Content Analysis: A Methodology for Structuring and Analyzing Written
Material (Guidance, 09/01/96, GAO/PEMD-10.3.1).

GAO published a guide on content analysis, describing how GAO evaluators
can use this methodology in: (1) selecting textual material for
analysis; (2) developing an analysis plan; (3) coding textual material;
(4) ensuring data reliability; and (5) analyzing the data.

--------------------------- Indexing Terms -----------------------------

     TITLE:  Content Analysis: A Methodology for Structuring and 
             Analyzing Written Material
      DATE:  09/01/96
   SUBJECT:  Statistical methods
             Evaluation methods
             Data collection operations
             Data integrity
             Auditing procedures

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================================================================ COVER

Progarm Evaluation and Methodology Division

September 1996




=============================================================== ABBREV

  AID - Agency for International Development
  DOD - Department of Defense
  GAO - General Accounting Office
  VA - Department of Veterans' Affairs

============================================================ Chapter 0

GAO assists congressional decisionmakers in their deliberations by
furnishing them with analytical information.  Many diverse
methodologies are needed to develop sound and timely answers to the
questions that the Congress poses.  To provide GAO evaluators with
basic information about the more commonly used methodologies, GAO's
policy guidance includes documents such as methodology transfer
papers and technical guidelines. 

This transfer paper on content analysis describes how GAO evaluators
can use this methodology in their work.  It defines content analysis
and details how to decide whether it is appropriate and, if so, how
to develop an analysis plan.  The paper also specifies how to code
documents, analyze the data, and avoid pitfalls at each stage. 
Several software packages useful for GAO evaluations are described. 

Content Analysis:  A Methodology for Structuring and Analyzing
Written Material is one of a series of papers issued by the Program
Evaluation and Methodology Division (PEMD).  The purpose of the
series is to provide GAO evaluators with guides to various aspects of
audit and evaluation methodology, to illustrate applications, and to
indicate where more detailed information is available. 

We look forward to receiving comments from the readers of this paper. 
They should be addressed to Joseph F.  Delfico at (202) 512-2900. 

Brian P.  Crowley
Assistant Comptroller General
Office of Policy

Joseph F.  Delfico
Acting Assistant Comptroller General
Program Evaluation and Methodology Division

============================================================ Chapter 1

In content analysis, evaluators classify the key ideas in a written
communication, such as a report, article, or film.  Evaluators can do
content analysis of video, film, and other forms of recorded
information, but in this paper, we focus on analyzing words.  Here is
a formal definition of content analysis:  it is a systematic research
method for analyzing textual information in a standardized way that
allows evaluators to make inferences about that information.  (Weber,
1990, pp.  9-12, and Krippendorff, 1980, pp.  21-27) Another
expression of this is as follows:  "A central idea in content
analysis is that the many words of the text are classified into much
fewer content categories." (Weber, 1990, p.  12)

The classification process, called "coding," consists of marking text
passages with short alphanumeric codes.  This creates "categorical
variables" that represent the original, verbal information and that
can then be analyzed by standard statistical methods.  The text
passages can come from structured interviews, focus group
discussions, case studies, open-ended questions on survey
instruments, workpapers, agency documents, and previous
evaluations.\1 Content analysis is particularly useful in GAO work
because of the large quantity of written material that evaluators
typically collect during a project, especially when it comes from
diverse and unstructured sources. 

To classify a document's key ideas, the evaluator identifies its
themes, issues, topics, and so on.  The result might be a simple list
of the topics in a series of meeting notes.  Content analysis can go
further if the evaluator counts the frequency of statements, detects
subtle differences in their intensity, or examines issues over time,
in different situations, or from different groups. 

Thus, content analysis can not only help summarize the formal content
of written material; it can also describe the attitudes or
perceptions of the author of that material.  For example, if an
evaluator wanted to assess the effects of a program on the lives of
older people from their perspective, he or she could analyze
open-ended interview responses to determine their outlook on life,
loneliness, or security.  Similarly, an evaluator could assess the
effect of Voice of America broadcasts by analyzing the content of
Soviet newspaper articles and radio broadcasts.  (Inkeles, 1952)

\1 See appendix I for a brief discussion of related forms of textual
analysis.  Babbie (1992) and Weber (1990) give an overview of the
form of content analysis we discuss in this paper. 

---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 1:1

Here are several ways in which GAO evaluators have successfully used
content analysis techniques. 

1.  In Stars and Stripes:  Inherent Conflicts Lead to Allegations of
Military Censorship (GAO, 1988), GAO evaluators used content analysis
to help assess issues of censorship, news management, and other
influences on various editions of the military newspaper.  Details of
technique and substance from this report are used as examples
throughout this transfer paper. 

2.  In Student Loans:  Direct Loans Could Save Billions in First 5
Years With Proper Implementation (GAO, 1992c), GAO evaluators
examined transcripts of focus groups discussing the difficulty of
implementing a student loan program.  The participants' views on
whether the Department of Education could administer a direct loan
program were mixed, but the evaluators were able, through content
analysis, to highlight the dominant views and the reasons for them. 

3.  Federal Employment:  How Federal Employees View the Government As
a Place to Work (GAO, 1992a) reported that while the majority of the
survey respondents looked favorably on working for the government,
many did not.  The evaluators used content analysis to assess the
respondent's insightful, written comments to open-ended questions. 
An appendix in the report is devoted to the analysis of these

4.  Another excellent example of the use of content analysis appears
in Women in the Military:  Deployment in the Persian Gulf War (GAO,
1993c).  For this study, the evaluators gave a primarily positive
assessment of women's performance, using content analysis to
determine that while men and women endured similarly harsh encampment
facilities and conditions, both men and women considered health and
hygiene problems inconsequential and their cohesion in mixed-gender
units effective. 

5.  Among other fine examples of the use of content analyis is
Veterans' Health Care:  Veterans' Perceptions of VA Services and VA's
Role in Health Care Reform (GAO, 1994a).  The report's scope and
methodology section details the analysis and summary of veterans'
views that changing the VA system could, among other things, diminish
or eliminate their benefits as well as harm them both emotionally and
in terms of their specialized health care needs. 

Other uses of content analysis in GAO reports include an analysis of
transcripts of focus groups on people's ability to participate in
food assistance programs (GAO, 1990), an analysis of descriptive text
on the maintenance of aging aircraft (GAO, 1993a), and an analysis of
open-ended discussions with Amerasian immigrants on their experiences
in Vietnam, the Philippines, and the United States (GAO, 1994b). 

---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 1:2

The increasing availability of written information on computer files,
and the increasing number of computer programs to analyze text files,
makes content analysis easier to do than ever before.  Moreover,
computerized programs can easily code textual data and combine them
with quantitative data.  The evaluator can then analyze both kinds of
data with various statistical methods.  However, content analysis can
proceed even when written information is not available in computer

---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 1:3

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 1:3.1

One problem with surveys and some experimental methods is that
evaluators and their informants can interact during data collection
in ways other than how they would "naturally" react.  For example, a
content analysis of the hearing transcripts might be more useful than
interviews with federal officials about what took place during public
hearings on proposed environmental regulations.  The officials might
leave out important points, unconsciously or purposely, in order to
protect themselves, but the transcripts provide the complete record. 
Thus, bias can be reduced during data collection.  Similarly, the
evaluator can eliminate from analysis survey questions that might be
inappropriate because they invaded a respondent's privacy. 

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 1:3.2

Content analysis has explicit procedures and quality control checks
that make it possible for only a few or a great number of evaluators
to analyze large volumes of textual data.  Furthermore, the explicit
procedures and quality control checks allow two or more groups of
analysts to work on the same kind of data in different geographic
locations, and computer software may be used to perform many of the
required steps.  (See appendix II.)

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 1:3.3

Content analysis can help evaluators learn more about the issues and
programs they examine because it is systematic.  It has structured
forms that allow evaluators to extract relevant information more
consistently than if they were reading the same documents only

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 1:3.4

When the findings from content analysis are not the main evidence in
an evaluation, they can still be used to help corroborate other
findings, such as responses from closed-ended surveys or from
economic measures.  For example, Webb and colleagues have described
how investigators can use "multiple operations" to increase
confidence in their findings, although we do not discuss them in this
paper.  (Webb et al., 1981)

---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 1:4

Because content analysis is systematic, sufficient human resources
must be committed to it and rigorously applied to it.  This may mean,
for some evaluation applications, that the benefits may not outweigh
the cost of the resources.  Moreover, while content analysis has
safeguards against distortion of the evidence, evaluators must use
judgment in coding the data.  If the potential users of the results
will be uneasy about the judgment-making process, content analysis
may not be advisable.  A different approach that does not convert
text to categorical variables might be preferable.  (See appendix I.)

---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 1:5

GAO evaluators can use content analysis to articulate a program's
objectives, describe its activities, and determine its results. 

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 1:5.1

Many evaluations characterize a program's objectives.  For example,
evaluators might compare a program's legislative objectives with
those of the executive branch.  To do this, they might gather written
or tape-recorded information from the program's legislative history
and from interviews with agency officials.  In content analysis, they
would then be able to compare the two kinds of documentary sources to
determine whether the agency's goals conform to its legislative

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 1:5.2

To describe a program's activities, an evaluator could perform case
studies, attend agency meetings, or interview program stakeholders
(for example, managers, service deliverers, or beneficiaries) and
then use content analysis to examine the results.  For example, GAO
evaluators might ask program stakeholders open-ended questions about
a program's activities and then describe them by simply tabulating
the categories of activities the respondents have reported. 

