How Long Is a Paragraph: What To Know

How long is a paragraph? In some situations, short paragraphs might be better, and in other situations, long paragraphs might be better. Learn more.

When you were in high school English class, you probably learned the basics of academic writing. Educators probably covered the importance of your topic sentence, your concluding sentence, and help you figure out how long your paragraphs should be.

Ultimately, your paragraph has to be long enough to bring your idea to its end. In some cases, a single paragraph might be a single sentence. In other cases, a paragraph might be several sentences. Some people believe that paragraphs should be no more than 100 words. Other people believe that paragraphs should be no more than 200 words. A solid paragraph should not be measured using words or characters. Instead, it should be measured using your ideas.

There is no hard-and-fast rule, so, how can you determine the length of a paragraph? Learn more below!

When To Start a New Paragraph

How long is a paragraph?

First, you might be thinking about when to start a new paragraph. It depends on the idea you are covering. There are some situations where you may be able to sufficiently cover the idea in a single sentence. There might be other cases where you need to write six or seven sentences before you have sufficiently covered the idea.

There is no set rule that tells you when you have to start a new paragraph. Once you feel like the idea has been brought to its logical conclusion, you can close the paragraph and start a new one. You may want to take a look at the other paragraphs in your work to figure out when might be a good time to start a new paragraph. 

How Many Words Are In a Paragraph?

It is true that people do not want to read a wall of text. Therefore, it is a good idea to break up complicated ideas into smaller paragraphs. That way, it is easier for you to hold the reader’s attention. If your paragraph has 300 words in it, it might be okay as long as all of the words are related to the idea you are covering. On the other hand, if you can cover an idea using only 20 words, then it is perfectly fine to do so before moving on to the next paragraph. 

How Many Sentences Are In a Paragraph?

How long is a paragraph?
Remember that if your paragraph is too long, you may lose the attention of your reader

So, how many sentences are in a paragraph? How long is a paragraph? Keep in mind that you can still write one very long sentence. If your sentences are too long, this is going to impact your readability. It may make it difficult for you to hold the attention of your reader.

Again, there are some paragraphs that might have 10 sentences. Some works, such as Ulysses, are famous for having paragraphs that span an entire page or even a whole chapter. Other writers, such as James Patterson, write paragraphs that might only have a single sentence. This might make it easier for readers to quickly scan the page or create dramatic effect by drawing attention to a certain part of the work.

Instead of focusing on how many sentences you have in your paragraphs, you should focus on being persuasive with your ideas. After you have a topic sentence, you need to provide facts that support the idea. Of course, not all writing is academic. You may have creative writing assignments that require you to develop the idea following your topic sentence. 

When in doubt, you should split your paragraphs up to make it easier for people to read your work. Otherwise, people may not want to read your work until the end. Depending on the type of writing you are doing, you may even want to use bullet points to help you break up giant walls of text. This is particularly important to someone is reading your assignment on an electronic device. 

Ultimately, you need your ideas to be persuasive and effective. One of the ways to do this is to write paragraphs that people want to read. That way, table read your ideas from start to finish. 

Write Paragraph People Want To Read

If you have an idea you are particularly passionate about, you may have a lot of valid facts and statistics you want to include. Or, you may have a lot of creative sentiments that you want to include in that single paragraph.

Remember that if your paragraph is too long, you may lose the attention of your reader. Furthermore, you will have a difficult time drawing your reader in. As an example, journalistic writing usually sticks to very short paragraphs. Writers know they will lose their readers if they make their paragraphs too long. Therefore, one-sentence paragraphs are often considered impactful regarding paragraph structure.

If you want to hold the attention of your reader, you probably do not want to include more than five or six sentences in a paragraph. Even if you feel like the idea has not been brought to a conclusion, you need to find a logical stopping place.

There may be other situations where the paragraph might merit deeper explanation. There is no single rule that tells you how long a paragraph has to be. There might be some situations where you need to write a long paragraph, and other situations where you need to write a short paragraph. It is up to you to decide how you want to break up your idea of using paragraphs. The most important thing to remember is not to forget to start new ones.

Final Word on How Long Is a Paragraph

You might be wondering how long is a paragraph? In the end, there is no rule surrounding how long a paragraph has to be. You need to think about the type of writing you are doing. Journalistic writing usually has shorter paragraphs. Then, you need to think about how many sentences it takes you to cover your idea. Once you have concluded your idea, it is time to start a new paragraph.

You may want to have someone else take a look at your writing. They may have suggestions about how you can break up your paragraphs. Sometimes, you need a longer paragraph to cover an idea. In other cases, shorter paragraphs might be fine. Break up your ideas logically to make them easier to read. 

FAQs About How Long Is a Paragraph

Can a paragraph be three sentences?

Yes, it is possible for you to have a paragraph that is only three sentences. It is also possible for you to have a paragraph that is only one sentence. There may be other situations where a paragraph has five or six sentences.

How long is a full-length paragraph? 

It depends on how many sentences it takes you to cover your idea. Instead of focusing on a number of words or sentences, you need to focus on how many sentences it takes you to completely cover your topic. Vary the length of your paragraphs.

Join over 15,000 writers today

Get a FREE book of writing prompts and learn how to make more money from your writing.

Powered by ConvertKit
Scroll to Top