How Many Words in a Paragraph 2017-2018?

How Many Words in a Paragraph 2017-2018?

Writing is a very complex thing to do. You need to know a lot of different tips on how to write this or that piece of text. Rules, regulations and advices – it always requires plenty of attention and patience. But sometimes writers face some not very common questions like “How many words should be in a paragraph?” Is someone able to answer it? Let`s look it through.

Potential writer should have known that a single paragraph reflects and expresses only one idea. That is why the text needs division on these paragraphs. It helps to comprehend the given information better. But how can writer know which length of paragraph should he use?

It is simple – different kinds of texts imply their specific paragraph volume. Actually it is not simple as well as not so hard to outline some general guidelines. But the truth is the same: the paragraph length depends on the aims of the text.  Nine times out of ten aims divide into commercial and academic ones.

Commercial Writing

This kind of writing is obviously less demanding than academic one. Of course there are some specific rules, without knowledge of which one can never create qualitative text. But the basic rule here is by a fluke connected with paragraph division.

What is the aim of the commercial text? To catch readers` attention and to make him read all needed information, which he or she can process on his own. The aim is not to sell something to the reader but to make him know with the possibility of it.

Since reader initially is not particularly concerned about reading your text, you need to know how to change his mind. Using correct paragraph setting is the first main step on the way. What is correct? Answering this question one may only say that the more words in a paragraph, the worse.

There is not the long-established and appropriate rule of how long a paragraph should be. But the truth is that your potential reader that is not very involved in reading your selling text defines his interest superficially. So the main thing he or she sees is the lines in a paragraph.

If the paragraph is longer than three or four lines your reader believes that each paragraph consists of plenty of complex information, that he or she needs to think a lot on this information and justly abandons pleasure of reading the text.

Résumé: In commercial writing the paragraph should be within three or four lines regardless font type and size. Your text is not very necessary for the reader so he or she can afford to evaluate it according to the first superficial glance. But try not to use less than three or four lines in the paragraph – it also negatively influences the chances of your text to be read.

Academic Writing

The situation is getting more intricate in the light of academic writing. This field of writing includes myriads of different types of texts: essays, research papers, dissertations, course works and so on. I also do not think that there is a human being that can name all the existing types of essays. That is why it is quite hard to define paragraph in academic writing.

The only way out is to schematize it for common and widely used kinds of academic writing. And paradoxically there is concrete number of words that are supposed to be used in one single paragraph – 200. Looks like not very much but let`s figure out how paragraphs are used in academic writing.

If commercial writing needs short paragraph and plenty of this short paragraphs in the text, academic writing needs long paragraph and not too much of it. Commercial writing does not use paragraphs for dividing information for the notional purpose. They need there for visual verification of the ease of text reading.

Academic texts use paragraphs to demarcate on single idea for the other. Before writing academic texts the reader understands that he would need to take pains in reading and there is no need in catching his attention by the visual aspects. That is why you need to play according academic rules but not according to the market`s ones.

How Many Words a Paragraph Should Be?

It all says that paragraph in academic text should be long and consist up to 200 words. The more information is included in paragraph the better. Academic writer should not be scared that his text would be omitted by readers` attention because of visual unattractiveness.


There is no multipurpose answer to the question of how long is a paragraph because it always depends on the aims and specifics of this text. This article did not mention about paragraph length for storytellers because there are absolutely no rules in this kind of writing as well as in the described ones.

This information is the recommendation and a kind of guidance, so trust yourself and write well.

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