2. Virtual Authoring Tool (VAT)

Virtual Authoring Tool (VAT) image


A demonstration of this system is not currently included here becuase it was developed as a standalone application, too large to be accessed from the Web. However, a student in the Departamento de Lenguajes y Sistemas Informáticos is currently producing a Web-based version as his proyecto fin de carrera, and it will be available here when he has finished.

What is The Virtual Authoring Tool?

This is a didactic tool that is being designed to assist with the difficult task of composing a written text. The text must not only be correctly expressed from a grammatical point of view, but also follow the standard stylistic patterns of a text of this type. The tool is designed to operate interactively with the user, with the double goal of increasing your didactic and operational efficiency. In order to do that, it provides you with all the necessary knowledge to undertake the correction of your own text. It presents the aspects of the language that are known to be particularly difficult for the average Spanish speaker, so that you can check your correction in the text. Furthermore, The Virtual Authoring Tool highlights all the words and punctuation marks in the essay related to the consulted rule, so that, after having carefully read it, you can revise the highlighted entries without wasting time and effort searching through the test.

The grammar included in the tool is divided into three parts which correspond to three major linguistic units: the text, the sentence and the word. Each part deals with the linguistic points that are best detected and studied within the corresponding linguistic unit. For example, the text level includes pragmatic issues about the rhetorical structure and the suprasentential connectors. The sentence level includes issues like the syntactic structures that focus on the new information and punctuation signs. The word level deals with all the syntactic categories except the conjunction. Although conjunctions often consist of a single word, their function is syntactic at a higher level than that of the phrase, namely the clause, so it is more correct to study them at the level of the sentence. Due to the history and current use of the English language around the world,

The Virtual Authoring Tool does not pretend to offer rules that attempt to cover all possible language occurrences, but provide some of the main correct and current uses of each linguistic aspect. For this reason, if you are absolutely certain of the existence of a particular use in the sub-genre of academic essays, you should not dismiss it necessarily if it is not currently included in the system.



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