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Italian Paragraphs

I don’t know if others have noticed this, and I imagine they have, but many Italian writers construct some of the longest paragraphs I have ever seen. These paragraphs, which are seemingly never ending walls of text, tend to put me off reading Italian newspapers and books.

As I understand from my own research into writing skills, psychologists who have studied the way in which Americans and Britons write, have determined that written texts are more readable and easier to understand if they are short. By short I mean around five or so sentences long or around 75 words.

I know at times I write paragraphs which stretch acceptable limits, but I do try to keep my paragraphs quite short. I also leave a line between each paragraph, partially because I think this makes things look a little better, and partially because I have read that this improves readability.

Now what I would like to hear is whether Italians would prefer to see shortish paragraphs and a good amount of space, or whether they prefer paragraphs which are longer than this post.

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I have heard it said that Italians are not the world’s greatest readers, and I wonder if the block like walls of text put many Italians off from reading more.

Italian Education Revolves around Oral Exams

Incidentally, someone I know, who was a high level journalist, told me that one of the reasons why Italians tend to resort to block like paragraphs is that they are not really taught to write, or rather, have little experience with the written word.  This is because Italian education, all the way up to university level, employs oral tests.

In other countries, Great Britain for example, exams are generally written, which means that Britons have more experience with the written version of their language.  Not that all Britons write well.  This sounds as though it could be one way of explaining why Italian paragraphs tend to be so long.

Judge for yourselves.  Here is the post I have written, without paragraphs, headings, and spaces.  See which you prefer:

I don’t know if others have noticed this, and I imagine they have, but many Italian writers construct some of the longest paragraphs I have ever seen. These paragraphs, which are seemingly never ending walls of text, tend to put me off reading Italian newspapers and books. As I understand from my own research into writing skills, psychologists who have studied the way in which Americans and Britons write, have determined that written texts are more readable and easier to understand if they are short. By short I mean around five or so sentences long or around 75 words.I know at times I write paragraphs which stretch acceptable limits, but I do try to keep my paragraphs quite short. I also leave a line between each paragraph, partially because I think this makes things look a little better, and partially because I have read that this improves readability.Now what I would like to hear is whether Italians would prefer to see shortish paragraphs and a good amount of space, or whether they prefer paragraphs which are longer than this post.I have heard it said that Italians are not the world’s greatest readers, and I wonder if the block like walls of text put many Italians off.Italian Education Revolves around Oral ExamsIncidentally, someone I know, who was a high level journalist, told me that one of the reasons why Italians tend to resort to block like paragraphs is that they are not really taught to write, or rather, have little experience with the written word.  This is because Italian education, all the way up to university level, employs oral tests.In other countries, Great Britain for example, exams are generally written, which means that Britons have more experience with the written version of their language.  Not that all Britons write well.  This sounds as though it could be one way of explaining why Italian paragraphs tend to be so long.

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