Always aim to make your writing clear, concise and easy to read.
In a recent article about weak words, I recommended The Hemingway App. It highlights your long, complex sentences and words that have simpler alternatives. Here are five more useful sites that let you copy and paste text for analysis.
1. GET rid of boring clichés
Cliché Finder finds unwanted, overused phrases that you might not realise were there. Keep your writing fresh and get rid of them.
2. USE simple and straightforward language
Up Goer Five started as a project to try to explain the technicalities of the Saturn 5 rocket using only the top 1000 used English words. You can use this text box to challenge yourself to reword your writing using only these words.
It spawned a book, Thing Explainer where all sorts of machines are described in simple language.
3. MAKE your writing fit, not flabby
The Writer’s Diet aims to cut passives, possessives, prepositions, be-verbs and waste words – words that weigh your writing down. Put your writing through the test to find out how fit it is.
4. CHECK for sentences that are too long
Drivel Defence checks for sentences that are more than 20 words long. You can use this to proofread a large amount of text for readability.
5. GET a readability score
The Gunning Fog index looks at punctuation and syllable length to show the complexity of your writing.
You’ll get a number that is reckoned to be the number of years education the reader needs to have completed to understand it. Aim for 10. After all, nobody will complain that something is too easy to read!