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On Course, Fourth Edition
Skip Downing
Technology Exercises
Technology Exercise 3

Using word processing software on a computer, determine the readability of at least 250 words of two of your text books. You might want to choose the one you find easiest to read and the one you find most challenging to read. To determine "readability," first type or scan the desired text into your word processing program. Then, if you are using Microsoft Word, put your curser within the text you want to evaluate for readability and click the Tools button at the top of the screen. On the drop down menu, click "Spelling and Grammar." When you finish checking the spelling and grammar, a box will pop up on the screen giving you readability information on the text you've chosen (if not, see NOTE below). You'll receive such information as the number of words in your selection, the number of words per sentence, and, importantly, the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level of the book you are analyzing. Keep in mind that the grade level of any text will vary somewhat in different parts of the book.

NOTE: If, after doing a spell check, you do not get a box giving readability information, you'll need to make a simple change in your settings. Click Tools, then Spelling and Grammar. At the bottom of the Spelling and Grammar box (which only comes up if there is a spelling or grammar error in your writing), click Options. In Options, put a check next to "Show Readability Statistics" and then click Okay. Now you're ready to recheck your writing for readability using the directions above.