Abstract Analysis and Revision Assignment Using MS Word Readability Statistics

Julie Dyke Ford


In teaching technical writing for nearly 20 years, I have recognized the importance of including writing assignments focused on improving students' clarity and effectiveness at the sentence level. I present a writing assignment for STEM students ranging from freshman to graduate-level. Students first find a published abstract in their discipline and then use readability tools to analyze the abstract's style. They revise the abstract for better readability while maintaining professional tone. This assignment reinforces research skills, audience awareness, and reflection on sentence-level stylistic choices.

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