The extent to which program activities were accurately targeted could
also be investigated.  Evaluators could interview program
beneficiaries and analyze their responses to assess their eligibility
for the program's services.  The responses could then be compared
with established eligibility criteria, and the evaluators could
estimate the proportion of program recipients who were truly

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 1:5.3

When evaluators want to estimate the results of a program, they might
take sample surveys, construct case studies, or examine earlier
evaluation reports.  When such data are quantitative, a variety of
statistical procedures can be applied.  (See GAO, 1992e, and Mohr,
1988.) However, to the extent that such data are textual, the
evaluator can estimate program results with the help of content

Evaluators may analyze content when they are, for example, uncertain
about program effectiveness criteria or when they find many diverse
criteria within the program, are engaged in exploratory work, want to
ensure that structured questions did not miss something, or want to
clarify the meaning of close-ended questions. 

---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 1:6

The seven major steps in conducting a content analysis are outlined
in table 1.1, along with the chapters in which we describe them. 

                               Table 1.1
                  Seven Steps in Conducting a Content

Numbe                                                           Chapte
r      Step                                                          r
-----  -------------------------------------------------------  ------
1      Deciding whether to use content analysis                      2
2      Defining the variables                                        3
3      Selecting material for analysis                               3
4      Defining the recording units                                  3
5      Developing an analysis plan                                   3
6      Coding the textual material                                   4
7      Analyzing the data                                            5
In chapter 2, we cover the first step:  deciding whether to use
content analysis by considering the kinds of questions we need to
answer and the material available for evaluation.  In chapter 3, we
explain the planning phase in the second through fifth steps: 
defining the variables we want to collect information about, defining
the material to include in the analysis, defining the recording
units, and developing an analysis plan. 

In chapter 4, on implementing the analysis, we outline ways to code
the textual material, including how to create codes and train coders. 
Chapter 5 covers the actual analysis and the reliability of the
coding process, which affects the interpretation of the results. 
Chapter 6 concludes with a caution about major pitfalls to avoid. 

The appendixes briefly present other methods for analyzing textual
data, some of the computer software that can facilitate content
analysis, and technical procedures for gauging the accuracy of
content analysis. 

============================================================ Chapter 2

The five major factors in considering whether to use content analysis
are the objectives of the assignment, the data that are available or
to be collected, the kinds of data required, the kinds of analysis
required, and the resources needed.  Since content analysis is often
part of a broader evaluation design, the decision to use it must fit
within the assignment's overall design.  (GAO, 1991c) While the
evaluator considers during the early stages of an evaluation design
whether to include content analysis, one or more of these factors may
rule out its use. 

---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 2:1

GAO often expresses an assignment's objectives in the form of three
broad categories of evaluation question:  descriptive, normative, or
impact questions.  (GAO, 1991c) In theory, content analysis can
address all three categories.  In practice, descriptive and normative
questions are especially amenable to content analysis; program impact
questions are less commonly answered through content analysis. 

Answering a descriptive question provides information about
conditions or events.  For example, in a report on alleged censorship
of news stories in Stars and Stripes, GAO used content analysis to
describe the sources and nature of articles printed in the paper's
European and Pacific editions.  An advisory panel of professional
journalists had made judgments about allegations of managing and
censoring the news; GAO supplied the results of its content analysis
to the panel for its deliberations. 

The answer to a normative question compares an outcome to a norm, or
standard.  In the Stars and Stripes report, evaluators made normative
comparisons between news coverage and content in the military
newspaper and related stories from the Associated Press and United
Press International that had been the source for the Stars and
Stripes stories.  The question "To what extent does the content of
news stories in Stars and Stripes indicate news management or
censorship?" is normative because it implies a criterion. 

Impact questions were beyond the scope of GAO's Stars and Stripes
study.  For example, the evaluation did not attempt to estimate the
impact of a 1984 change in Department of Defense (DOD) editorial
policy for the newspaper by comparing news articles before and after
1984.  In another study, however, GAO evaluators did use content
analysis to examine the perception of impact rather than the impact
itself when they determined the views of military veterans about
health care in VA hospitals.  (GAO, 1994b)

---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 2:2

Whether or not content analysis is appropriate depends on the nature
of the information to be evaluated.  The information can be anything
written:  an original document; a transcript of a speech,
conversation, discussion, or oral answer to a question; or a verbal
description of visual information, such as a film, video, or
photograph.  Documents may be government administrative records,
newspaper articles or editorials, answers to questions in an
interview or questionnaire, transcripts of focus group discussions,
advertising copy, judicial decisions, program evaluations,
descriptions of program activities, field notes, or summaries of
workpapers.  Some documents may already exist at the beginning of the
assignment; others may have to be created through data collection
during the assignment. 

---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 2:3

In the early stages of an assignment, evaluators choose variables of
interest.  For the descriptive Stars and Stripes assignment, for
example, important variables included the frequency of stories on
selected issues, such as the Iran-contra affair and the presidential
campaign; the percentage of stories from other sources, such as staff
reporters, AP, UPI, and other wire services; and the percentage of
stories that conveyed a negative DOD image.  (GAO, 1988) Obviously,
if documents are to be useful, they must promise to yield information
on the variables of interest. 

For a normative evaluation, the variables are often similar to those
for a descriptive evaluation, because the only difference is the
addition of a criterion in the normative evaluation.  In a program
impact evaluation, the kinds of data that are required include
outcome variables and contextual variables that may be necessary to
rule out rival explanations for the outcomes.  (GAO, 1991c)

---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 2:4

Considering data requirements goes hand in hand with analysis
requirements.  In many evaluations, the most important, or only, form
of analysis may be a simple aggregation of quantitative data or a
comparison of categorical variables.  When the subject matter is
textual and the evaluation questions lend themselves to numerical
descriptions or comparisons, content analysis is usually a good
choice.  For example, in the Stars and Stripes study, a key question
pertained to whether the European and Pacific editions differed in
the types of stories they covered.  Therefore, the evaluators
classified textual data into story topic categories and displayed
most of the results in simple tables that compared frequency counts
for the two editions. 

Had the Stars and Stripes report required a comparison of subtleties
in the language of the news stories, then content analysis would not
have been the best methodology to use.  Rather than transform the
text into categories, a better approach might have been to retrieve
and display comparable passages side by side.  Evaluators could then
systematically form conclusions about the apparent differences.  (See
appendix I.)

---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 2:5

In content analysis, evaluators must consider three principal types
of resources:  an analyst with the technical knowledge and experience
to plan and direct the content analysis, personnel to do the coding,
and computer capability to carry out the analysis.  At least one
member of the project team should know about content analysis or have
experience with it.  This person then takes responsibility for
planning the technical aspects of the work, training the team members
who will make the classifications, supervising the production of a
database, and either performing or directing the statistical

Team members knowledgeable about the subject matter must carefully
read the text and code its passages.  Except for the very smallest
textual databases, the coding process is fairly labor-intensive.  For
example, in a recent AID evaluation, coding 280 interviews required
approximately 4 person-weeks, even with the aid of computer software. 
This does not include the time devoted to developing the coding
system (several days), transcribing the interviews and getting them
into a form suitable for computer analysis (approximately 3
person-weeks of clerical staff time), and training the coders (2

The resources of personnel to do coding and computer capability to do
the analysis are frequently interrelated because the coding task can
be carried out with software.  For most GAO content analyses, the
amount of data dictates whether analysis is to be done by computer. 
This means that the textual data must be suitable for computer
processing and specialized programs must be available.  (Appendix II
reviews some of these programs.)

============================================================ Chapter 3

The four planning steps of a content analysis are defining the
variables the evaluator wants information about, selecting the
material to be analyzed, defining the recording units, and developing
an analysis plan.  Each step must be completed before data collection
begins, although evaluators can move back and forth across the steps
as they develop the evaluation design and come to grips with its
practical constraints.  To start the planning steps implies
commitment to content analysis, but the evaluation method may still
be reconsidered before resources have been committed to its

---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3:1

The assignment's evaluation questions lead directly to the relevant
variables.  In the Stars and Stripes example, we asked "To what
extent does the content of news stories in Stars and Stripes indicate
management or censorship of the news management?" In practice,
however, defining a variable may be separated into two parts: 
conceptualizing the variable and specifying its categories. 

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3:1.1

"Conceptualizing a variable" means identifying subjects, things, or
events that vary and that will help us answer the question.  In the
Stars and Stripes example, the two variables "news story topic" and
"image of the military" were defined.  News story topic was variable
across the stories that appeared in Stars and Stripes, and the
paper's distorted coverage of topics might indicate news management
or censorship.  Image of the military could also conceivably vary
across the paper's stories, and imbalance in the image of the U.S. 
military might be another indicator of news management or censorship. 

