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How to Write a Paragraph in 2019 (Yes, the Rules Have Changed)

Writing is tricky.

The same fragment of the information contained that deserves you an A+ on your midterm “wouldve been” differentiated as spam or deleted from a blog editor’s inbox.

Why is that?

Well, one reason is what constitutes a good paragraph differs from medium to medium.

How to write a paragraph for your college prof is different than writing a paragraph for a popular blog.

The good report?

In this post, you’ll learn significant differences. We’ll come off paragraph author for the digital age, and we’ll touch on the basics you need to know for academy, publications, and such.

But first, let’s look at why the standards for paragraph structure have changed…

Why Paragraph Writing Changed in the Digital Age

The main reason for the paragraph’s evolution is the way we consume media.

When we’re online, an invasion of ads, pop-up notifications, cat videos, and vapid luminary chitchat are all rivalling for our attention.

As a ensue, writers have had to adapt.

Shorter paragraphs. More transitional words and words. Variation in rhythm.

Consider the drastic differences between this teacher-pleasing page from Habits of a Happy Brain( affiliate relate) and this online article by Tomas Laurinaricius reviewing the same book πŸ˜› TAGEND

Contrast Paragraphs in a book vs. online article.

In short πŸ˜› TAGEND

When we open a journal or magazine, we’re typically at home or somewhere quiet. We’ll set aside some time and impart it our full attention.

But online, we scan content and decide, within seconds, whether to stay or go.

To survive in digital media, writers have to account for shorter attention spans and increased competition.

So , now that we are aware of the why, let’s look at the how.

The Regulations of the 2019 Paragraph Rule# 1. In Digital Media, Short Paragraphs are Mandatory

Online, one of the easiest ways to instantaneously turn off your audience is to present them with a big wall of text that has few breaks and little lily-white space.

We have adapted to expect and prefer paragraphs that are short because they look and feel easier to read. Short paragraphs are easier to scan, and they let readers to ingest the section in bite-sized globs, which aids maintain their focus.

Consider, for example, the affluence with which you can read the introduction to this article by Mel Wicks:

Easy to read introductions

Yes, Mel Wicks employs empathetic language and easy-to-read prose, which without doubt enhances her clarity. But you can’t ignore the feel you get merely by glancing at her section that it will be an easy read.

This is the effect short paragraphs have on readers.

In the above article, Mel’s introduction has ten paragraphs. The longest paragraph is 42 terms, and seven of them have only 12 words or less.

So, what’s the brand-new standard? How long is a paragraph in 2019?

Well, in digital media your average paragraph should be between two and four cables. You can go over and under — some paragraphs are just one powerful word long — but abide closely connected to that median and you should be fine.

Paragraph Length in Print Media( Or, How Many Sentences are in a Paragraph ?)

The length of paragraphs in school newspapers, volumes, magazines, and other print media is somewhat larger.

How much larger?

It’s no longer the hard-and-fast rule it used to be, but writing paragraphs of three-to-five convicts remains the standard practice.

Rule# 2. Rhythm Dictates the Next Paragraph

Rhythm is the brand-new arbitrator of words. It specifies where paragraphs intention and where brand-new ones begin.

Rhythm in writing is hard to teach. It’s not an exact science and doesn’t follow hard-handed rules.

The more experienced you become as a columnist, the more you’ll develop your rhythm. But in the meantime, you can follow these basic guidelines for when to start a brand-new paragraph πŸ˜› TAGEND 1. Variation

While you want to keep your paragraphs short in digital media, every paragraph doesn’t have to be( or required to be) short.

In fact, switching between short and long paragraphs will induce your writing sing.

Here are a few noteworthy rules of thumb. You don’t have to complete the following perfectly, but they’re worth remembering πŸ˜› TAGEND

If you just wrote one or two paragraphs who the hell is four lines or more, shorten the coming few paragraphs. If you only wrote one or two paragraphs that are only one path, lengthen your next few paragraphs. And if you only wrote three to four paragraphs of similar length, abridge or lengthen your following new paragraph.

Too many same-sized paragraphs in a row will bore your reader. It doesn’t matter if it’s too many small paragraphs or too many long paragraphs.

Consider this excerpt from Jon Morrow’s post on earning passive income online πŸ˜› TAGEND

Balance short and long paragraphs.

See how he perfectly balances between short and long paragraphs?

Now imagine if the same excerpt was structured this course πŸ˜› TAGEND

The reason I set “passive income” in mentions is I see the term is a little misleading.

Almost nothing is totally passive.

While you may not personally is being done any work to receive the money, someone is.

And there’s usually at least a little bit of management overhead.

For instance, I’ve gone on record saying this blog medians over $100,000 per month.

From that total, about $60,000 of it is technically “passive income.”

Even though all of these paragraphs are short, this text feels monotonous.

Too many short paragraphs make a reader feel like they’re on a rollercoaster ride with no destination — they’re moving fast but they quickly get confused about where they’re going.

Ultimately, you want to guide your reader. And the only way to do that effectively is to recognize when your reader needs a few short paragraphs, a long one, or a bit of both.

Paragraph Variation in Print Media

Varying the length of your paragraphs in school papers, publication articles, and books isn’t a commonly-discussed writing method, but it’s good practice.

