Simply put, a paragraph should be as long or as short as it needs to be to develop a main idea. As Barry J. Rosenberg says, “Some paragraphs should weigh a skimpy two or three sentences, while others should weigh a robust seven or eight sentences. Both weights are equally healthy” (Spring Into Technical Writing for Engineers and Scientists, 2005).
In composition, technical writing, and online writing, the term paragraph length refers to the number of sentences in a paragraph and the number of words in those sentences.
Imagine you are reading a report on your business unit’s performance during the third quarter. Nearly every paragraph takes up about half of a single-spaced, typed page — page after page after page. What is the effect on you, the reader?
Generally, a body paragraph should contain one main idea, often called the topic sentence, on which the writer elaborates. There are exceptions, but many paragraphs follow this format — and many of those that don’t, should.
Breaking India: Western Interventions in Dravidian and Dalit Faultlines is a book written by Rajiv Malhotra and Aravindan Neelakandan which argues that India’s integrity is being undermined.
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