"Specifying the categories" distinguishes one subject, thing, or
event from others by putting them each and severally into a limited
number of categories.  Thus, to completely define a variable for
content analysis, we need to first conceptualize it and then specify
its categories.  The variable's category may be either nominal or
ordinal and it must be exclusive and exhaustive.  Nominal variables
have no intrinsic order.  For example, gender can be treated as a
nominal variable with two categories--male and female--but there is
nothing about either category that warrants ranking one ahead of the
other.  Ordinal variables do have an intrinsic order.  For example,
attitude is often divided into categories such as greatly dislike,
moderately dislike, indifferent to, moderately like, and greatly
like.  These categories can be ranked from top to bottom or bottom to

Categories must be mutually exclusive and exhaustive.  If they
overlap, then information derived from them may be erroneous. 
Likewise, if the categories do not cover all possible classes of
information, then a variable may be misclassified or not recorded at

News story topic in the Stars and Stripes example was a nominal
variable that had five categories:  acquired immunodeficiency
syndrome, Iran-contra, strategic issues (such as Intermediate Nuclear
Forces and the Strategic Defense Initiative), the 1988 presidential
campaign, and other.  Each news story could thus be conceptually
labeled as fitting into one of these categories.  The first four
categories corresponded to politically sensitive topics, so they
seemed relevant to the evaluation question.  The fifth category,
"other," ensured that all stories would be labeled. 

Military image was also a nominal variable but it had four
categories:  negative, neutral, positive, and mixed.  Each news story
about the U.S.  military was placed into one of the categories.  If
the variable had had only the three categories negative, neutral, and
positive, it would have been not nominal but ordinal.  The category
"mixed" was included because without it some stories would not have
been classified.  This fourth category helped ensure that the
categories were mutually exclusive and exhaustive. 

\1 Content analysis is usually restricted to categorical variables
but only during the coding process.  During data analysis,
categorical variables from the coded material could be combined with
interval or ratio variables generated in other ways.  See Babbie
(1992, ch.  5) for a general treatment of conceptualization and
measurement and Weber (1990, sec.  2) and Babbie (1992, ch.  12) for
discussions of categories. 

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3:1.2

What dictates the number of categories for a variable?  Some
variables seem to have an intrinsic set of categories.  For example,
a week can have seven categories (the seven days) or two (weekdays
and weekend).  For news story topic, the list of possible categories
is virtually endless, so the evaluator must use judgment and be
guided by the evaluation question. 

In the Stars and Stripes assignment, the evaluators needed evidence
to show the extent, if any, of news management or censorship. 
Studying all possible categories of news story was not feasible, so
they chose only those for which they could determine some editorial

The practical limit to the number of categories that can be handled
is important.  Both the coding process and the analytical tools
available may suggest upper limits.  And, certainly, the
interpretation of results can become very complicated when categories
are numerous.  Generally speaking, the categories assigned to each
variable should not exceed seven in the final steps of the analysis
but may include more in the coding process because later, after the
results of coding are known, evaluators can combine some categories. 
They may not, however, expand them. 

Some ordered variables have a natural middle or neutral point.  For
those that do, selecting an uneven number of categories allows coders
to determine a middle ground.  For example, for observations about
attitude, the five categories greatly dislike, moderately dislike,
indifferent to, moderately like, and greatly like are better than the
four categories greatly dislike, moderately dislike, moderately like,
and greatly like.  This is because the latter scale unrealistically
forces all attitudes into either negative or positive categories. 

---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3:2

To select textual material to include in the content analysis,
evaluators may find it easiest to think first about a population of
documents.  For some assignments, this population may already exist,
as in the Stars and Stripes evaluation.  For other assignments,
evaluators have to collect data into a database.  This happened when
GAO evaluators used focus groups to obtain responses to food
assistance programs on Indian reservations.  (GAO, 1990)

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3:2.1

A document should be physically separable, minimally sized, and
self-contained textual information.  A letter is a document.  Each
daily edition of Stars and Stripes is a document.  A file folder is
not a document because it contains within it smaller items that are
physically separable, some of which are self-contained.  A book is
somewhat ambiguous as a document.  Most books could be considered
documents, but an edited book in which each chapter had separate
authors might better be thought of as an aggregate of documents.  A
transcription of an open-ended interview would probably be defined as
a document.  However, if the scope of the evaluation were limited to
responses to just one interview question, then a transcription of
just the pertinent answer might be the document. 

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3:2.2

Sampling is necessary when a document population is too large to be
analyzed in its entirety.  Two broad options are available,
probability sampling and nonprobability sampling.  Probability
sampling may be the right choice if the evaluation question implies
the need to generalize from the sample to the population and if the
procedures required for probability sampling are practical under the
circumstances.  Nonprobability sampling, sometimes called judgment or
purposeful sampling, may be the right choice if generalization is not
necessary or if probability sampling procedures are not practical. 
Examples of probability sampling and nonprobability sampling are GAO
(1992d) and Patton (1990, pp.  169-83), respectively. 

In some assignments, multistage sampling is appropriate.  For
example, in a study of federal personnel actions, one might first
select a probability sample of personnel folders--an aggregate of
self-contained documents--and then, in the second stage, sample
"action" documents within the folders. 

Sampling a document's segments may also be useful.  For example, in a
study of recommendations from GAO reports, we might probabilistically
select one recommendation (that is, the recommendation itself plus
its supporting material) from each of several reports.  Weber (1990)
recommends that documents be sampled in their entirety in order to
preserve semantic coherence but allows that the sampling of segments
may be a good strategy when a document contains substantial amounts
of material not relevant to the study or when it is desirable to draw
information from a large number of lengthy documents. 

The Stars and Stripes content analysis used sampling.  Since two
editions of the paper had been published--dailies in Europe and the
Pacific--a reasonable population of documents would be all issues of
Stars and Stripes published in the decade ending in 1988.  (The
Congress had made its study request in 1987.) During the decade
1978-88, each edition contained 28 pages, so the document population
was much too large to be studied in its entirety. 

To reduce the textual material to manageable proportions, the
evaluators chose a nonprobabilistic sample of documents. 
Specifically, they selected all issues of both the Pacific and
European editions that were published in March 1987.\2 For content
analysis, they chose only news stories but for comparison purposes,
they also identified all AP and UPI stories that dealt with DOD and
the U.S.  military and with sensitive topics otherwise cited in the
allegations of censorship. 

\2 The rationale for choosing this particular month was that it fell
after the Pacific editor in chief had been appointed and before the
congressional inquiry about censorship in the paper. 

---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3:3

Once evaluators have defined the variables and selected the textual
material, their next major task is to define the recording units.  A
recording unit is the portion of text to which evaluators apply a
category label.  For example, the Stars and Stripes news story was
the focus of analysis in that the evaluation objective was to draw
conclusions about whether the stories had been subject to news
management or censorship.  Therefore, the news story became the
recording unit; each news story was categorized by topic, and each
news story about the U.S.  military was categorized by image.  In
general, six recording units are commonly used:  word, word sense,
sentence, paragraph, theme, and whole text.  (Weber, 1990)

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3:3.1

When words are the recording unit, evaluators categorize each
individual word.  This recording unit is well-defined because we know
the physical boundaries of a word.  When all words have been placed
in categories, a content analysis becomes simply a word count. 
Although word counts would probably find limited application in GAO,
knowing the frequency of key words may be useful.  Most content
analysis software and some other specialized forms of software can
automatically count individual words.\3

\3 The word count is automatic because humans do not have to code the
recording units before analysis.  The computer programs simply make a
pass through the document, keeping count of all individual words

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3:3.2

"Word sense" is a variation on words as units.  Some computer
programs can automatically distinguish between the multiple meanings
of a word and can identify phrases that constitute semantic units the
way words constitute semantic units.  The word senses can then be
counted just as if they were words.  Applications in GAO are probably

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3:3.3

Sentences may occasionally be useful recording units, especially in
structured material such as written responses to an open-ended
questionnaire item.  Although the physical boundaries of sentences
are well-defined, using them as units implies human coding, because
computer programs cannot automatically classify sentences as they do
words and word senses. 

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3:3.4

A paragraph is a structured unit above the sentence, so it can be a
recording unit.  Sometimes, however, a paragraph embraces too many
ideas for consistent assignment of the text segment to a single
category.  This leads to the problem of unreliable coding (discussed
in chapter 4). 

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3:3.5

Theme is probably better suited than sentences to coding open-ended
questionnaires because a theme can include the several sentences that
are commonly a response to such questions.  Theme is a useful
recording unit, if somewhat ambiguous.  Holsti describes a theme as
"a single assertion about some subject" (1969, p.  116).  The
boundary of a theme delineates a single idea; we are not restricted
to the individual semantic boundaries of sentences and paragraphs. 
The evaluator who defines theme as a recording unit should include
guidance regarding whether, at one extreme, sentence fragments can be
coded or, at the other, or paragraphs or multiple paragraphs. 
However, even with such guidance, coders necessarily use their
judgment in determining the boundaries of particular theme units and
may therefore be unreliable in their coding. 

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3:3.6

Whole text is a recording unit larger than a paragraph but still with
clearly defined physical boundaries.  For example, in the Stars and
Stripes assessment, a whole news story was a unit of analysis.  A
news story has physical and other attributes that coders can
ordinarily use to distinguish it easily from editorials or syndicated
columns.  In the extreme, an entire document may be a recording unit. 
Whole-text coding is almost always unreliable. 

---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3:4

Developing a plan for an analysis is the final planning step.  It
links the data back to the evaluation question.  Traditionally, most
content analysis plans have focused on the presence of variables or
their frequency, intensity, or identity by space or time. 

