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Friday, July 28, 2006

Paragraphs - Who Needs Them?

Some things in life should be easy - and reading a blog is one of them. I don't know about anyone else, but when I see a huge chunk of text on the home page, I skate right past it. My eyes transmit the lockdown code to my brain. Too much visual information assaulting the senses. Trying to read an unbroken block of text is like trying to eat a whole cherry pie in one bite. Some people may be able to do it, but most would choke. So that's why we need paragraphs.

You see, the thing is, you've got to make it easy for your readers. If you want them to get your point quickly and move on to the next one, it helps to break up the text. The brain copes more easily with small chunks of text, and my brain could use all the help it can get.

Every blogging system is different, so you'll have to do it in different ways depending on which one you use. On WritingUp, a couple of returns (hit the 'enter' key twice) usually does the trick. If it doesn't, you can use the letters
. That gives you a line break.

As a sub-editor and editor, I spent a lot of my time making long paragraphs into shorter ones and each paragraph had to have a point. This is a good rule for blogs as well. I won't go on about the paragraph thing, especially as a couple of other writers have written about them in detail. Instead, I'll just point you towards Majansa's post on blog formatting and Gracepub's post on paragraphs. Both are well worth a read for the new blogger.

This post has been sponsored by the Volunteer Editing Support Team.

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