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Pros and cons of readability formulas


Readability formulas:

  • measure what grade level a person must have in order to read a text.
  • are text-based.
  • are easy to use.
  • do not need real readers to measure.
  • can first identify if a text will be too complex for your reader.

In summary, readability formulas provide a yes or no answer to, "Will I be able to read this text if I have an X grade reading level?"


Readability formulas CANNOT:

  • tell you if a person will understand the text.
  • measure the complexity of a word or phrase. National Institutes of Health Department of Health and Human Services
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