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David Kaufer

Professor Emeritus of English, Carnegie Mellon University

David Kaufer has published five books, four textbooks, and over 100 refereed articles on text analysis, rhetorical analysis, writing theory, and writing and technology. His research focuses on digital approaches to text analysis and collaboration. He has built large-scale digital dictionaries (the DocuScope default Libraries) to analyze and assess writing that have been used by ETS, RAND, The Folger Library, and the Stanford Literary Lab.

Researchers from the English department and the Computer Visualization Lab of the University of Wisconsin received a Mellon grant specifically to make it possible for textual researchers worldwide to run his dictionaries in their various research projects.With Ananda Gunawardena of the Princeton Computer Science department, Kaufer also co-invented Classroom Salon, a web-based application used to support textual annotation and collaboration in the humanities and STEM fields. That project currently has a user-base of 20,000 and has been supported by the Heinz Endowment, NSF, the Gates Foundation and Google.

In addition to being a descriptive expert in the rhetorical patterns of English writing, Kaufer is an expert in the normative principles underlying effective written communication and has written three textbooks on the subject.


  • –present
    Mellon Distinguished Professor of English, Carnegie Mellon University


Fellow of the Rhetorical Society of America