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Formatting Paragraphs For Easy Reading

First, The Easy Way

When you visit a news site or blog with a long story and very few paragraph breaks, you probably find it difficult to read. Very long paragraphs are hard to read for many reasons.

A massive amount of text in a single block doesn’t give you any visual clues about what you are reading. When most people see a massive paragraph of text, that lack of clues makes them expect that it will be difficult to read – and it often is.

If you happen to lose your place while you’re reading text set out like that, it can be difficult to work out where you were up to, so you can backtrack a little or continue on. That means you may need to re-read part of what you already read. Comprehension often suffers as well.

People who write stories that way are often prone to also write massively long sentences that just go on and on. Although we often talk like that, with no noticeable breaks, writing should never be done that way. Run-on sentences usually have too many concepts within them. Keep it simple and your readers will be much happier.

Remember your sentence structure should be simple – Subject, Object, Predicate. and your paragraph structure should be simple too. Find good places to break up the flow of a massive paragraph. I always try not to exceed five sentences per paragraph.

Layout is important. It makes your stories easier and faster to read.

To show what I mean, I will repeat this text in a single block. Please let me know which way you prefer it.

Now Read It The Hard Way

When you visit a news site or blog with a long story and very few paragraph breaks, you probably find it difficult to read. Very long paragraphs are hard to read for many reasons. A massive amount of text in a single block doesn’t give you any visual clues about what you are reading. When most people see a massive paragraph of text, that lack of clues makes them expect that it will be difficult to read – and it often is. If you happen to lose your place while you’re reading text set out like that, it can be difficult to work out where you were up to, so you can backtrack a little or continue on. That means you may need to re-read part of what you already read. Comprehension often suffers as well. People who write stories that way are often prone to also write massively long sentences that just go on and on. Although we often talk like that, with no noticeable breaks, writing should never be done that way. Run-on sentences usually have too many concepts within them. Keep it simple and your readers will be much happier. Remember your sentence structure should be simple – Subject, Object, Predicate. and your paragraph structure should be simple too. Find good places to break up the flow of a massive paragraph. I always try not to exceed five sentences per paragraph. Layout is important. It makes your stories easier and faster to read.

You can see how daunting it looks this way, and you probably don’t want to read it at all, yet some writers do this to their readers.

 



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