How to Use and Improve Your BriefCatch Scores

These custom scores aim to inspire, not just to measure. For each index and formula, a score of 100 reflects what you would find in top-notch legal and journalistic writing. That said, not even the best writers will get high scores all the time.

Nor can you quantify everything that makes great writing great. You could earn high scores here and still end up with a document that makes little sense. And especially with short or straightforward documents, you could get moderately low scores here and still have a draft that works just fine.

Don’t worry about quotations. Unlike other editing tools, BriefCatch generally skips them.

Don’t worry about anything, in fact. The scores are just a tool. If they bother you, ignore them and focus on the Catch and Report features.


Here’s how to interpret and improve the five scores and indices:

Reading Happiness Score: a mix of active-voice use, average word length, average paragraph length, the four indices, and other custom metrics

  • Follow the Catch recommendations, including the passive-voice flags, as appropriate.
  • Follow all recommendations below.
  • Shorten paragraphs.

Sentence Length Index: median sentence length and variation in sentence length

  • Follow the Catch recommendations as appropriate.
  • Aim to have at least one sentence per page that starts and stops on the same line.

Flow Index: frequency of transitional devices, variation in transitional devices, use of numbered lists, and other signs that you’ve linked your points

  • Follow the Catch recommendations as appropriate.
  • Enhance your command and use of transitional devices.
  • Add numbered lists.
  • Start sentences and paragraphs with “this” or “that” or “these” or “those” and then pick up on something you were discussing in the sentence before.

Here’s an example of an excerpt that gleaned a Flow score of 100.

Punchiness Index: frequency of one-syllable words and avoidance of common wordy constructions such as “there are,” “in the event that,” and “despite the fact that”

  • Follow the Catch recommendations as appropriate.

Plain English Index: Avoidance of legalese and other stereotypical words and phrases

  • Follow the Catch recommendations as appropriate.