The Principles of Readability - Eric

Aug 25, 2004 - In 1998, traffic accidents caused 46 percent of all accidental deaths of infants and children aged 1 to ..... literacy skills averaged 6 percent more hospital visits, and stayed in the hospital nearly 2 days longer ...... Bernard Feld (1948) grouped 101 stories from the Birmingham News into those with high Flesch ...
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The Principles of Readability

By William H. DuBay

Impact Information, 126 E. 18th Street, #C204, Costa Mesa, CA 92627, (949) 631-3309

Copyright The Principles of Readability 25 August 2004  2004 William H. DuBay. All Rights Reserved.

Abstract The Principles of Readability gives a short history of literacy studies in the U.S. and a short history of research in readability and the readability formulas.

Readers' Comments Please send all comments and suggestions regarding this document to: William DuBay Impact Information 126 E. 18th Street, #C204 Costa Mesa, CA 92627 Phone: (949) 631-3309 Email: [email protected] Website: http://www.impact-information.com

Copyright © 2004 William H. DuBay

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Contents Introduction .......................................................................................................... 1 Guidelines For Readability.......................................................................... 2 The readability formulas.............................................................................. 2 Are the readability formulas a problem? ..................................................... 2 What is readability?..................................................................................... 3 Content ........................................................................................................ 3 The Adult Literacy Studies................................................................................... 4 Grading the reading skills of students.......................................................... 4 Grading adult readers .................................................................................. 4 U.S. military literacy surveys—reading on the job...................................... 4 U.S. civilian literacy surveys ....................................................................... 6 Challenges for technical communicators ..................................................... 9 The Classic Readability Studies ......................................................................... 10 L. A. Sherman and the statistical analysis of literature .............................. 10 Vocabulary-Frequency Lists...................................................................... 11 The Classic Readability Formulas ............................................................. 13 The New Readability Studies ............................................................................. 25 A Community of Scholars ......................................................................... 26 The Cloze Test .......................................................................................... 27 Reading Ability, Prior Knowledge, Interest, and Motivation .................... 28 Reading Performance ................................................................................ 30 The Measurement of Content .................................................................... 31 Text Leveling ............................................................................................ 35 Producing and Transforming Text............................................................. 37 The New Readability Formulas ................................................................. 43 Formula Applications ................................................................................ 55 Using the Formulas.................................................................................... 56 Conclusion.......................................................................................................... 57 References .......................................................................................................... 59 Biosketch............................................................................................................ 72

Copyright © 2004 William H. DuBay

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The Principles of Readability

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