A very long time ago I was taught to write by using the formula of:

One idea per paragraph and one thought per sentence.  

I’ve found that a really good piece of advice – and so have many of the people I’ve shared it with.

When we’re writing information to share with our readers it’s so easy to get a bit carried away.  That tends to result in much longer sentences, long paragraphs that people get lost in and, as a result, your reader will lose interest and stop reading.

Whilst we all like to think our copy is riveting and that every reader will be captivated, in truth, there’s very little that people read thoroughly; especially online.  Information is available at the click of a mouse or tap of the screen.  Research and learning are no longer a voyage of discovery where each fact is uncovered to be considered and added to your ‘heap’.  It’s more a case of trying to sift through so much information it’s overwhelming.  People scan rather than read.

The sharper your writing, the easier it is for people to read and almost all of us prefer to read in short paragraphs rather than pick our way through big blocks of text.

Get the one thought at a time habit and keep your reader longer.