Sherlock Holmes – Voyant

After utilizing Stephen Ramsay’s methodology of “screwing around”, which is something that I do most of the time when searching the internet, or utilizing internet tools, I discovered that Voyant can be exceptionally useful in analyzing text. I feel as though through Ramsay’s “screwing around” method, I was able to fully grasp this analytical tool, and fully understand how useful it can be. The screenshot that I posted above was the screen when I typed “Watson” into the Voyant search bar. This tool is very effective, and the graph in the upper right hand corner even goes as far as to track how often the particular word is used in the paper, chapter by chapter. I feel as though the graph is the most interesting and useful aspect of this analytical tool. It shows how often the name “Watson” appears in the text, and below the graph shows in which sentences he is mentioned. I also really enjoyed utilizing the “unique words” tab. There is no surprise that “the”, “and”, “of”, and “was” were words that were often used in this text, or any text for that matter. However, Voyant’s ability to differentiate between regular words and unique words, and its ability to show you those unique words, is exceptionally helpful to the reader.  A good example of a need for this tool would be the character analysis of Septimus Smith that my group did a few weeks ago. Had we known about this tool (and if Mrs. Dalloway was already programmed into Voyant) then our search for Septimus Smith in the book would have been considerably easier. This tool gives the user every instance in which a certain word is used in the text. With a few simple clicks my group would have been able to see every sentence in which Septimus Smith is used, and in which chapters he is shows up most often. This tool is immensely useful.


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  1. Pingback: July 12th – Tools | Visualization STEM Scholars Course

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