Thursday, January 3, 2013

Writer's Diet Test

I'm reading Helen Sword's "Stylish Academic Writing" --- writing, especially mine, can always be improved --- and on page 60, Sword suggests visiting a website that tests your writing for its "fitness-level".  This diagnostic tool is free and examines your writing sample with respect to verb usage, stodgy nouns (nominalizations), prepositions, adjectives/adverbs, and prevalence of if/this/that/there.  An overall "fitness rating" is returned as well as ratings for each grammatical category.  The test can be accessed directly here.  I input the content of my previous blog post, "Am I?", into the test and was pleasantly surprised by the overall result:  Fit & trim (a screenshot of the result is pasted below).  I'm not so arrogant as to believe that all my writing will be as fit and as the website disclaimer states, grammatically fit writing doesn't necessarily translate to stylish or interesting.  Limitations of the test aside, though, it is an easy and fun way to diagnose your writing.

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