Why You Should Write At Elementary School Levels

The writing on my blog is at an elementary school level.

While I’m not usually one for stuff like this, I was curious enough to see what the test from CriticsRant showed. Other bloggers that took the test crowed over the Genius level of their blog writings (or were stunned to see that result, one of the two) and some had high school level ratings for their content.

None had elementary school level – or they were too embarrassed to admit it.

Me? I’m not ashamed at all of that rating. Alright, I’ll admit that my first reaction was, “WHAT?! What a load of crap.” My second thought was a wash of satisfaction, because my blog reading level allows more readers to enjoy and understand our content.

That’s important. Many writers take on this lofty, arrogant attitude that anything written should be works that rival… Oh, I dunno. The works of Dickens or Shakespeare or something. I’m not into big, fancy, classical reading. It bores me to tears.

Why would anyone want to eliminate readers by using five-syllable words in phrases so convoluted and complex they are almost an art form to plaster on walls in a frame? Why is succinct, concise and simple language beneath the craft of writing? When did high levels of formal education become a requirement to enjoying a good read?

When did easy-to-read writing become a sign of a lack of intelligence?


Transmitting ideas, concepts and messages via words – written words – in language that reaches a maximum number of people because it is understandable is desirable.

Using short sentences and common words is a sign of a writer’s confidence. That person doesn’t feel the need to elevate him or herself to get a message across. There is no need to show off. That person is confident about him or herself.

I’m proud that my teenage daughter can read my blog to learn something new. I’m proud my French next-door neighbor who struggles with English subscribes to my feed – and discusses my posts with me. I’m proud that busy people appreciate the fast reading without having to break their head figuring out what I’m trying to say.

I wear my elementary reading level badge proudly. I exclude no one from reading my content. Besides, that rating is certainly no reflection on my own personal genius 😉

Post by James Chartrand

James Chartrand is an expert copywriter and the owner of Men with Pens and Damn Fine Words, the game-changing writing course for business owners. She loves the color blue, her kids, Nike sneakers and ice skating.