Writing to the reading level of your audience is important. Robert Gunning’s FOG INDEX is a simple way to determine the reading grade level at which YOU are writing. Today’s computer software, such as Microsoft® Word 2007, makes finding your readability score easy.
The grammar checker on your word processing program will let you test any length document. Hopefully, you check the grammar and spelling of your documents. To do so either:
On the toolbar, OR Customize your click ABC. Quick Access Toolbar.
After checking the document, a gray page will display various statistics about your writing. This will occur before you “click” OK to finish up. These figures include reading level! (If you don't see any statistics, including those for readability, see the note below.)
Importantly, the calculated readability is based on reading grade level from around 1950. However, reading levels have dropped over the decades. Many experts today agree that a readability score between 6 to 8 makes for a document that can be comprehended and understood.
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NOTE: To display readability statistics on Word 2007 documents:
1. In a document, click the Microsoft Office Button, then click Word Options.
2. Click Proofing.
3. Under When correcting spelling and grammar in Word, select the Check grammar with spelling check box and select the Show readability statistics check box.
4. Click OK.
If this doesn’t work, you may have to use your word processing software to load the program on your computer.