Friday, February 6, 2015

Are You Writing for a 4th Grader?

Is your work written for 10-year-olds? Maybe it should be: that's the reading-level calculation of Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea. And it turns out, explains Shane Snow in Why History’s Best Writers Wrote for Middle Schoolers, that writing at a lower reading level gives your content a higher likelihood of reaching more people.

That doesn't mean that you should be writing for children, of course. Instead, you should strive to make the complicated legal and business issues you cover accessible to a broader range of readers:
The other lesson from this study is that we should aim to reduce complexity in our writing as much as possible. We won’t lose credibility by doing so. Our readers will comprehend and retain our ideas more reliably. And we’ll have a higher likelihood of reaching more people.
Read the post. Make your work easier to read. Your readers will thank you.

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