How do I analyse “Document analysis”

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    Hamza Mokiwa

    Hi good people, I am planning to use document analysis as one of my data collection tool for a qualitative research. However, I am not so sure as to how best to analyse this? any idea?


    It seems to me that you’d use your research question(s) as a framework to identify salient components of the document that are germane to your topic.  When I’ve used this method, I read line by line to create codes that help you decipher whether or not there are themes related to your study.  Does that make sense?  Essentially, when I analyze a document, I have to read it several times to really pull out themes related to my topic.

    I hope this helps!


    Hamza Mokiwa

    Thanks Kenya,

    That make a lot of sense. Now I can move on…


    When I did a dcocument analysis, I tried to identify synonims/ similarities of words or phrases, then I grouped them so that I could make categories for further analyses.


    Just my 2 cents




    Divya Sharma

    Dear Hamza
    you will have to create tables in reference to your each objective and the corresponding documents for each objective. codify the relevant sentences, quotes etc to tabulate it and then analyse
    divya Sharma

    Roger Gomm

    Dear Hamza

    As with all research, how you collect and analyse the data should depend on what you want to find out. Since you haven’t told us that, it is difficult to give you any precise advice. However, one really important matter in using documents as sources, whatever the overall aim of your research, is that data from documents are very different from data from speech events such as interviews, or overheard conversations.So the first analytic question you need to ask with regard to documents is ‘how are these data shaped by documentary production ?’  Something which differentiates nearly all data from documents from speech data is that those who compose documents know what comes at the end while still able to alter the beginning; which gives far more opportunity for consideration of how the recepient of the utterances will view the provider; ie for more artful self-presentation. Apart from this however, analysing the way documentary practice shapes your data will depend on what these documents are: for example your question might turn out to be ‘How are news stories produced ?’ – if you are using news reports, or ‘What does this bureaucracy consider relevant information (and what not relevant and what unmentionable) ? if you are using completed proformas or internal reports from some organisation.


    Dear Hamza,

    An analyse technique is just like a hardware tool. It depends where and with what you are working to choose the right one. For a nail you should use a hammer, nad there are lots of types of hammers to choose, depending on the type of nail.

    So, in order to tell you the bettet technique, it is important to know the objectives you intend to reach and the theoretical framework you are using. Perhaps, after that, We could tell you if you should use content analysis, discourse or grounded theory (which type of it as, like the hammer, there are several types of GTs).

    Good luck with your research.

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