Parallel construction means beginning each item in a list with the same part of speech (the art of advertising, the science of accounting, and the mystery of marketing – each item begins with a noun). This helps alert readers to the similarities or connections between things. If you introduce words or phrases with a preposition, either include the preposition only with the first item or with each of the items.
Parallel: This book is for investors, managers, salespeople, and executives.
Parallel: This book is for investors, for managers, for salespeople, and for executives.
Not parallel: This book is for investors, managers, salespeople, and for executives.
parentheses ( )
Parentheses are traditionally used to enclose explanatory material that’s tangential to the main idea. They’re also used to introduce an acronym or an abbreviation.
Try to limit the first use of parentheses: When you’re tempted to use parentheses to enclose a tangential idea, consider how important the idea is. If it’s important enough to be in the document, it probably doesn’t belong in parentheses. If it’s not important, it probably doesn’t belong in the document.
Punctuation and parentheses: Put a period inside the closing parenthesis if the statement inside is a complete sentence. Otherwise, punctuate the sentence as if the parentheses did not exist.
Ice cream is my favorite dessert. (And chocolate is my favorite flavor.)
Ice cream is my favorite dessert (especially chocolate).
Note: Do not follow the written version of a number with a numeral in parentheses.
Incorrect: Enclosed are three (3) documents.
Use a period:
At the end of a sentence.
In certain abbreviations: a.m., p.m., B.A., M.A., Ph.D., M.D., Jr. Esq., Ms., Mrs., Mr., Bros., Co., Inc., U.S.A. If an abbreviation ends a sentence, no additional period is needed.
At age 45, she went back to school to earn her Ph.D.
point of view
When writing a document, adopt a point of view: I or we (first person); you (second person); or he, she, it, and they (third person). In documents on company stationery, we usually indicates the view of the company, while I indicates personal opinion.
Any of the three points of view is acceptable; just make sure not to shift person in the middle of a sentence or document.