Not all of us are born with the talent for writing but we can still fix that by learning some of the basics of writing. In that regard, it is best to start with the fundamentals of knowing how to write a paragraph. But this can still be confusing because there are still those who do not know how many words are in a paragraph.
The number of words in a paragraph should depend on the type of document. For example, paragraphs in academic texts tend to have more words because they need more words to explain the topic. But, as a general guideline, most paragraphs can be somewhere between 100 and 200 words long.
The purpose of a paragraph is to convey a point of a certain topic covered by the paragraph and shouldn’t always be constrained by the number of words that are generally supposed to be in a single paragraph. Still, there are a lot of things you may need to learn more about paragraphs especially if you want to improve your writing skills.
How many words in a paragraph?
When you are writing an entire essay or even just a single paragraph, one of the things you may be wondering is how long your paragraph should be. This is a legitimate question to be asked even by those who are already seasoned writers because of how there are different authorities and experts that will tell you different things about how many words are in a paragraph.
As a general guideline, however, most paragraphs should have about 100 to 200 words. A lot of people would say that paragraphs should have at most a hundred words because it is easier to read them on screen or on paper. There is some truth to that because, if you can simplify your thoughts and ideas in a short paragraph, then you should. However, that shouldn’t always be the case.
In most cases, you cannot simply limit the number of words in your paragraph to a number that has been predetermined by expert writers and professionals. That’s because you have to come back to the general purpose of a paragraph, which is to convey a message depending on the topic of the paragraph. This means that, if you have a topic that needs to be conveyed in more than 200 words, then there is no reason why you shouldn’t do so.
And, also, the length of the paragraph largely depends on the type of document or paper you are writing. Usually, when the document is about a generally casual topic, you should probably follow the usual general rule of 100 to 200 words per article so that it would look cleaner to the eyes of the reader and so that it will be easier for the reader to follow the article.
However, if the topic or the type of document requires you to write more than 200 words in a single paragraph, then you probably should write more than 200 words. A good example is an academic paper that can have one single topic in a paragraph but the topic needs to be discussed exhaustively to a point where you may have to go over 200 or even 300 words just to get your point across and to make sure that you were able to talk about the topic in great detail.
Meanwhile, for commercial writing, it is best to make the sentences and paragraphs as short as possible and perhaps even under 100 words. The reason is that the people you may try to attract with your article or writing may find the paragraph or the sentence boring if it is too long. As such, you should try to make your paragraphs and sentences as short as possible. Of course, font size and font style also play their own roles when you want to get the reader’s attention with your writing.
When constructing your paragraph, the best way for you to make sure that it fits the usual 100 to 200-word limit is to have an outline as early as possible. Start off with the topic sentence, which is usually the opening sentence but can also be found in the other parts of the paragraph. The body of the paragraph should contain everything you want to talk about the topic. Meanwhile, there should be a concluding sentence that wraps everything off.
How many paragraphs is a page?
Terms of how many paragraphs you should be putting in a single page, there is no general rule to follow because it really depends more on one single factor, which is balance. The most important factor in knowing how many paragraphs there should be on a page in your article or document should always be the balance because it makes the page look cleaner and easier to read.
So, one factor to look at in terms of balance is the size of the paragraphs with respect to the size of the page. If your first paragraph in a short page is long, then you might want the next paragraph to be nearly as long as well to keep the page balanced. And make sure that you only put two paragraphs on that short page but you can use three paragraphs if the page size is long.
On the other hand, if you started off with a short paragraph, you can fill the page with three short paragraphs to provide the balance that the page needs to look good and clean to the eyes of the reader. An unbalanced page would look something like two very short paragraphs sandwiching a long paragraph in between or a really long paragraph starting off the page, which is followed by a short paragraph to end the page.
So, if you want your page to look balanced, start off with an outline or a structure. Try making an imaginary limit for each paragraph on the page if you want to fill it with three paragraphs. Make sure that the paragraph lengths are nearly the same.
Ideally, if the article you are writing is about two to three pages long, keep the introduction and the conclusion only one paragraph long each. Meanwhile, fill the entire middle portion of the article with the body, wherein you discuss the topic in length. But make sure that you keep the pages balanced at all times in a sense that, if you started off with three short paragraphs on the first page, do the same with the other pages as well.
However, if you have paragraphs that are really short to the point that you can fill a short page with four or even five paragraphs, you may want to rethink those paragraphs and try to look at whether or not the ideas in them can be combined with the other paragraphs to trim the number down to three. Short paragraphs with a few words may be nice to look at and are easier to read but they ruin the balance of the entire page or even the article itself.
How many sentences in a paragraph?
Sentencing is also one of the important aspects of writing a good paragraph because you have to limit the number of sentences in a paragraph to a certain number to provide a good balance of length, structure, and substance. As such, try to aim your sentences to three to five per paragraph depending on how long each sentence is.
If a paragraph is composed of longer sentences, you should limit the number of sentences to about three so that you can still retain the balance and structure of the page. Having five long sentences in a single paragraph can make the paragraph look longer and it can make the entire page or paper look unbalanced when one paragraph is longer than the others. Try to convey the introduction, body, and conclusion in one sentence each.
In the same way, if you have shorter sentences in a single paragraph, you can try to aim for five sentences. Doing so will allow you to have a more structured page or paper because of how the paragraphs will look the same regardless of how many sentences they have.
So, in that sense, a three-sentence paragraph with long sentences will essentially have the same length as a five-sentence paragraph that has shorter sentences. This allows you to retain the overall balance and structure of your pages so that your entire article or document will look perfectly good.