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Online Journalism Tool of the Day: WordCounter

by Mark S. Luckie

Do you ever feel like you habitually include the same words in your writing? (I know I’m prone to overuse of the words “likely,” “amazing,” and others). Make sure your writing isn’t redundant or boring with WordCounter, a tool that examines your writing for frequently used words.

To begin, enter your text in the search box on the WordCounter front page. You can choose to exclude or include small words like “the” or “it” and limit the number of results.

 
The results are displayed in descending order, with the most frequently used word at the top of the list. The example below are the words used most often on a recent Dan Gillmor article on airport body scanners.

 
While you shouldn’t necessarily run for the thesaurus after you see the results, the tool will help you identify words you may use too often and you can adjust your writing based on that information (or not).

WordCounter also features another nifty tool on its site, a Political Vocabulary Analyzer, that will examine if your writing leans to the left or the right.

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