Students write assignments every day. These assignments are supposed to be readable and interesting because, in the first place, the student is looking forward to getting a good grade. When it comes to the message of your essay or any other academic assignment, it should be easy to understand the message. Sometimes students fail at this aspect because they think using hard words show their intelligence and command of the language. One needs to know that communication takes the simples language, which is why every essay you write should be readable.
What is readability?
Repeatedly you have heard your lecturer stress on the importance of readability of your essays. For those how do not know, readability is the ease with which the audience can understand what you have written. Readability includes elements of familiarity, complexity, legibility, and typography. It also looks at the sentence length, syllable density, and word familiarity.
In other words, you are trying to communicate your ideas in the most clear and accessible very possible. As a student, you will have to write tons of essays, research papers, these and other documents. As such, your grade will anchor on how well you write these papers, your thought flow and the readability of the text.
Importance of readability
As always, every type of writing is meant for an audience. Is such, the contents of your essay or research paper have to speak to the audience in a way that they can easily understand. As one would expect, this is seemingly not easy, but it’s important. In your writing, you have to ensure that you are not alienating anyone. You should avoid using too many jargons and any other complex word. You could lose your audience if you try to be clever, and even your message may get lost in the translation. As such, you need to know why readability is important especially if you are writing research papers and essays. Readability is important because:
Whatever assignment you are writing, the central message is the most crucial thing. The clearer you present it, the more likely it is going to succeed. If you are writing an essay, you have to ensure you have used the simplest language that even you, as the writer, can understand. This is why you have to think of the audience when you are writing. Try to be as simple as possible. Do not fear using words with more than five letters. Talk about complex topics if you can, but you only need to find the best and most simple way of communicating to the audience. That is what constitutes readability.
The content that you produce is it research papers, theses, essays or any other academic document, has to be read by the audience. As such, you have to make the contents easy to read and understand. The idea is to please the audience even as you look to pass the message across. As earlier stated, it is one of the reasons why you have to think of the audience. If you ignore the readability of your work, you could as well be ignoring your audience. Readability provides a very thin line between the success of your write up and its failure. For a student, the success or failure of your essay has everything to do with the simplicity or complexity of the language that you use.
Readability score helps to tell the level of education needed to read a piece of text easily. It helps in identifying the grade level approximate to the number of years of education that a person has. When the text is too difficult to read, the message may not be understood. On the other hand, when it is too simple, the audience might feel patronised. They can also be bored by what you write. As such, the readability of a test affects the level of engagements with the central message.
Now that you know the importance of readability look at different ways through which you can enhance the readability of your essay, research papers and other documents.
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How to enhance the readability of our assignments
If as a student you want your work to stand out from the rest, you need to ensure it is readable, use the following pointers:
Besides focusing on your audience, you need to ensure that your work is highly focused. In other words, the work should remain true to its purpose. You need to know why you are writing the research paper, essay, or any other assignment and what you expect from the audience. Once you write it, go through it word by word and run it through a software program. This is a good way of finding out if you have achieved your goal of ensuring the work remains focused on the topic.
The more the syllables your words have, the harder they are to read. You may not use a four-syllable word if there is a 2-syllable word that can work well. Remember that no everyone has the same vocabulary as you. It will be easy to lose the audience if you use complex words. Simplicity is one way of enhancing the readability of your essays and other assignments.
You need to design every assignment to ensure it fits writing the required format. In other words, you have to start raising the readability o your assignment by ensuring that the message fits the theme, the question asked as well as your course. If it’s possible, you can edit some formats to ensure the text is more readable. For instance, you can use quotation marks and indented paragraphs to refer to something you obtain from a source. If you use direct quotes at strategic points in your essay or any other assignments, it will make the work look more readable.
You will decrease the readability of your work if you use compound and long sentences. You need to make use of shorter sentences. If you have to use long sentences, mix them with shorter ones to enhance readability. You can also try breaking up long sentences into several short ones. With short sentences, you drastically improve the chances of a response. Preferably, you can keep three sentences in maximum in a paragraph, but that depends on your topic. It may seem as odd, but once you get used to doing it, you will end up loving it.
When you use subheadings in your essay, it makes it searchable. This remains even if the audience does not read the entire work, but they will get the general idea of your message. Subheadings are miniature headings that attract the audience and provide them with a synopsis of what has to come. They are essential in hoping the audience moves along with your writing.
Points and lists are important, especially in research papers, because they are easy to read and search. They provide data rapidly and serve as the visual bras to the audience. Bulleted lists are not the same as whatever is left of the content that you write. Instead, they make your essay more interesting and attractive. As such, they should be used where necessary, as they are a way to enhance the readability of your work.
Do not fall from the allure of fancy fonts. If you want to enhance the readability of your essays, research papers, these and other documents, use reader-friendly fonts. In most cases, Times New Roman, and Arial fonts are commonly used. Ensure that they are font size 12.
Test the readability of your test through formulas
When doing so, you have to aim for grade 7 or 8, meaning your test will be more readable and accessible to the audience. These formulas are several, and you can use them at any time. They include the following:
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease
In this mathematical formula, you measure the average number of syllables per word and the average number of words in a sentence. The results should be a score that falls between 1 and 100. Number one indicates the hardest to read, whereas 100 is the easiest. In this formula, you are aiming for a score that falls between 60 and 70.
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level
This is also a mathematical formula that measures syllables and sentence length. The results are not scores but grade level. For instance, 12 indicate a readable text that a person in the 1st grade can understand. In this formula, you should aim for content that a 7th or 8th grader can understand.
This one looks at the complex words. In his case, the complex words are defined as those with three or more syllables. It also considers proper nouns, nouns, jargon and compound words. The formula renders a result at grade level with no upper limit.
Automated readability index
This formula does not consider syllables, but characters per word and per sentence. It renders a grade-level score and when you use it, to aim for 7 or 8th grade.
This one considers the number of characters instead of words and syllables. The results also appear as a grade level from one to 12. The recommended grade level in this formula is also 7 or 8
Smog or the Simple Measure of Gobbledygook is a readability formula that extracts 30 sentences from your work, say, an essay, research paper, and so on. It takes 10 sentences from the beginning, 10 from the middle and 10 from the end of your document ad counts every word with 3 or more syllables in every group. It then calculates the square root and rounds it to the nearest to and adds 3 to that number. The results are a grade-level score, which should be either 7 or 8.
Simplify your work as much as possible
You need to ensure that your essay or any other academic document that you write is as simple as possible. If you have to use technical terms, use those that you cannot change. The rest will low eth readability of your essay and make it hard for the audience to get the central message.
Read your essay aloud
This is the most effective way of enhancing the readability of to text. If you find it hard to read the text aloud, then something is off. If you as the writer, you stumble over words within a sentence, it indicates that you need to change some things. This makes it easy for you to use the right words that enhance the readability f your essay.
One common misconception about readability is that it compromises on the authority and integrity of your work. However, if you enhance the readability of your work, it becomes stronger because it cuts down on non-essentials. The more readable your copy is, the more it interesting it becomes.
If you want to enhance the readability of your work, you can use our services. We also provide guides on how you can enhance your assignments. Try our professional services today.