More on Writing to Be Understood (via Learning Leader: Notes of the CLO)

Wanted to share a couple of links and more on the Flesch Scale for fellow educators:

  • Readability: A simple tool that makes reading websites easier.
  • Flesh 2.0: tells you how difficult documents will be to comprehend by calculating a document’s Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level and Flesch Reading Ease Score
  • Bullfighter: software that works with Microsoft Word and PowerPoint to help you find and eliminate jargon in your documents
  • The Readability Test Tool: provides a quick and easy way to test the readability of your work
  • SMOG Calculator: uses a version of the SMOG formula, which gives a score as a “readability level” rather than the American school grade level
  • WordCounts Analytics: to help users communicate better in all forms including writing, speaking, researching, educating.

About Flesch — What Does Flesh Tell Me?

In brief, it tells you how difficult documents will be to comprehend by calculating a document’s Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level and Flesch Reading Ease Score. Like all readability indices, the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level and the Flesch Reading Ease score only provide estimations and are only meant to be used as such.

The Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level is an index that gives the years of education required to comprehend a document. For example, a document with a Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level score of 10 would require that a reader have about 10 years (or a 10th grade level) of education to comprehend the document. It can be calculated using the following equation:

(0.39 × Average Sentence Length) + (11.8 × Average Syllables per Word) - 15.59

The Flesch Reading Ease Score indicates on a scale of 0 to 100 the difficulty of comprehending a document. A score of 100 indicates an extremely simple document, while a score of 0 would describe a very complex document. A Flesch Reading Ease Score in the range of 40–50 would correspond to a relatively complex document that might score a 12 as its Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level. The Flesch Reading Ease Score can be calculated by using the following equation:

206.835 - (1.015 × Average Sentence Length) - 84.6 × Average Syllables per Word

Thought I would share this resource with others writing learning materials for the masses: Well-designed materials provide information that is easy for audience members to understand and to relate to their own interests and needs. Research tells us that to communicate effectively with a general audience in the U.S., we need to write at a 6th-8th grade reading level. Writing to increase comprehension doesn’t mean, “dumbing down” the information, i … Read More

via Learning Leader: Notes of the CLO


About KappaDiva
Learning Leader Tech Ed Advocate Empassioned Educator Perpetual Student Professional Learner Chief Learning Officer Tonya is a learning leader, instructional design, performance support and multimedia communications professional, with nearly 20 years of experience in healthcare, information systems, instructional design and training, web and creative design, internal and external marketing, PR and communications, social media, service excellence, leadership development and non-profit operations management. She is currently Director, Staff Learning & Development, Teach For America; President, A2ATD; principal and Chief Learning Officer of Kappa Beta Technology & Instruction; grad student at The University of Michigan; and author of the Learning Leader Blog (,) an emerging technologies resource for 21st century educators. She current is living in Macomb County, MI, with her cat and several Mac and iOS devices.

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