How To Write
A Standard Paragraph


When I did my research into what type of "writing help" people are searching for online, I was surprised to find out how many folks are actually looking for information on "how to write a paragraph".

As it turns out there are a lot more people looking for that specific information on how to write a paragraph than one might imagine.

As a professional business writer and an avid reader of both fiction and non-fiction books here is my take on "how to write a paragraph".

It so happens that I am currently reading a best selling non-fiction book on a subject that really interests me. However, I still find it to be heavy reading and often have to go back and re-read entire pages. I believe this has a lot to do with the many long run-on paragraphs that often exceed one page.

To me, these unnecessarily long paragraphs are sleep-inducing and actually hamper communication. Unfortunately, many writers and/or editors don't seem to get this point.

In my opinion there is no need to ever have such long paragraphs!

In fact, I could easily go through that book I am reading now with the excessively long paragraphs and break most of the long ones down into three or four shorter paragraphs.

Here are my tips on how to write paragraphs that are readable:

  • Make readability your number one priority. Keep your paragraphs short by deliberately eliminating long run-on paragraphs. Better readability will improve the experience for the reader and increase the impact of your words.

  • Limit paragraphs to three to five sentences. Look for logical breaks in thought and flow, and insert paragraph breaks at those points.

  • Use headers and sub-headers. This technique can be used in most types of non-fiction writing to break up content into major logical chunks; then use paragraphs to break things up further below those headers and sub-headers. The book I am reading now with the long run-on paragraphs could easily have a number of headers and sub-headers in each chapter, with multiple paragraph-breaks below each of those. Instead, it uses paragraph-breaks to delineate only major changes in thought or subject, with no breaks below that, which results in many 15 to 25 sentence paragraphs.

For example, take a look at the first five paragraphs at the top of this article. If I had eliminated all of those paragraph breaks it would have ended up as one long run-on paragraph just like this:

When I did my research into what type of "writing help" people are searching for online, I was surprised to find out how many folks are actually looking for information on "how to write a paragraph". As it turns out there are a lot more people looking for that specific information than one might imagine. As a professional business writer and an avid reader of both fiction and non-fiction books here is my take on "how to write a paragraph". It so happens that I am currently reading a best selling non-fiction book on a subject that really interests me. However, I still find it to be heavy reading and often have to go back and re-read entire pages. I believe this has a lot to do with the many long run-on paragraphs that often exceed one page. To me, these unnecessarily long paragraphs are sleep-inducing and actually hamper communication. Unfortunately, many writers and/or editors don't seem to get this point. In my opinion there is no need to ever have such long paragraphs! In fact, I could easily go through that book I am reading now with the excessively long paragraphs and break most of the long ones down into three or four shorter paragraphs.

You be the judge. Which is more readable; the five paragraphs above the bullet list, or the dense blob of words in the above run-on paragraph?

I have no doubt that the vast majority of readers would opt for the shorter paragraphs that I used up above the bullet list.

Bottom Line: Do your readers a big favor and break your text into short paragraphs. This will make your text much more readable and will increase the retention rate and understanding of your readers.

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