Keep most sentences short.

Posted: June 3rd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Plain English: Tips | Tags: , | No Comments »

Short sentences are simple, clean—and often inspirational:

“Let there be light.”
-2 Corinthians. 4.6
“I have a dream.”
– Martin Luther King, August 28, 1963
“But let us begin.”
– John F. Kennedy, Jan. 20, 1961 (Inauguration speech)

Even if you are not seeding a universe or changing the course of history, you should keep your sentences short. Short, punchy sentences are a particularly powerful technique for beginning paragraphs. Even sentences within paragraphs should not exceed two or three lines.

But a long string of short sentences can sound choppy. Strive for rhythm and cadence. Vary your short sentences with an occasional longer sentence. Simply combine two short sentences in the middle of your paragraph to relieve the tedium of too many choppy sentences.

What do you think?