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November 27, 2017

How difficult is it to put the same thought or idea in different words? Sometimes, even most experienced writers are puzzled by this task. So, what is tautology? Briefly, it’s the way of bringing the idea by repeating it in a different shape.  Avoiding tautology is the key to successful writing. Moreover, you will neither sound boring nor seem unprofessional. Here are some widely used examples from students’ essays:

  • This dress cost me $2000 dollars.
  • The dawn in the morning was so magnificent!
  • In my opinion, I believe that the mankind will never survive the nuclear war.
  • I said that to him personally.

Why is tautology a mark of a beginner writer? First of all, it is a waste of a writing space. Let’s  say you have a writing task for 500 words on “Rise and Fall of Roman Empire” which is quite difficult to accomplish.

Of course, what you don’t want to do is to use abundant words that carry no core meaning. Here are some examples of a typical tautology “final destination”, “completely full”, “future plan”. In this regard, tautology is one of two words that include the meaning of each other. According to the latest survey conducted by professional writers of, newbie writers tend to pass such things unnoticed. Thus, the writing piece looks a bit dull.

Another issue is that due to tautology the quality of writing drops. In terms of academic writing, it creates an impression that the topic was not well-researched. Combined with any other writing flaws (grammar or stylistic errors), tautology can bring your paper down.

So, how can tautology be avoided?

  • Study the thesaurus of synonyms. Just Google it, it won’t cost you anything. Basically, you need to learn a couple of synonyms for the words you frequently use (do, good, beautiful, big, etc) and your text will become more sophisticated. Chubby girl. Obese/overweight young lady.
  • Appeal to paraphrasing or allegorical meanings. In cases when it is difficult to find the synonymic word, try to grasp it’s meaning in a form of a metaphor or just paraphrase it. The car was presented to us. The car was given to us as a gift.
  • Play with images and idioms.  Try to figure out the way in which the word delivers the same meaning but has a different form. For instance, not to be able to perform well anymore – to lose touch, to help – to lend a hand, to give helping hand, offer a knee, etc.


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