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ERIC Number: ED220799
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1982-Apr
Pages: 20
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Fry, Edward
"Writeability" is concerned with helping writers and editors produce materials on easier readability levels. A major input of most readability formulas is vocabulary difficulty. One way to increase readability is to use simple vocabulary or shorter words since word frequency studies show that more common words are shorter. The other major input is syntactic complexity or average sentence length. Historically, sentences are getting shorter, although just shortening sentences is not the whole answer. Punctuation is helpful to the reader most of the time, but commas, colons, and semicolons are frequently overused. Personal pronouns communicate more effectively than does the passive sentence form, but misuse of pronoun referents can cause problems. Paragraphs should also be reasonably short, and one effective type of organization is the statement-example-restatement form. Subheads, and signal words that indicate sequence, examples, or opposing ideas can contribute to understanding. Writing can also be improved by cutting out words with low imageability. Readability formulas will never be able to judge the individual reader's motivation to read a particular bit of writing, but there is ample evidence that proper writing or rewriting can keep the readability scores of most materials lower than is commonly supposed. (A writeability checklist is included.) (HTH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A