Today I came across writegood-mode for emacs, on one of the reddit thread. I am not a writer, at least not in “writer of the prose” sense, nor is English my native language, so I thought it would help me improve my English/writing skills.

Installing it in spacemacs was as easy as adding writegood-mode in dotspacemacs-additional-packages and running SPC f e R

In order to test it, I used it on one of my older prose blog post. (I thought it made sense to run it on a non-technical writeup, although I plan to use it everywhere, including this post itself)

writegood-mode pointed out some usages of passive voice (I was going to initially write this as “a few passive voice usage were pointed out”, but quickly re-thought the sentence to use active voice, and avoid weasel word few)

At first, I didn't know what the squiggly lines meant. There was no apparent help provided. this page provided generic help. As an engineer, I used the “elimination logic”. I knew none of these were weasel words, nor were they duplicates, so the errors must be about passive voice.

Honestly, I didn't know what it meant (or how to fix it)

Quick googling turned up this useful page

I have not (yet) set a global key to invoke writegood-mode. I am using M-x writegood-mode for now.

writegood-mode provides two more features, besides pointing out errors. There is a grade, and reading ease. When invoked, they both reported a number. Without comparative data, I have no idea whether my scores are good/average or just bad. here is some information about the F-K scores.

Scores for this writeup :

Flesch Kincaid grade level score : 4.09 Flesch Kincaid reading ease score : 84.83

Edit: 2016-03-14:

Added url for the Flesch Kincaid scores