In this article, we explain what the Grammarly readability score is and how you can use it to improve your writing.
The Grammarly readability score is a premium tool that rates the performance of your writing.
When you paste text into the Grammarly editor, it scans through your document and identifies common spelling, errors, typos, and other grammar mistakes. Alternatively, you can use the official plugin for Chrome, Google Docs or Microsoft Office.
It presents several real-time suggestions based on correctness, clarity, engagement, delivery, and preferred style guide.
After pasting in text, Grammarly also scores your work between one and 100 and represents the writing quality in your document in question.
Aim to get this score as high as possible so readers find your work engaging. However, the Grammarly determines the readability score by several factors related to specific reports.
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The Grammarly Readability Score Explained
Grammarly scores a piece of writing between 1 and 100. It bases this score on:
- Unique and complicated words
- The ability of a 7th grade level student to understand the piece in question i.e. its Flesch-Kincaid score
- Your goals and intended audience
It also compares your work's score with the scores of similar pieces from other Grammarly users. Remember to select British, American or Canadian English before checking your work.
Grammarly Writing Goals
Grammarly reviews your work based on goals for the piece in question. These are:
Audience: Determine whether you want a piece of writing to be general, knowledgeable or expert.
A general audience should find the piece easy to read with minimal effort, whereas an expert indicates some complicated language is OK, i.e. for an essay.
Formality: Select informal for a blog post and formal if you're writing something like a freelance article for a newspaper.
Domain. Pick from these self-explanatory domains: academic, business, general, email, casual, and creative. If in doubt, pick general as this will apply most rules and conventions.
Grammarly includes several other writing goals. However, these don't affect the suggestions and are more for providing feedback to the developers of the company's algorithms.
Next, let's cover the six key reports that inform this popular grammar checker.
1. Correctness Report
The correctness report underlines grammar mistakes in your work in red, a misplaced comma and other spelling mistakes
If you click on “Learn more” in the dialogue box, Grammarly proposes a fix with context for the grammar error.
If you're using Grammarly regularly to check your work, this report is the most useful for fixing errors.
2. Clarity Report
The clarity report highlight sentences in blue. It explains how to clarify when you or a team member wrote possibly wordy sentences that could confuse readers.
It also points out when to remove redundancies, split up a sentence, or even rewrite one, so it's more straightforward for readers.
Recently, Grammarly rolled out auto-correction suggestions. It suggests a rewrite by highlighting proposed changes. I use this report when copyediting. It's currently in beta, so not all changes will make sense.
3. Engagement Report
The engagement report highlights words and sentences in green and proposes specific synonyms and other word choices that will improve your writing's sharpness.
It also explains when you should use more precise language, stronger words and edit down long sentences. The engagement report also highlights instances of the passive voice.
4. Delivery Report
The Grammarly delivery report helps you write with more confidence. It points out redundancies like clichés and clunky language.
The Grammarly delivery report is based on goals for your piece. If you tell Grammarly, you're editing a formal document for an academic audience, it will highlight all overly familiar contractions, e.g., “you're”, and instances of personal pronouns, e.g. “I”.
5. Style Guide
If you're using Grammarly Business, the Grammarly readability report will point out instances of words that fall outside of your company's style guide.
- Incorrectly spelled product or brand names
- Technical language
- Capitalization issues
Use this report if you're editing a business document or academic essay.
Want to learn more? Read our Grammarly Business Review
6. Plagiarism Checker
The plagiarism checker report isn't in the free version of Grammarly. It's available in the Premium and Business version. It will help you scan articles for instances of plagiarism online. This is useful for:
- Checking academic papers and essays before submitting them
- Seeing if your work is in use elsewhere without your permission
- Finding sources and links for articles
- Searches phrases and sentences for instances of plagiarism
Read our guide to the best plagiarism checkers.
Grammarly Readability Score: The Final Word
The Grammarly readability report might provide more information than you need. Think of it as like a writing assistant. You can ignore or accept its suggestions.
For example, if you're writing social media posts for Facebook or LinkedIn, does the passive voice matter? Then again,. you can also spend a long time perfecting a piece.
Aiming for a good readability score promotes writing that's clear, concise and, ideally, error-free.
It will also help you improve sentence structure and your writing style and keep a reader's attention longer. Clearer, more engaging writing can even help your articles with SEO.
In short: balance the amount of effort required to get a piece of writing to 100 versus the value it will drive for your business or your readers.
If you'd like to learn more, read our Grammarly Premium review.
What is a good readability score on Grammarly?
According to Grammarly, aim for a score over 60. That way, the average 13-year-old can probably understand the piece, meaning it's clear, concise and, ideally, error-free.
How to increase readability score in Grammarly?
Review the Grammarly suggestions one-by-one and decide if they make sense for your work. Also, edit long sentences, remove clunky and complicated language, and fix common spelling and grammar mistakes.
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