I am fascinated by how technology allows us to analyze text. Besides some of the snappy tricks I have learned in using Word (where was auto-summarize when I was in graduate school?), tools like Wordle allow us to create visual representations of text in order to analyze word choice. One of the most fascinating things I have done with Wordle is to take the text of a presidential candidates speech during the primaries and put it into Wordle while working with social studies teachers.
I have officially been "one upped" by the creators at this site who have done a full scale lexical analysis of the presidential and vice-presidential debates this year. In addition to a sometimes mind-numbing analysis of the words that are used by each candidate, the following image was also shared:
I am not a huge fan of Venn diagrams in writing but I thought this was a very interesting image to share with students (please visit the site- there are many, many more!) and to have them think about what this analysis might mean in the context of persuasive speech.