Readability formulas determine how easily a specific audience can understand a text. There are more than a dozen readability formulas, such as Flesch Reading Ease, the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level, the Simple Measure of Gobbledygook (SMOG), the Gunning-FOG Index, and the Coleman-Liau Index. Many Google, Microsoft, and Adobe products have a built-in readability formula. Editing tools such as Grammarly do, too. The one big thing to remember is that too much attention to readability scores does not mean your writing is easier to comprehend or understand.
How it Works
Most readability formulas use some combination of sentence length, the average number of words per sentence, the average number of characters per word, or the number of words with three or more syllables. You can use the formulas to score text by hand. The results from these formulas are often given as a grade level, such as “4th grade” or “12th grade.”[Read more…]