Helps Writers and Non-Writers Make Their Content Reader-Friendly has updated its popular automatic readability calculator to help writers and non-writers write more effectively for their readers. The free tool, called the Readability Consensus Calculator, analyzes the writer’s text through seven popular readability calculators to determine an overall:

  • Reading level: from easy to very difficult.
  • Grade Level: 1st grade to graduate school.
  • Age Group: 6 to 22 years old and above.

This data helps writers determine in advance if their text will be too easy, too difficult, or on target with their readers. Writers will have a better idea if they need to revise their text to weed out hard words, long sentences, and other poor writing issues.

The Automatic Readability Calculator can be used on any text to determine if public readers can read a text without difficulty.

For example:

Bloggers, freelance writers, content curators, and digital publishers can analyze their posts and articles to ensure they’re writing at a 7-8th grade level—the average reading level of most people.

Ad agencies, marketing firms, and corporations can analyze their branding messages to ensure they’re using familiar and recognizable terms.

Insurance companies, financial institutions, and healthcare providers can analyze their policies, manuals, and documents to ensure they’re communicating effectively to their clients and customers. also offers the Dale-Chall and Spache readability tools for writers and publishers who are writing for young readers, from primary through fourth grade levels. Both tools compare the writer’s text against a wordlist of difficult words and outputs a grade level.

Even though readability formulas have existed for centuries, their popularity has grown in recent years. Brian Scott, who launched the site in 2003, says “Because the Internet makes information more accessible and global, many writers and publishers want to make sure their content is reader-friendly and reaching as many readers as possible. One way to achieve this goal is with these formulas.”

Using readability formulas to gauge a text’s “true reading level” is not a catchall solution to write effectively for readers, admits Scott. “They still can’t tell you if readers will understand your text after they read it. Reading a text and understanding a text are different. Readers may be able to identify and define each word in a text, but do they truly know what the text is communicating as a whole?”

To help writers and non-writers understand the benefits and limits of readability formulas, he has published a handful of articles at his website, ranging from “How Readability Formulas Work” to “The Practical Purposes of Using Readability Formulas.”

To use the site’s free tools and learn more about writing reader-friendly content, visit

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