Accession Number : ADA114935

Title :   The Role of Word Difficulty and Sentence Length in Text Comprehension.

Descriptive Note : Technical rept. FY77-FY81,

Corporate Author : NAVY PERSONNEL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER SAN DIEGO CA

Personal Author(s) : Duffy,Thomas M ; U'Ren,Paula Kabance

PDF Url : ADA114935

Report Date : May 1982

Pagination or Media Count : 36

Abstract : The relationship of readability, readable writing techniques, and comprehension was evaluated in a series of five experiments. Passages from a standard reading test were rewritten by following specific basic readable writing rules for simplifying words and sentences. Following the procedures resulted in major improvements in readability (six grade levels). However, except for one instance, this manipulation had no practical effect on comprehension across a series of five experiments in which the skill of the readers, the time allowed for reading, and the type of comprehension test were varied. Comprehension was facilitated only when the vocabulary alone was simplified and then only for low ability readers taking a reading-to-learn type of test. The results indicate the ineffectiveness of readable writing rules and readability formulas for regulating or monitoring the comprehension difficulty of text. Alternative approaches are discussed. (Author)

Descriptors :   *Reading, *Comprehension, *Words(Language), Writing, Editing, Length, Simplification, Test methods

Subject Categories : Linguistics
      Psychology

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE