How To Improve Readability Of Your Content & Why That Matters

Learn how to improve readability of your content and use the proven strategies for permanently enhancing readability without fail.
Ivana Vidakovic
November 18, 2022

Need help figuring out how to increase your content's readability and what factors go into determining your readability score? 

Readability is a vital goal for any piece of writing.

Besides clarity, it is one of the essential elements of solid content.

The problem is, there's just so much information explaining how to boost your writing's readability scores but no assurances that they actually work, nor which ones are actually effective.

In this article, we will discuss readability, how to calculate your readability score, and proven strategies for permanently enhancing readability without fail.

Stick with us to find out!

What is Readability?

Readability is a rating that evaluates how easy your content is to read and understand. A score or grade for readability is a common way to express this value.

The formula for calculating the readability score can produce a wide range of possible results, which we'll discuss in a bit.

And if you've ever used Hemingway's editor, you know that it includes a readability grade score.

If you never actually paid attention to the readability grade, let’s find out why it matters that much.

Why Does Content Readability Really Matter?

"Writing can be either readable or precise, but not at the same time." -Bertrand Russell

Bertrand Russell provided the finest justification for the importance of readability.

And this quote makes a lot of sense once you think about it. Ask yourself these questions:

How often do you make last-minute edits to your work so that it's easier on the eyes before you hit the publish button?

Or, how often is the first statement that pops into your head the final shape of thought on paper?

I'll tell you - rarely!

Why is that?

This is because both writers and readers benefit when the text is easy to read.

In a sea of content covering the same ground, readability is that "one" thing that will set you apart.

But how can I ensure a high level of readability, and what techniques do the best job? Let's find out.

4 Tips On How To Improve the Readability Of Your Content

If you look for advice on how to improve readability online, you'll find a lot of content that is very similar. Most steps include the following advices:

  • Use short and easy words.
  • Cut off extra adjectives and adverbs.
  • Mind your typography.
  • Include transitions.
  • Avoid using jargon.

There is no doubt that implementing these suggestions will significantly increase the readability of your work. But our strategy is a bit different.

Let's be honest here. In today's era, where AI plays such a significant role in the content creation process, humans hardly ever perform these tasks by hand.

Thus, we'll provide steps to tweak your text and achieve a high readability score with the assistance of rewriting features that AI writing assistants, such as TextCortex, can offer.

Let's dive in!

1. Rewrite Your Text

Rearranging the wording order and trying out different synonyms while keeping the original idea intact is the best way to improve the readability of the original content.

In fact, writers frequently employ this technique because it enables you to edit the sentences and paragraphs without starting from scratch.

Now, tools such as TextCortex’ rewriting add-on, enables you to do that, without overthinking the output.

Simply select the sentence or the entire paragraph, then click the logo

Under the highlighted text, the menu bar will appear, allowing you to select the necessary option to edit your text. 

When you select the "Rewrite feature," you can select the rewriting option that most accurately fits the context of your original idea.

The main advantage of this feature is its capacity to paraphrase several paragraphs at once. This allows for a quicker rewriting of larger sections of text while maintaining a consistent writing style.

This is crucial since readability is greatly affected by inconsistencies in writing style and content quality.

2. Make Your Sentences Longer

Extra details are needed to make certain lines read more smoothly.

As an illustration, the statement "The weather is bad today." doesn't provide enough detail, does it?

If you want to add some flavor, you could say something like, "The weather is awful today since it is raining badly." Better?

Overusing short sentences might reduce reading because they are less engaging.

For situations such as this one, features such as TextCortex ‘Expand’ option can do the trick.

Once more, highlight the sentences you want to extend, then hit the logo and choose the "Expand" option.

The 'Expand' function will significantly boost your text and word count, while providing an output that matches the original text and inspiring new ideas for content creation.

3. Shorten Your Sentences And Paragraphs

While this may seem to go against the previous instruction, sentences or paragraphs that are too long can be intimidating.

In fact, this is one of the most typical causes of high readability scores, which is undesirable.

If the reader has to reread a sentence or paragraph several times before fully understanding it, the text is too complicated and needs to be simplified.

The question is, how? Just break up those long sentences into several shorter ones, or delete unnecessary words.

The alternative is to use pre-existing features, such as TextCortex's ‘Summarize’ function.

With this feature, you can cherry-pick the most relevant parts of a sentence or paragraph for further modification.

Furthermore, using this feature makes it much easier to get the sense of a large section of text quickly.

Select the desired text, then select the logo and the ‘Summarize’ option.

The 'Summarize' function is a time-saver when writing high-quality content because it condenses long texts down to their most crucial points.

4. Mind Your Tone Of Voice

“The tone can paint what the eyes can’t see.” -Chinese Proverb

The tone is imperative! In a nutshell, yes.

And, when writing, many authors fail to remember this vital point.

