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Ode to short paragraphs in web content

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I am often asked to give feedback on someone’s blog or online content, and the most common issue I see is very long paragraphs.

While I’m not a huge fan of long paragraphs in general, on the web these long paragraphs are really not conducive for reading. It’s just too easy to click away to content that is easier on the eyes (due to the way our minds process information).

I understand that writers like to write long paragraphs. That’s fine, as long as in the revision phase those paragraphs are snipped into smaller pieces.

Besides ease on the eyes, shorter paragraphs can help comprehension.

I recently read a long paragraph in which most of the paragraph was about the past history of a place, and the final two sentences were current history. It took my mind a few seconds to shift thoughts. If there had been a paragraph break before the current history, I could have more easily made the switch.

Even on social media (excluding the 140-character limit of Twitter) it is important to remember short paragraphs.

When I see an update on Facebook that is one long paragraph, I am much less likely to read it than if I see a long update broken up into reasonable short paragraphs.

The important thing to remember about all online content creation: You want your target audiences to read what you have written.

Make it easy to do this!

© 2014 Miller Mosaic LLC

Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of fiction and nonfiction books/ebooks, including TOP TIPS FOR HOW TO PUBLISH AND MARKET YOUR BOOK IN THE AGE OF AMAZON and the romantic suspense spy thriller CIA FALL GUY.

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