Analyze My Writing – Way More Than Word Clouds

A couple of days ago I received an email from the developer of Analyze My Writing. At first glance I thought it was just another word cloud tool like Wordle. Then when I really looked at it I realized that there was much more to it than a word cloud generator.

Paste your text into Analyze My Writing and it will generate a ton of information about your writing. Analyze My Writing will give you a break-down of the readability of your writing on five indices. The analysis will include listings of the most common words and most common word pairs in your writing. A listing of how frequently you use punctuation and punctuation types is included in the analysis provided by Analyze My Writing. Finally, a word cloud is included at the end of the analysis of your writing. The word cloud and the graphs of your

Applications for Education
Analyze My Writing could be a great resource for high school and college students to use in editing their works. Beyond the readability of the their papers students will receive important information about the words and phrases they have used repetitively in their writings.

Create a Word Cloud Within Your Google Documents

Once upon a time there was a Google Spreadsheets script that would create word clouds for you. When the new (current) version of Google Spreadsheets was launched that script stopped working. This morning I found a replacement for that old script.

When you have a Google Document open, open the Add-ons menu and search for "tag cloud generator." The Tag Cloud Generator Add-on will create a word cloud in the right-hand margin of any of your Google Documents that contain more than one hundred words.

Applications for Education
Word clouds can help students analyze documents written by others as well as documents of their own creation. By copying the text of a document into a word cloud generator your students can quickly see the words that appear most frequently in that document. Word clouds can also be used to help students see which words that they have frequently used in their own works. Have your students create word clouds of their work during the revision process of writing a story or essay. The word cloud will quickly show students which words they have used the most. Then ask them to think about synonyms for the words that they have used most often in their writings.

Create Word Clouds on Your iPad With ABCya’s Word Clouds App

ABCya’s Word Clouds iPad app makes it easy to quickly create word clouds on your iPad. To create a word cloud with Word Clouds by ABCya just type or paste text into the text field. After entering your text Word Clouds by ABCya will generate a visual representation of the most common words in your passage of text. You can customize the generated word cloud by choosing different fonts, different color schemes, and by excluding words from the word cloud. Your word clouds can be saved directly to your iPad’s camera roll.

Applications for Education
Using word clouds can be a good way to help students analyze documents. By copying the text of a document into a word cloud generator your students can quickly see the words that appear most frequently in that document.

Word clouds can also be used to help students see which words that they have frequently used in their own works. Have your students create word clouds of their work during the revision process of writing a story or essay. The word cloud will quickly show students which words they have used a lot. Then ask them to think about synonyms for the words that they have used most often in their writings.

Disclosure: ABCya! gives me money for groceries and dog food every month. Actually, they give me money for advertising. 

Try These Word Cloud Tools to Help Students Analyze Writing

Using word clouds can be a good way to help students analyze documents. By copying the text of a document into a word cloud generator your students can quickly see the words that appear most frequently in that document. Word clouds can also be used to help students see which words that they have frequently used in their own works. Have your students create word clouds of their work during the revision process of writing a story or essay. The word cloud will quickly show students which words they have used a lot. Then ask them to think about synonyms for the words that they have used most often in their writings. Here are some good tools your students can use to create word clouds.

TagCrowd
 offers three ways to create word clouds. You can create a word cloud by copying and pasting text into TagCrowd, you can upload a plain text file, or you can copy and paste a web address into TagCrowd. After using one of those three methods you can specify how many words you want to display, you can select to show the word count in your word cloud, and you specify words to exclude common words like "the" are automatically ignored. TagCrowd supports fifteen languages.

ABCya! offers a beautiful word cloud generator. Like all word cloud generators you simply copy and paste chunks of text into the text box to have a word cloud created. Common words like "the" are automatically excluded from your word clouds. You can edit the font style, adjust color schemes, and flip the layout of your word clouds on the ABCya! Word Cloud Generator. The one shortcoming of the tool is that it doesn't provide embed codes. You can download and or print your word clouds. ABCya recently released an iPad app for creating word clouds too.

Tagul is a free word cloud generator that offers the option to link every word in your word cloud to a Google search. Click on any word in your word cloud to be taken directly to a Google search results page for that word. Tagul creates a word cloud from text you copy into your Tagul account. Tagul will also generate a word cloud from any url you specify. Just as you can with other word cloud generators, Tagul allows you to specify words to ignore in creating your word clouds. Once your word cloud is created Tagul provides you with an embed code to put your cloud on your blog or website.

Word It Out creates word clouds out of any text that you paste into the word cloud generator. Once the word cloud is created you can customize the size and color scheme of the cloud. You can also customize the font used in your word cloud. The feature of Word It Out that I like the best is that you can choose to have Word It Out ignore any word or words you choose. Ignoring words keeps them out of the word cloud.

