Gunning Fog Index

Subject: Gunning Fog Index
From: "Documentation is part of the product." <angela -at- SATURN -dot- SMARTSTAR -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 13 Oct 1994 09:14:29 -0700

David Brown writes:

> The Gunning Fog Index, as I understand it, is a test where you would take a
> paragraph and remove words from the paragraph and replace them with blank
> lines, and then a reader would be asked to supply the missing words (fill in
> the blank lines). The goal would be to write clear paragraphs so that it
> would be obvious to the reader what the missing words are by reading the
> rest of the paragraph.

What David has described is not the way the Gunning Fog Index is calculated.
Richard Kallan, now the director of the Gunning Clear Writing Institute, spoke
at our STC chapter meeting in Santa Barbara a few months ago. The Gunning Fog
index is calculated by adding the average number of words per sentence to the
percentage of polysyllabic words in the text and then multiplying the result by
0.4. The result is the reading grade level required to read the text. This is
the way I learned it many years ago, and the way Richard described it to us in
the meeting.

Angela Howard
angela -at- venus -dot- smartstar -dot- com

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