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 Topics

Learning Objectives

The goals of Chapter 16 are to help you to do the following:

  • Describe the theoretical foundations of topic modeling methods.
  • Understand the statistical methods used in topic models.
  • Discover how social scientists have used topic models in their research.
  • Explore topic modeling software tools.


Conversations can be analyzed in terms of narratives (see Chapter 10), themes (see Chapter 11), and metaphors (see Chapter 12). Conversations can also be analyzed in a more straightforward way not in terms of how people are talking but rather in terms of what it is that they are talking about in the first place. For example, consider how the topics covered in newspapers change over time. As events unfold, different news outlets with different audiences, news formats, and business strategies ...

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