How FOGgy are you?

A number of you were surprised by your FOG Index scores — they were higher than you thought. A couple of you asked for more information on the FOG Index. So here it is.

Wikipedia has a good write-up on the FOG index, with links to online calculators and such. Here’s the direct link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunning-Fog_Index

Wikipedia lists three online FOG calculators:

Another good resource is Juicy Studio’s Readability web page, which discusses two other measures of readability, the Flesch Reading Ease algorithm and the Flesch-Kincaid grade level test. It also includes a link to All About Readability, an article by Cheryl Stephens that reviews all of these calculators and discusses what they can — and can’t — tell you about your writing.

Here’s how to lower your FOG index:

  • use shorter, simpler words
  • introduce more variety in your sentence lengths (which usually means interspersing some shorter sentences among average-to-long sentences).

This page of Writing Tips, published by the University of Minnesota, also include some helpful tips on lowering your FOG Index.

New office hours

I’ve changed my office hours to 2-4 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

For the rest of the month, I’ll be filling in for another JMC instructor who’s recovering from surgery. Her 100w class meets at 12 noon T/Th, so I’ve pushed back my office hours from 12:15-1:45 p.m. to  2-4 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

I can also usually be found in my office before class, from 8-9 a.m. However, since I’m usually getting ready for my classes, please try to limit any early morning visits to quick questions.