Readability Testing For Bloggers

Well yesterday i just updraded my wordress and was searching for some new plugins.. there are always som intersting plugins that come in now and then.. and this time i found this one called FD Word Statistics, well the name is not as fancy as what the plugin is meant to archieve. It Shows readability of the post currently being edited using three different readability measurements and also includes a word and sentence count. Before this i didnt not even know that such tests existed, and were u a majority of uses. Now the point of focus of this post is abt these three readability test.

1. Flesch Reading Ease.

2. Flesch-Kincaid Readability Test.

3. Gunning-Fog Readability Test.

The reason for analysing readability is to show how easy or hard is to read a certain, sentence, paragraph or essay. The above given test are three of the most popular methods used today, and they both are based off formulas based on counting average words, average syllable, and a percentage of hard words.. that is what contains 3 or more syllables. For those who dont know what Syllables are can visit Syllable on Wikipedia.. its a better explanation than what i can ever give :P

In the Flesch Reading Ease test, higher scores indicate material that is easier to read; lower numbers mark more-difficult-to-read passages. The formula for the Flesch Reading Ease Score (FRES) test is

 206.835 - 1.015 \left ( \frac{\mbox{total words}}{\mbox{total sentences}} \right ) - 84.6 \left ( \frac{\mbox{total syllables}}{\mbox{total words}} \right )

Where a score of 90-100 means its easily understandable by an average 11-year old student, or a score of 0-30 means its best understood by college graduates.

An obvious use for readability tests is in the field of education. The "Flesch–Kincaid Grade Level Formula" translates the 0–100 score to a U.S. grade level, making it easier for teachers, parents, librarians, and others to judge the readability level of various books and texts. It can also mean the number of years of education generally required to understand this text, relevant when the formula results in a number greater than 12. The grade level is calculated with the following formula:

 0.39 \left ( \frac{\mbox{total words}}{\mbox{total sentences}} \right ) + 11.8 \left ( \frac{\mbox{total syllables}}{\mbox{total words}} \right ) - 15.59 The result is a number that corresponds with a grade level. For example, a score of 8.2 would indicate that the text is expected to be understandable by an average student in 8th grade (usually aged 13-14 in the U.S.).

Calculating the Gunning fog index The Gunning fog index can be calculated with the following algorithm:

  1. Take a full passage that is around 100 words (do not omit any sentences).
  2. Find the average sentence length (divide the number of words by the number of sentences).
  3. Count words with three or more syllables (complex words), not including proper nouns (for example, Djibouti), compound words, or common suffixes such as -es, -ed, or -ing as a syllable, or familiar jargon.
  4. Add the average sentence length and the percentage of complex words (ex., +13.37%, not simply + 0.1337)
  5. Multiply the result by 0.4

The complete formula is as follows:

 0.4*\left( \left(\frac{\mbox{words}}{\mbox{sentence}}\right) + 100\left(\frac{\mbox{complex words}}{\mbox{words}}\right) \right )

While the index is a good indication of reading difficulty, it still has limitations. Not all multisyllabic words are difficult. For example, the word "asparagus" is generally not considered to be a difficult word, even though it has four syllables.

Current Statistics of this post

  • Words : 550
  • Sentences : 42
  • Fog Score : 11.4
  • Kincaid Score : 8.4
  • Flesch Score : 58

Wikipedia : Flesch-Kincaid Readability Test

Gunning fog index

Wikipedia :Syllable

Wikipedia :Readability test

FD Word Statistics Plugin for WordPress