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General Business 360 Communication Guide

Paragraphs in Business Writing

Simple Messages

Business writing allows you to break up simple messages into multiple paragraphs for increased readability. If you can express an idea in one sentence, then a one-sentence paragraph is fine.

Start a new paragraph every time you have a new idea, a new subordinate idea, a new supporting detail, another example, or a new clarification.

The goal is whitespace; simply dividing one long paragraph into multiple short paragraphs adds whitespace, which makes messages easier to read.


Complex Messages

Students of academic writing often learn to structure long, complex paragraphs with the MEAL plan.  In workplace writing, you can follow the same structure, but divide a long paragraph with a heading and short paragraphs.

Main idea = heading or sub-heading

Evidence = short paragraph(s)

Analysis = short paragraph(s)

Link to main purpose in writing, if necessary = short paragraph

Content Credit

Content on this page was created by the Business Communication team at the Wisconsin School of Business.