Affinity Consulting Blog

Simple is better. As lawyers, we often write for a sophisticated audience. However, that does not mean that our writing should be overly complex. Any barrier our writing erects between us and our readers can inhibit persuasion. That is not good.

We write to inform and persuade. This month's tip will show you how to enable and find Word's readability statistics. You can use these statistics to measure the readability of your document.

You are likely familiar with Word's ability to check your spelling. You may also know that Word can check your grammar. However, it can do even more. Built-into Word is the ability to use the Flesh Reasing Ease test and the Flesh-Kincaid Grade Level test to evaluate your writing. First, you need to enable this function.

In Word, go to Options>Proofing. Make sure that Check Grammar with Spelling and Show Readability Statistics are both checked. It is that simple. Once enabled, when you check spelling, a pop-up box will display your readability score and grade-level.

If you want to go farther with his concept, consider editing software such as WordRake and Hemingway. I've been using WordRake recently to edit my appeal briefs and I am pleased with the results.

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