Whether it’s your educator or professor, a magazine customer, or a bookworm; every reader appreciates alteration. Try to mix up the duration of your paragraphs.

It’s a small change that can have a big impact.

2. Topic

While topic was once the ultimate indicator of paragraph vary, it is now one of many. Topic is still critical for clarity. If you modify paragraphs at a topically awkward occasion, the split disturbs the reader.

Take, for example, this excerpt from Liz Longacre’s article πŸ˜› TAGEND

Blogging is a battle.

A war to get your thoughts the attention they deserve.

Your enemy? The dizzying array of online distractions that devour your readers.

This battle is not for the swooning of heart.

There are so many learning curves. Plugins you’ll required to install. Social networks you’ll need to employ. Marketing techniques you’ll need to try.

Imagine these paragraphs were structured like this instead …

Blogging is a battle.

A war to get your hypothesis the attention they deserve.

Your enemy? The dizzying array of online distractions that devour your readers.

This battle is not for the swoon of heart. There are so many learning curves.

Plugins you’ll need to install. Social networks you’ll need to employ. Selling techniques you’ll need to try.

Notice the difference in how you read the original paragraph versus the variation.

In the original, the last paragraph tactfully emphasizes the difficulty of learn how to start a blog. But in the alteration, you take a mental intermission between “There are so many see curves” and “Plugins you’ll need to install.”

And it feels off, doesn’t it?

The last three convicts are examples of learning curves, which means they are topically connected with phrase introducing them (“There are so many read curves” ).

In digital media, readers still expect topics will — for the most duty — stick with each other.

Paragraph Topics in Schools, Colleges, and Universities

Topics play an even more important role in print media; specifically, in academia where each paragraph has an introduction and conclusion.

In school, we’re taught to use the following paragraph structure:

Topic convict( the overarching mind of the paragraph); Supporting sentences that supply detailed descriptions of support the paragraph’s thought;

Concluding sentence to repeat and/ or strengthen specific topics convict.

Here’s how it searches in practice πŸ˜› TAGEND

Pizza is the world’s more versatile food. If you detest vegetables, you can get pizza flooded with different meats. If you’re a vegetarian, you can get pizza with onions and peppers. And if you’re daring( and a little crazy ), you can get pizza with anchovies and pineapples. Name the exceed, and you can probably put it on a pizza.

The first convict( topic convict) tells the reader what to expect in the relevant paragraphs. The next three sentences( the supporting sentences) support the topic sentence by providing additional information. And the final sentence( the conclusions and convict) wrappings the paragraph up in a bowing by mirroring the topic sentence.

3. Emphasis

Short paragraphs naturally add emphasis.

They can be used to highlight notions you want the reader to take note of, but they can also be used for dramatic effect.

For example, check out Jon’s introduction to How to Start a Blog in 2019: Research Reveals 20 X Faster Method πŸ˜› TAGEND

What if I told you there’s a brand-new strategy for how to start a blog and make money, that’s 20 X faster, requires no software or technical expertise, and costs absolutely nothing up front? You’d think there must be some conceal catch, right?

But there’s not. It’s wholly real.

Jon’s introduction requests the reader a few questions with a long paragraph. And then, for emphasis, he adds: “But there’s not. It’s totally real.”

This paragraph imparts a dramatic turn of events. The shortness of the paragraph emphasizes this.

The longer paragraph preps the reader for the perforate, and the short paragraph delivers it home.

You don’t ever have to get going from a long paragraph to a short paragraph to create emphasis. You are also welcome to use a gradual decreased to word count and finish with your main point. This builds the reader up to the punchline.

Here’s another example, taken from The Brutally Honest Guide To Being Brutally Honest.

The author, Josh Tucker, lessens wordcount over three relatively short paragraphs to bring attention to his final sentence: “How you terminate its consideration of this matter can make all the difference.”

Use paragraph length as a tool in writing.

Think of paragraph section in the same way you think about the rest of your compose. Your word choice, sentence duration, and paragraph structure all have a massive impact on what your article communicates.

Paragraph Emphasis in Print Media

The need to emphasize levels in your content isn’t just for digital media. It’s great for academia and print media too.

Ultimately, paragraph emphasis is up to the creativity of the writer. Paragraph length is simply one tool at your disposal.

Another tool is italicizing or stress words in your content. Just be sure not to overdo it.

If you use too many italics or accentuates, they can overwhelm your readers. Plus, they’ll eventually lose effectiveness.

Writing a Paragraph Readers Will Love Isn’t Hard

Not anymore, anyway.

Despite the difficulty in grabbing the attention of today’s digital readers, you now know how to turn visitors into content absorbers by crafting easy-to-read paragraphs — paragraphs that are short, rhythmic, and varied.

And, you now know a few pointers for what it takes to craft content teachers, profs, and editors in print media will adore.

Know your audience, and know how paragraphs should be constructed for said audience.

Do that and you’re golden.

Readers will appreciate your polite writing and — dare I say? — they’ll keep coming back for more.

About the Author: Lover of all things communication — speaking, writing, and listening — Mike is currently the founder of MB Content where he helps enterprises create substantial, coherent and valuable fragments of the information contained. You can be found in more of his work at Carrot, follow him on Twitter, or join his email list for entrepreneurs at Booktrep.

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