Posted on: 11th Apr 2020 732 Views

Content Analysis: Research Method

Content analysis is a research method that researchers utilize for summarising the content of the research paper.  Students while performing researchers often face issues in performing analysis of content. In this article, an expert team of Ireland assignment help is providing the step-by-step procedure.

Content Analysis Research Method

Content Analysis: Meaning

Content analysis is a research technique that researchers use for the identification of patterns in recorded communication. When performing, you need to first accumulate facts that you can present by writing, visually, or orally.

You can perform content analysis in both Qualitative and Quantitative research. In both Qualitative and Quantitative research you need to use code words, concepts, and themes in the text. After that, you need to do an analysis of outcomes.

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What is the use of content analysis in research?

An investigator generally utilizes content analysis for identifying research objectives. They also use for measuring the influence of communication.  Researchers when performing the analysis can make various assumptions about the producers and audience of the texts they analyze.

You can utilize content analysis for Quantifying the happening of few words, subjects, concepts in historical texts.

Example of Content analysis in Quantitative Research

If you intend to perform an investigation for analyzing the necessity of resolving employment-related problems in political campaigning then you need to do an analysis of speech.

By performing an analysis of speech you will be able to count the number of times words like unemployment has been utilizing. After getting the information about the frequency of term you can execute statistical analysis for analyzing between the differences in a speech given by different people.

Note:  You can also use content analysis for making assumptions in qualitative research. Researchers can develop assumptions by understanding the relationship between phrases, words, and concepts.

Example of content analysis in quantitative research

In the context of performing the quantitative research for gaining knowledge about employment issues, you need to address the term unemployment in speeches.

You need to identify other words that are utilizing by the speaker along with the unemployment term.  It is also very much important for you to develop understand the meaning and relationship among intentions and objective of campaigning.

You can apply content analysis to different types of texts. Textual analysis is performed by researchers for performing research in several fields such as media studies, cognitive science fields, etc.  The main purpose of the analysis of content by a researcher is to:

  • Identify patterns and correlations between different concepts.
  • Understand the intention of people
  • Address propaganda and biases in communication
  • Represent differences in communication from various aspects
  • Analyze the consequences of content that is communicated. In simple words, it means to note the flow of information.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of content analysis?

Some advantages of analysis of content in research are:

a) Unobtrusive collection of data

One biggest advantage of content analysis is that it enables you to analyze communication and social interaction without involving other people. Here, the outcome of research does not get influence in any way.

b) Transparent and replicable

The content analysis includes such a process that you can easily replicate by another investigator. It helps you in the generation of highly reliable research outcomes.

c) Highly flexible

You can perform content analysis anytime and anywhere.  It is considered being a cost-efficient technique of analyzing the content of the research paper. You for analyzing the content of the research paper need to just identify the sources.

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How to conduct content analysis?

If you want to utilize this in research, you need to first write clear and direct research questions.

Research questions for content analysis: Example

Is there any variation in How US media represents male and female politicians in relation to trustworthiness?

The 5 steps of conducting content analysis include:

Step 1. Develop a list of the texts that you’ll be analysing

Based on research questions, you need to make the selection of texts that you are going to analyze. You need to determine:

  • The medium (such as newspapers, websites, speeches, etc.) and genre (opinion, political campaign speeches).
  • The criteria for inclusion
  • Parameters about the range of data, location, etc.

In case there are a small number of texts which meet your criteria, you need to analyze all of them. You need to select a sample if there is a large volume of texts.

Example: You for performing investigation on media representation of male and female politicians, you need to analyze news articles and opinions of people. As there is a large volume of content you need to make a selection of three major national newspapers.

Step 2. Choose the level at which you’ll be analyzing the texts.

At this step, you need to decide the level at which you are going to analyze the texts. It means you need to define:

  • Units that you will code. For instance: You can record the frequency of words or phrases, characteristics of an individual, positioning of images, etc.
  • The set of categories you will utilize for coding. You can utilize objective categories (e.g. trustworthy, family-oriented, corrupt).

Example: In the above example, the units which you can analyze are politicians who appear in every article and words or phrases which are utilized for describing it. On the basis of research questions, you need to do categorization according to gender and the concept of trustfulness.

Step 3. Development of a set of rules for coding

Coding includes the organization of units according to previously defined categories. In the context of more conceptual categories, it is very much essential for you to properly define the code of conduct. You should confirm that all texts are coded inconsistent manner.

Rules of coding are very much essential particularly in cases where more than two or more researchers. But even if you are coding text for yourself then also you need to record a code of conduct for making your methodology more reliable and transparent.

Before making categorization of female politicians you need to decide the titles which will be coded with this category. Along with the word trustworthy you need to make decisions about specific words related to trustworthiness.

Step 4. The creation of a set of coding rules

You need to thoroughly analyze every text and record all relevant information in the right categories. You can do this manually by using a computer program like Diction, QSR Nvivo, Atlas. Which can help increase the procedure of counting and categorizing words or phrases.

By considering the rules of coding, you need to analyze every article in the newspaper. You should also record the features of every politician mentioned.  It is also very essential for you to record all phrases and words related to trustfulness that are utilized for describing them.

Step 5: Analyzing the outcomes and drawing a conclusion

After completion of coding, you need to collect information and examine the pattern to conclude responses to research questions. Researchers can utilize statistical analysis techniques for identifying correlations. You need to facilitate discussion on the interpretation of results and you should make a comparison between texts.

Example:

The outcome of the investigation reveals that words and phrases about trustworthiness appear in a similar sentence as a male politician in a more frequent manner than they did in a similar sentence as a female politician.

From the outcomes of research, it has been concluded that the national newspaper represents male politicians as more trustful as compared to female politicians. The statement in the newspaper has a great influence on the reader’s perceptions of girls in politics.

Conclusion

It has been concluded from the above that content analysis can help identify objectives and messages. Another fact which has been concluded is that content analysis can be applied to all types of texts.

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