You’re probably familiar with a Wordle, also known as a word cloud, an application that analyzes a text and visualizes its words so that the size of each word indicates its frequency in the text. Voyant Tools is a word cloud by a factor of a 100. If Voyant was a car, it would be a Maserati, or something close to it. Voyant gives detailed information about how many times words appear in a corpus; it allows you to determine which words to analyze and which to leave out; it can compare the frequency of one word compared to another and much, much more.
In a nutshell, Voyant is a free, web-based, and open-source application for reading and analyzing texts. Developed by scholars, it is designed to facilitate computationally informed reading and interpretive practices to serve both faculty research and students in the classroom. Faculty and students can explore their own written production (or the writing of others), and explore the use and context of words and/or phrases of their choosing. Patterns, or the lack therein, can emerge in everything from short passages to multiple texts from many authors.
Fordham IT’s Instructional Technology and Academic Computing (ITAC) group conducted a pilot project to test Voyant Tools during the fall 2016 semester. We now offer this software to all Fordham faculty who would like to use this powerful text analysis tool in their upcoming classes or in their scholarship
For a one-on-one tutorial, or to schedule a brief introduction in your class, please contact Shawn Hill (firstname.lastname@example.org).