Distant Reader Study Carrel

About your study carrel

This page outlines the breadth & depth of your "study carrel" -- the results & analysis of your Distant Reader submission. Peruse the content of this page, and then consider learning how to dig deeper by reading the Distant Reader Study Carrel Cookbook. If you want "just the facts", then consider reading this text's synopsis.

Size & scope

First, the simple things. Your study carrel was created through the submission of a [SINGLE URL|FILE OF URLS|FILE FROM YOUR COMPUTER|ZIP FILE]. This ultimately resulted in a collection of 46 item(s). The original versions of these items have been saved in a cache, and each of them have been transformed & saved as a set of plain text files. All of the following analysis has been done against these plain text files.

Your study carrel is 2327329 words long. [0] Each item in your study carrel is, on average, 50594.0 words long. [1] If you dig deeper, then you might want to save yourself some time by reading a shorter item. On the other hand, if your desire is for more detail, then you might consider reading a longer item. The following histograms and box plots illustrate the overall size of your study carrel.


On a scale from 0 to 100, where 0 is very difficult and 100 is very easy, your documents have an average readability score of 77.0. [2] Consequently, if you want to read something more simplistic, then consider a document with a higher score. If you want something more specialized, then consider something with a lower score. The following histograms and box plots illustrate the overall readability of your study carrel.

Word frequencies

By merely counting & tabulating the frequency of individual words or phrases, you can begin to get an understanding of your carrel's "aboutness". Excluding "stop words", some of the more frequent words include: one, old, man, little, will, now, like, us, said, great, two, much, life, good, see, may, yet, time, many, might, long, never, made, must, still. [3] Using the three most frequent words, the three files containing all of those words the most are ./txt/13707.txt, ./txt/7876.txt, and ./txt/7877.txt.

The most frequent two-word phrases (bigrams) include: vol mo, young man, old man, let us, new england, one another, years ago, one side, great deal, good deal, hundred years, hester prynne, mo cts, prince henry, great many, long ago, old woman, many years, scarlet letter, ever since, young men, nothing else, years old, told us, doubt whether, and the three file that use all of the three most frequent phrases are ./txt/13707.txt ./txt/77.txt, and ./txt/32242.txt.

While often deemed superficial or sophomoric, rudimentary frequencies and their associated "word clouds" can be quite insightful:




Sets of keywords -- statistically significant words -- can be enumerated by comparing the relative frequency of words with the number of times the words appear in an entire corpus. Some of the most statistically significant keywords in your study carrel include: old, man, little, away, great, shall, life, half, came, thy, days, said, goodness, men, thou, longing, looks, beauties, comely, news, small, tree, greatness, newness, poor. And now word clouds really begin to shine:


Through the use of a concordance -- a keyword-in-context tool, or a "poor man's search engine" -- you can see how words are used in relation to other words. Here is a random sample of concordance entries using the two most significant keyword as input:

s are the beautiful type of all influence man is conscious of a universal soul within or b
verberate the sound oh what joy for a shy man to feel himself so solitary that he may lift
d keeper and his wife still there and the old keeper closes the door behind him slowly as 
ic of the energy and determination of the old romans than thus to take a river which they 
ial renownnor the dirt of the inhabitants old and young the town to say the truth when you
ot rid of by those who were reared in the old before they could begin to affirm and to con
 revered saints but woke up glad that the old pagan world stood its ground and died hard t
or the sphinx her muddy eyes to clear the old sphinx bit her thick lip said who taught the
 veiled clergyman on earth never dark old man exclaimed the affrighted minister with what 
its slippery purport by the tail when the old man above mentioned interrupted me mr coverd
ttle shellfish such as cling to rocks and old shiptimber over which the tide ebbs and flow
untain towns and sometimes raised a dying man as it were by miracle or quite as often no d
etts wretch wretch that i am muttered the old woman with such a heartbroken expression tha
t metempsychosis which is familiar in the old mythology of the greeks collected in ovid an
mpanion a duty which he performed like an old spanish matadora a woman whose business was 
 of their drum came full upon his ear the old man raised himself to a loftier mien while t
 a dragons tooth had fallen there stood a man armed for battle they made a clangor with th
 sea whistling said it would bewilder any man but thorberg skafting any man but me near hi
t and fattest and thus helped the life of man even in its earthliest relations to appear r
 which carries the women and children the old men and the sick and indeed seaphrases are a
fresh load of compost about the tree some old english customs are suggestive at least i fi
oes the chicken really treats you like an old acquaintance continued he in a quiet way whi
nd night go forth a humbled and repentant man sorrowful gentle seeking no profit shrinking
 a home that is better perchance than the old one here no hungry winter congeals our blood
by us and not done by us surely it was by man but we find it not in our man but we apply o

Topic modeling

Topic modeling is another popular approach to connoting the aboutness of a corpus. If your study carrel could be summed up in a single word, then that word might be man, and ./txt/513.txt is most about that word.

