In yesterday’s Tip of the Day, I discussed how the average US adult reads at an 8th grade reading level. So, if you are writing something to be read by the average American, you need to write at an 8th grade reading level. Today’s tip shows you how to figure that out. In Word 2010:
- go to the File tab
- select Options
- click on Proofing
- In the Proofing menu go to the section labeled “When checking spelling and grammar in Word” and select the “Show Readability Statistics”
- Click okay
- Then go to the review tab, and check your spelling and grammar
- Once done a “Readability Statistics” window will pop up. At the bottom it tells you the grade level.
- http://www.online-utility.org/english/readability_test_and_improve.jsp: this Readability Test is giving me different, and higher, reading levels than MS Word.
- http://www.addedbytes.com/lab/readability-score/ : this Readability Test is giving me different, and lower, reading levels than MS Word.
- http://talibiddeenjr.wordpress.com/2008/02/26/checking-the-reading-level-of-a-text-in-microsoft-word/ Provides instructions on how to check the readability levels in earlier version of Word.
I touch on this, in regards to audience (and promised to do this) in Screen Space 21: The Rhetorical Situation Part 1—Audience.