Redundancy is a type of wordiness, which should be avoided in academic writing not only because it distracts the reader but also because it adds unnecessary length to writing. Redundancy can take two forms, i.e., writers may include a) redundant words and phrases or b) redundant information.
- Some examples of redundant words and phrases (underlined) are as follows: absolutely essential, period of time, one and the same, exactly the same, both alike, previously found, e.g.,
RIGHT: The minimum exchange rate is essential for the current economic situation.
WRONG: The minimum exchange rate is absolutely essential for the current economic situation.
- Redundant information occurs when student-writers say the same thing many times, but in different ways; as a result, readers are forced to read more but learn nothing new, e.g.,
RIGHT: Scientists have found that cancer cells can be repressed through the twice-daily consumption of carrot juice.
WRONG: Scientists have found that cancer cells can be repressed through the twice-daily consumption of carrot juice. Carrot juice, when consumed on a twice-daily basis, has been found to repress cancer cells.
**Important** Redundant information should be avoided in order to reduce wordiness in writing.
In order to solve the problem of redundancy in academic writing, student-writers should:
- Eliminate unnecessary determiners and modifiers, e.g., Actually, apparently, basically, definitely, essentially, generally, kind of, particular, really, sort of, specific, type of, virtually, etc.
- Omit redundant pairs, i.e., pairs of words that imply each other, e.g., Basic fundamentals, end result, free gift, important essentials, final outcome, future plans, past history, past memories, sudden crisis, terrible tragedy, true facts, unexpected surprise, various differences, etc.
- Consider drafting and revising one’s writing. If texts describe details that would already be obvious to readers, delete or reword them.
For more information on redundancy, please refer to the following resources:
- http://www.thewritingsite.org/redundant-writing/ (The Writing Site)
- https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/572/01/ (Purdue Online Writing Lab OWL)
- https://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/al/globalpad/openhouse/academicenglishskills/writing/writingstyle/ (Writing Style: The University of Warwick)