Chris Bail
Duke University

This tutorial is designed to introduce you to the basics of text analysis in R. It provides a foundation for future tutorials that cover more advanced topics in automated text analysis such as topic modeling and network-based text analysis.

Character Encoding

One of the first things that is important to learn about quantitative text analysis is to most computer programs, texts or strings also have a numerical basis called character encoding. Character encoding is a style of writing text in computer code that helps programs such as web browsers figure out how to display text. There are presently dozens of different types of character encoding that resulted not only from advances in computing technology—and the development of different styles for different operating systems—but also for different languages (and even new languages such as emoji). The figure below illustrates a form of character encoding called “Latin Extended-B” which was developed for representing text in languages derived from Latin (which of course excludes a number of important languages)