One easy way to keep your writing in check is by reviewing its readability statistics before you click Send. That can alert you to significant issues with the comprehension level required to easily parse your writing.
Thankfully, there's a readability statistics feature built right into Microsoft Word, so you don't need to make any significant detours to get a gut check. To turn it on, go to Word Options (in Word 2010, click File and then click Options), select the Proofing section, and then check Show readability statistics. Click OK.
Now, whenever you open Spelling and Grammar (press F7) and resolve all of your various issues, Word will reward you with a summary of your stats, like this:
Most of the information presented here is pretty self-explanatory, except for the most important bit: the Flesch Reading Ease score. Here's what it means:
- 90.0-100.0: Easily understandable by an average 11-year-old student
- 60.0-70.0: Easily understandable by 13- to 15-year-old students
- 0.0-30.0: Best understood by university graduates
Photo courtesy Flickr user surlygirl
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