A Readability Analysis of Campaign Speeches from the 2016 US Presidential Campaign

03/18/2016 ∙ by Elliot Schumacher, et al. ∙ 0

Readability is defined as the reading level of the speech from grade 1 to grade 12. It results from the use of the REAP readability analysis (vocabulary - Collins-Thompson and Callan, 2004; syntax - Heilman et al ,2006, 2007), which use the lexical contents and grammatical structure of the sentences in a document to predict the reading level. After analysis, results were grouped into the average readability of each candidate, the evolution of the candidate's speeches' readability over time and the standard deviation, or how much each candidate varied their speech from one venue to another. For comparison, one speech from four past presidents and the Gettysburg Address were also analyzed.



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