Vary sentence length for more interesting writing!

Friends, varying the length of your sentences makes your writing more interesting and readable. People who study such things recommend an average sentence length of about 20 words. But that doesn’t mean that your aspirational goal should be 20-word sentences. Some should be longer; some shorter.

Sadly, legal writing is plagued by interminable sentences. Long sentences involving complex or technical arguments are difficult to understand. So keep them short. As Gustave Flaubert said: “Whenever you can shorten a sentence, do. And one always can. The best sentence? The shortest.”

But a barrage of short sentences isn’t the answer either. If all your sentences are short, your writing will have a choppy, staccato style. So please, vary the length of your sentences—making some short, and some not—aiming for an average length of 20 words to achieve greatest readability. It will make your writing much more interesting.

That is all for now …

Leave a comment

Filed under Style

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s