Readability

Readability Evaluation

Readability is very important in writing stories that readers will want to read. Many readers are not comfortable with higher reading levels. Most writers should target their fictional writings to 7th or 8th grade reading levels. Fictional stories for young readers who don’t like to read or have reading impediments, e.g., English language learners (ELLs) need lower reading levels. Non-fiction and many Industry directed articles might need to be written at a higher level, using jargon known by their audience

There are many tools available for writers to evaluate the readability of their work. The various tools  use varying metrics to determine readability scores. One of the most commonly used word processing programs, MS Word, offers authors the Flesch-Kincaid tool in its grammar/spell checker functionality. This functionality will show reading level, readability percentage, word count, and an Active vs. Passive voice score.

Young readers who can only read below their actual grade level should look to books (normally called Hi/Lo or High Interest/Low Reading Level). Hi/Lo books offer stories written at levels that allow the reader to understand what they are reading and thereby giving them more confidence in their reading. This increased confidence often brings about a a desire to read additional stories. In doing so, this new desire to read improves the reader’s ability to read.

Readability Tools

Readability evaluation tools can be found in several places on the internet. Some sites will evaluate entire books, while others will only evaluate shorter passages. Mostly, these sites will only use one evaluation tool. One source I’ve recently come across uses several tools to evaluate a single writing sample. That source is https://www.readabilityformulas.com/. ReadsbilityFormulas.com uses: 1.) The Flesch Reading Ease formula, 2.) The Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level, 3.) The Fog Scale (Gunning FOG Formula), 4.) The SMOG Index, 5.) The Coleman-Liau Index, 6.) Automated Readability Index, and 7.) Linsear Write Formula.

My books

Limo for Two?, Stink Bombs, The Tattoo, and Faces in the Flames: A Ghost Story are all written at Middle School interest level, but at lower reading levels with the intent to give reluctant and/or new readers stories they can read at comfortable reading levels.

Limo for Two?*
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Grade Level: 2
Reading Level: very easy to read.
Reader’s Age: 6-8 yrs. old (First and Second graders)

Stink Bombs*
———————————————-
Grade Level: 2
Reading Level: very easy to read.
Reader’s Age: 6-8 yrs. old (First and Second graders)

The Tattoo*
———————————————-
Grade Level: 2
Reading Level: very easy to read.
Reader’s Age: 6-8 yrs. old (First and Second graders)

Faces in the Flames: A Ghost Story*
———————————————-
Grade Level: 4
Reading Level: easy to read.
Age of Reader: 8-9 yrs. old (Fourth and Fifth graders)

*(Per ReadabilityFormulas.com’s READABILITY CONSENSUS)

 

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