ERIC Number: ED312625
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1986-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Difficulty of Text as a Factor in the History of Reading. Program Report 86-13.
Trollinger, William V.; Kaestle, Carl F.
This study assessed the readability of popular print material (newspapers, magazines, and books) published in 1920. Selected passages from these books and articles were analyzed using the Flesch Reading Ease test and other, more theoretically interesting and relevant, readability formulas. Results indicated that "highbrow" publications such as the "New York Times" and the "Atlantic Monthly" contained more difficult prose than "middlebrow" publications such as the "Milwaukee Journal" and the "Saturday Evening Post." Results also indicated that detailed readability evaluation reversed anomalous ratings on the Flesch scale. Findings suggest that "high literacy" has demonstrated continued complexity, influence, and apparent inaccessibility to the average reader. (Four figures of data are included; 51 references and four appendixes of data are attached.) (RS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.; National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin Center for Education Research, Madison.
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Flesch Reading Ease Formula