Short sentences drive readability

Add a word, reduce comprehension

Short sentences drive readability

How long is too long? Short sentences been proven in the lab to be one of the top 2 indicators of reading ease. Image by patricia sema

Why are short sentences important?

Short sentences boost readability

Short sentences boost readability

Nearly 140 years of research proves it

Shorter’s better: For nearly 140 years, dozens of researchers have been studying how short sentences make for easier reading.

How long should sentences be?

 How long should sentences be?

How long should sentences be?

American Press Institute correlates short sentences, comprehension

How long should sentences be? Average 14 words or less for 90% comprehension, according to American Press Institute research.


 How short should sentences be?

How short should sentences be?

‘The 25-word rule isn’t bad as long as you don’t follow it’

Snip your sentences: Keep sentences short. How short? Ask the experts.


 Write short sentences, like The New York Times

Write short sentences, like The New York Times

Don’t use their names unless you also customize content

Tailor made: Personalized subject lines increase opens, click-throughs — even revenue per email. But it also makes people feel wary about how much you know.

How to write short sentences

How to write short sentences

How to write short sentences

Check, find & cut long sentences with these Word tools

Check it out: Microsoft Word tools let you check sentence length, find long sentences and cut them into short sentences.


 Use more periods

Use more periods

How to write short sentences

Scan for punctuation: Whenever you find colons, commas, dashes, ellipses, parentheses or semicolons, see whether you can substitute a period instead.


 Why vary sentence length?

Why vary sentence length?

To build drama, create rhythm & more

The short and the long of it: Add rhythm and grace to your message by making some sentences shorter, others longer.

More on short sentences

 Resources on short sentences

Resources on short sentences

Websites, books & tools

Learn more about how and why to shorten sentences.


 Quotes on short sentences

Quotes on short sentences

What writers & others say

“These interesting objects, which apparently you have never encountered before, are known as periods. You would do well to use them.” — City editor to young journalist James J. Kilpatrick


Free writing tips
  • Get tips, tricks & trends for Catching Your Readers
  • Learn to write better, easier & faster
  • Discover proven-in-the-lab writing techniques