Saturday, January 10, 2009

Our Biases?

In the hopes that we can further facilitate your efforts on the final exam, here is an interesting Wordle ("word cloud") I created on Friday. Basically, I fed the entire text of this year's "An American Studies" blog into the program. I made sure that I took out content generated by the students, such as the American Values word cloud, which, due to the repetition of the words, would unduly bias the entire content of the blog. I also limited the word cloud to under 30 words. Keep those factors in mind as you analyze the content of this image.

18 comments:

walt said...

I think it is very interesting to look back on previous works you have done. I also think that it would be very cool to have a word cloud for one day of speaking. There are some words that you say alot that you dont even realise you say. I think the the top word though would be "like".

S. Bolos said...

Such as "like OMG!!"? :)

Adam said...

Sometimes for fun I will count how many times certain individuals in our class use the word "like" in class. Everyone has these word idiosyncracies and uses them sub-consciously. On a different note, I wasn't suprised that the words in the cloud were listed. These are some of the words that have been brought up throughout the year both in class and online. THough I was suprised the word perilous was not there.

Julia said...

I was also surprised that perilous was not included in the word cloud. However, times is pretty prominent in the blogs according to the word cloud. I also found it interesting that the word "man" was one of the larger words in the cloud, while "woman" didn't make the top 30. The world cloud really does show some of the American Studies biases.

Gordie C said...

While looking at the cloud I was surprised to see the name Ayers in the cloud and no McCain. Even though a presidential race had been going on through the heart of our 1st semester John McCains name failed to make the list. But to see the name Ayers was really shocking to me because I thought we had talked more about President Bush and what he has done than Bill Ayers and his connection with President Elect Obama. Not seeing McCains' name but seeing Ayers' name was the biggest surprise to me.

Gordie C said...
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Gordie C said...
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Victoria E. said...

I find it to be interesting how large the words ONE, NEW and Obama are. It just shows how much this past year has changed and how much has gone on. I think the fact that president, congress, Obama, political, and election are all words that are in the Wordle, that shows how much we focused on the election and how much we talked about it, both in class and on the blogs. This is very interesting to see.

Boris P said...

Overall the word cloud shows a political leaning ,which has been one of our major focuses this year. Another important section is radio/media and "think" may refer to all of the critical thinking we are doing.

CPatt said...

Ha, S. Bolos chimes in with a little wit. I think it's interesting that Ayers made his way into the cloud. I think thats odd that he is as big as, if not bigger than, the words Bush, know, Congress and American.

Kate H said...
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Kate H said...

going off of walts idea about word clouding 1 class I think the word Transition would be in there a few times. I am surprised that the word since is one of the top 30 words but not studies you have American and class where is the studies?

Zack said...

I found this word cloud very interesting because I had no idea that so many of us were writing about the same type of stuff. It just goes to show that even though some of us look different and hang out with different people, we all have similar interests to a certain extent.

Kelly said...

This is so interesting because it really makes you think about the year as a whole. This cloud obviously shows the biases of the class, since it is from the blog, but there are some words I would not have thought would be within the top 30. Also, it is surprising that the main themes of the year are not within this cloud, but only the topics within the themes. I was surprised to see "jones" within the wordle, rather than another word.

Frettzilla said...

i find this cloud really shows what our class is like. i dont think any other class in the state of Illinois would have used the same words as much as we did. i did however think it is strange that Ayers made his way on to the list because it doesnt really follow the other topics of the other words which are mostly related to the government.

Jack Terrier said...

I'd have to disagree with Brian there. Many of these words you'd probably see in a lot of other history classes with Obama just entering the white house. Words like; president, Obama, Bush, Election, Man, political. However, there are some that you'd almost never see since most history or english classes don't go into the specifics that we do. Some more interesting words that I saw were: called, related and Times.

Jack Terrier said...

I'd have to disagree with Brian there. Many of these words you'd probably see in a lot of other history classes with Obama just entering the white house. Words like; president, Obama, Bush, Election, Man, political. However, there are some that you'd almost never see since most history or english classes don't go into the specifics that we do. Some more interesting words that I saw were: called, related and Times.

Kimber said...

Looking back at this word cloud it is stunning how big the word "one" is. It seems so insignificant, yet apparently it plays a huge role in our class.