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We all know what the ideal number of characters is for a line, however I haven't been able to find any guides on the number of lines that provide the best readability.

I understand this is a bit subjective depending on the content, but are there any statistics or real world experiences that you have in showing longer paragraphs (using the optimal number of characters) or short paragraphs perform better than the other?

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Not only is it Subjective, but it is also contextual... For instance if your interface is information for say doctors, more technical and long winded scientific information requires longer paragraphs. However for marketing, you want to catch the attention, call out, and compel a response from the reader in a relatively short format. The best references I could find for you are: http://grammar.about.com/od/pq/g/Paragraph-Length.htm and http://www.amazon.com/The-One-Sentence-Persuasion-Course-ebook/dp/B00AAF5GJK

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