Tag Archives: readability scales

How do you determine what level of language to use for children and YAs?

Here’s a comprehensive follow-up to yesterday’s post about readability scales. This article, from a library site, was sent to me in response to a comment I made on the Web of Language blog. The article explores many of the scales available. I’m curious: how do writers of young adult and children’s books make these decisions? Is there a scale or set of guidelines widely in use for this purpose? If so, how does it compare to the scales and tools discussed here? I’d love to hear from authors of YA and children’s books. What tools for selecting the right level of language would you recommend?


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Interesting Post on Reading-Level Scales—for Children’s and YA authors?

Here’s a post by Dennis Baron at The Web of Language about the readability scales used by various organizations to dictate the “grade-level” writers should aim for. He argues that these scales are useless, by virtue of the fact that they contradict each other, at the very least, and don’t provide help in creating “clear” language at any level. I’m not sure how these scales relate to the guidelines on language in children’s and YA books that writers in those genres follow. Check out the post, and let me know if you have used scales like these.

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Filed under self editing for fiction writers, Self-publishing, style for writers, Working with literary editors, Writing, writing novels