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Short Answer vs. Paragraph in Google Forms: Difference in 2024

Last Updated: Wed May 22 2024

In Google Forms, two key question types are short Answers and paragraphs. Knowing their differences is important for selecting the right type for your question. This article provides a detailed comparison to help you make a better choice.

The Purpose of Short Answers in Google Forms?

Short answer questions are for brief responses. If your question requires a close-ended question like, ‘What is your age?’ or ‘What is your name?’, select a short answer as the question type to get the exact answer to the question without any details.

The answer might be a single word or a short phrase. The input field for this question type limits the amount of text to ensure a brief response.

An image showing the short answer text

Step 1 - The Purpose of The Paragraph Question Type In Google Forms?

A paragraph allows the respondents to provide detailed answers. There is no restriction on the number of words as long as they are within the 10,000-word limit. You can have multiple paragraphs so respondents can write as much as they want.

Typically, paragraphs are for open-ended questions like, ‘Provide a detailed account of your interaction with our support staff’ or ‘What do you think about the time spent as a guest in our hotel?’ The answers to these questions warrant a large answer box that supports at least two to three paragraphs.

An image showing the long answer text

What Is The Difference Between Short Answers And Paragraphs In Google Forms?

To understand the difference, let’s compare the short answer and the paragraph in Google Forms:

Short Answer:

  • It’s like a quick text message. You’re expected to keep it short and sweet. Ideal for things like names or yes/no questions.
  • The small box where you type your answer hints that you shouldn’t write a lot.
  • You can set rules to check if the answer is in the correct format (like a date or email address).


  • This is more like an email. You have space to write more, explain your thoughts, or tell a story.
  • The box is bigger to help you write more.
  • While you can still set rules for the answer, they’re not used as often because the answers are usually longer and more varied.

The main difference is how much you’re expected to write. Short Answers are for brief responses, while a paragraph is for a more detailed response.