Appropriate Paragraph Lengths

How long should your paragraphs be?  There’s no specific rule for that, but following certain guidelines should ensure that you’re able to produce ones that both read well and are appropriate for your readers.

Pieces of writing filled with long paragraphs are usually hard on the eye.  All those slabs of text with no breaks tend to scare off even the most avid reader, almost as bad as a piece that never received the help of a document editing software.    On the other hand, do them too short and they end up looking under-developed, almost like they could use a couple more sentences for elaboration.

A Few Simple Guidelines

1. Paragraphs that go more than a page of text need to be reconsidered automatically.  Check how you might be able to break them up logically into two or more blocks.

2. Any paragraph consisting entirely of one or two sentences should only be used if they are especially poignant in driving home a point, such that they convey something that is essential to the piece.  The spaces before and after usually make the reader pause, allowing it to emphatically convey its message.

3. Try keeping paragraphs that feature one or two sentences within the same page to a bare minimum, no more than two at a time.

4. If you can manage, always have between three to four paragraphs per page.  At the least, try pushing for at least one.