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I am currently writing a test strategy for my sixth form Computing project. In order to meet the grading criteria I also have to justify my test strategy. I have the following text:

Although isolated, and although in this given scenario it is unlikely, the invocation of the other subroutines could cause the code that retrieves the system information to behave differently. There’s no doubt that the system should be tested for this kind of behaviour using point-and-click testing, in addition to the unit-testing, but the point here is that using a unit-test it would be clear that the problem lies with something external and not with the isolated code used for the unit-test if the test succeeds.

Also, the client software collects all of the system information required before sending the collected data back to the server. This can take anywhere up to 10 seconds which would give somewhat inaccurate results which might be bothersome if it was important that the data was very accurate.

I feel uncomfortable creating a new paragraph here because it is a direct continuation of the previous paragraph. I feel like I should create a new paragraph here because the paragraph is getting quite long.

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closed as off topic by tchrist, TimLymington, Robusto, Kris, Mitch Apr 7 '13 at 18:07

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This is really asking for advice on style, which is off-topic here but might be welcome on Writers.SE. –  TimLymington Apr 5 '13 at 22:33
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Instead of "using a unit test it would be clear" you should say something like "using a unit test would make it clear". –  Peter Shor Apr 6 '13 at 15:25

3 Answers 3

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Yes - create a new paragraph because of length, especially with such complex language. It's easier on the eye, and readers are only human. It might also be easier for them to refer to the second paragraph instead somewhere on this page....

You could use the more formal In addition instead of Also, which would help introduce the new paragraph on its own terms instead of as something which has broken away from the first paragraph.

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The paragraph is kind of a mess and flows poorly. Furthermore, the voice is passive which further detracts from its readability. If you read it aloud and add a one second pause after each comma then you will see what I mean.

Although isolated, and although in this given scenario it is unlikely, **invoking** other subroutines could cause the code that retrieves the system information to behave differently. There’s no doubt that the system should be tested for this kind of behaviour using point-and-click testing ((, remove this comma)) in addition to the unit-testing ((, change this to a period to seal the paragraph)) but the point here is that using a unit-test it would be clear that the problem lies with something external and not with the isolated code used for the unit-test if the test succeeds.

Also, the client software collects all of the system information required before sending the collected data back to the server. This can take anywhere up to 10 seconds which would give somewhat inaccurate results which might be bothersome if it was important that the data was very accurate.

Furthermore and 'in addition' are also acceptable transitions for the second paragraph.

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Very helpful thank you. I accepted the first answer because he answered the question directly and was the first to do so but I just want to let you know that I enjoyed your additional advice a lot. –  ByteBlast Apr 6 '13 at 9:22
    
I agree that these paragraphs are awkward and should be rewritten. However, the voice is not passive except "should be tested" in the second sentence of the first paragraph, in which the use of the passive voice is fully justified. The fact that something sounds bad does not let you conclude that it is in the passive voice. –  Peter Shor Apr 6 '13 at 15:28

There is nothing grammatically wrong with this. If the second paragraph focuses on a separate idea, or looks at the same idea in a different way, or that you want otherwise separated from the previous paragraph for any reason whatsoever, then it should be a separate paragraph.

Really, you can't go wrong with dividing paragraphs. If it feels too long, cut it in two. As long as you're not getting a sentence per paragraph, you should be fine.

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thanks for the answer :) –  ByteBlast Apr 6 '13 at 9:21

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