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  1. #1
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    If You're Curious to Know How Readable Your Writing Is, Then Check This Out!

    http://www.standards-schmandards.com/exhibits/rix/

    This site determines the the reading level of a passage of writing. The higher the score, the easier it is to read; the lower the score, the more difficult.

    Simply copy/paste a piece of text into the box and hit the button!

    It's good if you strive for a simple writing style like I do.

  2. #2
    e-author MrBF1V3's Avatar
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    After testing several samples of 5-6 paragraphs, my latest wip is at about an 8th grade level, with an average score of 65. I really thought it would be worse. I focus on communicating, but I don't really want to be seen as too simple. Do you know what I mean?

    B5
    Last edited by MrBF1V3; August 18th, 2013 at 08:37 PM.

  3. #3
    known as Noumenon no more Andrew Leon Hudson's Avatar
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    Pasting in drafts of old short stories (the only things on this computer) I find most of them pretty accessible, and (after reading up on the testing criteria) the ones that come out less so may be for logical reasons. In one I tried for a slightly archaic narrative voice and vocabulary; in the other it was more a modern teen's stream of consciousness, resulting in huge run-on sentences and the like. I'd be interested to see how my WIP fares.

  4. #4
    it could be worse Moderator N. E. White's Avatar
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    I love tests like these! I blogged about this one a few years ago and then completely forgot all about it.

    Okay, so I just pasted/tested about 5000 words of a new short story I'm working on and here are the results:

    Flesch-Kincaid Grade level: 7.
    Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease score: 65.

    I think the last time I tried it (way back when), I scored a grade level of 5. So...I'm getting worse?

  5. #5
    Registered User StephenPorter's Avatar
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    I threw a few segments into it. The first from my current WIP, the second from a really old WIP, and the third from a short story I did earlier this year. The results:

    7/68
    6/70
    6/69

    I expected a bit worse, but it seems I'm pretty readable.

  6. #6
    e-author MrBF1V3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmso View Post
    ... So...I'm getting worse?
    Maybe. At least you're out of the primary grades. I suspect you're in the zone and shouldn't worry about it, just write.

    B5

  7. #7
    Registered User JimF's Avatar
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    I scored a 7/66 for some of my recent work. Out of curiosity I posted a few pages of The Old Man and the Sea and Papa scored a 6/75.

    I wonder it genre, particularly SciFi may effect the score if it uses a lot of technical sounding jargon.

  8. #8
    I tried the prologue of my second book:

    Flesch-Kincaid Grade level: 7.
    Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease score: 66.


    Cheers,
    Igor

  9. #9
    Master Obfuscator Dawnstorm's Avatar
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    People probably know this anyway, but I'd advise against taking this too seriously. The Flsch-Kincaid test looks at two aspects only:

    1. Word length (in syllables)
    2. Sentence length (in words)

    A couple of illustrations of what this means:

    - A text about cows, sheep and goats is slightly easier to read than a text about horses, because the plural of "horse" is two syllables.

    - If your novel has lots of cute nicknames, such as "Billy" instead of the mature nicknames such as "Bill", it's harder to read.

    - "The cat ate a rat and shat," is harder to read than "That cat ate a rat. She shat." Both have the same amount of syllables, but the latter has shorter sentences. (There are only one syllable words in both sentences, so on the word-level it doesn't get any easier.) [Here, I'd say the first version is easier to read, because it asks less re-orientation from the reader, but the tool can't take that in account.]

    Another problem is the question how the tools you use count words. What do they look for? Spaces? How do they treat dashes? There can be some variation only on account of the theories and/or tables the counting programs use. (If they don't have tables, there are problems with acronyms and abbreviations, for example: BASIC, CIA, UNESCO, BBC... There's no easy rule to tell whether one letter is one syllable, or if the abbreviation is pronounced as a word.) I think newer versions of word have a Flesch-Kincaid test included. Try the same section in both to see if you get different scores (and if so, how different).

    As alwas, you can take something out of the tool if you understand it and don't overrate it. You simply can't automatise this stuff enough to make the numbers reliable, and even if you could you'd need something more sophisticated.

  10. #10
    Registered User SteveW's Avatar
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    I'm not sure what to make of this:

    A bunch of my stuff scored 5/80 to 7/70 range.

    One story passage was 10/60

    Edit:

    3 full short stories and 2 chapters all came up as 6/70-75. At the very least I'm consistent.
    Last edited by SteveW; August 20th, 2013 at 08:44 AM.

  11. #11
    it could be worse Moderator N. E. White's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dawnstorm View Post
    As alwas, you can take something out of the tool if you understand it and don't overrate it. You simply can't automatise this stuff enough to make the numbers reliable, and even if you could you'd need something more sophisticated.
    Ah, Dawnstorm! (kicks up dust) You take the fun out of everything.

    Joking, of course.

    Someone else explained it to me the last time I looked at, so I know it can be meaningless, but we all strive for some assessment of our writing that seems objective, you know? It is too bad that writing (as any art) is all so subjective.

    Consistency is good, SteveW. Better than getting worse!

  12. #12
    Master Obfuscator Dawnstorm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmso View Post
    Ah, Dawnstorm! (kicks up dust) You take the fun out of everything.

    Joking, of course.

    Someone else explained it to me the last time I looked at, so I know it can be meaningless, but we all strive for some assessment of our writing that seems objective, you know? It is too bad that writing (as any art) is all so subjective.
    I don't post much these days, and when I do it's something like... this. I promise I'll stay out of the thread about style and famous authors.

  13. #13
    it could be worse Moderator N. E. White's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dawnstorm View Post
    I don't post much these days, and when I do it's something like... this. I promise I'll stay out of the thread about style and famous authors.
    That wasn't meant to dissuade you! Please, post away. And you should definitely go pester the folks in that other thread.

    (Come to think of it...it would be awesome (in a sick way), if my writing was similar to Ann Rand's. )

  14. #14
    12/53
    12/54
    16/54
    22/16
    24/20

    Is it weird that I am rather proud of these scores? I am pleased to know that the bulk of that which I tested would require a college graduate level education to comprehend.

  15. #15
    I want an example ...
    Igor

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