Style - avoid short sentences

Malc Prentice

Too many short sentences is bad.

Bad Example

The second criterion is having a clear goal. Organizations should clearly say what they do. They should say why inviting volunteers is necessary. Goals could be ending hunger and so on. This can be check on their website. It should have a list of goals. In summary it is possible to find a good volunteer organization.


1) It just sounds bad.

2) It is difficult to join your ideas together

3) Every sentence needs a subject, so you might repeat it too much

How to count

Word count of a sentence does NOT include citations

Penguins are bird ("A study on flightless birds of the Antarctic," n.d.)

This sentence is three words, not eleven

Target is 15 words

For essays in this class

For other work

News articles have shorter sentences than essays. Dissertation sentences can be much longer. When you write something, find some examples and check what is expected.




What is the MINIMUM length of a sentence in an essay for this class?

What is a GOOD length of a sentence in an essay for this class?

What is NOT included in the length of your sentence?

Some sentences are OK if they are short. Which of these is ok?