Archive for the ‘About the test’ Category

Using the Advanced tab

By Helen Sword | Published: May 10th, 2016 | About the test, FAQs, Functionality, The Writer's Diet

So you’ve written a philosophy essay, you’ve referenced Derrida a fair bit, you quote from other scholars, and your topic is post-structuralist feminism. The WritersDiet Test is probably not going to be kind to you.  Your work is loaded with zombie nouns (post-structuralism and feminism, for a start) and other people’s words – which, however flabby they may be, you cannot change.

Luckily, there is help at hand.  By using the Advanced tab, you can exclude specified words or phrases from being counted when you run the test:

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How the WritersDiet Test works

By Helen Sword | Published: April 15th, 2015 | About the test

It’s pretty simple, actually – so simple, in fact, that you can perform the test manually if you prefer to go low-tech.  Just gather together five colored highlighters (preferably orange, blue, green, yellow, and pink) and use the scoring charts at the back of the book to calculate your scores.

In a nutshell, the online test identifies words in each of five grammatical categories: nouns, verbs, prepositions, adjectives/adverbs, and a grab-bag category unscientifically dubbed “waste words” (it, this, that, there).  The higher the percentage of highlighted words in each category, the “flabbier” your diagnosis. (more…)