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Using Readability Tools to Help Edit Biomedical Research Articles

Level:
Foundation
Area:
Language and Writing
Code:
LWF15
Duration:
03:30:00
Workshop profile:
This workshop is for medical writers interested in exploring the use of readability tools to help them produce more readable biomedical research text. Participants should have some experience of writing and editing scientific research texts, but do not need specialised knowledge.
Objective:
This workshop explores ‘readability’, focusing on how formulas, formula-derived statistics and other tools can help writers edit biomedical research articles. After this workshop, participants should be able to: · Understand what determines the readability of a document · Appreciate what readability formulas measure (usually sentence length and word difficulty) and what formula-derived statistics mean · Recognise the pros/cons and realistic place of readability statistics, particularly when applying them to biomedical research texts · Use readability statistics and other tools to screen biomedical texts and help improve text readability.
Content:
In this workshop, we will: · Define ‘readability’ and consider what influences readability · Consider the importance of readability, particularly of biomedical research articles · Review commonly-used readability formulas · Consider the readability of biomedical research articles · Critically assess the use of readability statistics · Review other tools available to analyse text and improve readability · Consider a Readability Screening Checklist. Practical elements of the workshop will include: · Comparison of two texts for readability: initial impression and later in-depth comparison using readability statistics and web-based tools · Analysis of participants’ own writing using readability statistics · Exercises illustrating important determinants of sentence length and therefore readability: the active/passive voice, nominalisation and joining words to improve sentence flow.