Text Analysis


Text Analysis

An interesting concept that grabbed my attention as a whole was the topic of text analysis. I want to begin by highlighting the definition of what text analysis is really about and why/how it is important to use in everyday life.

I want to start off by defining the meaning of text analysis, from my understanding, I believe that text analysis is basically the way in which researchers gather information from all around the world, through books or the internet in which they interpret their ideas together to make sense of what is what. One book that really helped me grasp the concept of text analysis was the book “Textual Analysis A Beginner’s Guide” (Mckee, 2003) One particular sentence that resonated with me was a “methodology – a data-gathering process – for those researchers who want to understand the ways in which members of various cultures and subcultures make sense of who they are, and of how they fit into the world in which they live” This is the perfect definition of what truly is the meaning of text analysis.


One of the most crucial reasons why researches use text analysis is to either test a certain hypothesis or to test the reliability of the author, year, text or the type of genre. One concept that I found very thought provoking was how we can also see how the authors technique or style has drastically changed over time, this is extremely fascinating as we can see how the author matured and developed as a writer over time. From reading the Ted Underwood’s blog on why  humanists use text analysis (Underwood, 2014), I came across some very interesting points, for example  how to distinguish between what truly is a genuine writer or a “cherry picker”, he gave a very good example in which he described that “if you have a sample of one author’s writing (say Wordsworth), and a reference corpus against which to contrast it (say, a collection of other poetry), it’s really pretty straightforward to identify terms that typify Wordsworth relative to the other sample” There are many ways in which you could compare different writings such as using digital tools, personally I believe that visual representation is vital in helping me fully gather my thoughts, as shown below.

An interesting digital tool which i found to be quite accurate and helpful was “Voyant Tools”, it lets you compare web pages in a clear and decisive manner. I decided to create my own text analysis on two articles both relating to digital humanities (Why the Digital Humanities Matter, 2013) and (L.Bell, 2014) in which they both used more or less the same style of words, I have attached the analysis below.


However, I do believe that analysing a text is not all about trying to compare who to who and what to what but it is also interesting to compare the differences. For example when I was younger I would read children books especially by Jacqueline Wilson which is quite different to the style of book such as “withering heights”.


L.Bell, Douglas. 2014. https://douglasibell.com. [Online] June 1, 2014. [Cited: November 18, 2017.] https://douglasibell.com/2014/06/01/why-i-think-the-digital-humanities-are-important/.

Mckee, Alan. 2003. Textual Analysis A beginner’s guide. Australia, 2003.

Underwood,Ted 2014. Seven ways humanists are using computers to understand text. The Stone and the Shell. [Online] June 4, 2014. [Cited: November 18, 2017.] https://tedunderwood.com/2015/06/04/seven-ways-humanists-are-using-computers-to-understand-text/.

Why the Digital Humanities Matter. Bowles, Mark. 2013. Ohio : The evolution A Density Solutions Illumination, 2013. https://evolllution.com/opinions/digital-humanities-matter/