top of page
  • Writer's pictureDale Thele

Writing at a 7th grade reading level?

Updated: Apr 7, 2023


It’s been many, many moons since I was in middle school, so why do I write as if I’m still in junior high?


The answer may surprise you.


According to The Literacy Project, “the average American reads at a 7th to 8th grade level”. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development states “half of U.S. adults can’t read a book written at the 8th grade level.”


With such alarming statistics, I don’t want to alienate potential readers by writing my stories on a level above readers’ capabilities. The intent of my writing is to entertain and maybe toss in a little education into the mix. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that all my readers read on an elementary school level, far from it. And, I don’t want a reputation of being a “high brow” writer. Heaven forbid I use words, phrases and symbolism that only a literary scholar can decipher. I write to entertain and transform my reader out of their reality for a short period.

So, how is a reading level determined?

A reading ease score can be found by utilizing the most widely used reading and comprehensive reading scoring system: the Flesch Reading Ease Score and the Flesch Kinkaid Grade Level. An author or writer can obtain a reading score through the use of many online editing programs. My preferred editor is ProWritingAid. It produces a multi-layered assessment of my writing as well as a Flesch Reading Ease score. By-the-way, the Flesch Reading score for this post is 61.8, easily understood by 13- to 15-year-old students.

So, the next time you read one of my short stories, novellas, novels, or even a blog post like this one, keep in mind that I’m not writing down to anyone’s level. I’m writing on a level that most readers can read comfortably.


I would like to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment in the Comment Box at the bottom of the page.


Additional Reading Sources

Center for Plain Language, March 22, 2017 https://centerforplainlanguage.org/what-is-readability/


What's the Latest US Literacy Rate


Valerie Strauss, “Hiding in plain sight: The adult literacy crisis,” Washington Post, Nov. 1, 2016

Reading the numbers: 130 million American adults have low literacy skills


Dale Thele, Bestselling Fiction Author

Bestselling Fiction Author

Stories with an LGBTQ+ Twist

corrupting readers since 2008


Don't miss another blog post! Get new blog post notifications and new book/story releases sent directly to your email. Click here to subscribe.

189 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments

Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page