How Long Should A Paragraph Be? Writing Tips

Good or bad, the notion of a paragraph’s length in a piece of writing doesn’t always give us a clear idea about how many characters, words, or sentences you can fit in a paragraph. You can make a paragraph as long or as short as you like. It might span hundreds of pages or just be one word or even one letter.

How long should a paragraph be? A good paragraph for general-purpose writing should be no longer than six lines and contain no fewer than three sentences. It should have a topic sentence, at least one supporting sentence, and perhaps a conclusion. A paragraph is easy to read, especially on a mobile device, when it contains about 100 words and 500 characters or less.

Continue reading for writing advice and strategies on using different paragraph lengths to keep readers interested.

What Is A Paragraph?

A paragraph is a collection of sentences that build on one another to form units or sections within a longer written work. A paragraph can be as short as one word or as long as the author wants. A strong paragraph includes a topic sentence (or “key sentence”), pertinent supporting sentences, and a transition or “concluding sentence.” This organization will help you maintain the main idea of your paragraph and produce a clear and concise picture.

While teachers frequently instruct middle and high school students to write paragraphs with at least three to five sentences, the style and length of each paragraph vary greatly depending on the type of writing. To help readers quickly comprehend the news, journalists, for instance, write in shorter paragraphs of one to three sentences. Become proficient in journalistic writing.

In traditional academic writing, paragraphs are six to eight sentences long and have a logical structure that develops arguments and highlights supporting evidence. Because writers often mix short and long paragraphs to create narrative meaning, creative writing, which includes short stories and novels, does not always adhere to the conventional paragraph structure.

What Does A Good Paragraph Usually Do?

A paragraph uses proper logic and examples to express one idea fully, precisely, and concisely. A paragraph’s group of sentences should express a specific idea in such a way that the reader can quickly locate it and return to it whenever they need to review it. And it improves readability when it comes to a perfect paragraph.

Typically, a perfect sentence would be:

  1. Is no longer than 6 to 7 lines;
  2. Is no less than 3 sentences;
  3. Around 100 words (web content);
  4. Around 500 characters (web content);
  5. Expresses one single idea;
  6. Is clear, unique, and complete;
  7. Is easy to find in a long piece of writing;
  8. average reader skims in no more than 10 to 15 seconds.
  9. consists of a topic sentence, two supporting points, and a conclusion.

Why Experienced Writers Vary Paragraph Lengths?

In order to improve the flow of their writing, highlight particular points, and achieve the literary effect, seasoned writers vary the length of their paragraphs.

  1. 1. Flow: Your writing may be too choppy for readers to enjoy if each of your paragraphs always has the same number of sentences. Similar to how varying sentence structure and length help to improve the flow of your writing, changing the length of your paragraphs can help you transition from one idea to the next.
  2. 2. Literary effect: Experienced authors and fiction writers use different paragraph lengths to create various literary effects. In order to give readers a clear picture of the setting and effectively develop a scene, authors might use a lengthy paragraph to do so. The ability to incorporate a lengthy paragraph that is cogent and creative shows a level of writing proficiency because longer paragraphs demand more development and thought.
  3. 3. Emphasis: Short paragraphs can also be used by writers to emphasize a point or idea because they will visually stand out among larger blocks of text and draw the reader’s attention.

How Long Should A Paragraph Be?

The Average Length Of A Paragraph In A Research Article

The most serious and intricate concepts are typically covered in research articles. The target audience also includes highly educated readers. Paragraph length is not something that needs to be strictly adhered to. In order to avoid leaving any ambiguity, the paragraphs should continue until the idea is fully developed.

A research article should have paragraphs that are, on average, between 200 and 300 words long. Sometimes a background or problem statement should come before the topic sentence. Several logically ordered supporting details should then be included in the body. Finally, a concluding sentence needs to give a hint of how the next paragraph will be introduced.

