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Posts Tagged ‘Flesch Reading Ease’

Myth Busted: Passive Voice Is Not Significantly Harder To Read/Comprehend

August 29, 2012 Leave a comment

Are passive voice sentences really harder to read?  I hear this a lot as a reason to not use, or to at least use sparingly, the passive voice in writing.  So I decided to do a little test.  I took a series of sentences and wrote them in both the passive and active voice.  I then checked their readability statistics using Microsoft Word’s native tool for this.

Example 1: 

Active: “I mailed the letter.”

Flesch Reading Ease: 97

Flesch-Kincade Grade Level: 0.7 Read more…

Reading Level For A Good Story

February 9, 2012 Leave a comment

A friend of mine, a published author, suggested that any story I write should have a Flesch-Kincaid Reading Level of between 3.5 and 5.5 or 6.0 at most. I thought that seemed low so I cut and pasted some segments of published novels I have around in digital format into Word and checked. All of those tests actually fell into that range.

So I took the new Chapter 1 I have just written for Under the Darkened Moon and ran it though the readability statistics analyzer in MSWord.

The results were:
Passive Sentences – 2%
Flesch Reading Ease – 86.9
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level – 3.8

So looks like I am in that range and if there is anything to this I have that, probably minor, hurdle hurdled.

Just to make sure though I ran my free writing exercise which I recently completed though the tool as well.

Passive Sentences – 5%
Flesch Reading Ease – 83.4
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level – 4.4

I also ran my short story Second Chances:

Passive Sentences – 5%
Flesch Reading Ease – 85.8
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level – 3.8

Yep. Looks like I am solidly in that range.