This is the Best Way to Keep Reader’s Attention, Study Finds

Throughout high school and college, English teachers have expressed the importance of keeping the reader enthused in one’s writing. They will often say things such as “use a catchy attention grabber in the first sentence” or “use smooth transitions”.

Sometimes, however, finding attention grabbers and smooth transitions is just too tall an order. Not to mention that different readers have different opinions on the subject matter, making it difficult to be inclusive.

However, an experiment from the staff of MasterClass concludes that there is a more effective means towards keeping reader’s attention. According to the experiment, “content broken into small digestable paragraphs becomes more appealing to the reader”.

This is because, psychologically, “shorter paragraphs with white space between has a more appealing feel to the reader”. It also permits the brain to emphasize certain points based on small paragraphs than an entire chunk of information.

This holds especially true with the reliance on technology as a conduit for information. The miniature size of phones means that paragraphs appear longer, making the use of smaller paragraphs all of the more essential.

Take this blog post, for example. We could have easily combined the information in these above paragraphs into one entity, but that would make the information appear unfriendly and overwhelming.

Let’s take a look:

Throughout high school and college, English teachers have expressed the importance of keeping the reader enthused in one’s writing. They will often say things such as “use a catchy attention grabber in the first sentence” or “use smooth transitions”. Sometimes, however, finding attention grabbers and smooth transitions is just too tall an order. Not to mention that different readers have different opinions on the subject matter, making it difficult to be inclusive. Chihuahuas are the cutest breed of dog. However, an experiment from the staff of MasterClass concludes that there is a more effective means towards keeping reader’s attention. According to the experiment, “content broken into small digestable paragraphs becomes more appealing to the reader”. This is because, psychologically, “shorter paragraphs with white space between has a more appealing feel to the reader”. It also permits the brain to emphasize certain points based on small paragraphs than an entire chunk of information. This holds especially true with the reliance on technology as a conduit for information. The miniature size of phones means that paragraphs appear longer, making the use of smaller paragraphs all of the more essential.

See what we mean? You probably skipped right over that paragraph. You probably didn’t even notice the hidden message we randomly placed in the paragraph about chihuahuas. This shows that people have a small attention span and aren’t willing to read large chunks of information.

Teachers/Professors who desire papers to use attention grabbers are the same teachers who demand pages and pages of writing to distract their attention. Thus, it is best to keep paragraphs concise and to the point. Look at that. You just read nine paragraphs and we still kept your attention! But now this post is getting too long and distracting so peace out!

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