Who's Reading Your Writing? How Difficult Is Your Text?

1.1 Continuing Education Credit Hours


All readability formulas measure reading difficulty from two features:  average sentence length and average word length.  Determining the reading level of a piece of health information, however, is only one factor that affects the difficulty or ease of reading.  The most commonly used formulas, the SMOG and Fry, are presented in this module.  The criteria for determining whether or not a piece is easy-to-read is also presented.


  1. Describe why readability is important to me as a health professional.
  2. Describe the characteristics of an easy-to-read document.
  3. Describe the benefits and limitations of readability tests.
  4. Calculate readability scores using the SMOG Grading Formula, FRY Readability Graph, and Flesch-Kincaid Formula.
  5. Describe the Suitability Assessment of Materials tool.
  6. Explain how the audience, content, organization and structure, and the style and design of a document may affect its readability.

Online Module

When completing the on-line module you will be presented with learning objectives, brief cases, questions for reflection (not scored), and interactive lessons with hyperlinks to engage you along the way. Once you complete the lessons, you will be presented with the Module Evaluation and then the Post Test (which requires a score of 70%), followed by the opportunity to print your Continuing Education Certificate. Modules remain available for your future reference once you have completed them.