Readability andPlain LanguageLecture 4.3University of AlbertaALES 204Nancy Bray                        1
HousekeepingMid-term examPractice exam                2
Lecture Outline1. How you say it matters2. What is readability?3. How to write in plain language?                         ...
1. How you say it matters                            4
BonesScene from Season 1, Episode 8Unplain language                                 5
How you say it matters                         6
Success story#1                Source: Kimble, J. (2012). Writing for dollars, writing to please:                The case ...
Success story#2                8
Alan Siegel: Let’s simply legal jargonTED talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/alan_siegel_let_s_simplify_legal_jargon.html     ...
2. What is readability                         10
Readability              11
Readabilitymovement              12
Decrease in sentence length Professor L. A. Sherman, in his Analytics of Literature, Boston, 1892.                        ...
Average sentence length today            Miscellaneous: government                                                       2...
Readabilitymovement              15
Example #1             16
Example #2             17
Readabilitymeasures Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level formula Flesch Reading Ease Score Can check the score of your documents wit...
Flesch-KincaidGrade Level formula Tests word length and sentence length Result = number of years of education required to ...
Readabilitystatistics              20
Example          21
Flesch ReadingEase Score Also tests word and sentence length Higher score = more understandable Reader’s Digest has a scor...
How toincreasereadability              23
Recommendations                  24
3. What is plain language?                             25
Plain language“The writing and setting out of essential information in a way thatgives a cooperative, motivated person a g...
Plain language movement           U.S. consumer groups ridicule language in government   1960s                   documents...
Four main featuresof plain language                     28
Example #1: Common wordsBeforeThe Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends a half hour ormore of moderate physical acti...
Example #2: PronounsBefore:A performance system will allow for the development of new andinnovative training techniques an...
Example #3: PronounsBefore:Copies of tax returns must be provided.Loan applications will be reviewed to ensure that proced...
Example #4: Active voiceBefore:Consumer messages have been developed to educate the public aboutthe Key Recommendations in...
Exercise #5: Short sentencesBeforeA performance system will allow for the development of new andinnovative training techni...
Limitations ofplain language                 34
Take awayKnow why plain language isimportantKnow the benefits of plainlanguageKnow what readability isKnow how readability...
Photo Creditsbooks by Arslanpaper by Hacklockwords by ninasaurusrexnewspapers by leww_picsair force recruits by Nina_Haghi...
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  • George Klare and his colleagues looked at the effects of greater reading ease on Air Force recruits. They found that more readable texts resulted in greater and more complete learning. They also increased the amount read in a given time, and made for easier acceptance. [54][55] Other studies by Klare showed how the reader's skills, [56] prior knowledge, [57] interest, and motivation [56][57] affect reading ease.
  • Our new system will let us train our employees with new techniques and with greater ease.
  • Lecture 5.3 readability and plain language student notes

    1. 1. Readability andPlain LanguageLecture 4.3University of AlbertaALES 204Nancy Bray 1
    2. 2. HousekeepingMid-term examPractice exam 2
    3. 3. Lecture Outline1. How you say it matters2. What is readability?3. How to write in plain language? 3
    4. 4. 1. How you say it matters 4
    5. 5. BonesScene from Season 1, Episode 8Unplain language 5
    6. 6. How you say it matters 6
    7. 7. Success story#1 Source: Kimble, J. (2012). Writing for dollars, writing to please: The case for plain language in business, government, and law Durham, N.C: Carolina Academic Press. 7
    8. 8. Success story#2 8
    9. 9. Alan Siegel: Let’s simply legal jargonTED talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/alan_siegel_let_s_simplify_legal_jargon.html 9
    10. 10. 2. What is readability 10
    11. 11. Readability 11
    12. 12. Readabilitymovement 12
    13. 13. Decrease in sentence length Professor L. A. Sherman, in his Analytics of Literature, Boston, 1892. 13
    14. 14. Average sentence length today Miscellaneous: government 25 Learned and scientific 24 Press: reports 21 Humour 18 Romance fiction 14 Science/detective fiction 13Source: Cutts, M. (2009). Oxford guide to plain English. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 14
    15. 15. Readabilitymovement 15
    16. 16. Example #1 16
    17. 17. Example #2 17
    18. 18. Readabilitymeasures Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level formula Flesch Reading Ease Score Can check the score of your documents with MS Word or http://www.readability- score.com/ 18
    19. 19. Flesch-KincaidGrade Level formula Tests word length and sentence length Result = number of years of education required to understand a text 19
    20. 20. Readabilitystatistics 20
    21. 21. Example 21
    22. 22. Flesch ReadingEase Score Also tests word and sentence length Higher score = more understandable Reader’s Digest has a score of 65 Time a score of 52 22
    23. 23. How toincreasereadability 23
    24. 24. Recommendations 24
    25. 25. 3. What is plain language? 25
    26. 26. Plain language“The writing and setting out of essential information in a way thatgives a cooperative, motivated person a good chance ofunderstanding it at first reading, and in the same sense that the writermeant it to be understood.” -- Oxford Guide to Plain LanguageAlso called plain English 26
    27. 27. Plain language movement U.S. consumer groups ridicule language in government 1960s documents and forms New York State passes law requiring leases and 1978 consumer contracts to be clearer President Carter required regulations to be written in 1978 plain language President Clinton required all documents about 1998 government services to be written in plain language 27
    28. 28. Four main featuresof plain language 28
    29. 29. Example #1: Common wordsBeforeThe Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends a half hour ormore of moderate physical activity on most days, preferably everyday. The activity can include brisk walking, calisthenics, home care,gardening, moderate sports exercise, and dancing.After 29
    30. 30. Example #2: PronounsBefore:A performance system will allow for the development of new andinnovative training techniques and methodologies and allowcompanies added flexibility in tailoring their training to the specificjob duties of their employees.After: 30
    31. 31. Example #3: PronounsBefore:Copies of tax returns must be provided.Loan applications will be reviewed to ensure that procedures havebeen followed.After: 31
    32. 32. Example #4: Active voiceBefore:Consumer messages have been developed to educate the public aboutthe Key Recommendations in the Dietary Guidelines and will be usedin materials targeted for consumers separate from this publication.After: 32
    33. 33. Exercise #5: Short sentencesBeforeA performance system will allow for the development of new andinnovative training techniques and methodologies and allowcompanies added flexibility in tailoring their training to the specificjob duties of their employees.After 33
    34. 34. Limitations ofplain language 34
    35. 35. Take awayKnow why plain language isimportantKnow the benefits of plainlanguageKnow what readability isKnow how readability ismeasuredKnow how to improvereadabilityKnow what plain language isKnow the four elements of plain 35
    36. 36. Photo Creditsbooks by Arslanpaper by Hacklockwords by ninasaurusrexnewspapers by leww_picsair force recruits by Nina_Haghighigrade 9 by Boston Public Librarythe reader by grewlikereading ease by sapheronGreen Eggs and Ham coverthe reader by murphyeppoonthe reader by adwriterreading newspaper by KC Tohreading by applejanveteran by KennethMoylege by Eric Lesliechina airlines by Roberto Verzo 36

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