Carnegie Mellon University

Mellon Distinguished Professor of English


David Kaufer is the Richard C. Mellon Distinguished Professor of Rhetoric and English in the Department of English at CMU. He has published 4 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 users 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.


  • Ph.D., University of Wisconsin

Selected Publications

David Kaufer, Shawn Parry-Giles, Beata Beigman Klebanov, "Tracking 'Image Bites' Across the Public/Private Divide:  NBC News Coverage of Hillary Clinton From Scorned Wife to Senate Candidate," accepted for the Journal of Language and Politics. 

David Kaufer, Ananda Gunawardena, Alex Cheek, Aaron Tan (forthcoming , July 2011). Bringing Social Media to Writing Instruction: Classroom Salon. Journal of Business and Technical Communication.

Ananda Gunawardena, Aaron, Tan, David Kaufer (forthcoming). "Encouraging Reading and Collaboration  Using Classroom Salon", for publication in the iticse proceedings. Proceedings of the ACM.  

Yang Cai, David Kaufer and Yongmei Hu. Genre and Instinct:, in Y.Cai (ed.) Image-Word Mapping, Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence, LNAI 5897, Springer, 2010

Beata Beigman Klebanov, David Kaufer, Hilary Franklin (forthcoming). "A Figure in a Field: Semantic Field-Based Analysis of Antithesis" in Journal of Cognitive Semiotics.

Suguru Ishizaki and David Kaufer. "The DocuScope Text Analysis and Visualization Environment." (forthcoming). Invited Chapter for Applied Natural Language Processing and content analysis: Identification, Investigation, and Resolution, editors Philip McCarthy and Chutima Boonthum.