Digital Tutorials

Digital Tutorial 2: AntConc

Assignment:  Post to the course blog what you learned using AntConc. 

Using any of the following datasets, use AntConc to study one or more of these corpora.  NOTE:  you may need to unzip the zip files to load them into AntConc. (Double-click to unzip.)

  • Martyr corpus (my mystery download from the Voyant day)
  • The Film Review Corpus
  • The sermons about Lincoln’s death
  • Shakespeare corpus

A complete, Satisfactory assignment will:

  • Have clear question(s) and query(s)
  • Have one or more visualization, list, or set of data/results from AntConc addressing the question(s)/query(s) (can be a screen shot or a list of the results) – try to go beyond the Concordance tool!
  • Will explain what you learned (whether from the results or failure)
  • Cite and link back to the tool (see the main AntConc page for details) & the dataset(s)
  • Clear writing with well organized text
  • Title, tags, etc. for a blog post.
  • [rubric is below]

Things to consider:

  • Use the Concordance tool
  • Use the Collocate tool
  • Use the wildcard characters (*  ? | etc).  What wildcards do you need to study your chosen topic? (For example, love or death in Shakespeare: love* and death*|die*|dead|dying or more?)
  • Play around with key words that do interest you
  • Compare corpora using the Keyword List tool. (For example, among my texts: load the perpetua-felicitas document into AntConc.  Then in Settings > Tool Preferences > Key Word List load the whole corpus as the Reference corpus.  Load then click Apply, and in the Key Word List part of AntConc click “Start.”)  You should get a list of words that are more unique to the Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicitas compared to the whole corpus. 
  • Explain. To get you started, you could consider one or more of the following questions:
    •  What do the tools you used tell you about the text or corpora you are studying? 
    • What questions do they raise? 
    • Do you need to change your queries, your corpus, etc. to get the answers to those questions? 
    • How does Antconc compare to Voyant?


  1. There are video tutorials on the AntConc website:  scroll down the page to the section titled Video Tutorials
  2. I have a voice-over screen capture on YouTube also:
  3. You can click the CLONE RESULTS button to have your results appear in a separate window. 
  4. You can take screenshots of anything you think is important, also, and print/use the screenshots. PRO TIP: screen shot on a Mac is:
    1. click shift+command+4 simultaneously
    1. position the cursor in a corner of the area you want to capture
    1. click the trackpad/mouse and hold it and drag the cursor across the area you want to capture.
    1. Release mouse/trackpad and you should hear the click of the picture
    1. Find the file on your computer.
  5. When I EXPORT the results to a file on my computer, I put as much info about the parameters as possible in my filename or type that info into the first line inside the file.
  6. Sometimes it is useful to clear your data out (before uploading a new corpus,, etc.).  The “File” menu up on the top menu bar has an option for Clear Tool, Clear All Tools, and Clear All Tools and Files.  I often “Clear All Tools and Files” before doing something new.
  7. The full tutorial is at .  Dr. S’s revised version is at