How to Use and Improve Your BriefCatch Scores
Here’s how to interpret and improve the five new measures. Each combines global observations (variation in sentence length, for example) with a sophisticated point system based on wording patterns in various categories.
Reader Engagement: This global measure uses regression analysis to combine the four measures below. It considers everything from the length of paragraphs to the rate of select vivid verbs.
Concise and Readable: This is a modern take on traditional readability measures. It looks mostly at word and sentence length and variation, but it also considers wording patterns associated with especially readable writing.
Flowing and Cohesive: This measure is the most closely linked to elite legal, judicial, and journalistic writing. It considers transitions, modifier use, patterns at the ends of sentences, and several other key data points.
- Enhance your command and use of transitional devices.
- Here’s an example of an excerpt that gleaned a Flow score of 100.
Crisp and Punchy: This measure reflects punchy word choice and the avoidance of wordy or cumbersome language.
Clear and Direct: This is the best measure of whether a document has a modern feel and avoids jargon and legalese.
Why the changes? Since the five original BriefCatch scores launched in 2018, we’ve number-crunched thousands of documents, legal and otherwise, and toyed with hundreds of permutations of data points. The result: an even better system of global feedback.
In revising the scoring systems, we had four main goals:
- Use Artificial Intelligence to continue exploring what makes great writing—and great writers—great.
- Use factor analysis to create richer measures.
- Make the scores comparable, so a 65 on one measure is about as common as a 65 on another measure.
- Make higher scores even tougher to reach, to allow for finer distinctions.
Scores above 85 are now rarer than ever, though the top score is still 100. Scores average around 70, but many solid documents will score well below that.
As before, take the scores with a grain of salt. Consider context, subject matter, and needs. And remember that quantitative measures can do only so much.
Also remember that scores are just a tool. If they annoy you, ignore them and enjoy the three newly designed Catch features and the new Narrative Report.