Google Docs: What is your readability index?

Prelude: I’M BACK!! I’ve written 4 essays and 2 exams in the past 3 weeks or so. I don’t think I’ve ever been so drained in my life. After I came back from class, I tried to come up an entry that could tie in my crazy academic schedule to my blog…and I wrote a post on chopsticks. 😯 My brain cells were clearly killed by all that work. Who said school made people smarter… Anyways, I ended up archiving the post, falling asleep and missed dinner. πŸ˜₯ But after a shower, I’m marginally more awake and I’m going to keep my promise about coming back full speed so, I came up with the perfect post!

I apologize in advance if this post is lackluster. I’m so tired I’m typing with my eyes closed. πŸ˜• There’s a surprise for my regular commenters/visitors, though! πŸ˜€

Google Docs: Web 2.0 of Microsoft Office!

I absolutely hate editing my own essays for mistakes or major revisions once I put in the last full stop. Maybe it’s because I’m never really proud of my essays, so I get stricken by some sort of fear and embarrassment. So, I always get my boyfriend (who used to write articles for magazines) to check my arguments and grammatical errors.

And here’s where Google Docs comes in. I can upload my essay, add him as a collaborator, and while he makes corrections, I can read them in real time. It’s like an MSN chatroom with Word functions. How freaking cool is that?!

But that wasn’t what I intended to rave about. (See how the lack of brain cells is affecting my post?)

Readability Index and Reading Ease

Google Doc’s most interesting features are the readability indexes, which actually measure the ease and quality of your writing with the audience in mind. It’s a great tool for high school and college students, and even bloggers if you ever want to see how difficult it is to read your own posts.

Readability Index Screenshot

Flesch Grade Level & Automated Reading Level

Both these indexes tell you how many years of school your reader needs to have attended to be able to fully understand your writing. For this specific essay I wrote (see screenshot), my reader needs to have gone to at least 2-4 years of university.

Flesch Reading Ease

This tells you how complex your writing is. It measures the complexity of your writing according to the amount of syllables in the words you use. The higher the score, the easier to read. So a score of 90 is easily understood by an child, while a score of 30 can only be fully understood by university students.

Clarity is very important for me, so I try to write so that everyone can understand. Usually my essay reading ease is around 40-45. This particular essay is written for a grad school course, so I’m quite happy with my score of 38. As for my blog posts, they have a reading ease of 75 on average, so I’m sure most people can understand what I’m saying. :)

So what are your reading indexes for blog entries and essays (if you’re a student)?

Actually, scrap that. I’ve done it for my regular commenters. If I missed you out, no hard feelings. I am just far too sleepy. Just let me know and I’ll add you to this list! πŸ˜€ Those with the asterisk beside their names have English as their second language.

Names Flesch Ease Flesch Level Readability
ME! 80 4 3
Brenda 68 7 7
Daniel 77 6 6
Destiny 70 10 12
Id 70 7 7
Katy 86 3 3
Kaye 73 7 6
Kiera 86 4 4
Kirin* 70 8 8
Lainey 88 3 2
Lissy 71 6 6
Melle 81 4 2
Michael 72 8 9
Momo 76 4 3
Mr. Javo* 77 5 6
Olivia 83 2 3
Shao 88 2 1
Sigg3 73 6 6
Simply Precious 89 3 3
Teddy 60 10 12
Terin Selena 90 3 2

Prologue: Off to bed for me. And the 30 post ideas I’ve collected will be released all in due time. Come to think of it, that’s enough material for 2 months. 😯 Oh, I finally learned how to use Twitter. Add me, if you like.


  • http://another.pieceofsky.org k

    hey! this was interesting… thanks for posting it up :)

    and do take care of your health!

  • http://another.pieceofsky.org k

    ooooh thats interesting… thanks! :)

    btw when will you be in SG? there are some korean supermarkets in SG so i think you should be able to find the ingredients! otherwise, i can always bring them from korea. hehe!

  • http://www.silent-emotion.org Nanda

    I’ve never really been interested in Google Docs but now that you’ve written about it and explained its features so well, I might as well check it out!!! I love those readability stats you get. πŸ˜€

  • http://sigg3.net Sigg3

    Good to have you back. You just reminded me that I have two exams to write. Thanks.