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3:4.1

Analysis sometimes focuses on the mere presence of a variable in a
document.  For example, in examining the roles and performance of
women in the military, GAO evaluators conducted a number of focus
groups and treated the transcript for each group as a document.  One
variable was "attitude about women's job performance," and it had two
categories, positive and negative.  Thus, in one part of the
analysis, the evaluators simply tabulated the number of focus groups
in which participants registered either positive or negative views
about women's job performance.  That is, a given focus group was
described not by the number of positive and negative views that that
group expressed but just by whether it expressed any positive or
negative views. 

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3:4.2

Counting the number of times a category is coded is more than simply
tabulating the number of documents in which the code appears.  In a
study of how federal employees view the government as a place to
work, GAO evaluators identified 21 variables, each with two
categories.  For example, one variable was attitude about pay with
two categories:  positive and negative.  The evaluators gathered
answers to an open-ended question at the end of a mail-out
questionnaire sent to a random sample of employees; they counted all
instances in which each category was coded across all documents. 
(GAO, 1992b) Singleton et al.  (1988) says that the frequency count
is the most common method for measuring content. 

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3:4.3

Analysis of intensity assumes ordinal categories.  (GAO, 1992e) We
often measure the intensity of a person's opinions or attitudes, but
other intensity variables are possible.  For example, in one study,
coders rated the strength of association between learning outcomes
and 228 different factors in 179 reviews of school learning research. 
Strength of association had three categories:  (1) weak, uncertain,
or inconsistent relationship to learning, (2) moderate relationship,
and (3) strong relationship.  The primary data analysis was the
computation of the mean for groups of variables.  (Wang, Haertel, and
Walberg, 1990)

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3:4.4

Analyzing the space or time devoted to a topic in a document is
common in content analysis.  For example, the newspaper space
(measured in column inches) associated with a topic may reflect the
importance of a topic.  For television or radio, air time is a
similar measure.  Note that using space or time in content analysis
requires more than just coding the topic.  For example, in one study,
evaluators first used column inches to draw conclusions about
newspaper coverage of foreign news and then applied a statistical
test to compare differences in coverage between newspapers that had
overseas staff with those that did not.  (Budd, Thorp, and Donohew,
1967, pp.  12-13)

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3:4.5

Having chosen one of the analysis plans described above, evaluators
then depend for analysis options on the measurement level of the
variables--nominal, ordinal, interval, or ratio.  (GAO, 1992e) When
Evaluators choose nominal variables, they commonly tabulate category
frequencies, but other possibilities exist.  (Reynolds, 1984) With
ordinal variables, as with intensity scales, come other
possibilities.  (Hildebrand, Laing, and Rosenthal, 1977) Interval or
ratio variables--which may be used in conjunction with variables
coded from qualitative information--afford many possibilities for
data analysis and are well covered in many statistical textbooks. 
(Moore and McCabe, 1989)

============================================================ Chapter 4

Coding means to mark recording units--that is, textual passages--with
short alphanumeric codes that abbreviate the categories of variables
and that carry other information as well.  In this chapter, we assume
that all the textual material for content analysis is in
computer-readable form.  Figure 4.1, for example, shows a fragment of
a response from an interview into which the code "[costshn-36" has
been inserted above line 33.  The left bracket signals to the
particular software employed here that the characters that follow it
are a code.  The letters "costshn," standing for "cost-sharing
negative," are a coded way of saying that the lines beginning with
line 33 include a negative statement about cost-sharing.  The number
36 in the code means that the coded passage that begins on line 33
ends on line 36. 

                               Figure 4.1
                            A Coded Passage

----------  ----------------------------------------------------------
32          should bear part of cost simply to prove commitment. But
[costshn-   contribution level should be tied to formula; our training
36          activities are not easy to tie to long-term
33          sustainability; in this activity our target group can't
34          really pay.
Once the document has been marked, the evaluator can relatively
expeditiously analyze it by, for example, counting the codes. 
Counting the instances in the document of the code in figure 4.1
would tell the analyst something about the document's negativity
toward cost sharing. 

---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 4:1

Codes are simply abbreviations, or tags, for segments of text. 
Before evaluators can code a document, they must first create a code
for each variable's categories.  To minimize error, a code should be
an abbreviated version of a category.  In figure 4.1, for example,
the variable is "attitude toward cost-sharing," and it has three
categories:  negative, neutral, and positive, labeled n, 0, and p. 
When coders identify a textual statement about cost-sharing, they can
easily insert the correct code because the choices are "costshn,"
"costsh0," and "costshp."

Many coding schemes are possible, depending on the software's
constraints.  These usually limit the type of characters that can be
used, the total number of characters in the code, and upper case
versus lower case alphabetic characters.\1

Evaluators should define their codes in a coding manual that they
prepare for training coders and for their use during actual coding. 
The manual should at minimum contain the list of codes and what they
mean and overall coding guidance. 

\1 For a more general discussion of code types and coding schemes,
see Miles and Huberman (1994, ch.  4). 

---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 4:2

Textual material can be coded directly on the computer or it can be
coded manually and transferred clerically to electronic media.  With
the latter option, a coder works with hard-copy documents and simply
marks the passages with a pencil or colored marker.  Training
requirements are minimal.\2

Some content analysis software programs make it relatively easy to
code directly from the computer keyboard.  A document is displayed on
the screen, and the coder enters codes directly into the text.  The
possible disadvantage of computer coding is that the coders must be
trained to use the software.\3

At least two methods are used for transferring manual codes to
computer files.  With some content analysis programs, the manual
codes are entered from the keyboard just as if they had been entered
directly in the first place.  Entering manual codes electronically
means that computer entry time is added directly to the manual coding
time.  Some programs such as Textbase Alpha, however, offer a
shortcut data entry procedure for material that has been manually

The best choice between coding options depends upon the material to
be coded, hardware and software availability, and the experience and
preference of the coders.  If coders feel more confident working with
hard-copy documents, then manual coding followed by one of the
computer's data entry procedures might be preferable.  If they are
comfortable with direct computer entry, then overall time may be

\2 Coding can separated into two parts:  (1) the judgmental task of
applying the codes to the textual material and (2) the clerical task
of entering the codes into the computer.  The same person need not do
both tasks. 

\3 Direct computer coding might be awkward when a coder must move
from page to page in a document in order to make a judgment about
code assignment.  In this circumstance, the coder might feel more
confident working manually with hard-copy documents. 

---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 4:3

Coding is generally quicker and more accurate and credible the more
expertise coders have in the subject of the material being analyzed. 
For example, in coding documents pertaining to Medicare claims, the
coder's knowledge of medical terminology and practices would probably
be useful. 

Coders are trained to accurately apply the codes in training sessions
that inform them about the purpose of the content analysis, the
nature of the textual material, and the coding scheme.  This
explanatory information is then followed by practice with real or
simulated text.  Coding accuracy may require several sessions with
intersession feedback to the coders. 

---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 4:4

The four interrelated potential sources of coding inaccuracy in most
applications of content analysis are (1) deficiencies in the
documents, (2) ambiguity in the judgment process, (3) coder bias, and
(4) coder mistakes.  (Orwin, 1994) For example, a poorly written
document may lead to a coder's making ambiguous decisions, or
ambiguity in the judgment process may set the stage for coder bias. 

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 4:4.1

If a document is vague, the coder may become uncertain and make
mistakes.  Deficiencies in the original documents cannot usually be
remedied, but coding conventions can help achieve coder consistency. 
For example, ambiguity in a Stars and Stripes article about weaponry
may lead a coder to doubt whether to code it as a "strategic issue"
or to not code it because it is really about tactics.  In this case,
the evaluators would do well to establish coding conventions in the
coding manual and to address them during coder training. 

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 4:4.2

In all but the most straightforward of variables, coders have to
exercise judgment, and judgment opens the door for error.  For
example, in a study of the evaluation reports from international aid
projects, coders used a five-point scale to rate the extent to which
the objectives of the various aid projects had been met.  At first,
short phrases defined the points on the scale; at the highest level,
for example, objectives were "fully achieved" or "almost fully
achieved." Practice coding sessions revealed inconsistencies among
the coders, so some coders suggested that a numerical scale would be
better--objectives were "90- to 100- percent achieved"--but some
inconsistency still occurred.  When a third scale provided both word
and numeric definitions, the result was coder consistency at the
necessary level.  The changes and the training probably both
contributed to this improvement. 

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 4:4.3

It is hard to imagine a topic about which a coder would have no
preconceptions.  As Orwin notes, "Ambiguities in the judgment process
and coder bias are related in that ambiguity creates a hospitable
environment for bias to creep in unnoticed" (1994, p.  142). 
Training helps coders stay on guard against unintentional bias, and
the trainers may be able to spot coders whose bias is intentional. 
It also helps if documents are assigned to coders randomly. 

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 4:4.4

Coders are bound to occasionally apply the coding criteria
incorrectly or just write down the wrong code.  Such error can be
systematic, tending to favor or disfavor certain categories, or
merely random.  Wise choices in constructing category labels can help
avoid such mistakes, as can proper training. 

