An Ultimate Guide on Conducting Content Analysis for Masters Dissertation

Content analysis is a research tool used to identify patterns, themes, and certain words in recorded information like a master’s dissertation. By conducting content analysis, the researchers can quantify and analyse the presence of some patterns in the results of a dissertation. For example, the researchers read news articles or dissertations written in the mass communication field to search for bias. Based on their study and analysis, researchers draw different conclusions and make various inferences about the content.

However, doing this analysis is not easy if you do not know the guide to conduct it. With your presence here, it is not difficult to guess that you do know about conducting content analysis and the steps involved in it. Keeping this in mind, in today’s article, we will discuss content analysis, the steps involved in it, its advantages, and everything else. So, let’s get started.

What Does It Mean By Content Analysis?

Content analysis is a qualitative data analysis method. The primary goal of this technique is to identify hidden themes and patterns in the data. By using this analysis, the researcher investigates the research manuscripts like a master’s dissertation deeply. As a result of the detailed analysis, he makes inferences about the data and draws conclusions. In this analysis, the researcher does not have to deal with research participants or respondents. He analyses the data produced already by other researchers by conducting content analysis.

What Are The Uses Of Content Analysis?

After reading the information given above, you now have a good idea of what content analysis is. Now, in this section, we will learn about its uses. Why is it important to conduct a detailed content analysis of a master’s dissertation? The points answering this question are as follows:

  • It helps to identify the intentions of the writer of the dissertation
  • Describes the behaviour of the researcher towards the subject
  • Reveals differences in the content of communication
  • Analyses the qualitative data to get deep insights into it
  • Showcases the patterns in the content of the master’s dissertation

Types Of Content Analysis

Before conducting content analysis, it is important that you know about its types. Knowing about types helps you identify the text better and make good conclusions related to the source material. There are two main types of this analysis. A brief description of each is as follows:

  • Conceptual Analysis: It is the first type of content analysis. Using this type, the researcher looks at various concepts that are discussed in the dissertation. This analysis involves knowing why the concept exists in the dissertation and how it relates to the overall research study.
  • Relational Analysis: The relational analysis is the continuation of conceptual analysis. By conducting this type of content analysis, the researcher finds the relationship that exists between different concepts discussed. In this analysis, all the concepts are taken into consideration, identified in the conceptual analysis, and a relation is found.

Steps Involved In Conducting Content Analysis

Do you know the steps involved in doing content analysis? Most probably not. In this section of today’s post, we will discuss the steps that you need to take in conducting content analysis. Primarily, to perform content analysis, you need to perform 5 steps. A brief description of each step is as follows:

Select The Content To Analyse

The first step is about selecting the content that you will analyse. This decision is based on your research questions. First, take a look at your research questions and then decide on what information or content you need to analyse. Once found, collect that material from the internet and dive deeper into it to understand the context.

Define Categories For Analysis

The next step you need to take is to define the categories for analysis. It is the most important task because not all the data in a master’s dissertation belongs to a single category. Therefore, you should define a category or units for each kind of data and put the data into the relevant category. It will help you in coding the data better.

Develop Rules For Coding

Coding is the next stage after defining the categories. However, prior to coding and conducting content analysis, you need to develop coding rules. The rules are going to define which data is going to be included in the analysis process and which is not. Basically, the rules are inclusion and exclusion criteria that you must define.

Code The Data By Following The Rules

Step 4 is about coding the data. Once the rules are defined, take the master’s dissertation data and code it. Code the whole text based on their categories and put them separately. The coding can be done manually or by using a computer-aided program like Diction. You can also take help from seniors for content analysis for masters dissertation.

Analyse The Text

After taking all the steps mentioned above, the only remaining step is now the analysis process itself. Take all the coded data into consideration and analyse it. Make sure that you dive deep into the text and unearth all the hidden patterns and trends in the data. This is the last step that you take towards conducting content analysis.

Advantages Of Content Analysis

  • If done well, the content analysis produces very reliable results, and the process can also be replicated by other researchers
  • This method of analysis is highly flexible. It means you can conduct the analysis at any time, at any location, and at a low cost.
  • It allows the researcher to analyse the text without the direct involvement of research participants. It is the primary advantage of this method.

Final Thoughts

To sum up, content analysis is very beneficial for the recognition of hidden patterns and themes in recorded information like a master’s dissertation. In this guidepost, we have discussed different uses of content analysis and steps for conducting content analysis. In the end, we have talked about the advantages of this analysis. Thus, this post is a complete guide for you. Go through it and conduct the analysis accordingly.

Read: What is Content Analysis? Advantages and Disadvantages