Tagxedo makes it very easy to customize the design of your word clouds. You can select from a variety of shapes in which to display words or you can design your shape for your word cloud. You can enter text into the word cloud generator manually or simply enter a url from which Tagxedo will generate a word cloud. As with other word cloud generators you also have options for excluding words from your word clouds.

Wordle is regarded by some as the "original" online word cloud generator. Wordle provides many options for color, shapes, and fonts for displaying your word clouds.

Disclosure: ABCya! gives me money for groceries and dog food every month. Actually, they give me money for advertising. 

A Few Tools That Make It Easy To Analyze Your Writing

One of the traps that many student writers fall into is overusing favorite phrases and adjectives. I've edited and graded enough essays over the years to confirm this. There are a couple of tools that can help students avoid overusing the same phrases and adjectives.

WordCounter is a simple tool that writers can use to identify the words that they use most frequently in their text. To use WordCounter simply copy and paste text into Wordcounter then select how many words should appear in your "frequently used" list. To improve the utility of your "frequently used words" list you can tell Wordcounter to ignore small words (like it or the) and to use only root words.

StoryToolz offers a few tools to help you edit your work. The Cliché Buster analyzes your work to find clichés that you have used in your writing. The Readability tool analyzes your text to estimate a reading level on several scales.

Last spring at the Massachusetts School Library Association's conference Pam Berger presented the idea of using word clouds to help students analyze documents. Wordle is the "old reliable" of word cloud creation tools. Some other options for creating word clouds are Tagul, Tagxedo, and ABCya's Word Cloud Generator.

Applications for Education
Have your students run their text through one of these tools before they their papers to a classmate or teacher to read.

TagCrowd Offers Three Easy Ways to Make Word Clouds

Yesterday, I shared a handful of free tools for creating word clouds. Those were all tools that I had previously tried. This afternoon I set out to find some more word cloud creation tools. You Are Your Words was suggested to me and it's a nice looking site, but it's not functioning like it should right now. To Cloud works, but it's clunky (who wants to spend time explaining "interpolation" to kids just to get them to create a word cloud?). TagCrowd, however, is a winner in my book.

TagCrowd offers three ways to create word clouds. You can create a word cloud by copying and pasting text into TagCrowd, you can upload a plain text file, or you can copy and paste a web address into TagCrowd. After using one of those three methods you can specify how many words you want to display, you can select to show the word count in your word cloud, and you specify words to exclude (common words like "the" are automatically ignored. TagCrowd supports fifteen languages.

Applications for Education
TagCrowd, like other word cloud generators, can be useful in helping students identify the words that are emphasized in a written article or a speech. After creating their word clouds ask your students to think about why the author or speaker used some words so frequently.

Word clouds can also be used to help students see which words that they have frequently used in their own works. Have your students create word clouds of their work during the revision process of writing a story or essay. The word cloud will quickly show students which words they have used a lot. Then ask them to think about synonyms for the words that they have used most often in their writings. 

Five Ways to Create Word Clouds

This morning at the Massachusetts School Library Association's conference (a fun conference that I highly recommend) Pam Berger presented some good ideas for working with primary source documents and Web 2.0 tools. One of the ideas that she shared and others elaborated on was the idea of using word clouds to help students analyze documents. By copying the text of a document into a word cloud generator your students can quickly see the words that appear most frequently in that document. Here are five tools that you and your students can use to create word clouds.

ABCya! offers a beautiful word cloud generator. Like all word cloud generators you simply copy and paste chunks of text into the text box to have a word cloud created. Common words like "the" are automatically excluded from your word clouds. You can edit the font style, adjust color schemes, and flip the layout of your word clouds on the ABCya! Word Cloud Generator. The one shortcoming of the tool is that it doesn't provide embed codes. You can download and or print your word clouds.

Tagul is a free word cloud generator that offers the option to link every word in your word cloud to a Google search. Click on any word in your word cloud to be taken directly to a Google search results page for that word. Tagul creates a word cloud from text you copy into your Tagul account. Tagul will also generate a word cloud from any url you specify. Just as you can with other word cloud generators, Tagul allows you to specify words to ignore in creating your word clouds. Once your word cloud is created Tagul provides you with an embed code to put your cloud on your blog or website.

Word It Out creates word clouds out of any text that you paste into the word cloud generator. Once the word cloud is created you can customize the size and color scheme of the cloud. You can also customize the font used in your word cloud. The feature of Word It Out that I like the best is that you can choose to have Word It Out ignore any word or words you choose. Ignoring words keeps them out of the word cloud.

Tagxedo makes it very easy to customize the design of your word clouds. You can select from a variety of shapes in which to display words or you can design your shape for your word cloud. You can enter text into the word cloud generator manually or simply enter a url from which Tagxedo will generate a word cloud. As with other word cloud generators you also have options for excluding words from your word clouds.

Wordle is regarded by some as the "original" online word cloud generator. Wordle provides many options for color, shapes, and fonts for displaying your word clouds.

Disclosure: ABCya! gives me money for groceries and dog food every month. Actually, they give me money for advertising.