When writing an essay how long should a paragraph be

This has to do with pacing and tension--and also word count.

With less room for exposition, paragraphs get shorter. In literary fiction, paragraphs have remained a bit more standard, toward the sentence range. As others have said, there isn't a specific rule. There is, however, a trend in each genre.

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What genre are you writing in? Who is your audience?

Find out what they expect--and then give them what they expect. There's no guideline in fiction.

There are almost no rules about paragraph length. You're not writing an essay that makes an argument, you're writing a story.

4 Tips on Paragraph Length

A paragraph can be one word long if you want and it makes sense. It can be pages long. When writing dialogue, start a new paragraph everytime a new person speaks. Don't have two people speak in the same paragraph. If you can, vary paragraph length. Readers don't generally enjoy a long wall of text.

Using paragraphs

And when the action is getting faster, shorter paragraphs and sentences help build that momentum by moving the reader along the page quickly. That's about it. And those aren't even rules, more like guidelines. Don't worry about it, forget the essay lessons, and go forth and write whatever paragraphs you like.

If it's a fiction book, feel free to make the paragraphs as long as you want. Some stream-of-consciousness styles favor long, almost page-length paragraphs, and some of the most famous Russian authors had paragraphs that were pages-long. Alternatively, I've seen paragraphs in fiction books that were just one or two sentences in length.

For non-fiction books, I would recommend paragraphs that are a minimum of three sentences in length, but don't take up more than a third of the printed page. If you're publishing online, the rules are generally much more lax unless you're writing for a major publication.

Writing Tips: 4 Guidelines on Paragraph Length | Proofed’s Writing Tips

It's quite common to see "paragraphs" of just one or two sentences for the sake of readability. Basically, you're find that outside of academic contexts, the rules for writing are much more variable and, oftentimes, lax. As others have said, the focus of your paragraphs should be if you addressed its content well instead of if it was the "proper" length.

There's no such thing as paragraph length. Sometime it'll have just one line, sometimes It depends on what you're writing about and the importance of it.


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Same for essays! Don't hold back on your essays just because your teacher tells you to structure it a certain way. Always take your ideas one at a time with each paragraph and it should turn out just fine! This isn't necessarily advice I'm giving but as much as I can, I like to vary the length of my paragraphs in the same way you vary sentence lengths.

I've, more or less, recently learned that paragraphs in a story should be about sentences long. You can then use the rest of the paragraph to expand upon this. You can actually see this structure in this paragraph: the first sentence introduces the main idea, then the next three sentences provide further information. Paragraph length, meanwhile, is important because very long paragraphs can be hard to read, while too many short paragraphs will make writing seem disjointed.

As a decent rule of thumb, most paragraphs should be between and words long. However, this depends on the situation…. Longer paragraphs, on the other hand, allow you to go into more depth on a topic, so they are useful when you need to go into extra detail or provide examples e. Using only long or only short paragraphs will make any document hard to read.

As such, try to mix things up a little on the paragraph length front. An easy way to do this is to break each main part of your document down into sections, with each section covering a different main topic. You can then introduce each section with a short paragraph setting out the overall topic, following this up with longer paragraphs going into more detail. Editing is important if your document contains a lot of long paragraphs, as this can be very difficult to read. Your best option here is to break some of the long paragraphs down into shorter ones.

You can do this by looking for points where the subject shifts slightly, even if it only moves from introducing a topic to discussing it in depth. If required, you can also add linking sentences to show how the shorter paragraphs are related to one another. If your work contains too many short paragraphs, look for the ones with similar subject matter and consider whether any can be combined. It could be as easy as deleting a line break!