Briana’s Writing Tips: Run On Sentences And Paragraph Breaks

From BrianaDragon.com – Originally Published 2014/07/15

Run on sentences and paragraphs can make reading incredibly difficult. It’s very important to learn to break things up so that your reader can take in what you have to say without getting confused or lost.

I think we’ve all seen someone do the run on sentence thing where they write like this and never stop going even though there should have been punctuation they probably could have made more than one sentence too.

Whoa! Don’t make that mistake! I can completely understand that you may be typing fast to get your ideas out before they’re gone, but once you’re done you need to go back and break those sentences up with proper punctuation. Too much of that and no one will want to read your work.

Writing your whole piece in one giant paragraph is also horrible for the reader. Where does one thought end and the next begin? It’s confusing and just rough on the eyes to have too much information crammed into one giant block. As a general rule, you should start a new paragraph when you start a new topic or a new aspect of the main topic. There’s no hard rule for how long a paragraph has to be, but seven to ten sentences is considered a good maximum in most cases.

It can also be a problem if you make too many paragraphs. You should only put paragraph beaks in when you really need them, not after every sentence or two. That too, can make a piece hard to read. It’s okay to do it if a sentence or short thought really needs to be noticed by the reader, but don’t use it too often.

If you’re not sure whether a sentence or paragraph is too long, try saying it out loud. If you can’t easily say the whole sentence quickly without taking a breath, go back and break it up with punctuation. For a paragraph, read it out loud as fast as you can. If you get lost or out of breath, it was probably too long and should be shortened.

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