Kitson’s work showed that each type of reader bought and read their own type of text.
On reading two newspapers and two magazines, he found that short sentence length and short word length were the best contributors to reading ease.
Text leveling is commonly used to rank the reading ease of texts in areas where reading difficulties are easy to identify, such as books for young children.
At higher levels, ranking reading ease becomes more difficult, as individual difficulties become harder to identify.
In 1921, Thorndike published Teachers Word Book, which contained the frequencies of 10,000 words.
It made it easier for teachers to choose books that matched class reading skills. They were concerned that junior high school science textbooks had so many technical words.
They found that many readers lacked suitable reading materials: they would have liked to learn but the reading materials were too hard for them.
Lyman Bryson of Teachers College, Columbia University found that many adults had poor reading ability due to poor education.
Higher readability eases reading effort and speed for any reader, but it is especially important for those who do not have high reading comprehension.Their formula used five variable inputs and six constants.For each thousand words, it counted the number of unique words, the number of words not on the Thorndike list, and the median index number of the words found on the list.Even though colleges had long tried to teach how to write in a clear and readable style, Bryson found that it was rare.He wrote that such language is the result of a “...discipline and artistry that few people who have ideas will take the trouble to achieve...