I'm in a situation where the argument for "On the one hand" is long. The argument for "on the other hand" is about the same length. If I put them in the same paragraph, the paragraph becomes much longer than the other paragraphs.

My two questions are:

  1. Can I start (and should I) start a new paragraph with "On the other hand"?
  2. Is it OK if one paragraph (which is also the core of the essay) is more than double the length of the other paragraphs?

closed as primarily opinion-based by tchrist, Kristina Lopez, andy256, anongoodnurse, Robusto Dec 17 '14 at 2:19

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  • 1
    I don't see any problem with either. On the other hand will be understood in any context where it prefaces an alternative to something just explained. And paragraphs should be as long as necessary, there's no requirement that the two alternatives have similar complexity. – Barmar Dec 16 '14 at 20:20
  • This might be more appropriately asked in the [writing] SE. The question isn't unique to English. – SrJoven Dec 16 '14 at 21:44

In fact, most college instructors (such as myself) look for transitions such as "on the other hand." Too many essays are lists of facts without proper transitions.

While there was a time when paragraph length was considered an issue (with some professors actually counting the number of sentences in each paragraph), modern English usage is much more flexible.


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