Content Analysis

What is it?

: Content Analysis (CA) is a systematic, replicable technique for compressing many words of text into fewer content categories based on explicit rules of coding (Stemler, 2000).

What’s the benefits?

1) If you handle text data, CA is the most fundamental technique.

: The transcription of interview data and the stored student discussion data from asynchronous online classes are texts that you can apply CA. Many labs in the ETAP department utilized CA for their research technique. Moreover, many components of CA, combined with different methodological perspectives, make up other qualitative methods (e.g., conversation analysis, discourse analysis, and thematic analysis).

2) CA can be utilized as both quantitative and qualitative methods.

: CA can be applied when you want to measure the number of instances you are interested in (Quantitative) or develop abstract/concrete categories inductively or guided by a theoretical framework (Qualitative). Since CA has a long history, there are various ways by which CA is applied to different methodological, theoretical, and epistemological stances.


Coding framework for guiding your coding process, unless you follow totally inductive qualitative way such as grounded theory research.

Collaboration with others to increase coding reliability, mainly in the case of quantitative CA.

– Procedural and reflective mind to overcome overwhelmed feelings while handling text data.

– Understanding of the difference between methodology and analytic technique.


Stemler, S. (2000). An overview of content analysis. Practical assessment, research, and evaluation7(1), 17.

Written by YangHyun Kim (

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