Content analysis is a qualitative data analysis technique widely used to look for hidden patterns and themes in the collected data. It is a useful research tool as it helps to examine human thoughts and actions. This approach is mostly used in the fields of social science and psychology, where quantification of the collected qualitative information is extremely important. However, do you know how to perform the content analysis? Well, this is the main question that we will try to answer in today’s article. However, before that, let’s define this analysis and give its examples.
What is content analysis?
Content analysis is an analysis method widely used in most research studies to identify themes and patterns in recorded communication. It is important to note that the recorded communication is qualitative in nature. It means it can be in the form of words, expressions, videos, audio transcripts, or speeches. Using this analysis technique, the researchers can analyse the presence of certain keywords and their relationship to the overall research problem. During this analysis, the researcher tries to understand what the respondents think about the research topic and why.
Some examples of content analysis
After reading the information above, you have an idea of what this analysis is. Now, let’s turn to the practical side of content analysis and discuss its examples.
Example no. 1
Let’s suppose you want to know how people respond to the pamphlets of an event. As you want realistic data, you will need to ask different people and see how they respond to the pamphlet. During these short interviews, you record the information and save it for later use. As the information is totally qualitative, you must choose content analysis and listen to the responses of the people again and again.
Example no. 2
For example, a researcher wants to analyse the social media post content of youth and adults during the election period. He wants to see which party the youth is supporting majorly. Different adults are producing different types of content about political parties. The researcher decides to do this analysis using the method of content analysis. This method of analysis will help him understand the true thinking of the youth and adults by identifying the patterns.
How to do the content analysis?
Dealing with qualitative data is not an easy task. As there are no numbers in this data and you only have to deal with words and expressions, it becomes very difficult to find the hidden patterns and themes. However, with the right set of guidelines and techniques, you can easily do this analysis. What are those techniques that can be helpful for this analysis? A brief description of all the points is as follows:
1. Select the content
The first step in doing a content analysis is the selection of the content that you want to analyse. This selection should be based on your research question. If there is only a small number of information that meets your criteria or relates to the research questions, select them all for the analysis. However, you can also contact dissertation writers UK if you face research issues.
2. Define the categories
After the selection of content, the next step is to define the categories for the analysis. Along with this, you should also define the units of the analysis. For example, are you going to record the frequency of the words or the characteristics of the people who have produced the data? Whatever you are going to do, define it.
3. Code as per the set rules
After developing the categories, code the data. Coding means assigning a value to each theme or word that you see helpful in the analysis. Coding the data also means organising the units which you have defined previously into different categories. Doing this makes your content analysis easier. However, if you do not know how to code the data, you can get a PhD dissertation help online.
4. Analyse the data
Finally, it is time to analyse the data that you have collected after research. To analyse the data perfectly, place the coded data in front of you. Go through all the data and look for the words and themes that are being repeated by the respondents. In your analysis, do not forget to look into the categories that you have made previously. Once the analysis is completed, conclude it by mentioning the major points and sharing the results.
In this post, we have discussed an important qualitative data analysis method known as content analysis. It is a method which is aimed at finding the hidden themes and patterns in collecting qualitative data. As analysing qualitative data is difficult, you must read all the steps mentioned above and perform the analysis accordingly. Otherwise, you cannot find the patterns and themes in the data for which you have conducted the research study.