------------------------------------------------------ Chapter 4:4.4.1

Consistency is often referred to as "intercoder reliability." It
means the degree to which different coders assign the same codes to
segments of text.  Much inconsistency can generate misleading data. 
In many circumstances, evaluators can make numerical estimates of
intercoder reliability and use the results to judge the readiness of
coders to proceed from training to actual coding (see appendix III). 
To check intercoder reliability, either coders during practice should
examine the same documents or else a subset of the documents should
be the same for all coders. 

------------------------------------------------------ Chapter 4:4.4.2

Even when coders are relatively consistent from one to another,
coding can still produce systematic error:  the coders as a group
tend to make the same errors in assigning category codes to segments
of text.  In general, gauging the extent of systematic error is more
difficult than checking intercoder reliability because it implies
that someone knows the "true" codes for text segments.  No one in
fact has such knowledge.  However, evaluators may be able to detect
gross levels of systematic error during training and then redefine
the variables' categories and modify the coding manual. 

---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 4:5

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 4:5.1

Even though the population of documents may seem conceptually clear,
assembling them for coding generally has three problems:  missing
documents, inappropriate documents, and uncodable documents.  There
may be a discrepancy between the supposed population of documents and
those actually located.  For example, in an evaluation of
international development projects in existence over a 10-year
period, the documents sought were project evaluation reports, but
reports could not be found for all the projects.  When documents are
missing even after a persistent search, evaluators should note the
probable reasons before proceeding with the content analysis.  When
substantial numbers of documents are missing, the content analysis
must be abandoned. 

An inappropriate document is one that does not match the definition
of document required for the analysis.  Almost inevitably, upon
inspection, some documents prove inappropriate for the content
analysis.  For example, in the international development study, some
reports that had been labeled and indexed as project evaluation
reports did not actually fit that description.  Inappropriate
documents should be discarded but a record should be kept of the

Some documents might match the requirements of the analysis but turn
out to be uncodable.  For example, missing pages or ambiguity of
content raise such severe doubts about the quality of the data that
it would be better not to include such documents in the analysis. 

Once the set of working documents has been determined, the person in
charge of coding should record each document in a log.  Each document
should be given a unique number, and as the coding proceeds, the
following minimal information should be recorded:  the coder it was
assigned to, the date it was coded, and unusual problems. 

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 4:5.2

When the documents to be coded are a sample of a population, the
sample should be chosen from the working population identified in the
procedures above.  See chapter 3 on selecting material for analysis
for some of the sampling considerations. 

---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 4:6

In manual coding on hard-copy documents, the coder simply marks the
boundaries of the recording unit and writes the code in the margin of
the document, as in figure 4.1.  It is often helpful and speedier to
use different colored pens for each variable.  The procedure is
similar when using a computer, but the details depend on the
software.  Coders can link brief comments to a recording unit in
coding manually and with some software.  Such comments may be useful
during data analysis to give a rationale for the code, to make
cross-reference to another passage in the document, to flag the
coder's uncertainty, and so on. 

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 4:6.1

In either manual or computer coding, two codes can overlap:  the
recording unit for one variable overlaps the recording unit for
another variable.  Figure 4.2 excerpts an interview in which one
objective was to find out what local officials thought about their
central agency's actions.  The figure shows two coded variables: 
"weaknesses in the agency's strategies" and "consequences of agency
actions." Weaknesses in the agency's strategies had three categories: 
inconsistency (coded here as "in"), micromanaging, and other. 
Consequences of agency actions also had three categories: 
inefficiency (coded here as "in"), vulnerability to fraud, and other. 
The code "[weakin-92" indicates that the passage between lines 88 and
92 identifies inconsistency as a weakness of the central agency.  The
code "[consin-93" between lines 89 and 93, and therefore overlapping
the first code, indicates that a consequence of agency action--in
this case, inconsistency--is inefficiency. 

                               Figure 4.2
                           Overlapping Codes

----------  ----------------------------------------------------------
[weakin-    The agency needs to be more consistent in its strategies
92          and priorities. It often appears that they latch onto
88          whatever fad is in fashion (e.g., AIDS, working with
89          teenagers, etc), adopt a strategy, and then alter it the
[consin-    following year. This causes confusion and inefficiencies.

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 4:6.2

A code is nested within another when the recording unit for one
variable completely envelopes the recording unit for another
variable.  Figure 4.3 shows a coded portion of an interview for two
variables.  One is "view about time spent on financial management"
with three categories:  excessive, about right, and insufficient. 
The other is "causes for project delays" with four categories: 
financial management problems, insufficient staff, supply shortages,
and other.  Code "[fimgtex-424" indicates that a passage between
lines 416 and 424 expresses the view that time spent on financial
management is excessive.  Code "[delayfm-424" indicates that a
passage between lines 417 and 424 attributes project delays to
financial management problems.  The second passage is nested within
the first; as may be seen from the figure, nesting is a special case
of overlapping. 

                               Figure 4.3
                              Nested Codes

----------  ----------------------------------------------------------
[fimgtex-   Financial management can take an excessive amount of time.
424         The grantee has experienced serious delays in getting
416         financial requests approved when an error is made either
417         by the grantee in its submission or by the agency in
[delayfm-   processing the request. For example, when the exchange
424         rate changes after the submission, the agency requests
418         that the grantee recalculate the budget and resubmit its
419         request.

---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 4:7

This section assumes that the documents to be coded are available in
a word processing format such as WordPerfect and that coding proceeds
with the computer program called Textbase Alpha.  Textbase Alpha was
designed for the analysis of qualitative data, but it was not
specifically oriented toward traditional content analysis.  However,
it is simple to use, and it performs the basic content analysis
tasks.  (The distinction between qualitative analysis programs and
content analysis programs is described in appendix I.) There are
seven steps to coding such documents. 

1.  Edit the documents with the word processor.  While content
analysis programs ordinarily have a text editor function, these are
usually primitive; some analysis programs require that margins have
particular settings and other special formats.  With Textbase Alpha,
a feature called "prestructured coding" can be used to some
advantage.  Suppose a document contains a series of paragraphs, each
a response to an open-ended question on a mail-out interview. 
Pressing a Textbase Alpha function key automatically codes the
paragraphs with appropriate labels such as Question 1, Question 2,
and so on, so that they can be retrieved or counted by their labels. 
For prestructured coding to work, the first word of each paragraph
must be the label and the paragraph must have a hanging indent. 

2.  Create an ASCII file with the word processor.  It is usually
necessary to strip away the word processor's formatting codes by
saving the file as an ASCII file.  Content analysis programs can
import ASCII files.  In the Textbase Alpha example, WordPerfect must
be used to create the ASCII file. 

3.  Start the content analysis program and import the ASCII data
files.  Content analysis programs follow more-or-less standard
procedures for starting and importing files.  Some programs require
that text lines be numbered; some do this automatically and other
require a separate step.  In the Textbase Alpha program, the coder
imports the ASCII files.  Lines are numbered by clicking on a
Textbase Alpha menu choice. 

4.  Attach codes to text segments.  This involves marking the
boundaries of each segment and inserting a code.  With most programs,
a segment starts at the beginning of a line and ends at the line's
end.  If a sentence starts or ends in the middle of a line, the whole
line is marked.  With some programs, codes are first inserted
manually and then keyed into the computer.  With all programs, this
two-stage process is an option.  Textbase Alpha is unusual in that a
segment can begin or end in the middle of a line.  Boundaries are
marked according to cursor position, and codes are entered in a data
entry box at the bottom of the screen.  The coder simply moves the
cursor through the text, stopping where necessary to attach codes to

5.  Analyze the data.  Coding in effect creates a database of
categorical variables.  All content analysis programs have some
ability to manipulate and display them.  Usually the database can
also be exported for further analysis with a statistical program. 
Textbase Alpha can calculate code frequencies for all documents or
for selected documents.  Individual documents can be labeled with up
to 15 variables like socioeconomic factors, coder name, date, and so
on.  It can also count words without coding them.  (We discuss data
analysis at some length in chapter 5.)

6.  Print the results.  The printouts for most programs have limited
flexibility.  However, the results can usually be exported to a word
processor for editing.  In our Textbase Alpha example, the results of
analysis can be either printed or written to a WordPerfect file that
can be opened later. 

7.  Export the results.  Most content analysis programs can create
ASCII files so that the results can be exported either to a word
processing program for editing and subsequent incorporation into a
report or to a statistical program for further analysis.  Some
programs can export files specifically for standard statistical
packages such as SPSS.  Textbase Alpha can construct files for
display and for statistical analysis in programs such as SPSS. 

============================================================ Chapter 5

The essence of content analysis is coding--that is, providing a
bridge from words to numbers.  Once that has been achieved, data
analysis follows the usual forms of analysis.  This chapter is a
brief overview of the analysis tasks, since relevant statistical
methods are widely available. 

---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 5:1

The basic analytic task in content analysis is to count the
occurrence of codes, whether all occurrences of a given category (for
example, all occurrences of Stars and Stripes articles that portray a
negative image of the military) or only certain subcategories of
occurrences (for example, separate counts of such articles in the
Pacific and European editions).  Planning the counting task in
advance avoids duplicative and unnecessary effort.  However, using
computer programs to do the counting lessens the burden and helps the
analysis evolve (assuming, of course, that the appropriate variables
have been coded). 

The choice of software is important because programs differ
substantially.  A form of analysis that might be easy to implement
with one program can be awkward or even impossible with another. 
(Appendix II gives a brief summary of this variation.) Evaluators
should consult with someone who is familiar with several types of
software before choosing one and may find it advisable to use more
than one computer package. 

