There are two parts to readability. The first is physical: can the words on the page be read? Is your handwriting neat? Is the font clear? Does the color of the font contrast sufficiently with the color of the paper?
The more difficult aspect of readability involves assessing the words to see who will understand your writing. This is particularly crucial in areas where several languages are spoken, where people are learning English as another language, where there are many different levels and varieties of education, where readers are of different ages or backgrounds. Who will be able to understand what you’ve written?
You can assess your own writing to make sure it is clear, straight-forward, and simple. Is your writing organized? Do the sentences follow appropriate patterns? Have you used appropriate vocabulary?
You can also use some assessment tools that use mathematical formulae to assess the writing. There are two which are common in North America: Flesch-Kincaid and Gunning Fog. An internet search will bring up several sites where you can paste in a paragraph of your work and have it assessed.
A Flesch-Kincaid assessment will give you a grade level or age level which would understand your writing.
A Gunning Fog assessment gives you a number which is particular to Gunning Fog (it’s called a Fog Index); the higher it is, the more difficult your text is.
If you wish to have the readability of your text formally analyzed using any given readability tool, you’ll need to pay to have a professionally trained individual assess your work.
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