Fine Point #2: Paragraph Length

As mentioned in Fine Point #1, reading from the screen is more difficult than reading on paper. Another strategy you can use to make reading your web document easier is to shorten your paragraphs. This will help the readers' eyes from getting lost in your text. These breaks help the eye track.

A few short and easy tips can make your pages a little more user friendly.

  1. Limit your paragraphs to 1-3 sentences. This style is is commonly used by journalists in newspapers around the world.
  2. Be as brief as possible. Say what you mean, mean what you say. This will limit the length of the your paragraphs and document.

Need an example? Look at the Task section below. The first is just one long paragraph, the second is the same sample broken down into three paragraphs. Which one would you and your students rather read (if they were in English, of course).

This page was designed by Dan McDowell for the Triton and Patterns Projects of San Diego Unified School District. Last updated July 5, 1999.

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