Monday, November 07, 2005


Having trouble explaining to people exactly what I intend to do with a text analysis program in the context of a course in college writing, I made this audio, to be heard in conjunction with this video.

Download the audio. Click on the video link. Stop the video. Start the audio. Then restart the video when I tell you to (on the audio).

The link to the text analysis program in question, TextSTAT is here

Update (11/8/05): This demo's for Dr. B!


John said...

Dan, the linkage between the audio and video worked fine, and together they make a good case for the effective use of the text analysis software in the writing class.

I thought it might work well to have students (and the professor) make some predictions as they consider the assignment that they're working on about the frequency and appearance of certain language. Once they have written the draft, they can then analyze the degree to which their texts fulfill the goals that they set forth.

It's a process that requires a level of thinking that would challenge students, requiring them to process their writing as raw data: how language appears at certain intervals or with certain frequencies.

For some students, the approach would have the appeal of a math or statistics problem. With the right attitude, I think it would give students some useful information they can use to revise.

Thanks! John

Dan said...

I'm taking it slow.

Today I showed my Advanced Comp classes the TextSTAT program and generated a frequency list from one of their papers.

I think I heard an "Ooo!"

I did give them an assignment to compare papers on the basis of shared words / difference contexts, but I offered it cautiously, as one option among three, for their next paper.

We'll see if any rise to the occasion.