Comparison of Children’s Novels

This week we had the assignment of exploring different text analysis websites and while I wasn’t sure at first what types of piece to work with, I knew I wanted to try and use the TTR comparison tool created by guest speaker, Adam Hammond.

After much thought, the literary pieces I chose to compare happened to come to me by complete chance while I was sorting through my closet and stumbled upon my collection of Harry Potter books. Thoughts of how I would read these books after I came home from elementary school flooded back to me. Back then (grade 5 and 6) I was so captivated by the story line that I was introduced to but I also remember being proud of myself so managing such a well written challenging book (remember, I was only 11 or 12 at the time). That got me thinking about how diverse the novels actually are and how “unique words they contain.

I decided to use the first Harry Potter book of the series, the Philosopher Stone and thought it would be fun to compare it to a well known children’s literature book from this generation, so I landed on The Hunger Games. Both of these novels have been geared toward young adolescents but have appealed to society as a whole, making New York Times Best Sellers List and have gone on to inspire movies.

Using the TTR Comparison Tool required me to find versions of these fictional novels online, download the PDF then copy and paste the entire text into Notepad on my PC. Before I could generate and compare I was asked to enter a “sample size” – this is the number of words that will be examined in each text, this number is labeled the “tokens”. After the website studied both novels I was given the number of “unique” texts found within each book. This is referred to as “types” and are the texts that have been filtered through common words such as a reoccurring name, and, the, their ect. By dividing the “types” by “tokens” and multiply by 100 we are given the TTR of the entire novel.

Text Types Tokens TTR
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone 6016 76,000 8%
The Hunger Games 7359 76,000 10%

Overall, the TTR Comparison Tool is beneficial in comparing the quantity of words found within a text, however it should not be used in for judging the quality of work. Harry Potter and The Hunger Games both received a low TTR percentage which in my opinion does not come at a surprise as they were composed to inspire young adolescents and an easier read for the older generations.


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