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Newsletter Score Sheet

by Linda Benedict
Extension and Agricultural Information, University of Missouri-Columbia

How does your newsletter rate? Take a few minutes to score your evaluation of your newsletter. A perfect score is 170. Anything below 100 means you need to make some drastic changes.

Look to see where you're strong and weak. Build on your strengths and improve your weaknesses.

(Give your newsletter a score from 1 to 5 on each of the following items, with 1 = poor and 5= excellent.)


Goals clear

Content related to goals

Audience clearly defined

Gives reader sense of belonging

Mailing list

Reaches defined audience

Systematic way to add and remove names

Readers queried on opinions


First page grabs attention

Origin easily identifiable

Simple, attractive nameplate

Complete information about publisher, date and audience

Length appropriate for audience

Appropriate paper color and size

Type size suitable to clientele

Sufficient margins

Reproduction clean, not muddy

Subject matter


Relevant and useful to audience

Some items of interest to all readers

Length and prominence of each article reflects its importance

Headlines informative, catchy

Information in each issue not readily available elsewhere

Topics specific enough to cover fully

Accurate, well documented

Writing style

Simple, direct language

Informal tone, personal approach

A variety of sentence lengths

A variety of paragraph lengths

Avoids excessive use of formal, legal or academic language

Uses active voice

Avoids cliches

Clear, active and complete headlines

Interesting opening sentences

Free of grammatical errors

    dangling modifiers

  • non-parallel sentences

  • shift in verb tense

  • subject-verb disagreement

  • noun-pronoun disagreement

  • misspelling

Total your scores


Mailing list


Subject matter

Writing style

Total score:

This article was copyrighted in 1998 by the University of Missouri and is used with permission.

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