reading level

When people pick up something they can’t understand, they put it down again. You want your magazine to be read and comprehended. Part of knowing your readers includes knowing what grade level to write at.

The general rule of thumb is to write for a 8th-grade reading level when writing for the general population. Many popular novels are written at a 7th-grade reading level, while the average newspaper in the U.S. is an 11th-grade level. Knowing your audience’s degree of literacy is important.

You put a lot of work into each magazine article, so make sure your readers can understand them. Do some research to find out what grade level your writing should be at for your audience.

There are a few ways to discover what reading level you are writing at:

  • This free tool allows you to paste your text into the readability scorer and get an instant analysis.
  • For Mac users, Word uses the Flesch Reading Ease scale. To use this tool, click Preferences on the Word menu; under “Authoring and Proofing Tools,” click “Spelling and Grammar”; under “Grammar,” select the “Check Grammar with Spelling” check box; select the “Show Readability Statistics” check box; click “OK.” Then, on the “Tools” menu, click “Spelling and Grammar.” After Word finishes checking spelling and grammar, it displays information about the reading level of your document.
  • For PC users, click the “File” tab; then click “Options;” click “Proofing;” under “When correcting spelling and grammar in Word” select the “Check grammar with spelling” check box; select “Show readability statistics.”

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Magazine Training International’s mission is to encourage, strengthen, and provide training and resources to Christian magazine publishers as they seek to build the church and reach their societies for Christ.