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Readability Statistics

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Readability Statistics

Postby Sir Zeppelin » Sat Jan 23, 2010 2:49 am

Everyone knows that Microsoft Word is a very popular program for writing. Most of us that have writtin stories have probably written them on Microsoft Word. Did you know that Word allows you to see the readability statistics of your story? It's easy to do; just follow these steps.

#1 Bring up your story on Microsoft Word.

#2 Go to the toolbar at the top; click "Tools".

#3 Click on "Options"

#4 Click on the "Spelling and Grammar" tab.

#5 In the bottom left corner, under "Grammar" you will see a box that says "Show readability statistics". Note: If you can't click on it (the sentence is in gray), hit the "Check Grammar as you type" button, and then "Show Readability Statistics".

#6 Hit OK.

#7 Go back to the "Tools" button. Hit "Spelling and Grammar" Note: If you have several grammar errors (the squiggly red and green lines), it will try to take you through those first. Keep clicking on "Next Sentence" until you reach the end. This can be a little time consuming...

#8 It should now show the readability statistics in a little pop-up box.


When it shows you the statistics, it will show the number of sentences, paragraphs, sharacters, etc. At the bottom of the box it will say "Readability". It shows you three statistics:

Passive Sentences

Flesch Reading Ease

Flesch- Kincaid Grade Level

If you don't know what passive sentences are, follow this link: http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts ... voice.html


As for the Flesch Reading Ease and the Flesch- Kincaid Grade Level, follow this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flesch%E2% ... ility_test

Example: The readability statistics of my story is:

Passive Sentences: 3% (About right where it should be).

Flesch Reading Ease: 79.6 (Pretty easy to read).

Flesch- Kincaid Grade Level: 4.5 (I'm writing 4th grade material! I think I might go back and throw in a few challenging words...)

That being said, what are the readability statistics of your story?
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Re: Readability Statistics

Postby JoshWedin » Sat Jan 23, 2010 3:05 am

This really belongs more in Publishing and, magically, that is where it is now.

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Re: Readability Statistics

Postby Shadowviking » Sat Jan 23, 2010 3:55 am

I don't trust MS Word's readability sensors any more than I trust it's grammar and spell check. Computers are fallible and can only calculate things based on formulas and programming; the best "readability statistic checkers" are people. That's my thoughts, at least. ;)
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Re: Readability Statistics

Postby Sir Zeppelin » Sat Jan 23, 2010 4:26 am

Shadowviking wrote:I don't trust MS Word's readability sensors any more than I trust it's grammar and spell check. Computers are fallible and can only calculate things based on formulas and programming; the best "readability statistic checkers" are people. That's my thoughts, at least. ;)


You are right. For instance, if you put the wrong word but spell it right, those situations can arise (for example: too when you should have used to). However, on these particular statistics Microsoft Word might be a little more accurate. The way you calculate the reading ease and the grade level involves adding up the number of words, syllables, etc. and dividing them (see the link I posted). Unless you want to do this by hand, Word is the only hope we have. Unless there is a website that does this, or a quick way to do it by hand. Does anyone have any of their story's statistics? (I am particularly curious about Ikros, even though it's long).
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Re: Readability Statistics

Postby Shadowviking » Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:03 am

Personally, I calculate the reading ease by having people read it and tell me how easy it was. Much easier than dividing cold statistics. ;)
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Re: Readability Statistics

Postby ottoatm » Sun Jan 24, 2010 12:34 pm

Every story should be written in some sort of word processor, no question about that. Of course, that is just the beginning.

Shadowviking is indeed right about one thing - you do need to get the opinion of others who you trust with a fair amount of writing skill as well~
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Re: Readability Statistics

Postby Sir Zeppelin » Wed Feb 03, 2010 3:45 pm

Having somebody read it is a great way too. However, the grade level can't be determined by that method. Maybe publishing houses have a way they do this by hand, but my guess is that they have software that was designed specificaly to do this. Alas, for us amueters, things like MW will have to do.
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