Keep paragraphs even shorter for mobile screens
A paragraph that takes up four lines on a 30-inch monitor might well take eight lines — even more — on a mobile screen.
That causes a couple of problems:
1. It’s hard to read what you can’t see.
Part of your paragraph might not be visible on your reader’s 2-by-4-inch screen. If that’s the case, readers have to remember the first part of the paragraph as they read the end of it.
Human short-term memory is notoriously awful, which means we need to concentrate extra hard to remember what we can’t see.
Measure, monitor and manage readability with a cool (free!) tool
Would your message be twice as good if it were half as long?
The research says yes: The shorter your piece, the more likely readers are to read your message, understand it and make good decisions based on it.
But most communicators (and, let’s be fair, their reviewers) ignore the research and keep piling on the paragraphs. The result? “You’re not more informed,” writes Tom Rosenstiel, former media critic for the Los Angeles Times. “You’re just numbed.”
So how long is too long? What’s the right length for your piece? Your paragraphs? Your sentences? Your words?
At Cut Through the Clutter — our two-day concise-writing master class on Aug. 17-18 in San Francisco — you’ll run your message through a cool (free!) tool to measure, monitor and manage readability.
Specifically, you’ll learn how to:
- Analyze your message for 27 readability metrics — and leave with quantifiable targets, tips and techniques for improving each one.
- Increase reading, understanding and sharing with five techniques for cutting your copy significantly.
- Stop discombobulating readers with long sentences. Leave this workshop with 11 metrics for reducing sentence length and increasing comprehension.
- Avoid causing your reader to skip your paragraphs. Find out how long is too long — and leave with three ways to shorten paragraphs.
- Eliminate multisyllabic pileups from your copy. They’re the No. 1 predictor of poor readability.
Save $100 when you register by June 17.
This is your last chance to take this concise-writing workshop from Ann in 2017. Don’t miss out. Register now.
Learn to Master the Art of the Storyteller, Catch Your Readers, Get Clicked, Cut Through the Clutter and more
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