What is content analysis and in which investigations to use it?

Content analysis is a technique used in research on communication, literature, education, politics, among other fields of study. If your thesis is a quantitative investigation, it is likely that you can use content analysis as a data collection instrument. This technique used in the collection of research data has the purpose of "studying and analyzing communication in an objective, systematic and quantitative way", according to the classic definition of Bernard Berelson in his book Content Analysis in Communications Research of 1952. The publication of This book constituted in 1952 a novel imprint of Berelson, because it included the analysis of contents to the investigation of the communication media.

Remember that in Online Thesis, we carry out degree projects that can use content analysis. Likewise, we know how to develop quantitative and qualitative research. In this sense, the client can fill out the following quotation form to specify the subject and area of ​​knowledge of the work to be carried out. Likewise, the WhatsApp and Messenger communication channels are available to answer questions from users.

In what kind of research can I use content analysis?

It is a technique for quantitative research. It is consistent with the goal of describing a research variable. Likewise, this technique is valid if an objective of the investigation is to analyze.

In the same way, it is a systematic technique since it implies the selection of a sample and the disposition of the collected data in categories to analyze them later. Similarly, content analysis can also be comparative; that is, it can be applied to the different elements of a sample to compare them with each other. Some examples of investigations in which content analysis can be used are the following:

Psychological analyzes

With content analysis, the oral or written expressions of a group of patients can be studied. It is a tool that can be used in conjunction with other techniques. In this sense, the content analysis will not have interpretive purposes, but will work to compare patients with each other and categorize units of their discourses.

Analyze the application of standards and policies

Given its quantitative nature, content analysis makes it possible to verify whether norms, policies or standards established for communication are met. For this reason, research with the purpose of corroborating this type of hypothesis finds in content analysis a systematic technique to achieve such ends. In this way, the content issued by a specific entity is compared with the regulations set forth to investigate its application.

Political marketing campaigns

Candidate campaigns can be analyzed based on data collection carried out with content analysis. Likewise, the campaigns of different candidates can be compared in relation to the content of their messages. With this type of research, persuasive patterns, predominant elements in the discourse and values ​​that the candidate represents can be found. In addition to conducting discourse-oriented analysis. It is possible to carry out measurements in relation to the number of messages issued in social media.

Advertising campaigns

Content analysis can describe the content of advertising campaigns. In this sense, its use can lead to identifying advertising strategies. Similarly, it offers the possibility of analyzing the use of language in the marketing campaign of a product or service.


With content analysis, discourses of various kinds can be analyzed. For example, it is possible to inquire through this technique into the opinions of various individuals regarding a topic or variable. In this way, it allows comparisons between discourses and highlights their fundamental aspects.

Cultural expressions

Various expressions of a culture have the possibility of being studied through this data collection technique. That is why content analysis can propose the inquiry into the predominant values ​​of a given culture. Likewise, it opens the possibility of comparing cultures with each other, as well as addressing forms of communication of societies belonging to different historical times.

Identify communication characteristics

Through content analysis it is possible to quantify elements of the messages issued by a sender. This results in a technique that makes it possible to characterize the content of messages. Likewise, it can approximate explicit or covert intentions in a broadcast message. You can also make comparisons between messages from different media. On the other hand, it allows you to find styles and trends in communication styles.

Individuals and social groups

Through content analysis, individuals and social groups can be studied. The attitudes, beliefs, perceptions and values ​​of a person or a group can be investigated through content analysis. The vocabulary of a group (for example, of a minority) can also be studied and categorized as part of a linguistic study. With this technique, different ways of thinking and group concerns can be explored.

Uses of language

Through this research technique, an approach to language studies can be made. In this way, it is possible to describe most used words or compare jargon from different groups with each other. Language studies have in content analysis a methodological tool to develop research.

What should I take into account when carrying out a content analysis?

Remember that it is a quantitative research technique that requires the establishment of a universe of studies, as well as a sample. In the same way, the units of analysis must be defined, which constitute the segments of the message to be analyzed and categorized. In this sense, these segments can be words, themes, items, among others.

In Online Thesis we have a quotation form where you can specify what type of research you want to carry out and to which university it is addressed. You can also contact our thesis development team through What Sapp, Messenger or the direct chat available on the Online Thesis website.

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