Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Trying the Hemingway App

Just the other day I learned about the existence of the Hemingway app. The Hemingway app aims to analyze your text and make it easier to read and bolder. It’s goal is to simplify your writing and make it better. I looked up this new app and found that there were already several articles written about it.
According to the NewYorker, Adam and Ben Long created this app to highlight complicated writing. Its goal is to suggest simpler alternatives. The app points out adverbs which are a literary no-no. And also highlights whole sentences that are more complicated than it needs to be. Last, it highlights the passive voice. These points of criteria strengthen a writer’s use of language. When I found out about this, thought I would be curious to see how some of my writing held up.
I used the Hemingway app on this paragraph above to correct it to fit its corrections standards wound up with a score of: Zero errors/ Good/ Grade 7 English.
I thought it might be interesting to try out the Hemingway app on the first few stanzas of my children’s book rough draft to see how it faired. I have been concerned about striking the right tone, writing at the proper grade level, and being sure the story made sense. But since it is written in rhyme I didn’t know whether or not this app would even work properly.
(Since my writing is still a work in progress I have not posted any draft words on here yet. I am conducting the experiment on the side and only posting results.)
Drum roll… Results:
The first 5 stanzas are 184 words.
0/14 sentences are hard to read.
0/14 sentences are very hard to read.
I have 3 Adverbs. and with 184 words am instructed to aim for 0.
1 word/phrase can be written simpler.
0 uses of the passive voice.
Quality of writing: GOOD
Grade Level: 3!
Perhaps no writing should strictly adhere to the rules of the Hemingway app, but I was happy to see that my writing wasn’t lit up with errors like a Christmas tree. I will make note of the few errors highlighted. Perhaps I could find better words and improve my story. Hemingway seems a good source for instant feedback. The one thing I was happiest with was my grade level. I don’t know how to distinguish grade level, so that was helpful. It would be disappointing to put together a story that was too complicated to enjoy, or failed to make sense. Believe me, some people- including myself- fail to make sense when we think we do.
I think it is a good idea to at least give your writing a test run on the Hemingway app. I would not use it as the only tool for your writing, but at least one of them. It would be good to test some portions of your writing here and there if you are looking for immediate help.
Thanks for visiting.

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