Friday, April 1, 2011

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Writing: Microsoft Word Analysis Tools

For my advanced writing class, I showed my students how to use Microsoft Word's readability statistics. Of course, this is mostly helpful to determine the difficulty of texts for reading, but I thought my students might be interested to know what grade level their own writing is.

I demonstrated these tools, then, gave them a worksheet where they had to run the statistics on some native-speaker writing, such as online articles. Then, they ran the statistics on their essay. It was interesting to see what grade level they were writing at.

I told my students that the reading level for general audiences is a 9. Some useful stats are the average sentence/paragraph. For students who struggled with a lot of choppy sentences, and students who struggled with stringy run-ons, this was helpful to see.