When you think about reading age, I want you to think about who you are writing for.
If you’re writing for a doctor, they will be able to understand longer or more difficult words.
If you’re writing for a patient or someone looking for health information, they may not know all the words a doctor knows.
The NHS writes for a reading age of about 9 years old, and GOV.UK writes for a 10 to 11 year old reading age.
The reading age for health is lower as when you are ill, you might not be able to understand the meaning of certain words, or read long sentences like this one you’ve just read.
A tool I like to recommend to check the reading age of your work is http://www.hemingwayapp.com
With hemingwayapp, you can put your text straight into the website and look at the grade for how easy it is to read.
If your writing is around grade 5 or lower, it is easy to read.
If your writing is higher than grade 9, it’s probably quite hard to read.
I like to keep my writing as close to grade 5 as possible, so everyone can understand it and find it easy to read.
I’ve found that sometimes, there may be a long word which is a product or procedure which can make the reading age go up.
So don’t get caught up in the numbers with hemingwayapp, use it in a way that helps you get better at writing.
Even now, I want to use longer words or longer sentences, but I avoid them, so it’s easy on your eyes 🙂
In my opinion, the best reading age is anything below grade 5, so your writing will be easy to translate into other languages too!