If your study carrel could be summed up in three words ("topics") then those words might be: old, old, and man. And the respective files would be: ./txt/33.txt, ./txt/7876.txt, and ./txt/2944.txt.

If your study carrel could be summed up in five topics, and each topic were each denoted with three words, then those topics and their most significantly associated files would be:

  1. said old man - ./txt/512.txt
  2. old little great - ./txt/7879.txt
  3. old little english - ./txt/37625.txt
  4. man nature men - ./txt/29433.txt
  5. thou thee thy - ./txt/41368.txt

Moreover, the totality of the study carrel's aboutness, can be visualized with the following pie chart:

Nouns & verbs

Through an analysis of your study carrel's parts-of-speech, you are able to answer question beyonds aboutness. For example, a list of the most frequent nouns (man, day, time, life, house, hand, heart, world, eye, child, year, way, nature, thing, side, people, tree, face, mr., part, place, nothing, woman, head, street) helps you answer what questions; "What is discussed in this collection?" An enumeration of the lemmatized verbs (be, have, do, see, say, make, come, go, look, take, seem, know, find, think, give, thou, stand, leave, hear, tell, pass, feel, grow, keep, call) helps you learn what actions take place in a text or what the things in the text do. Very frequently, the most common lemmatized verbs are "be", "have", and "do"; the more interesting verbs usually occur further down the list of frequencies:



Proper nouns & pronouns

An extraction of proper nouns (Mr., England, God, New, Septimius, King, Hester, St., heaven, Boston, Hepzibah, Mrs., Phoebe, Dr., London, Pyncheon, Miss, Zenobia, Clifford, House, Sir, America, Heaven, Lord, English) helps you determine the names of people and places in your study carrel. An analysis of personal pronouns (it, i, he, we, they, you, him, me, them, she, us, her, himself, thee, itself, themselves, myself, herself, one, ourselves, mine, yourself, ye, thyself, hers) enables you to answer at least two questions: 1) "What, if any, is the overall gender of my study carrel?", and 2) "To what degree are the texts in my study carrel self-centered versus inclusive?" Below are words cloud of your study carrel's proper & personal pronouns.

proper nouns


Adjectives & adverbs

Learning about a corpus's adjectives (old, good, little, other, great, own, many, such, more, young, much, high, same, long, last, whole, beautiful, new, first, few, large, poor, small, white, deep) and adverbs (not, so, very, now, up, as, then, more, here, never, only, out, still, down, too, there, well, even, again, ever, yet, most, away, far, perhaps) helps you answer how questions: "How are things described and how are things done?" An analysis of adjectives and adverbs also points to a corpus's overall sentiment. "In general, is my study carrel positive or negative?"




[0] Once upon a time, a corpus of a million words was deemed large.

[1] To put this into context, the typical scholarly journal article is about [NUMBER] words long, Shakespeare's Hamlet is [NUMBER] words long, and the Bible is [NUMBER] words long.

[2] In this case, a Flesch readability score is being calculated. It is based on things like the number of words in a document, the lengths of the words, the number of sentences, the lengths on the sentences, etc. In general children's stories are have lower Flesch scores while insurance documents and doctoral dissertations have higher scores.

[3] "Stop words" are sometimes called "function words", and they are words which carry little or no meaning. Every language has stop words, and in English they include but are not limited to "the", "a", "an", etc. A single set of stop words has been used through out the analysis of your collection.

[4] Concordances are one of the oldest forms of text mining, first developed in the 13th century to "read" religious documents.

[6] An unsupervised machine learning process, topic modeling is a very popular text mining operation. Assuming that a word is known by the company it keeps, topic modeling identifies sets of keywords denoted by their centrality in the text. Words which are both frequent as well as in close proximity to each other are considered significant.