---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 5:2

When several coders code the documents, their consistency is
important.  If the coders differ substantially, then the results of
the content analysis become questionable.  Chapter 4 outlines steps
for minimizing unreliability.  Another important step is to assign
selected documents to several coders at once so that estimates of
reliability can be made (see appendix III). 

---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 5:3

Drawing inferences from the frequency of codes is the simplest and
often the most useful form of data analysis.  Drawing conclusions in
the Stars and Stripes assignment, evaluators counted the number of
articles that presented a negative image of the military and compared
the number to the number of wire service articles with negative
images.  The analysis showed that 47 percent of the wire service
stories portrayed a negative image but that the European edition had
only 35 percent and in the Pacific edition 27. 

---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 5:4

Beyond simply counting, evaluators next look for an association
between two or more variables.  In the Stars and Stripes assignment,
the frequency of news articles on various topics was compared between
the Pacific and European editions.  In the language of content
analysis, the variable "topic" was compared to the variable
"edition." Topic had the subcategories military, Iran-contra, AIDS,
strategic treaty, and presidential campaign. 

The final Stars and Stripes report contained a table similar to table
5.1, with which we can examine the association between topic and
edition.  If the data were to show that knowledge of one variable
provides us with knowledge about the other, we would then say that
the variables were associated.  For example, suppose we have a bin
containing 100 randomly chosen articles from the Pacific edition and
100 from the European edition.  If we randomly select one article
from the bin, and if it is about Iran-contra, does knowledge about
that topic tell us which edition the article appeared in?  If the
answer is yes, the two variables are associated. 

                               Table 5.1
                 Frequency of Stars and Stripes Stories
                           on Selected Topics

                                          Numbe  Percen  Numbe  Percen
Topic                                         r       t      r       t
----------------------------------------  -----  ------  -----  ------
U.S. military                                71    52.2    144    55.8
Iran-contra                                  33    24.3     45    17.4
AIDS                                         17    12.5     33    12.8
Strategic treaty                             10     7.4     20     7.8
Presidential campaign                         5     3.7     16     6.2
Total                                       136   100.0    258   100.0
Table 5.1 shows that the percentage of articles on Iran-contra was
somewhat greater in the Pacific edition; the percentage of articles
on the presidential campaign was somewhat greater in the European
edition.  The remaining categories do not show much difference. 
Thus, there may be a weak association between topic and edition. 
That is, topic only is somewhat predictable from edition, or edition
only is somewhat predictable from topic. 

A table like this may disclose a relatively strong relationship
between variables, but often the relationship is ambiguous.  By
subjecting the data to a statistical analysis, moderate or weak
associations can readily be established.  Because both variables are
unordered--that is, they are nominal variables--we could compute a
statistic like Cramer's V with statistical software.\1 Cramer's V
ranges from 0, indicating no association, to 1, indicating perfect
association.  The data in table 5.1 yield a value for V turns of
0.09, a very modest degree of association. 

\1 Sometimes the statistic is called Cramer's C--as, for example, in
Seigel and Castellan (1988). 

---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 5:5

The methodology and results of a content analysis should be reported
the way they are for other evaluations.  The methodology should be
described in sufficient detail that readers will have a clear
understanding of how the work was carried out and its strengths and
limitations.  For example, the report should reveal

  -- the evaluation question addressed;

  -- the nature of the material analyzed;

  -- the variables coded and the coding categories;

  -- whether documents were sampled and, if so, how;

  -- the recording units;

  -- the coding procedures and copies of coding instruments;

  -- the statistical analysis techniques; and

  -- limitations that would prevent another from using the
     information correctly. 

The verbal conclusions from the content analysis should be backed up
by tables and statistical summaries.  Where it is applicable,
evaluators should include statements about the statistical precision
of the findings. 

============================================================ Chapter 6

Evaluators planning a content analysis should be aware of some
pitfalls ahead of them.  The ready availability of relevant material
can lead to aimless and expensive fishing expeditions motivated by
the hope of turning up something interesting.  Quantifying
documentary information may produce important and interesting data,
but mere counting for the sake of counting is likely to produce
precise but meaningless or trivial findings.  Below are some steps to
take to avoid the pitfalls. 

---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 6:1

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 6:1.1

The evaluation questions drive the study.  If they are ambiguous or
not suited to the users' needs, even a well-implemented method will
produce findings of doubtful value.  To be clear about the questions
means to state them as specifically as possible so that the answers
will be useful to decisionmakers.  One exception to this
rule--probably the only exception--is when the main purpose of the
study is for evaluators to learn systematically about a substantive
area in preparation for doing a main study.  When this is the goal,
the findings may not be directly useful to decisionmakers, but they
should be a stepping stone to subsequent studies designed to serve
policy needs. 

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 6:1.2

Content analysis is only one approach to drawing conclusions from
textual data.  Other options that allow for the retrieval and
manipulation of actual segments of text are briefly discussed in
appendix I.  The textual methods referred to there may be better
suited to answering some evaluation questions than content analysis. 

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 6:1.3

The need for careful definitions of the variables, including the
specification of their categories, cannot be overstated.  Pitfalls
abound:  defining variables that cannot be used to answer the
evaluation questions, defining variables that are so ambiguous as to
defy reasonable categorization and interpretation, specifying
categories that are not mutually exclusive and exhaustive, and
specifying categories ambiguously so that coders can work only
capriciously.  Faulty definition is one of the main contributors to
unreliability in the coding process. 

Defining the variables should begin early because the definition may
require a restatement of the evaluation questions.  The possibility
of redefinition should extend into the implementation phase, because
training coders constitutes a test of the categories and may reveal
problems in making the connection between the variables' definitions
and the assignment of codes. 

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 6:1.4

The selection of recording units is based upon the nature of the
variables and the textual material to be coded.  For a given
variable, different recording units can produce different findings. 
Therefore, considerable thought must go into the decision on
recording units.  Later, the coders must understand the recording
units and apply them in a way such that the reliability of the coding
process is maintained.  When the recording units have obvious
physical boundaries, as whole text, paragraphs, and words do, the
coder's task is relatively easy.  When the theme is a recording unit,
as it often is in an evaluation, extra precautions must be taken to
avoid unreliability. 

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 6:1.5

The steps in content analysis are deceptively simple and may
therefore tempt the evaluator to postpone serious thought about data
analysis until coding has been completed.  This would be a mistake. 
In designing and implementing a content analysis, evaluators will
come to several decisions that bear on whether the analysis will be
possible.  These decisions--most notably, defining the variables,
defining the recording units, and choosing the software--should not
be made until after a preliminary data analysis plan has been
developed.  Otherwise, the evaluator may arrive at the time for data
analysis and find some important options foreclosed. 

      AND TIME
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 6:1.6

Content analysis can be time-consuming.  A coding manual must be
prepared and, probably, revised several times.  Coders must be
trained and given time to practice coding until their reliability is
satisfactory.  These two steps alone can easily take a couple of
months.  The time required for the final coding process depends upon
the amount of material to be coded, the number of variables, the
number of coders, and the judgment required for coding decisions. 
Careful definition of variables will help keep the need for judgment
to a minimum but, in most analyses, some variables will be complex
and subtle and coding decisions will take time. 

---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 6:2

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 6:2.1

A good coding manual is indispensable.  Avoid the temptation to save
time by not producing one or by producing only the skeleton of one. 
The time spent in being complete will be more than repaid by making
the coders' task easier and faster and, especially, by ensuring
coding of the highest quality. 

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 6:2.2

Good training is essential.  Even experienced coders need to learn
about the aims of the evaluation, the material to be coded, and the
coding system.  They may also need training in the software. 
Inexperienced coders will additionally need guidance in good coding
practice--keeping proper records, adopting tactics for avoiding
errors, knowing when to seek advice, and so on.  All coders need
practice in applying the coding system to examples of the material to
be coded. 

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 6:2.3

Pretests can be carried out in conjunction with training.  Pretests
with the persons who will do the final coding affords the opportunity
to fix problems by redefining variables, especially the categories. 
Coders-in-training can give direct feedback on the difficulties they
have with the coding system.  There is no substitute.  Pretests also
provide a means for making preliminary estimates of reliability. 
Indeed, actual coding should not begin until reliability is

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 6:2.4

A single person should be given overall responsibility for the
document coding.  The best choice is usually someone who has coding
experience and who will also perform some of the coding as a head
coder.  This person should develop detailed procedures for keeping
track of documents, assigning them to coders, and maintaining a log
of the process.  Usually the head coder also provides the first level
of troubleshooting:  responding to queries from coders, resolving
ambiguities about categories, and making at least preliminary
decisions to remove problematic documents from the database. 

---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 6:3

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 6:3.1

Things are not always what they seem.  Try to verify findings by
using related variables or slightly different analysis methods.  This
is also a time to check on the reliability of the coding process. 

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 6:3.2

In some circumstances, statistical tests of significance may be
appropriate.  Use them to rule out chance as an explanation for the

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 6:3.3

Compare the content analysis results to other forms of evidence,
either in the same evaluation or from the literature on the topic. 

