ERIC Number: ED200924
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr
A Comparative Readability Study of Certain College Textbooks.
Jones, Ella D.
Although the popular press has reported that college textbooks are becoming easier to read in response to the lowered reading skill level of entering freshmen, a recent study found that newer editions of college texts were more difficult to read than earlier editions of the same texts. A study was undertaken to determine which of the two views was correct. The Fry Readability Formula was applied to early and recent editions of three college textbooks. Three 100 word passages were randomly selected from each book, and the average number of syllables and the average number of sentences were counted. The results indicated that there was a difference in the readability of textbooks involving economics, sociology, and psychology over two editions of the same text--the later edition being the more difficult. Specifically, the later editions showed an increase in technical vocabulary and a decrease in space to develop concepts. (HOD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Dissertations/Theses - Masters Theses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: M. A. Thesis, Kean College of New Jersey.