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Reading Difficulty Levels of Selected Articles in the Journal of Research in Music Education and Journal of Historical Research in Music Education

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Readability formulas are used widely in education, and increasingly in business and government. Over 30 years of research on more than 200 readability formulas has demonstrated moderate to strong predictive

Readability formulas are used widely in education, and increasingly in business and government. Over 30 years of research on more than 200 readability formulas has demonstrated moderate to strong predictive correlations with reading comprehension. In this study, five well-known readability formulas correlated highly with each other when applied to selected recent historical articles (N = 22) from two music education research journals. The mean level of difficulty (readability) for all 22 articles was grade 14.04, near the beginning of the second year of college. Since research shows that most people read below their highest completed school grade and also prefer easier materials, this is probably an appropriate level of difficulty for the presumptive readers of these two journals (i.e., holders of undergraduate and graduate degrees). Professors, librarians, and others responsible for guiding students toward reading material at appropriate levels of readability could benefit from these results.

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