From Paul Brians’ book Common Errors in English Usage (which, if you click on that hyperlink, you will find conveniently posted in its entirety on the Washington State University website), here is a learning support on parallelism in a series. This is a short paragraph on constructing parallelisms; most of the page is a blank field for your use. This is, like the bulk of the material you’ll find on this website, a Microsoft Word document. You may adapt it to the needs of your students. This document could easily be developed into a worksheet for practice in construction parallelism. In fact, it may well show up later on this blog as such a document.
Incidentally, when I began teaching in 2003 at a school in the South Bronx, a number of my colleagues were struggling to pass one of the gatekeeping exams for educator certification in New York State. When I began talking with several of them about this challenge, it turned out that one thing–and one thing only, interestingly–prevented them from passing the test: using parallelisms and parallel construction in English prose. All of these teachers were non-native speakers of English, and I understand now, as I didn’t then, that parallelism and parallel construction in English are tricky compositional maneuvers. I tagged this post and containing professional development material in the event teachers themselves need this document.
Anyway, I hope this document helps students and teachers everywhere in developing their own understanding of parallelism in English prose.
If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.