Expresso writing assessment tool

Mikhail Panko, a PhD student in computational neuroscience, has created a tool called Expresso to help authors analyze their own writing, find weak spots in their text, and improve as writers. You paste text that you have written into the tool’s textbox and it runs a series of natural language processing tools built in Python on the text and then gives you a set of metrics in the text.

For example, I ran my post on the Listening Project through the tool and got back this information:

When you click on any of the metrics, it highlights the words or phrases inside your text that you should pay attention to, and then hovering over the highlighted words or phrases gives you suggested replacement possibilities.

I’d recommend that you try using this tool on some of your own writing and see whether you find it to be useful. This is no “magic bullet,” as Panko himself says, but it might be a useful method of creating critical distance for yourself and recognizing patterns as you revise.

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