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ERIC Number: ED120682
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1976
Pages: 105
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Best Sellers Evaluated for Readability and Portrayal of Female Characters.
Schulze, Lydia Domkiw
This paper contains a historical review of the literature pertaining to American popular literature and analysis of two different samples of adult fiction on best sellers, one an analysis of readability levels and one an analysis of the portrayal of female characters. In the first analysis the Fry Readability Formula was applied to each of 60 adult fiction best sellers, representing the top ten best sellers starting in the year 1923 and proceeding every ten years up to 1973. The mean readability score for 1923 was 7.3 with a range from grade 6 to 9; for 1933 the mean score was 7.1 with a range from grade 4 to 9; for 1943 the mean score was 7.5 with a range of grade 5 to 10; for 1953 the mean score was 8.3 with a range grade 7 to 11; for 1963 the mean readability score was 8 with a range from grade 6 to 11; and in 1973 the mean score was 7.4 with a range from grade 6 to 10. The second study concerned the kind of portrayal of women in 1924, 1964, and 1974 bestsellers. Some of the conclusions reached were that while all of the 1924 best sellers contained female characters important to the plot, over half of the 1974 novels contained no principal or major supporting females; most of the total female characters were portrayed as young women, and no major difference existed in sexual behavior over the years. (MKM)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A