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Content analysis is a research strategy that examines the presence of concepts in texts, such as interviews, discussions, newspaper headlines and articles, historical documents, speeches, conversations, advertisements, theater, informal conversations, performances, drawings, or images. Evaluators analyze the presence, meanings, and relationships of words and concepts and make inferences about the messages within the texts, the writers, the audience, the program, the organization, and even the larger culture.

This type of analysis may be qualitative or quantitative and involves breaking the text into manageable categories that are labeled, or “coded.” These categories may be words, phrases, sentences, or themes. A content analysis requires decisions about sampling (what will be included), the unit of analysis (the size and boundaries of the unit of text), and the goals of ...

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