How to use Repetition
Repetition is a simple and fairly easy device to use in writing. In fact, all you have to do is:
- Choose words that you think are important and worth stressing
- Repeat those words in a way that is memorable. Doing so helps makes them stick out in your audience’s mind and establishes them as meaningful.
- Not overuse it, or it will loose its effect—just use repetition at points when it will have the most impact.
The important thing is that you use repetition in a smart way that adds emphasis to particular ideas. That emphasis can make the tone more convincing, more emotional, more dramatic, etc. Furthermore, repetition can create rhythm that makes a work’s style appealing, which is then more attractive to the audience.
It’s also important to note how not to use repetition—in other words, lazily reusing the same words over and over. For instance, take the following sentence:
She raced to the front door. She opened it, but no one was there. She raced back up the stairs to finish putting on her makeup. When she was done, she raced to the front door again and left.
This is an example of poor use of repetition—the word “raced” is repeated, but it doesn’t strengthen the sentences, rather, it sounds like the author didn’t have better word choices.
When to use Repetition
Authors use repetition a lot, in both literature and speech—it’s a great technique that any writer can use. As a standard, you should repeat a word when you want certain parts of your writing to stand out or be very clear. Repetition is common in fiction and nonfiction writing, creative writing, persuasive writing, formal or informal writing—as mentioned, it is found across all genres, styles, and forms of literature. It is also an excellent device to use when delivering a speech, whose success relies on the audience’s feelings about the speaker’s words.