The Average Length Of A Paragraph In An Essay

An essay written for academic or professional purposes may have paragraphs that are a little bit longer than those written for more general purposes. These potential explanations could be that those essays likely cover slightly more serious subjects and that the intended audience is typically more advanced.

As a result, each paragraph in an essay might contain a single idea that is expressed in 125–200 words or 700–1000 characters. There must be a topic sentence, several supporting sentences, and essentially a concluding sentence. Depending on the reading ability of the audience, the number of sentences should be adjusted.

The writer shouldn’t worry too much about the length of the paragraphs because they will be aware of the reading level of their intended audience as they write.

The Average Length Of A Paragraph In A Blog Post

You need to keep a few things in mind when writing web content, especially blog posts. You would naturally want to maintain the best readability possible for your blog posts. Therefore, the length of each paragraph in a blog post is important to ensure that the reader will be engaged with your writing.

Regardless of how many sentences you combine into one paragraph, the average length of a blog post paragraph should not exceed six lines. Because more than six lines of text make a HUGE amount of text on a mobile device, it will be challenging for users of mobile devices to follow the text in this case. Your reader may also become distracted.

Consequently, a good blog post should have paragraphs, with each of them:

  1. Deals with one single idea;
  2. Includes no more than six lines;
  3. Offers a clear and easy explanation of the idea;
  4. May provide a response to a particular search query so that you can target a snippet (who doesn’t?).
  5. Clearly ties the paragraph’s subheading to its content.

Tips To Vary Paragraph Length

As a general rule, make your paragraphs shorter or longer depending on the length of your ideas, and begin a new paragraph whenever you switch to a new idea.

  • 1. Consider the genre. Since each genre has its own distinctive writing style, the genre in which you are writing will have a big impact on how long your paragraphs are. Poems and novels have more creative freedom and balance long paragraphs with short, one-sentence paragraphs, while business writing typically uses shorter paragraphs for better readability, similar to journalism.
  • 2. Think about your audience. The average reader’s age is taken into consideration when choosing the length of your paragraphs. For instance, use shorter paragraphs if the majority of your readers are younger readers to keep their interest.
  • 3. Revise your writing. To make sure your sentences flow into a logical thought, read your paragraph out loud. Consider cutting the length of your paragraph if your sentences veer off-topic and cause a tangent in order to keep your idea in focus. Consider adding more sentences to explain your main idea if you feel it needs more proof. The subsequent paragraph is where you can elaborate on your thought.

How To Write Paragraphs People Like To Read?

The truth is that even if your paragraph’s core idea is supported by a large number of reliable facts or descriptions if your paragraphs are too long you risk losing the reader’s attention. Additionally, if all of your paragraphs are lengthy, you might miss opportunities to engage the reader. For instance, journalists are aware that readers respond better to concise paragraphs. Even one-sentence paragraphs are regarded as acceptable and impactful in news articles because long descriptions typically make readers uninterested.

Avoid writing more than five or six sentences in a paragraph before finding a logical place to break it up if you want to keep the reader’s attention. Having said that, keep in mind that a paragraph’s idea might be brief and simple or it might require a longer explanation. There are no hard and fast rules about how many words or lines your paragraphs must contain, so if you occasionally write long or short ones, don’t lock your doors. You won’t be stopped by the grammar police.

Keep A Balance In Paragraph Length

It’s always crucial to maintain a balance in the length of the paragraphs. No matter the purpose of your writing, there shouldn’t be a significant difference between the shortest and longest paragraphs.

Take this as an illustration. Your reader will undoubtedly become irritated if you write a paragraph with ten sentences immediately after one with only one. It would be acceptable to write a five-sentence paragraph immediately following a two- or three-sentence paragraph because it won’t significantly change what your reader expects from each subsequent paragraph.


No matter why they are reading it, nobody likes to read a long paragraph. I hope you now understand when a paragraph is too long. Despite forgetting everything, you had better remember one thing.

The length of a paragraph varies depending on the circumstance. It’s important to make readers comfortable during their reading.

Also Read: How To Become A Grant Writer?