Analyze Your Writing

readabilityAbout ten years ago, I wanted to compare my writing to some others. Microsoft Word allows you to do this easily and I assume other writing programs do as well. I typed out sections of Macleans and of a Woman’s Day short story.  I selected sections of my writing, an article and a short story. Then I clicked on TOOLS and then on GRAMMAR AND SPELLING. The program checked the document or the section I’d selected. I clicked IGNORE all the things the program pointed out until I got to the end. What I received is below:

You will get this information for your writing plus more rating systems and their meanings.

Readability Statistics

Ed Article Ed Short Story Macleans Woman’s Day Short Story
Words 807 1307 1317 2579
Characters 3515 5653 7177 11328
Paragraphs 15 50 11 92
Sentences 71 144 52 198
       
Averages        
    Sentences per paragraph 4.7 2.9 4.7 2.2
    Words per sentence 11.4 9.1 25.3 13.0
    Characters per word. 4.2 4.1 5.3 4.2
       
Readability        
Passive Sentences 2% 1% 13% 1%
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level 4.6 2.9 14.2 4.8

Words per sentence are important. The average English sentence today is 13 words.

Passive sentences are also important. We want our writing to be active.

And then what grade of student can read our work? You have to have two years of college to read Macleans, while anyone with a third grade education can read my story.

Grammar checkers rate the readability of your writing in terms of grade level.

Aim down.  Take the trouble to write simply.

Images courtesy of:

  • mcgill.ca
  • teleread.com
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3 responses to “Analyze Your Writing

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