Check Which Famous Writer You Write Like

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 19, 2010
Updated • Dec 11, 2012

I write like who? That was the first thing coming to my mind after pasting in my first text into a form on the I Write Like website, but more on that later. I Write Like is a web service that analyses text pasted into a web form, to come up with a famous writer who writes like that.

Here is how it works in detail. Copy a few paragraphs of a text you have written, and paste it into the form on the I Write Like website. Click the Analyze button afterwards to start the text analysis. I Write Like displays the name of a famous writer on the next page. The page unfortunately does not list information about the writer, just a link to books on Amazon.

i write like
i write like
famous writer
famous writer

I apparently write like Stephen King, Cory Doctorow or James Joyce, depending on the paragraphs pasted into the form. Mostly Cory Doctorow though, whom I have never heard about before. Wikipedia tells me that Cory is a Canadian blogger and writer, good to know.

The You Write Like result's page contains badges to embed the information on a website. Links to post to Twitter, Facebook, Google Buzz and Tumblr are also provided.

The developer recently revealed in a blog post how the service determines the famous writer.

“Actually, the algorithm is not a rocket science, and you can find it on every computer today. It’s a Bayesian classifier, which is widely used to fight spam on the Internet. Take for example the “Mark as spam” button in Gmail or Outlook. When you receive a message that you think is spam, you click this button, and the internal database gets trained to recognize future messages similar to this one as spam. This is basically how “I Write Like” works on my side: I feed it with “Frankenstein” and tell it, “This is Mary Shelley. Recognize works similar to this as Mary Shelley.” Of course, the algorithm is slightly different from the one used to detect spam, because it takes into account more stylistic features of the text, such as the number of words in sentences, the number of commas, semicolons, and whether the sentence is a direct speech or a quotation.”

So, who do you write like?


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  1. Robert Palmar said on July 19, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    It is to say i write like Charles Dickens.
    Were it true ‘twould be to good to be true.

    [Final draft]

  2. kalmly said on July 19, 2010 at 4:41 pm


  3. Rob O. said on July 19, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    Supposedly, I write like Stephen King and/or David Foster Wallace ( ) but I’m not quite sure how to take that since I’m not a fan of King and unfamiliar with the works of Wallace.

    I’d be very interested to know how they arrive at those conclusions. Unless I just overlooked it, there doesn’t seem to be any explanation of how they make these associations.

    1. Martin said on July 19, 2010 at 3:45 pm

      I agree, it would be very interesting to see how the algorithm came to that conclusion.

  4. St0n3D said on July 19, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Here’s the Link:

  5. Geoff said on July 19, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    You’re a techie, writing is a big part of your life, and you write like Cory Doctorow? Jackpot!

    Get yourself to Amazon or Audible *right now* and pick up “Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom”.
    (or get it for free – with Cory’s full endorsement here

    As you read, bear in mind that it was published in 2003 – so think about the whuffie concept as written pre-facebook, linkedin, twitter, etc, etc.

    You will not be disappointed. I promise.

  6. acr said on July 19, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    here’s a link-

    btw- I write like David Foster Wallace.

    1. Martin said on July 19, 2010 at 3:46 pm

      Thanks, link has been added.

  7. chrisse said on July 19, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    seems like theres missing a link to the site :P

    1. Martin said on July 19, 2010 at 3:47 pm

      It is now up, thanks for letting me now.

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