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Comprehension Rate – How to Be Read and Understood

I don’t know about comprehension rates, but I look forward to learning.

Comprehension rate – no idea, but looks as though it’s related to the sort of ‘reading ages’ of, for example, newspaper articles.

Okay, the definition of the term “comprehension rate” that I’m about to share with you, is an excellent measure that you stay mindful of when you are writing. (70%.) I’ve just performed a Google search for the definition of  comprehension rate and I’ve discovered a curious thing. (82%.) Predominantly, the results from the search tend to mention “speed reading.” (89%.) This is not the definition that I am looking for! (90%.)

The comprehension rate that I’m referring to, is the percentage of people who comprehend a sentence after reading it just once. (78%.)

You have probably noticed the various percentages that I’ve scattered through the text above? (86%.) And the one just now? (95%.) I’ll stop dispensing them now. (95%.) Okay now. (98%.) Erm … Now? (99%)  Grrr!


The percentages represent rough calculations of the number of people out of one hundred who comprehend a sentence after they have read it just once. Those who didn’t comprehend it the first time, well they’re the people who have to reread it. Just to make sure that you are with me: if 75% of people comprehend a sentence after reading it the first time, the other 25% didn’t.

Out of those 25% who didn’t comprehend the sentence, how many of them didn’t bother to go back and read it again? I don’t know, but from what I know of human nature, I’d say quite a few. This is even more true when the culprits are reading off of a computer screen, though who really is the culprit of this crime?

Well, let’s just say that it is up to the writer to try to keep the average comprehension rate of sentences higher rather than lower.

How to Keep Your Sentences’ Comprehension Rate High.

Writing for the Internet and Raising One’s Profile Online

We are starting a new group initiative on WD called “Writing for the Internet and Promoting Oneself Online”. For any writer, this is a subject that is not to be ignored.

In the great age of the internet, the scope for writing and writers has grown bigger than at any other time in history. Of course, we know that the reason for this is obvious, but as a writer, are you taking any advantage of it?

Internet Writing

Writing for the internet is different than writing for any other media. Your prose needs to look attractive as well as have great content.  The language used needs to be as active and precise as hell. A reader will click away to another site at the writer’s first mishap.


Read on to find out how you can write and be noticed online!

Book Review: Tiny Sunbirds Far Away (Christie Watson)

THE BOOK CENTRES ON THE YOUNG NARRATOR, Blessing, in Nigeria, against a backdrop of political violence caused by the actions of oil companies in the Niger Delta. Blessing lives with her parents and brother, Ezikiel, in Lagos in a cocoon of luxury and comfort. However, soon her father’s abandonment of the family for another woman forces her mother to go to her parents’ home in the Delta, with Blessing and Ezikiel, where conditions are raw and squalid. In the neighbourhood gangs of violent boys prey on anyone they don’t like. The local police are portrayed as a corrupt mafia demanding bribes at every juncture. Inter-ethnic conflict is endemic.

We are never quite sure whether Blessing’s grandfather, the head of household, is the qualified petroleum engineer he claims to be, unjustly excluded by overpaid ex-pats, or a fantasist. It is the grandmother, a much-respected midwife, who keeps the family together. She gradually initiates Blessing into the mysteries of her profession.

Blessing’s brother, Ezikiel, is the other major character in the story. He is angry about his mother’s taking up with Westerners and joins the gang. In the course of trying to blow up a pipeline, he suffers horrifying burns, which lead to his death. The Oedipal and political struggle with his mother shatters her and she decides to wed a Western admirer, Dan. The wedding becomes the tragic centre of the plot when a gang of youths abduct Dan in mid-wedding.

Read more …

‘Final Draft’ Essential Software – Reviews

‘FINAL DRAFT – THE INDUSTRY STANDARD FOR SCRIPTWRITING’ is described as ‘essential software’ by Michéal Jacob (formerly the BBC’s creative head of mainstream comedy and executive producer of sitcoms My Family, Two Pints of Lager and a Packet Of Crisps, and The Smoking Room.)

As this is the case, I was wondering if a scriptwriter out there who was lucky enough to own Final Draft might like to write a review of it for us?

Final Draft - The Industry Standard for Scriptwriting

Final Draft - "Essential Software" - Micheal Jacob

I’m sorry but there would be no payment for said review – except for the prestige of having one published on WRITERSDOCK, with your byline intact of course!

We look forward to hearing from you.

Carry On Loving Shakespeare

RECENTLY I HAVE NOTICED SEVERAL TRAILERS ON THE TELEVISION for a series of programmes entitled Shakespeare Unlocked. This raised two questions in my mind:

• Why does Shakespeare need to be unlocked?
• Why do I, personally, have such a love for the writings of Shakespeare?

To take the questions in the order that they are posited, I suspect that the answer to the first lies in two of the most common comments that I hear when people are discussing his plays, which go as follows:

• They can’t possibly have any relevance or interest for me; they’re written in such old-fashioned language that they obviously only applied to the times when he was alive.
• He writes all his words in funny orders instead of just coming straight out with it and saying what he means.

Whether I agree with either or both of these statements is not the point at issue here. I hear them expressed often enough to know that they are true and relevant to a significant number of people, and they form a barrier to the desire to listen to what he has to say: therefore his writings do need to be unlocked for a large number of people.

One potential answer to the first question, then, lies in my answer to the second, which is not:

‘Because I am a middle-aged (being kind) literary fuddy-duddy.’

The descriptive part of that sentence may well have a foundation in truth but the first word makes the sentence as a whole, as an answer to the question posed. That is not how I come to have such a deep-rooted love of the Bard’s works.

Read More…