Poetic Techniques Vocabulary

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1. Take any sample of 100 words in complete sentences.

2. Count only full sentences. If the last sentence ends short of 100 words, stop at that stage.

3. Count the number of words in the sample with 3 or more syllables, omitting capitalised words. Call this X

4. Divide by 100 the number of sentences to give an answer Y.

5. Add X + Y to give an answer Z.

6. Multiply Z by 0.3 to give an American grade equivalent.

7. Add 5.0 to your answer to give a British reading age.

Shaded extract above

There are 3 full sentences

X = 23

100 ÷ 3 = 33.3
Y = 33.3

23 + 33.3 = 56.3

56.3 x 0.3 =16.9

16.9 + 5.0 = 21.9 or 22 rounded up.

Text 1
There was a long pause before Paul spoke. He sat for what seemed an eternity gazing off into the distance at some apparently fascinating object outside the office window. Jamie began to feel decidedly uncomfortable. He had known that his superior was not going to be happy but this was starting to look like he was going to be seriously displeased. Jamie fidgeted uncomfortably. He began to wish that he had told Liz instead. She would have gone completely off the deep end, that was true, but at least it would be over by now. This waiting was just awful.

Text 2
There was a long pause before Paul spoke. He sat for what seemed an eternity gazing off into the distance at some apparently fascinating object outside the office window. Jamie began to feel decidedly uncomfortable. He had known that his superior was not going to be happy but this was starting to look like he was going to be seriously displeased. Jamie fidgeted uncomfortably. He began to wish that he had told Liz instead. She would have gone completely off the deep end, that was true, but at least it would be over by now. This waiting was just awful.

Text 3
There was a long pause before Paul spoke. He sat for what seemed an eternity gazing off into the distance at some apparently fascinating...
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