About Verbatim

Verbatim helps you write on brand.

Use it to measure writing voice as defined by Brand Voice Academy — and understand how every edit impacts the vocabulary, tone, and cadence of your copy.

Adjust your voice to sound any way you want. By having specific measurements in mind, you can edit more precisely to write like anyone or any brand.


Verbatim uses the Automatic Readability Index, similar to Hemingway App. It predicts the average US grade level needed to comprehend the text.

Score Age Grade Level
1 5-6 Kindergarten
2 6-7 First Grade
3 7-8 Second Grade
4 8-9 Third Grade
5 9-10 Fourth Grade
6 10-11 Fifth Grade
7 11-12 Sixth Grade
8 12-13 Seventh Grade
9 13-14 Eighth Grade
10 14-15 Ninth Grade
11 15-16 Tenth Grade
12 16-17 Eleventh Grade
13 17-18 Twelfth Grade
14 18-19 College student

We’re not judging anyone here. Grade 1 isn’t necessarily better than Grade 14 and 12 isn’t any better than 2. It just identifies the readability level so you can make your writing clearer for any audience.

(For more information on the Automated Readbility Index, visit this Wikipedia article)

Tone & Sentiment

Our tone analyzer is based on the GoEmotions dataset of 27 core categories. It uses a collection of 58,000 categorized and tagged Reddit comments to classify 12 positive, 11 negative, 4 ambiguous, and 1 neutral sentiment.

The current model identifies the overall tone of each paragraph. We hope to tighten it up to individual line and sentence level, but that requires a lot of expensive servers we don’t have (yet).

Measurable tones include:

You can find more details here on the Google Research Blog.


The average word length and separation of “you” and “me” words helps identify if you’re consistent with your client’s terminology.

Except for technical writing, the average word length is almost always 4, so take note of the decimal points. There can be a significant difference between an average word length of 4.03 and 4.91.


Cadence refers to the rhythm of your writing — both the length of your sentence and the punctuation. Short sentences are denoted as 11 or fewer words, medium sentences are 12-19, and longer are 20+.

The average sentence length in US writing is between 15-20 words and the trend is getting shorter.

Punctuation stats are scaled to an average per 100 words. Take note of the total sentences in your sample because a shorter example may not always scale consistently compared to someone’s actual writing.

There are a lot of great tools out there and Verbatim wouldn’t exist without them. Our goal is to take the most useful open-source voice measuring elements available and provide a tool that helps you stay on brand every time.

The process behind brand voice is something we shout from the rooftops. If you nerd out on this kind of stuff and love the system behind the syntax, you’re one of us.

Check out Brand Voice Academy. Our workshops show you how to master any style, mimic any voice, and create brand voice guides that bring in waaaaaay more per project.

Visit here to get our free book: What They Hear When You Write

Justin & Abbey

Frameworks by: Justin Blackman & Abbey Woodcock
Code and design by: Aaron Ng & Matt Hall

P.S. Don’t even try to use Verbatim on mobile. There’s way too much data for a small screen ¯\_(ツ)_/¯