Data About Your Own Writing

Are you curious about your use of words and phrases in your writing? If so, you can play around with the text analysis tools at Voyant Tools.  You can paste in the text of a paper, or upload or link to it, and Voyant will produce data about the frequency and location of words and phrases, presenting it in text and graph forms.

It looks like this:

It would be interesting to hear from philosophers and other writers who’ve used tools like this in their own work, or to improve their writing.

(via Barry Lam)

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Bruno Leipold
Bruno Leipold
6 years ago

If I remember correctly there’s a character in David Lodge’s Small World who goes through an 8 year writer’s block after an english literature professor shows him a data analysis of his most frequently used words in his books.

Shay Allen Logan
6 years ago

A similar tool that a student recently told me about is the Hemingway editor ( I find dropping a paragraph or two into it a useful way to get started on doing some editing.

6 years ago

Average words per sentence is useful data. My last four papers range from 21-26. I think I’m unhappy about the one over 25. But anything over 30 has got to be a red flag.

Dale Miller
Reply to  SCM
6 years ago

I pasted in a paper that I’m working on now and I was at 29.7. Whew!