Voyant is a web-based text analysis tool that allows users to consider a single or a collection of textual documents. By entering the URLs of the text or pasting in the full text, users can upload the material to be analyzed and revealed. http://voyant-tools.org/
There are several tools available in this software. The word cloud is part of Cirrus, which reveals the frequency of words found in a given document by displaying the most frequently used words larger than other recurring words. The number of words appearing in the cloud
could be changed by adding stop words to eliminate the most commonly used words in the document that do not add to its value in visualizing the more relevant words.
The Terms function in Cirrus displays these words in order of their frequency and by clicking on a given word, the correlating graph will appear in Trends. The links button allows users to see the words that show up around the most frequently used words and see which connections happen the most often to reveal certain textual associations. In the reader section, specific document will appear where the target words are highlighted and by clicking on them, they will appear in the Trends function, which graphs the frequency of that word in the document. If the user is looking through a collection of texts, the Trend function will show the frequency of the selected word in the form of a graph in each document. The document terms in this section will show a list revealing how many times the chosen word appears in each document. This graph function may also compare several or all major words in a document in relation to each other. The Summary part allows the users to examine the most distinctive words. The context section shows where the word in question appears in the text and enables the user to read the surrounding text.
Each section taps into a certain aspect of the text as it collects the “word data,” however; the accumulation of all sections will reveal valuable connections and perhaps raise questions regarding the text. In our case, looking at the slave narratives, certain interviews contained more of the word mistress others mentioned the master, so this knowledge may lead to selecting certain documents for further investigation with a discernible purpose for analysis. Literary texts may reveal concentration of themes or ideas around a certain word or name of a character or place. However, the frequency of names and places could also prove to be insignificant depending on the focus of the analysis.
Uploading a single text is probably a good way to start Voyant to allow the user to play around with the different functions and examine their results. Although this tool is extremely useful with large amounts of text, it could also become tasking to refresh and reload data as its performance seem to slow with more text added.