Ambrose Reader

Write good, discover eloquence; improve your essay-writing with the power of heuristics


What makes a word "fancy"? What's the difference between casual conversation and formal essay-writing? And just how accurate were those literary rules and practices that your English teacher forced you to memorize in high school?

To answer these questions, we looked up and compiled a set of heuristics based off of empirical research data, style guides from widely-acclaimed authors and journals, and rules-of-thumb gathered from English teachers and professors. Then, we took textual data from literary professionals and fed them into Ambrose Reader, training it to read your essays and tell you just how eloquent they are.

The name of our application comes from St. Ambrose of Milan, a Roman theologian and scholar who is widely known for a peculiar quality: he read all of his texts quietly, a habit which was considered strange in a culture where scholars read their books out loud, even if there was no audience nearby to listen. We believe that quiet self-reflection is essential for improving writing habits. Our hope is that Ambrose Reader helps you discover your best literary voice just as St. Ambrose himself guided the wayward Augustine of Hippo.

Ambrose Reader is currently hosted on a free server and works best on single paragraphs of 4-6 sentences in length. On a locally-hosted server, it can handle multiple paragraphs. Ratings of < 30% eloquence are considered casual or non-standard, while ratings of > 60% are considered literary and suitable for essay-writing.

Made by Jonathan Tang, Jerry Liu, and Hongyi Shi.

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