ERIC Number: ED220817
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Subjective Readability Experiments on Topically Linked Expository Paragraphs and Their Variants.
Vande Kopple, William J.
Three experiments were conducted to test the hypothesis that a paragraph composed of sentences with identical or closely related topics would be easier to read than one whose sentence topics were only remotely related. The first experiment involved subjective judgments by 131 high school students on the readability of two paragraphs identical in subject matter but different in form. The students were alerted before reading that they were going to be judging readability. The second experiment involved 140 high school students and was identical to the first with the exception that the students were not told until after they had read the paragraphs that they were to judge readability. The third experiment was designed to compensate for the possibility that one reading of paired paragraphs might not have allowed the subjects to make a careful judgment of readability. It involved 184 high school students who were allowed to read the paragraphs as many times as they desired within 8 minutes. After 8 minutes, they recorded their opinions concerning the readability of the two paragraphs and commented on the reasons for their decisions. The results of all three experiments supported the hypothesis that a topically linked expository paragraph is more readable than a paragraph in which topics are only remotely related. (FL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A