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 …

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