Model description

docusco-bert is a fine-tuned BERT model that is ready to use for token classification. The model was trained on data from the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) and classifies tokens and token sequences according to a system developed for the DocuScope dictionary-based tagger. Descriptions of the categories are included in a table below.

About DocuScope

DocuScope is a dicitonary-based tagger that has been developed at Carnegie Mellon University by David Kaufer and Suguru Ishizaki since the early 2000s. Its categories are rhetorical in their orientation (as opposed to part-of-speech tags, for example, which are morphosyntactic).

DocuScope has been been used in a wide variety of studies. Here, for example, is a short analysis of King Lear, and here is a published study of Tweets.

Intended uses & limitations

How to use

The model was trained on data with tags formatted using IOB, like those used in common tasks like Named Entity Recogition (NER). Thus, you can use this model with a Transformers NER pipeline.

from transformers import AutoTokenizer, AutoModelForTokenClassification
from transformers import pipeline

tokenizer = AutoTokenizer.from_pretrained("browndw/docusco-bert")
model = AutoModelForTokenClassification.from_pretrained("browndw/docusco-bert")

nlp = pipeline("ner", model=model, tokenizer=tokenizer)
example = "Globalization is the process of interaction and integration among people, companies, and governments worldwide."

ds_results = nlp(example)

Limitations and bias

This model is limited by its training dataset of American English texts. Moreover, the current version is trained on only a small subset of the corpus. The goal is to train later versions on more data, which should increase accuracy.

Training data

This model was fine-tuned on data from the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA). The training data contain 1500 randomly sampled texts from each of 5 text-types: Academic, Fiction, Magazine, News, and Spoken.

# of texts/chunks/tokens per dataset

Dataset Texts Chunks Tokens
Train 7500 1,167,584 32,203,828
Test 500 58,117 1,567,997

Training procedure

This model was trained on a single 2.3 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5 with recommended hyperparameters from the original BERT paper.

Eval results


metric test
f1 .663
accuracy .747

By category

category precision recall f1-score support
AcademicTerms 0.69 0.70 0.69 54204
AcademicWritingMoves 0.31 0.40 0.35 2860
Character 0.68 0.70 0.69 86213
Citation 0.61 0.47 0.53 4798
CitationAuthority 0.48 0.39 0.43 1871
CitationHedged 0.58 0.81 0.67 135
ConfidenceHedged 0.65 0.74 0.69 8209
ConfidenceHigh 0.51 0.61 0.56 8755
ConfidenceLow 0.88 0.03 0.07 202
Contingent 0.58 0.60 0.59 6802
Description 0.56 0.62 0.59 98697
Facilitate 0.57 0.54 0.55 3597
FirstPerson 0.61 0.70 0.65 21285
ForceStressed 0.55 0.59 0.57 29420
Future 0.53 0.60 0.56 7253
InformationChange 0.56 0.61 0.59 7427
InformationChangeNegative 0.52 0.50 0.51 1338
InformationChangePositive 0.53 0.48 0.51 2161
InformationExposition 0.75 0.77 0.76 43144
InformationPlace 0.78 0.84 0.81 14058
InformationReportVerbs 0.64 0.69 0.66 8418
InformationStates 0.69 0.74 0.71 11195
InformationTopics 0.61 0.65 0.63 30214
Inquiry 0.37 0.45 0.41 7109
Interactive 0.59 0.64 0.61 32523
MetadiscourseCohesive 0.89 0.91 0.90 17301
MetadiscourseInteractive 0.40 0.48 0.44 4245
Narrative 0.63 0.69 0.66 91799
Negative 0.55 0.60 0.58 49234
Positive 0.49 0.57 0.53 32228
PublicTerms 0.63 0.64 0.63 18302
Reasoning 0.71 0.75 0.73 16178
Responsibility 0.51 0.43 0.47 1837
Strategic 0.47 0.52 0.50 16889
SyntacticComplexity 0.78 0.81 0.80 156361
Uncertainty 0.36 0.32 0.34 2680
Updates 0.44 0.39 0.41 6036
- - - - -
micro (avg) 0.64 0.68 0.66 904978
macro (avg) 0.59 0.59 0.58 904978
weighted (avg) 0.64 0.68 0.66 904978

