Improve your writing with readability statistics

I stumbled on a great tip this morning for improving your writing while reading a post on Michael Stelzner’s white paper blog. In the post, he refers to an analysis of an HP white paper by Eric Rosen. While an interesting before and after study of how to use better written language in a white paper, what really caught my attention was a set of images after the comparison (you can see a sample to the right).

These readability stats looked like they were coming out of Microsoft Word, yet I has never seen this feature before. I’m familiar with the basic statistics found under document properties (paragraphs, words, characters), but not one covering passive sentences and ease of reading. After some quick googling, I found the following tip for enabling this feature in Word. If you’re using Word for writing documents, it’s a nice addition that can only help weed out some common mistakes. Now, if Microsoft can just add it to Live Writer for blogging…

Tom currently works in developer relations for IBM Watson. A serial entrepreneur, he's been the founder of numerous startups including Investify and StatsMix, a Techstars alumni company. Tom lives outside Boulder, Colorado and in his free time he's an avid rock climber, skier, and trail runner.

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