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Tagul (http://tagul.com/) is a tool for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. In effect, a word cloud is a visual representation of the word content of a website or another type of text. Wordle and Tagul allow you to type in or paste in any source text you would like.
In Tagul, the clouds that are created give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can also adjust your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. You can print them out, or save them to the gallery to share with friends, colleagues, and/or students.

Tagul ALSO allows for additional customization. Tagul is a bit complicated, but you have the ability to make every word in your word cloud linked to a a UNIQUE URL. Tagul is DEFAULTED to click on any word in your word cloud to be taken directly to a Google search results page for that word...but YOU can change that!

What Tagul can do:

  • You can use these word clouds as a tool for analyzing writing – published writing of course, as the example above demonstrates, but also student writing. One strategy for analyzing student writing and having students consider their writing (and that of their peers) is to consider the wordle/tagul for a given text in terms of the main themes that show up given the prominence of those words that appear more frequently in the text. In effect, the wordle/tagul provides a way of seeing and determining whether the main theme or central idea is clear enough.

  • Another strategy is to use the word clouds as a way to examine word choice in a given document or student paper. In terms of student writing, students can be coached to look at the wordle/tagul for those words that do appear most prominently to make sure they are specific and detailed as opposed to vague and abstract. For example, if words like tree, cat, or man were prominent in the word cloud, the student could be coached to revise for stronger nouns that are more concrete and specific – such as Dogwood or Weeping Willow rather than tree, or burnt-orange tabby rather than cat, and bald, stuttering veterinarian rather than man. This could also be extended to looking for strong action verbs versus relying too heavily on forms of “to be” or linking verbs.

  • Students can be coached to note words that might repeat way too often as indicated by being overly prominent in the wordle/tagul. For example, if the word “like” appeared in very large font, this would be a cue for students to revise so that they didn’t use the word so often in their paper.

  • Use Tagul in a grammar mini-lesson. The filter tool in Tagul could be leveraged to isolate different parts of speach, etc.

Complete the following:

  • Go to Tagul.com (http://tagul.com/),
  • Sign up for Tagul. A password will be emailed to you.
  • Sign in.Select "Create New" and agree to the terms and conditions.
  • Copy and paste your text or a URL.
  • Designate that links open in a new window.
  • Customize your Appearance and Fonts, Etc. using the the drop down menus.
  • View your word cloud by selecting the red "Visualize" button.
  • Select "Grab and Share" to save your word cloud. You can save it as a graphic, print, email it, or put it on the web.
  • Be sure to "Save Changes". Your word cloud will not be saved for later use in the "My Clouds" menu.

You can also view this Tagul video tutorial: