Voyant Exercise

  1. Decide what text you would like to analyze and think of a research question you may be able to answer using Voyant. Choose a text published before 1924 that is available online, or a text you can easily copy and paste into Voyant. Some example questions: which character name appears most frequently in the novel, how does the use of a particular word or idea change over time in the novel.
  2. Locate a copy of the text. For novels, Project Gutenberg has many published before 1924. Once you have found a book on Project Gutenberg, click the “Plain Text” format.
  3. Copy and paste the full text into the textbox on voyant-tools.org. Click “Reveal.”
  4. Once the text is loaded, a number of graphs will appear. In the top center is the full text, and the right graph (the trends graph) shows the most frequent words and their use over time in the text.
  5. To search for particular words and display their use over time, type in the word in the search bar below the trends graph.
  6. Play around with the various Voyant features to see what you can discover about the text.
For more details on various Voyant features, visit their tutorial guide.