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 6:3.4

Remember the origins of the data and the assumptions they are based
on.  Confidence in the answers to evaluation questions and the
forcefulness of the implications derived from them must fit the data
and the methodology.  Sometimes confidence is high but, at other
times, the conclusions must be carefully qualified. 

=========================================================== Appendix I

Content analysis applies to textual data information in the form of
words.  An analyst can classify text into categories as described in
chapter 1.  The categories are treated like numerical data in
subsequent statistical manipulations.  The statistical analysis
permits the analyst to draw conclusions about the information in the
text.  This is the traditional form of content analysis. 

Content analysis, as defined in this paper, can be viewed as being
one among a number of methods for analyzing textual data.  Under the
title of qualitative data analysis, Tesch (1990), describes many
possibilities for analyzing textual data.  A number of those
alternatives classify text into categories but do not give numerical
labels to the categories in preparation for statistical manipulation. 
(See for example, Miles and Huberman (1994) and Strauss and Corbin
(1990).) Analysis in these other qualitative approaches typically
involves manipulating graphics and displaying the text segments in
the form of either codes or actual words rather than statistical
manipulation.  Content analysis is usually confined to statistical

We might want to address some of the evaluation questions with
textual data.  These questions are best answered with content
analysis and other forms of qualitative analysis.  To a degree,
software programs such as AQUAD can be used in either situation
(Tesch, 1992).  AQUAD was designed for the style of qualitative
analysis that retains the text segments intact.  It basically offers
the ability to cut and paste coded segments of computerized
documents.  Its ability to count codes, also gives it some content
analysis capability. 

In designing an evaluation that will use qualitative data,
consideration should be given to a variety of approaches, including
but not limited to content analysis.  As always, the methods the
analyst chooses should be matched to the evaluation questions. 

========================================================== Appendix II

This appendix describes computer software that may be useful to
content analysis.  The list of programs here is by no means complete,
and it is purely descriptive, not a GAO endorsement of any program. 
The descriptions focus on features of the software that are necessary
or optional for use in content analysis; the do not refer to other
features that are not relevant to content analysis. 

The content analyst must carry out several of these six functions: 

1.  Edit:  generate and edit recorded information, including the
creation of ASCII files. 

2.  Code:  mark recording units and attach category codes. 

3.  Search:  identify specific words, phrases, and categories. 

4.  Count:  count the number of specific words, phrases, or
categories in each recording unit. 

5.  Retrieve:  retrieve specific words, phrases, or categories. 

6.  Export:  create a computer file for analysis by statistical

Therefore, the software in table II.1 is described in this appendix
primarily in regard to these functions.  The table is organized so
that the software with the greatest number of features is at the top,
the least at the bottom. 

                                    Table II.1
                      Software Features Relevant to Content

Software   Edit       Code       Search     Count      Retrieve   Export
---------  ---------  ---------  ---------  ---------  ---------  --------------
askSam     +          +          +          +          +          --

Textbase   --         +          +          +          +          +

AQUAD      0          +          +          +          +          --

TEXTPACK   --         --         +          +          0          +

Micro-     --         --         +          +          --         --

WordCrunc  0          --         +          +          --         0

WordPerfe  +          --         +          --         0          0
\a The software feature is adequate or better = +.  The feature is
somewhat limited but not totally absent = --.  The feature is absent
= 0. 

------------------------------------------------------ Appendix II:0.1

askSam was designed not for content analysis but as a general purpose
database manager that can handle structured and unstructured
qualitative and quantitative data.\1 This description of its features
is based on askSam version 2.0a for Windows. 

askSam has been used in several GAO projects that involved the
analysis of large amounts of textual information, including (1)
transcripts of focus group discussions; (2) structured interviews
consisting of 100 questions asked of 200 persons, several of the
questions being open-ended; (3) a COBOL database transformed into an
askSam database consisting of thousands of records, each including
one open-ended free text field; and (4) an automated version of the
GAO open recommendations report.\2

Text to be coded could be prepared on a word processor and converted
to an ASCII file and then imported to askSam.  However, askSam can
import information directly in a variety of formats such as dBase and
WordPerfect (5.x and 6.0).  The program's built-in word processor is
relatively flexible and can be used to enter data. 

Text passages can be coded from within askSam's word processor by
text-editing.  That is, while the text is displayed on the screen, a
code is typed in at the beginning of the passage and a single
character is placed at the end of the passage.  A form of automatic
coding is also available; a selected character that appears in the
raw text, a colon for example, can serve as a code, or field
character.  The text that follows that code, on the same line, can be
analyzed as a coded passage. 

The program has strong search capabilities for words (including
codes) and phrases.  Words and phrases can be counted, thus providing
the basis for content analysis.  The full texts for all instances of
a code can also be retrieved and displayed on the screen or printed. 
There is no simple way to export the results of code counts to
statistical programs for further analysis. 

askSam's great versatility makes it harder to learn and somewhat more
awkward to use than some of the more specialized programs such as
AQUAD and Textbase Alpha. 

\1 Other free-form database managers include Concordance and
ideaList.  See C�t� and Diehl (1992) for a review. 

\2 The GAO applications mentioned here were performed with earlier
versions.  A number of GAO applications of askSam have been performed
in conjunction with GAO's Questionnaire Programming Language (QPL). 
Procedures for converting QPL data files, containing the results of
focus groups or open-ended interview questionnaires, for example, are
given in GAO (1991b), pp.  156-63.  The document also describes some
of the analytical steps that may be carried out on the converted

-------------------------------------------------------- Appendix II:1

Textbase Alpha was developed for the qualitative analysis of data
from interviews.  Although not designed for content analysis, it has
some numeric analysis features, and it can produce an output file
that SPSS can use directly for categorical data analysis. 

Text to be coded is prepared on a word processor and converted to an
ASCII file.  A separate data file is created for each document. 
Supplementary data, such as identifiers and demographic variables may
be added at this time. 

In coding, the analyst moves the cursor to mark the beginning and end
of a recording unit and then keys the code so that it appears in a
special data entry box at the bottom of the screen.  The program also
includes a prestructured coding feature in which the paragraph format
of the text (prepared in the word processor) leads to a form of
automatic coding.  This may be especially useful for handling the
responses to interviews whose paragraph-like structure corresponds to
a series of questions. 

Textbase Alpha has flexible procedures for text retrieval by code.  A
search may be made across all documents or only selected ones (for
example, only Hispanic respondents if ethnicity has been added as a
demographic variable).  The results of searching text passages are
saved in an ASCII file, which can be viewed on screen or imported
into a word processor for editing. 

The frequency of some or all codes can be counted, with the results
also stored in an ASCII file.  The program will also count all or
selected words in the textual material, and the count can be made for
all or selected documents. 

The program can construct an SPSS file in which each document
corresponds to an SPSS case.  Demographic variables and codes become
SPSS variables. 

-------------------------------------------------------- Appendix II:2

Like Textbase Alpha, AQUAD was developed primarily for the analysis
of qualitative data in circumstances in which there is no intent to
transform the results to numbers.  However, AQUAD has several
features that make it useful for content analysis. 

Textual material is prepared on a word processor and converted to
ASCII files for processing by AQUAD.  Each document constitutes one
file.  For example, if 10 interviews were conducted, 10 ASCII files
would be prepared. 

Coding in AQUAD can be performed with the textual material displayed
on the screen as on a word processor.  The cursor is moved to the
line where the passage to be coded begins, and the code is entered. 
The code carries three kinds of information:  the line where the
segment begins, the line where it ends, and the category label.  If
the analyst prefers to mark the codes on hard copy first, AQUAD
provides a shortcut by which they can be entered into the database. 

Even though it was not designed as a content analysis program, AQUAD
can be used to count code frequencies and to retrieve the coded
passages in their entirety. 

-------------------------------------------------------- Appendix II:3

TEXTPACK PC was designed for analyzing open-ended survey questions
but over the years it has been extended to a variety of applications
such as content analysis and literary and linguistic analysis. 

In Version V, Release 4.0, for MS/DOS, the text to be coded is
prepared on a word processor, which also produces an ASCII file that
the program can read.  All documents are included in a single file. 
TEXTPACK PC transforms that file to others in TEXTPACK format for use
in the actual analysis.  The program has minimal text-editing
capability; editing is best done with a word processor. 

In coding, the analyst specifies a code "dictionary" of words,
sequences of words, and word roots (that is, the beginnings of
words).  The dictionary is created in the form of an input file for
TEXTPACK PC, and the coding is automatic in that the computer looks
for and counts the matches of "words" in dictionary and character
sequences in the text file.  Unlike Textbase Alpha and AQUAD, the
recording units that are counted are limited to words, phrases, or
word roots in the text.  TEXTPACK PC also performs a simple word
frequency count (that is, without counting sequences or word roots)
without the necessity of creating a code dictionary. 

The text retrieval feature identifies and displays words in context. 
A dictionary file is used to specify the "words" to be searched. 
Results are displayed in standard KWIC format with identifying
information so that each occurrence can be traced back to its
location in the text. 

A frequency count of codes, produced as described above, can be saved
to a file in a form that SPSS and SAS. 

-------------------------------------------------------- Appendix II:4

Micro-OCP is the microcomputer implementation of a mainframe
concordance program known as OCP, or Oxford Concordance Program.  A
concordance is an alphabetical list of words showing the context of
each occurrence of each word.  It makes word lists with frequency
counts, indexes, and concordances from texts in a variety of
languages and alphabets.  Although designed especially for literary
analysis in which individual words are the recording units, the
program can be used to perform content analysis by using a somewhat
limited form of coding. 

