Blog Reading Levels

Bruce McQuain ran Q&O through an Internet widget and found that the site was written at the College Undergraduate level.

Curious, I did the same for OTB. To my chagrin, we apparently write like high schoolers around here.

Considering that all the site authors have graduate degrees, that was a bit disconcerting. Out of curiosity, though, I decided to run our celebrity gossip site, Gone Hollywood, through the tester:

I’m honestly not sure what to make of that.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Scott_T says:

    It takes a genius to write about celebrity T&A.

    Duh. 😀

  2. yetanotherjohn says:

    Apparently the tester is a fan of celebrity gossip.

  3. David Harris says:

    No offense, but have you ever looked at Steve’s posts? While the points he makes are usually pretty salient, the writing is frequently littered with grammatical errors, which I’m assuming such a widget would be tracking heavily. Considering that his posts tend to be much longer than the other writers at OTB, there are even more errors to be had. There’s a noticeable difference as a frequent reader, and I imagine the widget might notice as well.

  4. Alex Knapp says:

    Hmm…. I checked a few other sites. Volokh Conspiracy, which is a bunch of lawyers talking about complex legal issues, seems to be at a Jr. High School Reading Level.

    Don’t forget, too, that this program probably just isn’t looking at the posts, but feeding in the sidebar content, too, which might be making a big difference.

  5. John Burgess says:

    I’m not pleased that Crossroads Arabia is said to be ‘Genius’ level. Tenth grade is the level to which most writing for a general public is expected to be aimed.

  6. Dave Schuler says:

    Hmmm. The Glittering Eye tested out at College (Postgrad) level. I’m trying for High School so I guess I need to work on my sentence length.

  7. Dave Schuler says:

    I’m still trying to figure it out. and Ann Althouse’s blog both come out as Junior High, TPM and Daily Kos as High School. Crooked Timber comes out as Genius as does Econbrowser.

  8. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    To my chagrin, we apparently write like high schoolers around here.

    Impossible! I will bet that you couldn’t find 10 high school students in the entire nation that understand the word “chagrin”.

  9. Alan Kellogg says:

    It couldn’t check my blog. Apparently being a folder down from gives the poor beast trouble. With what the other commenters say, it looks like we’re dealing with a poop urn.

  10. My blog came up High School
    The two Sports blogs I am a contributing author to(OTB Sports and Poliblog Deportes) ranked Junior High School
    Bullwinkle Blog where I contribute a little tested at elementary school level

  11. Josh Poulson says:

    My blog came back “College (Postgrad)”. There seems to be little rhyme or reason to the ratings.