Defining Readability Levels

Subject: Defining Readability Levels
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- AXIONET -dot- COM>
Date: Sun, 5 Apr 1998 19:51:36 -0400

Barb Ostapina <Barb -dot- Ostapina -at- METROMAIL -dot- COM> wrote:

>For example, I can read "These schematic spatial divisions >also form the framework for additional visual information >signals, whether typographic, color, pictorial, or other" >(from a Technical Communication article called Typography, >Color, and Structure by Elizabeth Keyes). But I sure don't >want to do it everyday.

This is an important distinction. Many people assume that, if an
audience is capable of reading at a certain level, it is willing to do
so all the time.

However, instead of redefining the reading level, what's needed is
another statistic: call it the Scanning Reading Level, maybe - the speed
at which people can easily search and read material.

If you expressed the reading level of an audience as (for example) 12th
grade/7th grade (Maximum Reading Level / Scanning Reading Level), you'd
know both the highest and the average level of diction you should use.

Bruce Byfield, Outlaw Communications
(604) 421-7189 or 687-2133
bbyfield -at- axionet or bruce -at- dataphile-ca -dot- com

It taks a stranger to understand
What the wind says in a strange land.
And the wind says, "This year, next year..."
- Oystter Band

Ask me about the Vanocuver Technical Communicator's Co-Op

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