    Btw, I have scientific objections to these lies, these BLOODY LIES! .. I write for drunk people exclusively.

    Ahm, and English is my second language. German is my fifth. Spanish and French battle for the third place.
    But in reality most of these would have to move one placeholder to the right, given that I only speak the language of love.

  • http://www.silvercpu.com/blog Lissy

    lol, neat! Though I don’t know if anyone really tries to write well in their comments…

    I haven’t used google docs since I graduated. Those are pretty nifty features. MS word used to have something like that when I was in elementary school. It never worked too well though. I think it was just based on how long your sentences and paragraphs were or something.

  • http://www.teddy-o-ted.com teddY

    First of all, a big warm welcome hug – welcome back to the blogosphere Ivy! Everyone is missing you dearly :) I miss your interesting updates, I’m so overjoyed (is there such a word anyway?) that you’re finally back! Congratulations for successfully surviving the academic massacre (that’s what my college friends tell me about research papers and projects, they’re the infamous braincell zappers! *zap zap*).

    I usually fall sick immediately after exams since my studying pattern is a little bit weird especially towards the last few days – I would usually rush back to the hostel immediately after the paper, get sleep, wake up for dinner and then study throughout the night till next morning and get myself ready for another round of slaughter. I’ve done almost the same for me high school research paper (I’m quite a last minute person, if you’re wondering why am I doing that if I’m given 3 months of preparation time)… so in short, take care, get lots and lots of rest and water (aka life elixir, heheh).

    Google Doc sounds very useful to me, especially for a group of students collaborating together for a report! I wished I had known about this nifty programme, so I can convince my project group members to opt to wake up later in the day and go online for editing job, instead of waking up early in the morning and rush to a pre-agreed place (like McDonalds or a friend’s house) to do some major time-consuming editing. Usually only two people will be doing work while the others will be busy dozing off because not everyone can hog one small little lapton screen.

    I can’t believe that my Flesch reading ease score is so low (at 60)… English isn’t really my first language… I call it my semi-first because it’s fighting with Chinese for the throne. Malay is vying for second of Chinese and English end up in a tie, that is. If not, it’ll just have to settle with being third. Awww.

    Maybe I wrote some really complicated post or quoted a whole block of text from Wikipedia that made me reading score so low. Believe me, my english isn’t that good afterall! (Well, I failed english for my first two years in middle school, and the teacher said I was almost a gone case, heheh).

    Sorry for the uber-long comment, but I’m so happy that you’re back! I can’t wait for more updates… and a new theme, if you’re preparing one to surprise us, that is :)

    And again, take care and hugs!

    P.S. Twitter rocks so much πŸ˜€ I just realised the magic of twittering. It is fun, isn’t it?

  • http://its-olivia.com (Olivia)

    I’m glad you finally finished all that work!

    Aw! I don’t know my readability. I’m too lazy to find out by myself, lol.

  • http://simply-precious.net Simply Precious

    Damn! That’s A LOT of essays to write! Along with exams also?! Wow, I bet you’re burnt now! Hehe! Congrats on getting through it, though!! =)

    Anyways, wow, that Google Docs thing sounds cool! I’ve never used Google Docs before… Hahah… But wow, so I guess my blogs are easy to understand. =P Hahaha…

  • http://www.dlee.us Daniel

    great to see ya back Ivy!!

    interesting stuff but don’tcha know that google is the *devil!* πŸ˜›

    I’m always a bit reluctant in using any more of google’s online tools since they seem to know SO MUCH about me already!

  • http://apresmoi.net Melle

    YAY! You’re back! 4 Essays is just way too much writing for me. Wait, I had to write my laboratory report last night–In total it was 7 pages exclusive of figures and tables. So, I feel your pain! Even when you said you hate editing your essays.

    I know I hate editing my essays. I always doubt their ability to receive a high score and I usually do so well, but I hate reading them again or having someone ask me to read them my essay. But wait, I need Google Docs *bookmarks it* THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!!

    Whaaa…I want a Flash Reading Ease of 1 or something, so I can be this uber intelligent blogger who discusses the most random and scientific subjects. Even though talking about my day, boys, cool things on the internet, or Mac computers is so much more fun!

