Using wordle as a supplementary research tool

Carmel McNaught, Paul Lam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

267 Citations (Scopus)


A word cloud is a special visualization of text in which the more frequently used words are effectively highlighted by occupying more prominence in the representation. We have used Wordle to produce word cloud analyses of the spoken and written responses of informants in two research projects. The product demonstrates a fast and visually rich way to enable researchers to have some basic understanding of the data at hand. Word clouds can be a useful tool for preliminary analysis and for validation of previous findings. However, Wordle is an adjunct tool and we do not recommend that this method be used as a stand alone research tool comparable to traditional content analysis methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)630-643
Number of pages14
JournalQualitative Report
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Qualitative research
  • Research tool
  • Word clouds
  • Wordle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education


Dive into the research topics of 'Using wordle as a supplementary research tool'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this