The average reading level of adults in the US is 8th grade. So, if you are writing to the “average” American, you need to keep your texts at an 8th grade reading level. This means:

  • Go for short and simples sentences
  • Use shorter words
  • Avoid jargon
  • Use language your audience will understand
  • Write in active voice, not passive
  • Avoid unnecessary and excessive modifiers (and this bullet  is an example of what not to do)
  • Choose positive rather than negative statements
  • Use first and second person and try to avoid third

I touch on this, in regards to audience, in the forthcoming Screen Space 21: The Rhetorical Situation Part 1—Audience.


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