DocuScope Category Descriptions

Category (Cluster) Description Examples
Academic Terms Abstract, rare, specialized, or disciplinary-specific terms that are indicative of informationally dense writing market price, storage capacity, regulatory, distribution
Academic Writing Moves Phrases and terms that indicate academic writing moves, which are common in research genres and are derived from the work of Swales (1981) and Cotos et al. (2015, 2017) in the first section, the problem is that, payment methodology, point of contention
Character References multiple dimensions of a character or human being as a social agent, both individual and collective Pauline, her, personnel, representatives
Citation Language that indicates the attribution of information to, or citation of, another source. according to, is proposing that, quotes from
Citation Authorized Referencing the citation of another source that is represented as true and not arguable confirm that, provide evidence, common sense
Citation Hedged Referencing the citation of another source that is presented as arguable suggest that, just one opinion
Confidence Hedged Referencing language that presents a claim as uncertain tends to get, maybe, it seems that
Confidence High Referencing language that presents a claim with certainty most likely, ensure that, know that, obviously
Confidence Low Referencing language that presents a claim as extremely unlikely unlikely, out of the question, impossible
Contingent Referencing contingency, typically contingency in the world, rather than contingency in one's knowledge subject to, if possible, just in case, hypothetically
Description Language that evokes sights, sounds, smells, touches and tastes, as well as scenes and objects stay quiet, gas-fired, solar panels, soft, on my desk
Facilitate Language that enables or directs one through specific tasks and actions let me, worth a try, I would suggest
First Person This cluster captures first person. I, as soon as I, we have been
Force Stressed Language that is forceful and stressed, often using emphatics, comparative forms, or superlative forms really good, the sooner the better, necessary
Future Referencing future actions, states, or desires will be, hope to, expected changes
Information Change Referencing changes of information, particularly changes that are more neutral changes, revised, growth, modification to
Information Change Negative Referencing negative change going downhill, slow erosion, get worse
Information Change Positive Referencing positive change improving, accrued interest, boost morale
Information Exposition Information in the form of expository devices, or language that describes or explains, frequently in regards to quantities and comparisons final amount, several, three, compare, 80%
Information Place Language designating places the city, surrounding areas, Houston, home
Information Report Verbs Informational verbs and verb phrases of reporting report, posted, release, point out
Information States Referencing information states, or states of being is, are, existing, been
Information Topics Referencing topics, usually nominal subjects or objects, that indicate the “aboutness” of a text time, money, stock price, phone interview
Inquiry Referencing inquiry, or language that points to some kind of inquiry or investigation find out, let me know if you have any questions, wondering if
Interactive Addresses from the author to the reader or from persons in the text to other persons. The address comes in the language of everyday conversation, colloquy, exchange, questions, attention-getters, feedback, interactive genre markers, and the use of the second person. can you, thank you for, please see, sounds good to me
Metadiscourse Cohesive The use of words to build cohesive markers that help the reader navigate the text and signal linkages in the text, which are often additive or contrastive or, but, also, on the other hand, notwithstanding, that being said
Metadiscourse Interactive The use of words to build cohesive markers that interact with the reader I agree, let’s talk, by the way
Narrative Language that involves people, description, and events extending in time today, tomorrow, during the, this weekend
Negative Referencing dimensions of negativity, including negative acts, emotions, relations, and values does not, sorry for, problems, confusion
Positive Referencing dimensions of positivity, including actions, emotions, relations, and values thanks, approval, agreement, looks good
Public Terms Referencing public terms, concepts from public language, media, the language of authority, institutions, and responsibility discussion, amendment, corporation, authority, settlement
Reasoning Language that has a reasoning focus, supporting inferences about cause, consequence, generalization, concession, and linear inference either from premise to conclusion or conclusion to premise because, therefore, analysis, even if, as a result, indicating that
Responsibility Referencing the language of responsibility supposed to, requirements, obligations
Strategic This dimension is active when the text structures strategies activism, advantage-seeking, game-playing cognition, plans, and goal-seeking. plan, trying to, strategy, decision, coordinate, look at the
Syntactic Complexity The features in this category are often what are called “function words,” like determiners and prepositions. the, to, for, in, a lot of
Uncertainty References uncertainty, when confidence levels are unknown kind of, I have no idea, for some reason
Updates References updates that anticipate someone searching for information and receiving it already, a new, now that, here are some

BibTeX entry and citation info

  title    = {Computer-aided rhetorical analysis},
  author   = {Ishizaki, Suguru and Kaufer, David},
  booktitle= {Applied natural language processing: Identification, investigation and resolution},
  pages    = {276--296},
  year     = {2012},
  publisher= {IGI Global},
  url      = {}
  author    = {Jacob Devlin and
               Ming{-}Wei Chang and
               Kenton Lee and
               Kristina Toutanova},
  title     = {{BERT:} Pre-training of Deep Bidirectional Transformers for Language
  journal   = {CoRR},
  volume    = {abs/1810.04805},
  year      = {2018},
  url       = {},
  archivePrefix = {arXiv},
  eprint    = {1810.04805},
  timestamp = {Tue, 30 Oct 2018 20:39:56 +0100},
  biburl    = {},
  bibsource = {dblp computer science bibliography,}

Select AutoNLP in the “Train” menu to fine-tune this model automatically.

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