Teach students how to construct a viable research project based on online sources. Gabe Ignatow and Rada Mihalcea’s An Introduction to Text Mining: Research Design, Data Collection, and Analysis provides a foundation for readers seeking a solid introduction to mining text data. The book covers the most critical issues that must be taken into consideration for research projects, including web scraping and crawling, strategic data selection, data sampling, use of specific text analysis methods, and report writing. In addition to covering technical aspects of various approaches to contemporary text mining and analysis, the book covers ethical and philosophical dimensions of text-based research and social science research design.

Analyzing Themes

Learning Objectives

The goals of Chapter 11 are to help you to do the following:

  • Explain how human communication is structured by themes.
  • Describe thematic analysis techniques from the social sciences and humanities.
  • Evaluate various approaches to thematic analysis.
  • Choose an approach and the appropriate software tools to conduct a thematic analysis.


Just as works of literature have themes, so, too, do people’s conversations about their daily lives, their family and friends, politics, technology, fashion, and countless other topics. For example, in a seminal paper that used thematic analysis techniques, the anthropologist Strauss (1992) analyzed interviews with a retired blue-collar worker and found that, when asked to discuss his life experiences, he repeatedly referred to ideas associated with money, businessmen, greed, siblings, and “being different.” Strauss concluded that ...

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