Posted by: nancyisanders | October 2, 2013

Highlights: Analyze Your Target Article

Now that you’ve typed out your sample article, let’s analyze it.

Let’s get some stats.
Do a word count.

(Don’t count the title)
I was surprised that my sample article came in at 700 words. This made me realize I don’t need to aim for 800 words. 700 can be just fine.

Run a spell-check and see what the Flesch-Kincaid Reading Level is. I was surprised that it came in at a 9.0 reading level. This means the vocabulary and sentence structure is at a ninth grade reading level. This shows that I don’t need to keep it at an elementary reading level, which makes it easier sometimes.

If you don’t know how to check for the Flesch-Kincaid Reading Level, post a comment and let me know and I’ll give some pointers.

Count the Sections and Paragraphs
I can clearly see that there are four sections in this article and each section has 3 paragraphs in it. I plan to do the same for my article.

Count the Quotes
Remember how the Contributors Guidelines say they want lots of quotes? No kidding! I went through and highlighted every quote in my target article. My target article has 1-3 quotes in every single paragraph except 3. Wow!

Count the Photos
My target article has 3 photographs in it. That will guide me as I dig around looking for potential photographs to include with my article. Three. That sounds very doable! One. Two. Three. It will take time, yes, but not too much time. And the skills we’ll acquire along the journey will help us become better writers. And more confident writers. And more experienced writers. Guaranteed!


  1. Hi, Nancy,

    I just got your two books in the mail and am very excited to start going through them., Yes, You Can and Beginning Readers and Chapter Books. I have never written a nonfiction piece, so this is all very new and scary. My question is regarding the Flesch-Kincaid Reading Level, Would you please help with what this, where to find it, and how to check for it? Many thanks in advance.


    • Hi Louise! Thanks so much getting my books. I hope you find them VERY helpful! And regarding the Flesch-Kincaid REading Level, look on page 47 of the red and yellow book, YES! YOU CAN LEARN HOW TO WRITE BEGINNING READERS AND CHAPTER BOOKS. If that doesn’t answer your questions, let me know.

      • Nancy,

        Thanks so much for the quick reply! I’m actually floored and the response time! I will check those pages out and get back to you, if need be.
        Many thanks,

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