Skip to main content

Rams Write: Visualizing Revision

Here you'll find a student-generated guide to writing and composition.

Introduction

Voyant is a text analysis tool that can help you revise your writing. Features include word clouds and graphs of your most used words, statistics about average words per sentence, and visuals that show how unique your word choice is, also known as vocabulary density. These tools help you avoid repetition, vary sentence length, and improve your writing overall. 

How To Use Voyant

How To Guide:

Step 1: Getting Started

Type  https://voyant-tools.org  into your search engine.

Step 2: Pasting/ Uploading

Upload or paste your selected document(s). Once uploaded, click "Reveal" and it will generate the data behind your document.

Step 3: Understanding Voyant

As your work appears, you are provided with different tools to visualize your selected document(s). If you have multiple documents, you are able to view them side-by-side. The page offers multiple ways to view the data in different formats, including a word cloud, a trend chart, phrases in context, and statistics about vocabulary density and average sentence length. 

Voyant Homepage

 

Sentence Length

By using the summary view and looking at the average words per sentence feature, writers can take note of how long their sentences are. If the number is high, your sentences may be too long. Sentence length is important while writing because it keeps the reader interested. If there are a lot of run-on sentences or really short sentences, the reader might lose interest. Scattering sentence lengths will help your audience stay immersed in your work.

Trends

The Trends section on Voyant shows another method of viewing word frequency. On this graph, each frequently used word has its own line. It breaks up the document into segments and shows how often each word is repeated in each of those segments. 

 

The first picture shows a steady pattern, until the end where it drastically increases. The second picture shows the revised essay, which is more balanced. 

Note: We added the phrase "To the intellectual property" 30 times at the end of the first example to elaborate the word density and prove our argument.

Vocabulary Density

Vocabulary density statistics reflect writers' word choices, and measure both variety and repetition. This tool gives the writer a visual representation of their word frequencies and can help in avoiding excessive word repetition. Repeating words or phrases while writing can be detrimental to an argument and can interfere with clarity.

Word Cloud

In the cloud view, the largest word shown in the picture should be the main point in the paper. As shown in the cloud below, the words 'Samsung' and 'Apple' are frequently used in the given text; these companies were the subject of an intellectual property debate. 

Word cloud generated using Voyant Tools

Summary

Voyant will give you a summary that shows your vocabulary density, average words per sentence, and most frequent words. A higher vocabulary density number means the writing contains more unique words, whereas a lower number shows the word choice is less varied.

An example of the summary view is shown below. 

Screenshot of Voyant Tools showing vocabulary density

Screenshot of Voyant Tools showing vocabulary density

The first image above shows statistics for an essay with room for improvement. These results show that the writer used a lot of similar words throughout their essay. The second image shows the result after the writer revised the essay. The vocabulary density increased, which shows the word choice is more varied after the revision.

This page was created by/ MLA Citations

Fall 2018

Erica Perez, Framingham State U, Class of 2022

Paige Roberts, Framingham State U, Class of 2021

Patricia Hardaker, Framingham State U, Class of 2022

Shannon Mattson, Framingham State U, Class of 2022

 

Works Cited

“Voyant Tools.” Voyant Tools, voyant-tools.org/.