Editing Guidelines

Text Items and Measurement

Remember that the primary objective for measuring text using the Lexile® Text Analyzer Content Creator is to preserve complete sentences in the text while removing all incomplete sentence content. Before you analyze, make sure that only complete sentences are captured. Inclusion of non-prose text will negatively impact the Lexile measure result. Use the lists below to guide your text preparation process. For Spanish content, the same editing objective is still true. The prose content should be included during analysis while the non-prose content should be excluded.

Text Items to Retain:
  • Paragraphs of prose

  • Dates within a complete sentence

  • Names within a complete sentence

  • Captions that are complete sentences

  • Acronyms within a complete sentence

  • Foreign words within a complete sentence

  • Dialogue, sentences within quotation marks

  • Text from informational text boxes containing complete sentences

  • Parenthetical phrases or clauses within sentences (Remove parenthesis)

  • Text from bulleted or numbered lists in which the list items are complete sentences (Remove bullets or numbers)

Text Items to Remove:
Note: Delete the items listed below entirely from the text, or preserve them in your text, but prevent their inclusion for measurement by surrounding the items with double brackets. Example: [[text to be excluded from measurement]]
  • URLs
  • Page numbers
  • Titles/Headings
  • Tables and graphs
  • Incomplete sentences
  • Subtitles/Subheadings
  • Page headers and footers
  • Phonetic pronunciation guides
  • Greetings and closings from letters
  • Captions that are incomplete sentences
  • Sentences with unconventional punctuation
  • Abbreviations, especially from instant messaging/text messaging
  • Book Frontmatter (forewords, prologues, prefaces, tables of contents)
  • The leading name and colon conventionally used in interview notation
  • Book Backmatter (afterwords, epilogues, glossaries, indexes, bibliographies)

Editing Guidelines

For the best estimate of text complexity, the following editing guidelines that must be followed:


Remove ellipses in the middle of sentences and make sure they are flush when used as end punctuation.

Example 1

Incorrect image The dog was done running… hot, thirsty, and exhausted.

Correct image The dog was done running hot, thirsty, and exhausted.

Example 2

Incorrect image She thought about it but could she . . .

Correct image She thought about it but could she…


Remove parenthesis that surround complete sentences.


Incorrect image (The conclusion covers all the major points from the argument.)

Correct image The conclusion covers all the major points from the argument.

Em Dashes

Em dashes (—) should be changed to dashes with a space on both sides.


Incorrect image Cats are great—furry, cuddly, playful.

Correct image Cats are great - furry, cuddly, playful.

For Spanish content - Em dashes do not need to be adjusted for Spanish content. They serve a different grammatical purpose in comparison to English content.


Symbols should be removed (). Some of these are due to plain text conversion issues while others are due to the Lexile Analyzer not recognizing them.


Incorrect image *Horses are related to hippopotamuses.

Correct image Horses are related to hippopotamuses.

Double Punctuation

Every sentence must end with only one designated punctuation mark (period, question mark, exclamation mark, semicolon, colon). Remove any repetitive marks.

Example 1

Incorrect image What do you mean!?

Correct image What do you mean?

Example 2

Incorrect image And when the door closed…?

Correct image And when the door closed…

Western Arabic Numeral Symbol Opening and Closing

For sentences beginning or ending with a numeral symbol, a capital A should be placed flush in front of a symbol opening a sentence and flush behind a symbol closing a sentence.

Incorrect image 5 dogs ran past 1.

Correct image A5 dogs ran past 1A.