Some Estimates of the Reading Grade Level of College Textbooks in Meteorology

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  • 1 Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331
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For many years, readability indices have been utilized to estimate the reading grade level (RGL) of textual material. They have been used chiefly for primary and secondary grade level material, but are applicable to collegiate texts as well. In this study, seven readability indices for 52 atmospheric science textbooks were obtained to estimate their RGL. Half of the texts chosen were of a general or introductory nature, while the other half were specialized or advanced texts. Because only a small sample of the entire text was utilized in their computation, any index may not be exactly representative of RGL of the text as a whole; however, they sare likely to be useful in comparing one book to another.

While the readability level of a text should not be the sole reason for adopting or rejecting a textbook, it should be a consideration.

1 Present affiliation: Department of Meteorology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.

For many years, readability indices have been utilized to estimate the reading grade level (RGL) of textual material. They have been used chiefly for primary and secondary grade level material, but are applicable to collegiate texts as well. In this study, seven readability indices for 52 atmospheric science textbooks were obtained to estimate their RGL. Half of the texts chosen were of a general or introductory nature, while the other half were specialized or advanced texts. Because only a small sample of the entire text was utilized in their computation, any index may not be exactly representative of RGL of the text as a whole; however, they sare likely to be useful in comparing one book to another.

While the readability level of a text should not be the sole reason for adopting or rejecting a textbook, it should be a consideration.

1 Present affiliation: Department of Meteorology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.

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