Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Analyzing rhetorical texts made easy

If you saw the DICTION demonstration at this week's open house technology showcase and want to learn more, join me on Tuesday April 28, 4:00-5:00 in the HFA Media Lab!

What is DICTION?

If your research involves analyzing texts, DICTION can help you! DICTION is a computer-aided text analysis program for determining the tone of a verbal message. Conceived by rhetorical analysis scholar Roderick P. Hart, DICTION generates a "fingerprint" about rhetorical texts based on several key variables.

MaryElizabeth Bezanson and I have been working with DICTION for the past year - and this Spring, Dr B has used DICTION as a tool in her Speeches That Changed the World class, to help students analyze rhetorical texts.

The power of DICTION is comparing multiple texts at once. Here's an example analysis of the speech style of Queen Elizabeth II, for all her Christmas addresses 1952-2014: (I added the notes)

(click to enlarge)

DICTION processed these speeches in 15 seconds, giving the researcher a jump-start in analysis.

DICTION can be used to analyze all sorts of texts: speeches, novels, political ads, inaugural addresses, court opinions, etc. If you can put it into a text file, DICTION can analyze it!

Join me on Tuesday afternoon to learn more!

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