.

Parallel structure

  • is used most often within a sentence and
  • helps your reader understand your ideas.

Watch this introductory lesson or this extended lesson to parallel structure in our LC elearning modules class in D2L.


Without English proficiency, many immigrants experience helplessness and frustration because they encounter difficulties in seeking medical information, participating in decision-making, advocating for their children, and preventing medical errors.

The first list includes two nouns (helplessness and frustration) while the second list includes four phrases beginning with -ing verbs: seeking, participating, advocating, and preventing.


Parallel structure can also be used throughout paragraphs or in headings.



Watch this 6-minute introduction to parallel structure.

Spaans, K. [Kevin Spaans]. (2020, May 24). Parallel structure: English lesson [Video]. YouTube.


Watch this 60-minute extended lesson on parallel structure.

Smrt English. (2016, March 31). Parallel structure -- Smrt live class with Shaun #10 [Video]. YouTube.

More Information

"Parallel Structure," Robin L. Simmons

"Parallelism," My English Pages (exercises)

"Finding and Fixing Errors in Parallel Structure," Robin L. Simmons

"Parallel Construction," Texas A&M University   

See your APA manual, pp. 124-125 (4.24 "Parallel Construction") 



American Psychological Association. (2019). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.).