As with most other programs, the textual material would ordinarily be
generated by a word processing program and converted to ASCII format
for importation to Micro-OCP.  To perform a content analysis, the
analyst also requires a "command" file, which can be developed with a
word processor or Micro-OCP.  The command file is, in effect, a set
of instructions that tells Micro-OCP what it is to do with the
textual material. 

Text passages can be coded with a word processor by inserting code
characters at the beginning of a passage, but there is no way to mark
the end of a passage.  It is therefore possible to count the
occurrence of codes, but the ability to retrieve a coded passage is
limited, except when words are the recording units. 

Different kinds of text passages can be marked (Micro-OCP calls the
markings "references") for later use in the analysis.  For example,
when the textual material is composed of answers to a series of
interview questions, all responses to question 1 could be marked
"Q1," those to question 2 "Q2," and so on.  By appropriate use of
Micro-OCP commands, a given content analysis could then be limited to
responses to question 1, for example. 

Micro-OCP searches for words and brings back the results in one of
three basic forms:  a word list, an index, or a concordance.  Typical
content analysis applications are producing (1) a word list of codes,
along with the frequencies of the codes, (2) a concordance of
selected words as a preliminary to other forms of analysis, (3) a
concordance of codes as a crude way to retrieve partial text
passages, and (4) an index of selected words or codes to provide the
basis for a second-stage "look-up" of words or codes in the text. 
Used in these ways, Micro-OCP can provide a rudimentary form of
content analysis. 

-------------------------------------------------------- Appendix II:5

WordCruncher indexes text files and retrieves and manipulates data
from them for viewing or analysis.\3 WordCruncher is primarily
designed to display the text associated with words or word
combinations (that is, the context).  It also provides a count of the
number of instances of each word and a way of creating a
free-standing thesaurus, facilitating the development of categories
for a content analysis. 

Before analysts use WordCruncher for content analysis, they generate
the text material and code it in a word processor.  (Under some
circumstances, WordCruncher generates second- and third-level codes
automatically.) The codes consist of two parts:  a reference symbol
and a reference label (such as "question10"), which identify the
location of words in the text. 

Once the text has been coded, WordCruncher is used to produce an
index--a list of words along with their frequencies.  Then, when the
analyst highlights a word and presses the enter key, the program
finds each instance of the word and displays its context. 

\3 Other text-indexing and retrieval software includes Folio Views
and re:Search.  See C�t� and Diehl (1992) for a review. 

-------------------------------------------------------- Appendix II:6

A word processing program, such as WordPerfect, is indispensable for
carrying out a content analysis.  It can be used to create a textual
database for later use with other programs, to edit an existing
database, to attach codes necessary for content analysis, and to
convert from a word processor format to ASCII format.  Virtually all
word processors can perform these tasks and their editing
capabilities are usually much superior to the primitive editing
features found in most specialized content analysis programs. 

Some word processors have powerful search features that are useful
during the early stages of content analysis.  WordPerfect' has
QuickFinder, which searches for words and phrases within files and
across files.  The analyst can then scroll through the text to find
the words and phrases that QuickFinder has highlighted.  Used in this
way, the program can be helpful in defining variables and categories
and in deciding what material to code.\4

QuickFinder File Indexer is an enhanced search utility included in
WordPerfect 5.2 and later versions.  An index of all words in a file
or files is created and saved as a basis for all searches.  Using the
index greatly increases the speed of the search. 

QuickFinder allows the analyst to specify quite complex word patterns
through the use of search modifiers.  Thus, the analyst can search
for files containing

  -- each one of a set of words (Boolean AND);

  -- any one of a set of words (Boolean OR);

  -- one word but not another;

  -- particular word forms (using "?" and "*" as wild-card

  -- phrases (words next to each other);

  -- two words within n number words of each other; and

  -- two words in the same line, sentence, paragraph, page, or
     section (between two hard pages). 

\4 Many other file-indexing packages (such as Isys, Magellan, and
ZyIndex), independent of word-processing packages are available.  See
C�t� and Diehl (1992) for a review. 

========================================================= Appendix III

An important measure for judging the quality of a content analysis is
the extent to which the results can be reproduced.  Known as
intercoder reliability, this measure indicates how well two or more
coders reached the same judgments in coding the data.  Among the
variety of methods that have been proposed for estimating intercoder
reliability, we discuss three. 

A simple and commonly used indicator of intercoder reliability is the
observed agreement rate.  The formula for this is


where Po = observed agreement rate,
na = number of agreements, and
no = number of observations. 

Table III.1 gives an example from Krippendorff (1980).  Coders A and
B have each assigned category labels 0 or 1 to a total of 10
recording units.  They agree in 6 out of 10 cases, so


                                   Table III.1
                           Codes Applied by Two Coders

Coder                                      1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9  10
----------------------------------------  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --
A                                          0   1   0   0   0   0   0   0   1   0
B                                          0   1   1   0   0   1   0   1   0   0
Although this indicator is simple, the observed agreement rate is not
acceptable because it does not account for the possibility of chance
agreement.  This is important because even if two coders assign codes
at random, they are likely to agree at least to some extent.  The
expected agreement rate arising from chance can be calculated and
used to make a better estimate of intercoder agreement. 

The chance agreement rate is fairly easy to compute when the data are
redisplayed as in table III.2.  Each pair of observations from coders
A and B will fall into one of four cells:  (1) A and B agree that the
code is 0, (2) A codes 0 and B codes 1, (3) A codes 1 and B codes 0,
and (4) A and B agree that the code is 1.  If we count the number of
instances of each pair, the results can be displayed as in table

                              Table III.2
                    Observed Co-occurrences of Codes

Coding by A                                          0       1   Total
----------------------------------------------  ------  ------  ------
0                                                    5       3       8
1                                                    1       1       2
Total                                                6       4      10
The following formula gives the chance agreement rate: 


where Pc= chance agreement rate,
ni� = observed row marginals (from table III.2),
n�i = observed column marginals (from table III.2), and
n= number of observations. 

Using the numbers in table III.2, the chance agreement rate is


Now the observed agreement rate of 0.6 does not look so good because,
by chance, we could have expected an agreement rate of 0.56. 

The chance agreement rate is accounted for in a widely used estimate
of intercoder reliability called Cohen's kappa (Orwin, 1994).  The
formula is


where K= kappa,
Po= observed agreement rate, and
Pc= chance agreement rate. 

With the data in table III.2, kappa is


Kappa equals 1 when the coders are in perfect agreement and equals 0
when there is no agreement other than what would be expected by
chance.  In this example, kappa shows that the extent of agreement is
not very large, only 9 percent above what would be expected by

Kappa is a good measure for nominal-level variables, and it is
computed by standard statistical packages such as SPSS PC+.  Seigel
and Castellan (1988) discuss kappa, including a large-sample
statistic for significance testing.  Kappa can be improved when the
variables are ordinal, interval, or ratio.  Krippendorff (1990)
provides very general, but more complicated, measures.  Software
programs for computing such variables have been developed in some
design and methodology groups within GAO. 

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Washington, 1992. 

=========================================================== Appendix 2

------------------------------------------------------- Appendix 2:0.1

A type of personal computer file used to exchange information between
applications.  Constructed in accordance with specifications of the
American Standard Code for Information Interchange. 

------------------------------------------------------- Appendix 2:0.2

Distinguishes among subject, timing, and event by putting them into a
finite number of categories. 

------------------------------------------------------- Appendix 2:0.3

A short alphanumeric term that refers to the category of a variable
and often the location of a text passage.  To code is to mark a text
segment with a code. 

------------------------------------------------------- Appendix 2:0.4

A person who analyzes textual material and applies codes to text

------------------------------------------------------- Appendix 2:0.5

The degree of coding consistency between two or more coders. 

------------------------------------------------------- Appendix 2:0.6

A categorical variable in which the categories have no inherent

------------------------------------------------------- Appendix 2:0.7

A categorical variable in which the categories have an inherent

------------------------------------------------------- Appendix 2:0.8

A broad range of techniques, such as content analysis, for analyzing
nonnumerical information, usually textual material but sometimes
pictures, audio recordings, videos, and so on. 

------------------------------------------------------- Appendix 2:0.9

A portion of text that a category label is applied to. 

=========================================================== Appendix 3

This is a flexible series continually being added to and updated. 
The interested reader should inquire about the possibility of
additional papers in the series. 

The Evaluation Synthesis.  GAO/PEMD-10.1.2. 

Content Analysis.  GAO/PEMD-10.1.3. 

Designing Evaluations.  GAO/PEMD-10.1.4. 

Using Structured Interviewing Techniques.  GAO/PEMD-10.1.5. 

Using Statistical Sampling.  GAO/PEMD-10.1.6. 

Developing and Using Questionnaires.  GAO/PEMD-10.1.7. 

Case Study Evaluations.  GAO/PEMD-10.1.9. 

Prospective Evaluation Methods:  The Prospective Evaluation
Synthesis.  GAO/PEMD-10.1.10. 

Quantitative Data Analysis:  An Introduction.  GAO/PEMD-10.1.11. 

*** End of document. ***