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The Content Analysis Guidebook

The Content Analysis Guidebook

Second Edition

May 2016 | 456 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Content analysis is one of the most important but complex research methodologies in the social sciences. In this thoroughly updated Second Edition of The Content Analysis Guidebook, author Kimberly Neuendorf draws on examples from across numerous disciplines to clarify the complicated aspects of content analysis through step-by-step instruction and practical advice. Throughout the book, the author also describes a wide range of innovative content analysis projects from both academia and commercial research that provide readers with a deeper understanding of the research process and its many real-world applications.

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Chapter 1: Defining Content Analysis
An Introduction

The Growing Popularity of Content Analysis

The Myths of Content Analysis

A Six-Part Definition of Content Analysis

Chapter 2: An Integrative Approach to Content Analysis
The Language of the Scientific Method

Human Coding Versus Computer Coding: A Brief Overview

How Content Analysis Is Done: A Flowchart for the Typical Process of Content-Analytic Research

Approaches to Content Analysis

Toward an Integrative Model of Content Analysis

Using the Integrative Model of Content Analysis

Chapter 3: Message Units and Sampling

Defining the Population



Sample Size

Full Reportage

Chapter 4: Variables and Predictions
Identifying Critical Variables

Full Reportage

Chapter 5: Measurement and Validity

Defining Measurement

Validity, Reliability, Accuracy, and Precision


Types of Validity Assessment

Validation Procedures in Content Analysis


Expanding Terminology and Merging Traditions: Big Data, Text Mining, Natural Language Processing, Computational Linguistics, Sentiment Analysis/Opinion Mining, and CATA

CATA (Computer-Aided Text Analysis)

Selection of a Computer Text Content Analysis Program

Human Coding

Index Construction in Content Analysis

Full Reportage

Chapter 6: Reliability
Intercoder Reliability: An Introduction to Standards and Practices

Issues in the Assessment of Reliability

Pilot and Final Reliabilities

Intercoder Reliability Coefficients: Issues and Comparisons

Calculating Intercoder Reliability Coefficients

The Reliability Subsample

The Use of Multiple Coders

Intracoder Reliability--Assessing Stability over Time

Unitizing Reliability

Calculating Reliability Coefficients: Programs and Calculators

Special Issues in Reliability Coefficient Decision-making

Bringing Order to Reliability: Building Models that Specify Sources of Variation

Full Reportage

Chapter 7: Content Analysis in the Interactive Media Age
Considering Interactive Media

Content Creation in the Interactive Media Age

Acquiring Content in the Interactive Media Age

Archiving Content in the Interactive Media Age

Coding Content in the Interactive Media Age

Automated Technologies and Measurement on the Moving Image

Almost Content Analysis


Chapter 8: Results and Reporting
Data Handling and Transformations

Hypothesis Testing

Selecting the Appropriate Statistical Tests


Co-Occurrences and In-Context Occurrences

Time Lines

Bivariate Relationships

Multivariate Relationships

Chapter 9: Contexts
Psychometric Applications of Content Analysis

Open-Ended and Pictorial Responses

Linguistics and Semantic Networks

Stylometrics and Computer Literary Analysis

Interaction Analysis

Other Interpersonal Behaviors

Computer-Mediated Communication

Organizational Communication

Health Communication



Political Communication

Violence in the Media

Gender Roles in the Media

Sex and Sexuality in the Media

Minority Portrayals



Sentiment Analysis

Academic Literatures

Commercial, Governmental, and Other Client-Based Applications of Content Analysis

Future Directions

Resource 1: CATA—Computer Aided Text Analysis Options
Part I. Computer Aided Text Analysis (CATA) Programs

Part II: Yoshikoder Example

Resource 2: The Content Analysis Guidebook Online (CAGO)
Content Analysis Resources

Message Archives and Corpora


Human Coding Sample Materials

Introduction to Computer Content Analysis (CATA)


Useful resource- readable and accessible for diverse student groups

Ms Angela Short
Education, Dundalk Institute of Technology
November 14, 2020

The book discusses one of the most popular communication research methods, which is discussed with students.

Dr Zinaida Manžuch
Communications, Vilnius University
July 1, 2019

The book provides a practical and valuable toolkit for students of different Levels doing Content Analysis

Dr Gabriele Habinger
Dept of Social & Cultural Anthropoloy, University of Vienna
July 22, 2019

This is an excellent book for undergraduate students interested in doing content analysis for their dissertations. It is straightforward and covers content at the appropriate level.

Dr Joyce Costello
Corporate & Marketing Communications, Bournemouth University
July 19, 2017

An excellent text for encouraging students to think beyond questionnaires and interviews when considering how they can collect and analyse data to say something about the social world.

Jamie Harding
Department of Social Sciences, Northumbria University
June 23, 2017

Content analysis is one of the most used research methods in education. This book does nice job to introduce it.

Dr Muhammet Mustafa Alpaslan
Education, Mugla Sitki Kocman Universitesi
July 10, 2017

It is a very good guide to content analysis which makes a nice job explaining core concepts and techniques.

Mr Antonio Marques-Mendes
London College of Communication, University of the Arts London
October 25, 2016

This is an excellent and comprehensive guidebook for students, researchers and teachers.

Dr Gianina-Ioana Postavaru
Psychology, Bishop Grosseteste University
October 4, 2016

I've waited a long time for the new version of this book. The new additions relating to the content analysis of the online environment are very successful (already in many of my syllabuses for next year). This is undoubtedly a must-read for any methodological course. Excellent reference book for any researcher analyzes content.

Dr Yaron Ariel
Communication, The Max Stern Academic College of Emek Yezreel
June 26, 2016
Key features


  • Numerous examples from across numerous disciplines give readers the ability to explain findings and predict future outcomes in a variety contexts. 
  • Sidebars descriptions of innovative and wide-ranging content analysis projects, from both academia and commercial research, illustrate the interdisciplinary utility of content analysis.
  • Pedagogical tools in an easy to understand format help readers unravel the complicated aspects of content analysis.   


  • A new chapter on "Content Analysis in the Interactive Media Age" (Ch.7) shows readers how to create, aquire, archive and code interactive media content. 
  • The "Integrative Model of Content Analysis," which explains how content analysis may be linked with source and/or receiver characteristics, has been revised to clarify a difference between "data links" and "logical links" among source-message-receiver components.
  • New examples and updated references throughout keep readers up-to-date with the latest scholarship in content analysis and its application to everyday life.
  • A new section focused specifically on validity gives readers a deeper understanding of measurement and llustrates how the standards of validity interrelate.  
  • A new resource section devoted to Computer Aided Text Analysis (CATA) programs such as Yoshikoder introduce readers to a growing set of options for automated analyses.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter #1

Chapter #9

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