Voyant Tools is a useful online tool that picks up different trends in texts. The program uses Google analytics in order to find this information and promptly supplies it to the user. There are a lot of benefits to this program, however it also has draw-backs. I definitely believe that this program was made for scholarly use and analysis as that is the main point. It can be used for many different things in analyzing texts.
The positive thing about this tools is that it can be very beneficial in picking out some things that are important. The frequency with which things are discussed in the text can be critical to the message that comes from the piece. It can be helpful in finding central themes or important people that need to be discussed.
Another good thing about this tool is that there are many different ways to analyze. There are visual ways such as the word collage and the “Termsberry”, however there are also charts and graphs. In EDUC 1F95 we studied how important it is that different learning styles have the ability to grasp things. This is very useful in doing so because it provides the same information in a plethora of ways after such a short period of time waiting for analysis to be complete.
The main drawback I can see through this tool is using it with too much focus. Although it can be very helpful in creating an analysis, I personally would find myself trying too hard to make sense of the wording and frequency with which they are used. While this could be important, it is also important to know what the text is saying in context. For example, when we looked at Shakespeare’s Macbeth in class, the most frequently used word was “Macbeth”. That doesn’t tell us much about the text as it is a play that would obviously state his name with each line.
I think that this would be a more accurate tool to use for poetry or English studies. Speaking as an English major, it would be more useful to find thematic importance in these subjects. Historical texts, primarily secondary sources, need to be understood. Language is only a fraction of the importance in these texts.
This tool augments typical historical reading because it removes that focus. It takes away from the meaning of the text and shows form rather than context. History is very important to consider in context, and not by the number of times Henry VIII Says the word “Protestantism” in an address. While this shows that he may enjoy Protestantism, it doesn’t tell us what he is saying about it. For this reason, I personally don’t think using Voyant Tools would be extremely beneficial in analyzing historical texts, however that is based on the way I have been practicing in my educational career.
In regards to “giving us something new”, I think it definitely does. There is a benefit to this as it can be done much more quickly than if the reader were going through the text to find the frequency, however I don’t think it gives us too much in terms of analyzing sources specifically. Especially, after having to use it as a source of analysis myself. I learned more when I fully read the text a couple times.