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How U.S. Industries Save Money On Documents Using Good Readability

Mar 11, 2008
Right from their inception in the late 1940s, readability formulas revolutionized the writing style of everyone. Readability formulas affect every industry because of their all-appealing premise. These formulas make documents or text "readable" for the intended audience. Every industry has a target audience when it prepares any kind of text.

BUSINESSES

Many business owners and organizations constantly seek new ways to save money and increase profits. One such money-saving measure is to use readability formulas on all documents and materials. Readability formulas let you know if your text is readable by your target audience (your customers, suppliers, employees, etc). Studies show that readable text matched to the grade-level of your readers can increase their interest and improve your results to get your message across.

MILITARY and GOVERNMENT AGENCIES

Military exercises involve many assessment tests for the trainees. Through these tests, the military determines the aptitude, cognitive skills, general learning ability, ability to perform on the job, and so on. These tests are vital for military training. Besides tests, the military uses training manuals to provide general and special training for personnel. If these important texts lack readability -- either too low or too high in readability -- the purpose of preparing these manuals is wasted. Using readability formulas before publishing these training manuals ensures trainees can process and understand the texts, and it can save time and money that you would have spent revising these texts.

PUBLISHING COMPANIES

The Internet era has helped the publishing industry explode into new media. We have publishers in print medium (newspapers, magazines, journals, books, textbooks, novels, etc.), television, radio, and the Internet. Whether you publish online or offline, you need to make your products as reader-friendly as possible to attract new readers and build a loyal customer base. Using readability formulas can help you publish readable text for your readers.

Readable books help promote student independence by encouraging self-selection of books, and also help teachers, librarians, and parents assist students in choosing grade-level books. Students won't shy away from choosing additional books if they find their books informative and readable.

HEALTH CARE INDUSTRY

The Healthcare Industry is paramount to any nation's economy. A vibrant healthcare industry ensures a healthy nation, and ensures a flourishing lifestyle for its citizens. It is vital to adopt simple modes of communications between healthcare professionals and their patients. One such way to improve communications in healthcare is by using readability formulas on documents as a means to communicate effectively with staff, patients, and healthcare suppliers. Readability formulas can improve patient education and awareness. Patients need to understand their ailments, prescribed drugs, risks and side effects of the drugs, clinical tests, when to contact their doctors, when to seek immediate medical attention, and so on. All of this is accomplished by communicating with the patient through written communications, verbal instructions, multimedia, etc. Many patients need written instructions for long-term reference, and they need to understand their healthcare material in simple terms. Using readability formulas can help hospitals prepare material that patients can read and understand at their reading-level.

INSURANCE INDUSTRY

An insurance policy is a legal document between the insurance company and the policyholder, and entails serious legal implications in case of a dispute. The insurance contract involves an elaborate documentation explaining the powers and liabilities of the parties to the contract. It contains lots of legalese and is often difficult to decipher the exact requirements and implications of an insurance policy. This difficult-to-read document is one major reason insurance disputes go to court. To help policyholders understand their policies, insurance companies should write their insurance documents in plain English, using simple words and sentences. Readability formulas can help the insurance industry to simplify their documents.

SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES

The primary role of the education sector is to distill good education to students at different grade levels. Written text in the form of textbooks, journals, literature and so on, forms the backbone of a good education system. A "good" text forms the basis of a good learning experience for students. The definition of a "good" text includes its readability aspect, i.e., the text should be reader-friendly and should neither be too difficult nor too easy to read. It should be easy enough to comprehend and difficult enough to contribute to students' academic development. Readability formulas help assess and develop textbooks and other written material for the exact grade level. For instance, if you've prepared textbooks for third grade level students and the appropriate readability formula tells you the textbooks are for the fifth grade level, it's better to revise the text for easier reading.
About the Author
Jesse Dawson is the author of "Can YOU Read Me Now?," a free e-book on using readability formulas to write better, available at www.ReadabilityFormulas.com. He also serves as a forum moderator at www.WritingAnswers.com, where he helps writers and non-writers fix English writing problems.
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