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Dec 4 / B/R Quality Control Team

Sentence and Paragraph Structure

Part 11 of Playbook: The Basics of Writing for Bleacher ReportClick here for more information and to download all of Playbook for free.

Keep it short.

Remember that and you’ll be more than halfway to doing well as evaluators look at your Bleacher Report writing for sentence and paragraph structure.

Writing in concise sentences and paragraphs is vital in engaging readers and encouraging them to stick with your story. But an article made up entirely of choppy sentences and one-line paragraphs is boring to read no matter how expert the analysis. To keep readers engaged visually as well as mentally, you have to vary your sentence and paragraph lengths in a thoughtful way.

So your sentences should be brief enough to keep readers alert but varied enough in length to make your key points. In practical terms, that means you should mostly keep it short and sweet without being simplistic, but when you’ve got something important to say, use the structure of your sentences to drive the message home. Like this.

Overall, there should be a healthy variance, a few short sentences, a few longer ones, with the whole thing averaging somewhere between 15 and 20 words per sentence.

But, as with any of these metrics, don’t try to reverse engineer your stories to make them fit what we’re looking for. Instead, train yourself to think about sentence and paragraph length—keep them short, but vary them a bit—in your writing. It won’t take long before using sentence length as a tool in your writing becomes second nature.

Next post: Diction
Previous post: Textual Correctness

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Playbook: The Basics of Writing for Bleacher Report Writers is an 18-part series outlining the metrics and criteria of B/R’s objective Writer Evaluation system. The system complements the subjective assessments made by members of our Editorial Team, which means that a solid evaluation is a necessary but not sufficient condition of success with B/R. You can find more information and download the full Playbook for free at this link

Playbook Table of Contents:

Introduction
Three story types
Ledes
News Report Story Angle
News Report Narrative Structure, Information Aggregation
Argumentative Articles: Thesis, Rhetorical Structure, Factual Evidence
Ranked Lists: Ranking Logic
Ranked Lists: Topic, List Composition
Attribution and Hyperlinks
Textual Correctness
Sentence and Paragraph Structure
Diction
Authorial Voice
Headlines
B/R Style and Formatting
Multimedia Assets
Common Mistakes: General
Common Mistakes: Three Article Types