Content analysis as we know it was used by social scientists to understand pattern of communication in organization and ofcourse in human behavior and relationship. Lately however, it has been adopted by other fields of human endeavor to meet the same communication pattern need, especially since it was found useful to match the influence of communication messages on those who receive it. Content analysis requires studying information in documents, written communications such as news, memos, letters, and graphics such as pictures, video and audio.

As much as most people may not really say straight up the research method to be applied in an undergraduate project topic by mere seeing it, you may not find it difficult to detect content analysis project topic due to the distinctive nature of its variables.

Follow these procedures in your research methodology to apply content analysis in your research

In the Sample size and procedure;                                                            

Indicate the population you want to study and the sample size. Secondly, state clearly the date, month and year(s) you want to study plus the type of document your project topic suggests you want to study.

Content categories;

Ensure you state the categories of the document you want to study. For instance if you are doing a study on maternal health, you may consider such content categories as infant mortality, maternal morbidity, prenatal infection, obstructed labour, breastfeeding etc. These categories will guide what you will look out for in your content data gathering.

Unit of analysis

Here, you will state the pattern of communication that carries these content categories eg. News, pictures, videos, documents, letter to editor, editorial etc.

Intercoder reliability

This is a statistical stage in content analysis where you calculate the reliability of the two coding sheets you and your coding partner used in your content research. You will calculate

  • Number of coding decisions on which the two coders agree

  • Total number of coding decision by first coder

  • Total number of coding decisions by second coder

Data analysis and presentation

Data is presented in scores, percentages and frequency and tables.

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