The ProWritingAid Team
ProWritingAid: A grammar guru, style editor, and writing mentor in one package.
Published Apr 25, 2016

How to Use The Sentence Length Check

Varied sentence length is an important feature of good writing.

The late Gary Provost illustrated it best:

The importance of Varied Sentence Lengths

To maintain your readers’ interest, use a variety of sentence lengths: some short and punchy, others long and flowing.

There are two easy ways to check your sentence length variety. Choose the method that works best for you.


ProWritingAid counts every word in every sentence of your selected text, and then it gives you two scores:

a) Average Sentence Length

The average sentence length for most published writers is between 11 and 18 words. If your average is above 18, then your writing might be too verbose or complicated. If your average is below 11, your writing will likely feel choppy. Check your score and then rework your text if you need to.

b) Sentence Variety Score

The sentence variety is calculated using a concept called standard deviation. This is a mathematical measure of variety from the average. The higher the standard deviation, the more your sentence lengths vary within the document.


Create a visual representation of your work so you can easily scan to find areas that need more variety.

The importance of Varied Sentence Lengths

Whichever method works best for you, you will be amazed at how much better your writing sounds when you use good sentence variety. As Gary Provost said, “Don’t just write words. Write music.”

Use ProWritingAid’s Sentence Length Check to find your stats or create a graph of your sentences.

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The ProWritingAid Team
ProWritingAid: A grammar guru, style editor, and writing mentor in one package.

The most successful people in the world have coaches. Whatever your level of writing, ProWritingAid will help you achieve new heights. Exceptional writing depends on much more than just correct grammar. You need an editing tool that also highlights style issues and compares your writing to the best writers in your genre. ProWritingAid helps you find the best way to express your ideas.

Fisrt! I did it!

By dannt.dg on 10 February 2017, 05:01 AM

Sure would be nice to know how to find those sentences that are too long or to short. What do I do, count the words myself?

By TJReed on 25 February 2017, 03:57 AM

You just click on the bar in the graph for the sentence you want to see and it takes you right to it.

By lparys3 on 01 September 2018, 07:57 PM

I have pro writing aid downloaded on my laptop but do not get the graph comparing sentence lengths. How do I make that happen?

By yachtimagination on 24 October 2018, 04:33 PM

What does your system consider a sentence? He highlights several ' sentences' as being too long, while they are actually a dialogue for instance with several full stops in them. In other words, several sentences counted as one.

By mariskaslieker on 03 January 2019, 10:34 PM