The article Methods for measuring text readability – Standards-schmandards gives some background about what readability is, although if you’re an education majors you’re already familiar with the notion of reading levels. The article ties it in with web accessibility, so it’s an intro worth reading. You’ll find the link to the online readability index calculator in the article.
I tried it out with the previous paragraph, and it gave the paragraph a grade level of 15 and a reading ease score of 21, saying a typical comic scores 90 and legalese can score under 10.
The previous blog entry about Paul Graham’s speech scored a reading level of grade 7 and a reading ease score of 65.