Here is a simple writing hack you can use in Microsoft Word. Follow these steps to enable readability statistics for your document.
To improve your writing, pay attention to the Readability section.
The Flesch Reading Ease is a score between 0-100. The higher the score the easier the document is to read. Scores below 40 become difficult to read and below 30 is very difficult.
The Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level is the average reading level for a specific grade. Ideally, a grade level between 8.0-11.0 is best. Grade levels of 12 or higher are difficult to read and higher than 15.0 is very difficult.
Finally, passive sentences are expressed as a percentage of your total sentences. In the sample, 7.2% of the sentences were written in passive voice. Passive voice writing means the subject of the sentence is the patient of the main verb rather than the subject being the active agent of the main verb. Good writing is predominately active voice.
“The tree was pulled down.” (Passive voice)
“Someone pulled down the tree.” (Active voice)
Use this simple writing hack to improve your writing.
A prepositional idiom is a phrase that can be condensed to one word or eliminated from the sentence. One of the most common problems in poor writing is prepositional idioms. The best way to define this writing issue is to give some examples. The following examples are common prepositional idioms I see in writing project descriptions, approaches, cover letters, etc.
Prepositional Idioms That Begin with a Preposition
One of the most common prepositional idioms I discover has to do with identifying that we are discussing the project. We often use idioms such as for the project, of the project, throughout the project, for this project. Most of the time, these can be eliminated. Consider the following examples.
Example for Condensing a Prepositional Idiom
“Our quality control and assurance measures are executed at every step throughout the project.”
“Our quality control and assurance measures are executed at every milestone.”
Example for Eliminating a Prepositional Idiom
“After our scoping meeting, the design team will draft a final scope of work for the project.”
“After our scoping meeting, the design team will draft a final scope of work.”
The reader already knows you are discussing their project. There is no need to qualify your action as being “of the project” or “for the project” when the entire document is already discussing their project.
Watch for prepositional idioms in your writing and challenge yourself to condense or eliminate them for better writing.
Take the following sentences and rewrite them by eliminating or condensing prepositional idioms.
Gabe Lett, FSMPS, CPSM, LPC