Voyant is a particularly interesting tool to use to help a person with dissecting various writings. As the assignment was to use it on a dataset, I used Voyant to examine dataset #2.

The first thing I did was to apply the word filter, English (Taporware) to the documents. After filtering out commonly used words, I found “said” to be the most popular word used throughout the documents. “Said” is frequently used in fictional novels, denoting spoken words from a character. Thus, it can be inferred that dataset #2 most likely tells a story of some sort. This is further confirmed by the following most recurring words, “God” and “Christ.” Those words additionally hint that the dataset potentially contains scriptures.

After learning about the subject of the documents, I continued to analyze popular recurring words using the word cloud. “Judgement” and “martyrdom” popped up, as did “tyrant” and “emperor.” The combination of words suggests that the scriptures have a common theme of facing torture and tribulations from a person in power (lord, emperor, etc.) and choosing to follow God’s teaching rather than to submit. Essentially, the theme is martyrdom.

Word Cloud Voyant

Following my analysis of the subject and theme, I turned to word patterns to further my analysis. I wasn’t surprised to find that “judge”, “death”, “tortures”, and “life” were commonly seen together. However, I was surprised to find that “martyrdom” and “death” were not frequently seen together, as martyrdom nearly always means a certain death. Of this, I won’t be able to understand perhaps unless I read the actual documents.

Word Comparison VoyantWord Comparison Voyant 2

In the end, using Voyant to analyze text was an interesting experience. It can certainly help in ascertaining which author wrote which pieces and how the author writes stylistically. However, aside from those niche functions, Voyant does not have many other uses. Perhaps when applied to the internet, it can help filter websites. But when it is used by itself to discern what the theme or subject of a text is about, it would be more prudent to scan the various documents. Key words and frequency of use only go so far. There is a lot of guesswork and analysis in doing that in comparison to doing some light reading. Additionally, using it to discern the location of certain words is also somewhat pointless, as “control f” works as well as Voyant to locate said words. It also does so without having to filter the whole passage or page into a program that takes minutes to reveal text information.

Aside from the usefulness of the program intrinsically, Voyant may cause problems for those going to school in terms of learning how to research. Of research, Voyant may oversimplify research to the point where students won’t understand how to research in the future. Alternatively, students may rely on the program such that they miss pivotal information that may help them in their research – side information that adds to the quality of their work. If most students worked on the same topic, they all may retrieve the same information due to the use of Voyant, thus relegating the point of research moot.