Okay, so let’s assume you've walked into a furniture store. A seller approaches you, full of arrogance and ego, and says, "You don't have a deep enough pocket for goods of this quality." So, tell me, what do you do?

Leave the store or immediately ask for a manager. A rough start, right?

There will be no online sales if we writers don't pay attention to the tone of our sentences, and you certainly wouldn't take my advice seriously today if I didn't.

The art of modulating your tone is something that you develop through experience. However, there are tools available that can help you craft your words so that they take on a particular flavor.

One of such features is the TextCortex’s 'Tone' function.

Once you select the paragraph you want to edit and click on the feature, you can choose the desirable tone of voice at the bottom of the suggestion window.

Then, TextCortex add-on will provide output appropriate to the writing form, style, and context to emphasize the message in the way you specify.

Some of the tones you can choose between are:

  • Formal
  • Cheerful
  • Decisive
  • Casual
  • Encouraging
  • Friendly
  • Gentle
  • Urgent
  • Detailed, and more.

Copy the output from each voice to see how they stack up against one another if you're on the fence about which one is the best fit for your writing intent.

Now that we know advanced ways on how to improve readability of your content, let’s finally learn how to calculate its readability score.

Formulas To Calculate Readability Score

Here we’ll list the well-known formulas for counting your content readability score.

1. Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease

This formula measures word syllables and sentence length. 

The score 1 is the hardest to read, while score 100 is the easiest. 

The mathematical formula:

RE = 206.835 - (1.015 x ASL) - (84.6 x ASW)

RE = Readability Ease
ASL = Average Sentence Length (i.e., the number of words divided by the number of sentences)
ASW = Average number of syllables per word (i.e., the number of syllables divided by the number of words)

With this formula, you want to see a score between 60 and 70.

2. Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level

Flesch-formula Kincaid's measures syllables and sentence length. The results are not a score but a grade level—for example, "12" means 12th-grade level writing. 

The mathematical formula is:

FKRA = (0.39 x ASL) + (11.8 x ASW) - 15.59

Where,

FKRA = Flesch-Kincaid Reading Age
ASL = Average Sentence Length (i.e., the number of words divided by the number of sentences)
ASW = Average number of Syllable per Word (i.e., the number of syllables divided by the number of words)

Consider writing at a 7th to 8th-grade level.

3. Gunning-Fog Score

Gunning-Fog looks at complex words, proper nouns, jargon, and compound words. Like Flesch-Kincaid, it gives grade levels but with no upper limit. 

The mathematical formula is:

Grade Level = 0.4 (ASL + PHW)

where,

ASL = Average Sentence Length (i.e., number of words divided by the number of sentences)

PHW = Percentage of Hard Words

For this formula, scores such as 7-8 are the ideal score you should aim for.

4. Coleman-Liau Index

Instead of words or syllables, this formula counts characters. Results are graded 1-12. 

The mathematical formula is:

CLI = 0.0588 x 448(L) - 0.296 x 4.0(S) - 15.8 = 10.6

Like the above results, scores 7 or 8 are most desirable for ideal readability.

5. SMOG Index

Simple Measure of Gobbledygook This formula takes 10 sentences from the beginning, 10 from the middle, and 10 from the end. It counts every 3-syllable word in each group, calculates the square root, rounds to the nearest 10, and adds 3. 

The mathematical formula is:

SMOG grade = 3 + Square Root of Polysyllable Count

SMOG index scores of 7 or 8 are ideal.

6. Automated Readability Index

This counts characters per word and sentences. 

The mathematical formula is:

Automated Readability Index

Again, Grade 7 or 8 is recommended.

To Wrap Up

We've established that readability is a major factor in the positive response your content receives from its audience.

The readers' score, on the other hand, provides a quantitative measure of the perceived difficulty of the textual material presented in your work.

We hope that these suggestions for enhancing the readability of your content prove useful.

And how about you stop stressing over whether or not your content is perfect, and start relying on a trustworthy software that can do all that hard work for you?

We created TextCortex for that purpose.

The TextCortex add-on enables you to:

  • Simultaneously leverage AI-generating and rewriting on 30+ online platforms.
  • Improve the readability and comprehension of your text without switching text boxes.
  • Use bullet points to quickly draft and send out emails.
  • Generate blog posts on the fly with simple 5-word-ideas.
  • Translate your text on the spot in 10+ languages.
  • Boost your writing style on the go.

In addition to the TextCortex add-on, you will gain the access to:

  • 20+ AI writing templates for any content form you need.
  • Creating content in 72+ languages.
  • Real-time editing that combines AI-generating and manual writing.
  • Access to all your projects from an intuitive dashboard.

Ready to give it a shot?

Download the TextCortex add-on to skyrocket your content performance with no effort today.

Your AI partner is ready to (re)write content.

Save time and grow business using TextCortex. Generate marketing and website content in seconds using AI today.

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