1 Idea Sentences

written by Mikaela Cowles on March 12, 2015 in Tips with no comments

1 idea sentence

Keep your reader interested by focusing on one idea per sentence.

Complex sentences are sentences that contain multiple ideas. For most of us, they creep into our writing when we’re really excited. You know those times when you have a lot to say, you want to say it all and you want to say it right away.

These are the times it seems every little detail is dependant on one another. Suddenly, you’re throwing everything into the same sentence. Before you know it, the sentence is a multi-idea paragraph. 

To you, this uber run-on makes perfect sense. To your reader, it’s a headache waiting to happen.

Why? Because long sentences ask your reader to work. Talk about a quick way to lose your reader’s attention.

Instead, follow this simple rule:

Cut every sentence to no more than 25 words.


The Solution

Identify each sentence that’s longer than 25 words, then:

  • Eliminate unnecessary words.
  • Consider each comma carefully. Could it be a period?
  • Try to reword the sentence to cut it down.

Is this rule begging to be broken? Of course! The important thing here is to make the conscious decision to break the rule. If your sentence is long, it should be long for a reason.


Check back next week to explore when and why to write long sentences.


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