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Flesch-Kincaid Index - How simple is your content?

Flesch Kincaid Index
There are easy tools you can use to check if your work is easy to read.  From informal email to formal policies, we all have a responsibility to craft easy to read content.  For example, how many times have you received an unsolicited email that doesn't state what the writer wants in the first sentence.  This is very frustrating to the reader.  To be effective, messages must tell the reader what is requested up front.  The language must be simple and brevity helps.

Enter the Flesch-Kincaid tests.  With these tests there is an simple way for you to check the readability level of your work.  There are several ways to check readability.  One is to use MS Word or Outlook.  Another is to cut and paste your content into an online word counter; or However, you will still have to calculate according to the following formula:

FI = 206.835 - (1.015 x ASL) - (84.6 x ASW) where: ASL = Average sentence length in words (average number of words in a sentence, calculated by dividing the number of words by the number of sentences).  ASW = Average syllables per word (the number of syllables divided by the number of words).  The calculated score is mapped to the standardize values indicating the readability level. 

If your content is on the intranet or Internet, its even easier.  Just cut and past the URL (http://) into an online readability test such as

Since Simple Secure IT promotes simplicity as part of its service offering, this blog's score is shown below:

Blog Results

Therefore, the next time you are thinking about writing a long email or authoring a policy, perhaps first assess how difficult it is to read and understand before sending or publishing.  If it scores low on the Flesch-Kincaid Index, consider introducing shorter sentences or fewer long words.  Your readers will thank you for Keeping IT Simple.