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Part of the purpose of this website is to make it easy for people to experiment with RST. Various sorts of tools can help.

Tools for analysts


Programmed by Mick O'Donnell. The tool can help a great deal in constructing diagrams of RST analyses, and most published analyses (including the ones on this site) are produced with RSTTool. We gratefully acknowledge Mick O'Donnel's contribution to RST research through this tool.

Download RSTTool version 3.0. It runs on Windows, MacIntosh and various Unix-like systems.

When you get the tool, you may notice that multiple sets of RST relation definitions (names) are offered (for English). "ClassicMT" corresponds to the 1988 paper. "ExtMT" adds a small number of additional relations. It corresponds to the relation definition portions of this website. Usually it will be the more helpful choice. (The ExtMT set of names is also available translated into French and Spanish.) Also, RST encourages you to add new relations, redefine relations or convert single relations into more precisely defined sets.

Please check the page on Troubleshooting RST. These are issues that seem to have arisen with RSTTool 3.43 (for Windows) under Ubuntu.

UAM CorpusTool

Originally conceived to do analysis in the Systemic Functional Linguistics framework, it now incorporates RST capabilities, in addition to a host of other annotation and analysis tools. An excellent resource for any linguist. Also programmed by Mick O'Donnell.

Download UAM CorpusTool.


rstWeb - an online and local annotation tool for RST: https://corpling.uis.georgetown.edu/rstweb/info/

GUM - a multilayer corpus containing (among other things) RST analyses for 54 documents and counting https://corpling.uis.georgetown.edu/gum/

Modified RSTTool

Mick O’Donnell's tool was modified by Daniel Marcu, and is available from his web site: http://www.isi.edu/licensed-sw/RSTTool/

LaTeX tools

David Reitter has created a tool to generate RST-style diagrams using the LaTeX text processing software. The package produces an RST tree and marks its corresponding text with the appropriate span labels: http://www.david-reitter.com/compling/rst/index.html

Tables for accessing RST relation definitions

Part of this website. For use in manual analysis of texts. Relation Lists and Definitions.

Analysis files

There are RST analysis files for the texts and diagrams exhibited on the website. There are 15 text analyses currently on the web site, with the Mother Teresa text having 3 analyses, so there are 17 analyses in all. The collection can be downloaded as a pdf document, or in .RS3 files, to be viewed with Mick O'Donnell's RSTTool (see above).

RST Corpus

The RST Corpus is a collection of Wall Street Journal articles annotated using (a version of) RST by Lynn Carlson, Daniel Marcu and Mary Ellen Okurowski. The corpus is available through the Linguistic Data Consortium, free for members, and at a cost for non-members (Catalog number: LDC2002T07). Further information:

CSTNews Corpus

A RST-annotated corpus in Brazilian Portuguese, coordinated by Thiago Pardo. The texts have been annotated with RSTTool.
To access the corpus: http://www.icmc.usp.br/pessoas/taspardo/sucinto/cstnews.html

Papers describing the corpus:

  • Aleixo, P. and Pardo, T.A.S. (2008). CSTNews: Um Córpus de Textos Jornalísticos Anotados segundo a Teoria Discursiva Multidocumento CST (Cross-document Structure Theory). Technical Report, Universidade de São Paulo, N. 326. São Carlos-SP, May, 12p. <http://www.icmc.usp.br/pessoas/taspardo/NILC-TR-08-05.pdf>
  • Cardoso, P.C.F.; Maziero, E.G.; Jorge, M.L.C.; Seno, E.M.R.; Di Felippo, A.; Rino, L.H.M.; Nunes, M.G.V.; Pardo, T.A.S. (2011). CSTNews - A Discourse-Annotated Corpus for Single and Multi-Document Summarization of News Texts in Brazilian Portuguese. In the Proceedings of the 3rd RST Brazilian Meeting, pp. 88-105. October 26, Cuiabá/MT, Brazil. <http://www.icmc.usp.br/pessoas/taspardo/RST2011-CardosoEtAl1.pdf>

Discourse Relations Reference Corpus

The materials in the Discourse Relations Reference Corpus are taken from three different sources: texts from this web site; annotated Wall Street Journal articles from the RST Discourse Treebank (see above); and review texts from the SFU Review Corpus. The documents in each of the subcorpora have been annotated with RSTTool (see above). Although the background to all subcorpora is Rhetorical Structure Theory, and they have been annotated with RSTTool, we believe that the corpus is useful to anyone interested in discourse relations, from whatever perspective. The annotations provide rich information on what relations are more common; how they are commonly signalled; and how relations are distributed in different genres. A description and the full collection are available from the Discourse Relations Reference Corpus page.

Spanish RST Discourse Treebank

A new RST-annotated corpus in Spanish, coordinated by Iria da Cunha. To access the corpus:
The paper describing the corpus:
da Cunha, Iria, Juan Manuel Torres-Moreno and Gerardo Sierra (2011) On the development of the RST Spanish Treebank, Proceedings of the Fifth Language and Annotation Workshop (LAW V) (pp. 1-10). Portland, OR.

Potsdam Commentary Corpus

A corpus of 220 German newspaper commentaries annotated with different types of linguistic information, including RST, downloadable from:


The corpus is described in:

Stede, Manfred and A. Neumann (2014). Potsdam Commentary Corpus 2.0: Annotation for Discourse Research. Proceedings of the Language Resources and Evaluation Conference (LREC), Reykjavik.

Text generation research

In addition, there are various kinds of computer programs that have been oriented by RST. Several efforts have benefited from the orientation of RST, some following the first published work much more closely than others. To learn about text generation and find a demonstration of text generation on line on the net, go here: Text Generation.

Introduction to RST slides

A set of slides that can serve as a basic introduction to RST. The slides come out of courses taught by Manfred Stede and Maite Taboada. You are free to use and/or modify them. We would appreciate an acknowledgement of the source.


A wiki article on RST in German.

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©2005-2017 William C. Mann, Maite Taboada. All rights reserved.