    Hmm…and on the subject of sleep–I need to get some sleep before my Pre-Med Society meeting. I am just so tired, and I want to make a cool new layout tonight–and work on so many other things! ={

  • http://theolivewaking.com Momo

    gosh ivy, itΒ΄s been a pretty long wait and itΒ΄s so worthwhile and you are just full of ideas.

    i still really dont get the scores..

    so i will have a lower reading ease but higher grade level if i start writing about … er… expansionary monetary policy … which is what im reading now lol

  • http://michaelpark.net Michael

    Glad to have you back as well… :)

    So my English is on the 8th grade level. Hmmm, I’m not sure if I’d be happy with that or not; but then, English is my second language as well. Also, I don’t write my blog posts as I did my essays in school. I don’t think anyone does that. The readability score is pretty high, so that’s good.

    Thanks for this, and thanks for letting me know of the bug on my site.

  • http://mrjavo.com/ Mr. Javo

    Nice post Ivy! is good for me to know this kind of information, thanks for the tip! I will use this tool to check my next posts.

  • http://shadesofme.org Brandy

    That sounds far too interesting. Why didn’t they have anything like that while I was in school?

    Oh well. There’s always the option to use it on my entries.

  • http://www.notbrainwashersafe.com Id

    Okay, so I feel like an ass.

    I haven’t even thought of using Google Docs for my dissertation yet. I should definitely think about using it. Like. Now. Haha!

    Wow, I have a better Flesch Grade Level score than I thought. =P I have always had the impression it was lower and that my Readability Index was higher.

  • http://sigg3.net Sigg3

    Personally I don’t like Google docs because I simply can’t fail to notice the amount of information I’m giving away for free. Sensitive too, at that.
    Google reads your mail.

  • http://twentyfourcarat.net Katy

    Omg that is so cool, thanks for doing mine! Did you just use one post or a number of them to get these results?

    I guess 86 is good for a person who doesn’t go to school or have to write essays. I’ve always meant to change my writing style so it sounds a little more intellectual but I find that when blogging, you should use the simplest writing possible because it makes it easier for visitors to read.

  • http://recalescent.net Chris

    Hm, sounds interesting. I’ve seen a link to it before when I was checking my GMail, but I never actually bothered to click the link.

    I think I will go check it out now, it sounds cool.

  • http://www.islaperdida.net Daniela

    I never knew Google Docs was that functional! I never used it before, but knew that there is the ability to share documents with other. A friend of mine prepared an info document for a party and passed it around. I like the idea of accessing documents from everywhere. Additionally, this is the first time I ever hear about the Flesch Reading Ease and I am very eager to now the grade level of my posts and other documents πŸ˜‰

  • http://sigg3.net Sigg3

    I bet tattooists are better flesh readers than Google. Nuff said.

  • http://www.everdestiny.com Destiny

    Welcome back!! Glad you survived your exams and everything!! Where can I access this Google Docs? NVM… I guess I can just google it. Lol
    Wow, that Flesh Reader Ease seems intense but I would have to look into how it’s being done… I mean, what if everyone had different difficulty reading levels? ^_^

  • http://jane.ohtrashy.net Jane

    That looks like a really good tool I have never heard of it before.

    Whoever said education makes you smarter was sadly mistaken, I am getting an a-level in cutting and sticking as my Mam likes to put it (A Level Graphic Design).

  • http://wildx.org/ Rilla

    Oh wow I didn’t know Google Docs had this functionality! Thanks for sharing. :)

  • http://sigg3.net Sigg3

    For your basic needs, let me recommend the open source apps I use every day:
    Abiword (native linux, available for OS X and Windows)
    Gnumeric Spreadsheet (*nix only) part of the GNUOffice suite.
    Open Office (OS independent, but rather sluggish)

    In my experience, most open source software can provide matching and better applications for your regular computing needs at the affordable price of offering your participation in making your software better (if you choose to participate that is).

  • http://verbalism.org Kiera

    *rubs chin*

    Interesting. I didn’t even know such a thing existed! Thanks for sharing, and including me as an example. πŸ˜€