In this article:

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

In this article, we cover and explain the key difference between a short answer and a paragraph in Google Forms. Read on to learn more.


What Does a Short Answer in Google Forms Mean?

The "Short answer" question type in Google Forms is designed for responses that are brief, such as a single word or a short phrase. It provides a small text field that limits the amount of text a respondent can enter.

A good example of this question type would be, “What is your first name?” This should prompt respondents to provide a succinct reply.

What Does a Paragraph in Google Forms Mean? 

The “Paragraph” question type in Google Forms allows respondents to enter longer text, typically several sentences or more. It offers a larger text box to support extended written responses, which accommodates detailed feedback or explanations.

An example of using the “Paragraph” question type in Google Forms could be: “Please provide a detailed account of the issue you encountered with our service.” This will allow respondents to elaborate extensively on their experience.

Short Answer vs. Paragraph in Google Forms: How Do They Differ? 

Let's compare the “Short answer” and “Paragraph” question types in Google Forms together to highlight their differences:

Response Length

Short answer: Intended for concise responses, such as a name, date, or a single piece of information.

Paragraph: Designed for longer responses where a user can input several sentences, a full paragraph, or even a few paragraphs.

Input Field Size

Short answer: The text box displayed is smaller, signaling to the respondent that only a brief reply is needed.

Paragraph: The text box is larger, indicating that a more detailed response is expected.

Data Validation

Short answer: You can set data validation rules for the expected format, such as number, text, length, or regular expression.

Paragraph: Data validation is also available, but given the expected longer text, some options like “length” might be less commonly used.

Both types allow you to set a maximum character count, but the expected length of the answer is the key difference. These characteristics guide respondents in providing the type of answer you're looking for, whether it's just a quick detail or an in-depth explanation.

We hope that this article has helped you and given you a better understanding of the difference between a short answer vs. paragraph in Google Forms. If you enjoyed this article, you might also like our article on how to set up multiple choice with comments in Google Forms or our article on how to lock a Google Form. If you want to set up an approval workflow in Google Forms, we also suggest checking out our detailed guide.