Monday, April 23, 2012

An online readability calculator

In many posts, I have advised writers to test the readability of their drafts. Readability testing is a fast, free and reliable way to learn how to increase readability, which in turn increases clarity.

The world’s favorite readability test, Flesch Reading Ease (FRE), is included in Microsoft Word. You can run FRE as part of a spell-check. For details on how to interpret FRE scores, read this.

And there’s an online readability calculator that does even more. After it calculates the readability of your draft, it identifies the least-readable sentences in the draft. That’s a tremendous help, especially if you are a beginning writer. 

The Takeaway: The fastest way to improve the clarity of your writing is to improve the readability of your writing. Get in the habit of checking the readability of every draft. You’ll be surprised and delighted to see how quickly your writing improves. I wish you the best of success.

Thanks to Daphne Gray-Grant, a great writing coach, for pointing out the online calculator.

See disclaimer.

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