At this web site, The Readability Test Tool, paste in your essay. The test will give you values for the following scales and quantitative description of your original text:
- Flesch Kincaid Reading Ease
- Flesch Kincaid Grade Level
- Gunning Fog Score
- SMOG Index
- Coleman Liau Index
- Automated Readability Index
- No. of sentences
- No. of words
- No. of complex words
- Percent of complex words
- Average words per sentence
- Average syllables per word
At this web site, The WritersDiet Test, and copy the same original text into the box.
The WritersDiet Test is a diagnostic tool that assesses whether your sentences are flabby or fit.
The results will show on the page. There is also a button “See Full Diagnosis”. It will download a file named Diagnosis.pdf to your computer that has the same information as is on the results page.
What’s it all about? What is it looking for? What is it rewarding with better scores?
From The Writers Diet by Helen Sword
- Favor strong, specific, robust action verbs (scrutinize, dissect, recount, capture) over weak, vague, lazy ones (have, do, show).
- Limit your use of be-verbs (is, am, are, was, were, be, being,
- Anchor abstract ideas in concrete language and images.
- Illustrate abstract concepts using real-life examples. (‘Show, don’t tell’.)
- Limit your use of abstract nouns, especially nominalizations (nouns that have been formed from verbs or adjectives).
- Avoid using more than three prepositional phrases in a row (e.g. ‘in a letter to the author of a book about birds’) unless you do so to achieve a specific rhetorical effect.
- Vary your prepositions.
- As a general rule, do not allow a noun and its accompanying verb to become separated by more than about twelve words.
Adjectives & adverbs
- Let concrete nouns and active verbs do most of your descriptive work.
- Employ adjectives and adverbs only when they contribute new information to a sentence.
- Avoid overuse of ‘academic ad-words’, especially those with the following suffixes: able, ac, al, ant, ary, ent, ful, ible, ic, ive, less, ous
It, this, that, there
- Use ‘it’ and ‘this’ only when you can state exactly which noun each word refers to.
- As a general rule, avoid using ‘that’ more than once in a single sentence or three times in a paragraph, except to achieve a specific stylistic effect.
- Beware of sweeping generalisations that begin with ‘There’.