Remember that show? Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?
I never saw it. Or, maybe I did, once or twice. By accident. I swear.
I figured, I am smarter than a 5th grader, of course, so why would I even ask myself that question? Why would I even watch that program? Obviously, I am not that show’s target audience.
Woe to me when I did catch the show and realized I’m not as up on geography, chemistry, and literature as I thought I was…
Anyway, it seems that I don’t write better than a 5th grader either.
Last week over on Daily Writing Tips, Mr. Mark Nichol wrote about the reading level of our writing. He stressed that the key is to write at the level your target audience is comfortable with. I assumed that my target audience consists of folks like me: graduates to post-graduates with a taste for adventure in their literature. Consequently, I guessed that my writing level was somewhere on the collegiate level.
I wanted to confirm my lofty assumptions so I went to the Readability Index Calculator that Mr. Nichol’s provided.
My last few posts consistently scored between the 6th and 9th grade levels! Are my blog posts attracting a younger audience than I had intended? Here’s a sample of my score and what it means:
Method used: Flesch-Kincaid (English).
Flesch-Kincaid Grade level: 9.
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease score: 49.
The Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease score indicates how easy a text is to read. A high score implies an easy text. In comparison comics typically score around 90 while legalese can get a score below 10.
The Flesch-Kincaid Grade level indicates the grade a person will have to have reached to be able to understand the text. E.g. a grade level of 7 means that a seventh grader will be able to understand the text.
Well, I guess the best I could say about my readability scores is that I’m not excluding anyone! But it does make me wonder whether writing in a more conversation, laid back style (in a desperate attempt to make you like me) may dissuade folks looking for a more challenging read to stick around?
Do you worry about your blog’s readability? Should I?
At the moment, I have far more on my plate to add worrying about whether I am erudite enough on this blog or not. For better or worse, I am (barely) smarter than a 5th grader.
This is a Monday Minutes post so I can’t leave you with just one topic to ponder, but at least two.
Fantasy Faction recently announced a new experiment they are conducting: a collaborative story. Actually, collaborate stories written in forum threads is not that new. Many have been done in the past on lots of writing forums (including SFFWorld.com). The difference with Fantasy Faction’s effort is that they hope to publish the result. Okay. that’s been done before, too. I suppose what makes this exciting is that if you failed to make the cut into their upcoming anthology (still accepting submissions, by the way), you have another chance through this collaborative story effort.
Until next time, write better than a 5th grader.
- How Readable Is Your Prose? (lewrockwell.com)
- The Flesch-Kinkaid Readability Index Calculator (pochp09.wordpress.com)