ASSIGNMENT TWO: CONTENT ANALYSIS
Your second assignment for this class is to conduct a content analysis. This assignment is worth
100 points and is due ELECTRONICALLY by 11:59PM on Sunday, December 5th.
TOPIC: Think of a question that can be answered by content analysis. Then, choose an
appropriate social artifact to conduct a content analysis. Again, you have a great deal of
discretion on what you would like to look at—news media, video games, TV shows, blogs,
Facebook, magazines, etc. We discussed different examples in class of what appropriate
questions for content analysis include (also refer to your textbook). Please email me if you have
questions about what is an appropriate research question. [It is worth noting that summarizing
findings of research articles is not a content analysis] DATA SOURCE: You may choose your own source of data, but in order to do a content
analysis, you should use at least THREE social artifacts (three shows or episodes, three news
articles, etc.) so that you can compare across each artifact. Be sure that you carefully define the
variables you are interested in. This will result in a better (i.e., less biased) coding process.
You should look for at least THREE variables during your content analysis.
FINDINGS PAPER (3 to 5 pages):
• INTRODUCTION (15 points): Describe your research question and justify why it is
answerable by content analysis (5 points). Discuss how you decided to answer your
research question (5 points). Include what your data sources were (be as specific as
possible) and why they were appropriate for the content analysis and your research
question (5 points).
• SAMPLING (20 points): Discuss your sampling strategy (How did you select your social
artifacts from the population?) (10 points). Be as specific as possible. This section should
include a discussion of the benefits (or the justification) of the sampling strategy in
relation to your research question (5 points). Also, identify your sample as being a
probability or non-probability sample (5 points). I highly recommend that you draw on
information provided in Chapter 5.
• VARIABLE DEFINITIONS (20 points): Discuss the conceptual definitions of the three
variables examined in your content analysis (5 points each). These should be specific
enough that if I would come up with similar results if I looked at the same content
analysis. Identify each variable as latent or manifest content (5 points).
• FINDINGS (25 points): This section should discuss the findings of your research. Please
keep in mind that the purpose of this section is not to summarize or “review” the
content of your social artifacts. Rather, this should be a systematic discussion of your
findings as they relate to your three variables (including frequencies and percentages) and
how they answer to your research question (10 points). In addition, to drawing
conclusions about your research question you should also discuss if these results are in
line with your own hypotheses (or what you expected to find) (5 points).
o You should provide a findings table to supplement your results section (10
points). This should include frequency counts for each variable, totals for columns
and rows, as well as percentages. Remember to be mindful of spacing in and
around your table. Here is an of an example:
Variable One Frequency
Variable Two Frequency
Variable Three Frequency
• CONCLUSION (10 points): We have discussed all the things that can go wrong when
doing research, these are often referred to as limitations of the research. Discuss your
limitations in this section. What could you have improved upon (10 points)? You may
want to discuss weaknesses in your data source, the definitions of your variables, or
broad issues with validity, reliability, and/or generalizability of your findings. It is in your
best interest to draw on terminology used in class in this section.
• FORMATTING (10 points): Your assignment should include a title page (including
name and class time). The paper should be well-edited and organized as stated above. In
terms of formatting for the paper: one-inch margins, double-spaced, times new
roman, 12-point font, and please add page numbers.
WORD TO THE WISE:
• These assignments are intended to be very rigorous and I have extremely high standards
for them. I view them as being an opportunity to showcase what you have learned in this
• Please ask me if you have any questions regarding this assignment (particularly your
• The description provided here represents all the items on my rubric, including point
structure, there are no excuses for missing an item.
• I will utilize Turnitin via Canvas on these assignments in order to deter plagiarism. The
presence of plagiarism will result in a zero on the assignment.
o It is important to point out that sharing your assignment and/or a portion of the
assignment with a classmate can result in plagiarism. I recommend not sharing
your assignment with others in the class as any evidence of overlap between
assignments will be considered as plagiarism.