Tag Archives: sentence length

How many words are too many in a sentence?

In a recent e-newsletter, Ann Wylie (www.wyliecomm.com) said that according to research by the American Press Institute, the longer sentences are, the less readers understand. I haven’t managed to find the original source of this research, but it was apparently based on studies of 410 newspapers, and the researchers correlated the average number of words in a sentence with reader comprehension.

The study showed:

  • When the average sentence length was fewer than eight words, readers understood 100 percent of the story.
  • With 9–14 word sentences, readers could understand more than 90 percent of the information.
  • With 43-word sentences, comprehension dropped to less than 10 percent.

Pity this information didn’t include the comprehension rate for sentences of 15–30 words.

Online grammar programs

If you want to learn more about grammar, register for one of Mary’s online grammar courses at www.onlinewritingtraining.com.au


online grammar
Copyright © 2020 All Rights Reserved

Design by mel andersonWordPress website audit by The WP Guy